A Leadership Degree for Science Professionals

As a science professional, you can set yourself apart with a master’s in leadership. Whatever your role is in the science industry, the Master of Professional Studies in Applied Sciences Leadership (ASCL) can give you an edge in the job market.

The master of professional studies is for career starters, advancers, or changers who want to get ahead in the sciences. It provides the business skills and the latest developments in your chosen field that few applied science graduate programs offer.

Watch the video below to find out why this degree is so important right now.

    Read the transcript.

    Why Choose Our Master of Applied Sciences?

    Our master of applied science is:

    • Timely. We need skilled leaders with a strong science foundation to address today’s science-related challenges.
    • Accessible. You can complete this degree entirely online.
    • Stackable. The master's program is made up of two certificates. One is a core certificate that gives you essential management tools. The other is an elective certificate in Regulatory Affairs for Food Professionals, Poultry Health, or a Self-Designed Track.


    The master of applied science degree consists of one core certificate and one elective certificate plus two required courses that serve to synthesize the knowledge gained from each certificate (for a total of 30 credits).

    Applied Science Leadership Coursework (6 credits)

    The two courses below are required in the master's program. They are 3 credits each and offered entirely online.

    Core Certificate: Leadership for Science Professionals (12 credits)

    This certificate is required as part of the master's program but can be taken on its own. You will also take the two courses above and either Certificate A or B to earn the master's. All courses are offered completely online.

    Elective Certificate A: Regulatory Affairs for Food Professionals (12 credits)

    This certificate can be taken on its own or as part of the master's degree. Courses are offered completely online.


    Elective Certificate B: Poultry Health (12 credits)

    This certificate can be taken on its own or as part of the master's degree. Courses are offered completely online.


    Self-Designed Track (12 credits)

    A personalized selection of courses based on your professional goals, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. This may include coursework focused on sustainability, technology, water, among others.

    Stack Your Credentials

    The MPS in Applied Sciences Leadership is made up of two graduate-level certificates, plus six synthesizing credits. If you choose, you can earn all three credentials. Watch the video to learn more.

    Six Elective Credits equals


    Six Synthesizing Credits

    Graduation Cap and Scroll


    Master of Professional Studies in Applied Sciences Leadership

    Career Outlook

    • $69K
      Median income*
    • 22%
      Employment growth in Minnesota in the science and research fields between 2019-29*

    This graduate degree in applied science can create job opportunities in the government sector, nonprofit agencies, international organizations, corporations, and more. Some positions of our graduates could include:*

    • Researcher or Research Associate
    • Scientist
    • Clinical Research Coordinator
    • Natural Science Research Manager
    • Food and Agriculture Scientist
    • Food and Agriculture Technologist
    • Scientific Technician

    * Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insights™, accessed 08/13/21

    Faculty and Advising

    MPS in Applied Sciences Leadership faculty and advisory board are experienced professionals working in scientific and management fields.

    Meet the Faculty

    Admissions Advising

    Graduate enrollment advisor Steve Wicks is happy to answer your questions about the ASCL program and the application procedure.


    Or you can give Steve a call at 612-301-6127.

    Do you have a more detailed question or want to tell us a little bit about yourself before the meeting? Fill out this brief questionnaire.


    Fall Semester Deadline: April 15
    Spring Semester Deadline: October 15

    We strive to be fair in the admissions process. Our program thrives when we have students from different backgrounds and cultural experiences. The admissions committee completes a holistic review of all required application materials to ensure that you will be successful in the program. We do not require standardized test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

    You will receive an admission decision four to six weeks after the application deadline. Learn more about the application process in the video below. If you have questions about the admission requirements, would like advice on how to put together application materials, or missed the application deadline, please contact Steve Wicks.

    Read the transcript here.

    Admission Requirements

    If you want to earn all three credentials (each certificate and the master's), apply to each program separately. If you want to earn just the master’s, you only need to apply to the MPS degree.

    We welcome applications from students who have:

    • a bachelor's degree from an accredited post-secondary US institution or its international equivalent
    • an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00*

    * If you have a GPA lower than 3.00, please include an explanation in the extenuating circumstances part of your professional statement.

    Important note: If you have completed, or are currently admitted to, the Leadership for Science Professionals Certificate, please contact enrollment advisor Steve Wicks (wicks191@umn.edu) for application instructions.

    International students: Please note that this program does not provide funding such as a Teaching or Research Assistant position.

    Application Checklist

    Your complete application will include:

    • An online application
    • A professional statement
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • College transcripts
    • A resume or curriculum vitae
    • An application fee

    Ready to take the next step?

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Applied science refers to the application of scientific knowledge to practical applications. Technology is an example of applied science. Those working in this arena take what already exists and use it to create something new. The engineering used in technology has been around for decades. Applied science professionals take that engineering and use it to develop modern solutions to current problems.

    Medical science is another example of applied science. Researchers use time-tested biological concepts to create new medications or procedures. Epidemiology, for example, uses biology and statistics to look at patterns in health.

    Someone seeking a master of applied science wants to build on their education to make it more specialized. For instance, someone that works in the food industry might get a master’s in applied science and become a food inspector or supervise a manufacturing plant.

    A master’s in professional studies is a graduate degree in an applied field. This type of degree gives you the practical skills and tools to find real-world solutions to real-world problems.

    A master’s in professional studies focuses learning on a specific niche. For example, a Master of Professional Studies in Applied Sciences Leadership creates an intersection between science and management.

    Applied science is a broad term. It can apply to many fields, depending on the degree program. In the Master of Professional Studies in Applied Sciences Leadership at the University of Minnesota, you can specialize in food regulation or poultry health.

    Food regulation and poultry health expertise can be applied to product development and manufacturing,  food labeling and marketing, or distribution. You could create food health policies for manufacturers, communities, or government sectors.

    You could also work in animal science. For instance, you might be an executive in a food company that handles poultry products. You might work in public health, education, or for a government agency like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    The Applied Sciences Leadership program at the University of Minnesota offers something you don’t see in many similar degrees — a focus on science and management. This program can serve as a way to start a new career or advance your current one. You may take courses from the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences, and the School of Public Health. At the same time, you’ll develop your leadership skills.

    With this master’s program, you’ll take two required courses that synthesize the knowledge in your course of study. The required courses are:

    • Perspectives in Integrated Applied Sciences — This is the anchor for the master’s program. It serves as an introduction to applied sciences' leadership framework. You will improve your science-based communication and research techniques and enhance your critical thinking skills.
    • Applied Sciences Leadership Capstone — This course provides you with an opportunity to engage in creative problem-solving that addresses real-world issues. It also helps you develop an individualized capstone project based on your applied science focus area.

    You also get to take either Leading Projects and Teams or Transformational Leadership in an Intercultural World as an elective course.

    This applied sciences graduate program will enhance your science and leadership skill sets, a benefit that is often missing in food safety and animal science programs.

    CCAPS Graduate Education programs do not provide living stipends, research assistantships, or teaching assistantships as might be expected in a typical PhD program.

    • US based students: CCAPS offers modest financial need-based scholarships to eligible students, and a limited number of merit-based scholarships. However, in most cases students work while going to school in order to cover living expenses and pay tuition out of pocket, including health insurance. 
    • International students: Are not eligible for federal financial aid or CCAPS scholarships and must show financial evidence showing that they can cover tuition, living expenses, and the Student Health Benefit plan health insurance during their period of study. To learn more about planning for these expenses, visit Plan Your Expenses or make an appointment with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

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