New master’s in project management offered

The School of Engineering & Applied Science’s Sever Institute of Continuing Studies will offer a new master’s degree program in project management beginning this fall.

The new degree will build on an existing certificate program that the school has offered since 2002 though the professional degree program and the Sever Institute.

“Project management has become a challenge for industry over the past decade or so, and we’ve seen the need for a master’s degree program for some time,” said Tom Browdy, Ph.D, director of masters of information management who will oversee the new program.

“Historically, most people who ended up managing projects were pushed into it,” Browdy said. “But there’s more to project management than learning things on the fly. Our organizations live and die on projects now.”

The 36-hour course-work-only program will be offered to part-time students during nights and weekends. Courses will incorporate a three-world view: processes and methods, strategy and people.

“This is a master’s degree program that concentrates on how to plan, organize and execute a project as well as how to deal with people on a project,” Browdy said.

“The biggest component is people management — getting employees to work together,” he said.

Browdy said that slightly more than half the students who have taken the certificate courses are in the information technology field; the rest are engineers with various specialties. Students, mostly supported by their companies, have come from such organizations as Boeing, MasterCard, Monsanto, BJC, Pfizer, Schnucks and the Sisters of Mercy.

“Students have seen the value of the certificate program, and there has been a keen interest in past students pursuing the master’s program,” Browdy said. “I’ve seen people improve their lots by taking the courses. Our program gives tools that help professionals move forward.”

To be admitted to the degree program, students need an accredited bachelor’s degree in any subject area and at least three years of professional work experience.

James C. Blair, Ph.D, a program director in the Sever Institute, will assist Browdy in teaching the master’s courses and directing the program.

The Sever Institute will host a reception and short program to announce the new degree program at 5:30 p.m. March 12 in Whitaker Hall.

For more information, contact Browdy at 935-5138 or