Rutgers offers new Master's of Business and Science program


Although many colleges boast about their Master’s of Business Administration programs, Rutgers is the only university in the Garden State that offers a Master’s of Business and Science (MBS).

The MBS graduates are useful for relatively any field, said Kathleen Cashman, an advisor and staff member of the MBS program.

“I can’t think of a market and industry segment that does not have a need for an MBS graduate,” Cashman said.

The MBS program, part of the Professional Science Master’s national movement, is a degree offered by the University that combines the graduate level science courses with those in business, law and policy.

The MBS program perfectly blends science and business, said Deborah Silver, executive director of the Professional Science Master’s Program and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

"Students can take classes in science and engineering that relate to careers, not necessarily to academic disciplines, allowing students to combine classes from different schools and even campuses,” she said.

The MBS program will have an Open House and Information session for students interested in the degree on April 7 at 7 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Computing Research and Education Building on Busch campus.

The degree is a combination of 24 credits from science and engineering and 19 from business courses, according to the MBS website.

The classes offered will bring a myriad of options to students with courses in life sciences, engineering, information technology, as well as finance, communication and marketing, according to the MBS website.

Reflecting the needs of the industry, the program is for working students who are already employed or have internships, Cashman said.

“We have over 25 different concentrations,” Silver said. “Some in traditional academic disciplines, but others, such as Drug Discovery and Development, Personal Care Science, Global Agriculture, Analytics and UXD, in areas that are interdisciplinary but reflect industry in NJ.”

The program focuses on the technical skills needed to apply business and science skills practiced today, as the students range from working graduates to international students, Cashman said.

Karl Vetter, an MBS student, said he became a part of the MBS program because he wanted to do something that catered to his interests while still understanding how the market works.

"I joined the program because I was fascinated by hybridization in plants in relation to survival and nutrition, so it was perfect to find a program that operated on the principle of hybridization in a changing job market," he said. "Most programs only offer half the package needed in the job market."

The MBS program has students who are switching careers, advancing their degrees, coming back for refreshers and gaining certificates not full degrees, Cashman said.

The science courses that students take are targeted toward a particular industry, Silver said.

“The business courses are similar for all students,” she said. “(They) include finance and accounting, marketing, a special communication and leadership course targeted towards science professionals, ethics, a capstone course and electives.”

With a diverse group of students, the program brings about a mix between business and science while also exposing the students to trends and working strategies in the business world, along with exposing them to leaders in the industry, Cashman said.

The MBS program incorporates enterprise technology into the classroom, as well as career and networking workshops given by executive coaches, Silver said.

“This includes bringing professionals into the classroom and creating specific courses focusing on how the sciences and technology are used in industry,” she said.

Within the science curriculum, the concentrations are grouped in the themes of Life Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences, Engineering, Health & Wellness, Math & Statistics, Sustainability and Agriculture & Food, according to the MBS website.

These groups, including the business concentrations, include a wider range of electives and minimize duplication of courses, according to the MBS website.

The MBS concentrations are catered to fill modern workforce voids, said Sangya Varma, associate director of the Professional Science Major Program.

“Curricula in MBS Concentrations (majors) focus on the industry and its workforce needs,” she said. “Good examples are MBS in Drug Discovery and Development or MBS in Personal Care Science.”

Instead of theses, students in the MBS program are required to create a full business plan around a technology, and pitch their plans in a final presentation, Silver said.

“We are graduating a more business-ready scientist today,” Cashman said. “In the MBS, we are able to uphold the rigor of the science and add the elements of business and business impact so that the scientist knows how to add the right value from the start.”

The program recognizes the need for understanding of the regulatory landscape of the business industries today, and that technical skills are not enough in today’s world, Silver said.

“The MBS program has all of this,” she said. “It is where science meets business.”


Keshav Pandya

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