What’s Special About Georgia Tech's Professional Master’s Degrees?

For working professionals looking to advance their career, these specialized degrees may be the perfect choice

April 01, 2023 | By GTPE Communications
Professional Master's graduates wearing regalia standing in front of the Ramblin' Wreck tossing their caps

Interest in professional master’s degrees is growing, but what are they exactly? How are they different from traditional master’s degrees


Real-World Industry Focus

Professional master’s degrees are targeted at working adults looking to advance their careers or become more marketable in their fields. Our three programs combine technical knowledge with an MBA-like focus on business and leadership techniques. Professional master's degrees focus on honing experience rather than conducting research – all critical components for effective leadership in the 21st century. Instead of a thesis, candidates complete a Capstone project that solves a real-world industry problem.


Experience Matters

Admission requirements are also different. For example, a GRE or GMAT score is typically not required for application to a professional master’s program. Candidates are chosen based on their professional experience, career aspirations, and overall fit for the degree.


Business and Leadership

Learners are able to directly apply their learning in their jobs as they pursue their degrees. Unlike traditional master’s degrees, professional master’s programs emphasize technical training and the development of in-demand business and leadership skills.


STEM Expertise

Although professional master’s degrees have been available in various areas of study in recent years, they are relatively new in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) area. For example, numerous STEM-related master’s degrees are available online or off campus, but they typically don’t have the business, leadership, and experiential components that professional master’s degrees offer.


Robust Professional Networks 

Assembled around a small cohort that begins and remains together until graduation, professional master's degrees offer a stable and supportive group of diverse peers and esteemed faculty who serve as career coaches, mentors, and advisors. 

"Building meaningful relationships is an important tool in preventing career stagnation," says Nelson Baker, dean of Georgia Tech Professional Education.

"They help you stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep a pulse on the job market, and gain access to resources and people that will foster you for the long term." 


Professional Masters Degrees at Georgia Tech

GTPE offers three professional masters in these STEM-related areas:

  • Professional Master’s in Applied Systems Engineering (PMASE) - designed for experienced, full-time, professionals who want in-depth training in systems engineering approaches, tools, and techniques. The program gives engineers an effective blend of business, leadership, and in-depth domain knowledge including advanced systems engineering techniques, system of systems- and system-level architectures, and best practices for diverse technical and cultural teams.
  • Professional Master’s in Manufacturing Leadership (PMML) - geared toward professionals in the manufacturing leadership landscape looking for the perfect blend of engineering, manufacturing, and leadership skills and training. In addition to the degree, PMML students may earn professional credentials through the program coursework, such as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam, based on student's hours of on-the-job practice.
  • Professional Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health (PMOSH) - developed for professionals looking for the in-depth training and the critical knowledge required to become a leading safety expert. PMOSH students will walk away knowing how to produce first-rate action plans, improve existing safety and health programs, lead a team or department, and successfully apply business, technological, and analytical insights to any challenge that comes your way.


Start your Professional Master’s Journey and apply today!