While Rutgers University is renowned for its prestigious, STEM-based graduate courses and its stature as a research powerhouse, in 2008, there were no programs that could adequately address a growing need in the STEM industry workforce: employees who possessed not only an advanced, science-based education but who had comprehensive business skills suitable for corporate positions.
Recognizing this gap, faculty members across the university were starting initiatives within their own departments including Deborah Silver, Ph.D., then-associate dean of continuing and professional education for the School of Engineering and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
From her years of building a multidisciplinary research program centered around data visualization—collaborating with researchers across Rutgers and driving $25 million in outside support—Silver knew firsthand the immense value of combining multidisciplinary scientific studies with business education, and ultimately connected with David Finegold, Ph.D., then-dean of Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, who had recently arrived from the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, which was one of the first professional science master’s (PSM) programs ever established.
Silver and Finegold collaboratively developed a focused initiative to establish a PSM program at Rutgers. Through colleague outreach, Silver assembled a comprehensive, multidisciplinary task force and advisory team comprised of experts from wide-ranging disciplines including biotechnology, drug discovery, food science, computer science, chemistry, environmental sciences, business, and entrepreneurship.
In 2010, Rutgers Professional Science Master’s program was established, and Rutgers University was officially granted state approval to offer Rutgers Master of Business and Science (MBS) degree.