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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog

University Academic Programs and Resources

New Professional Studies, M.A./M.S.


Tojo Thatchenkery, Director
Finley, 206B

The Master of New Professional Studies program was established in 1996 to provide graduate education for working professionals. The highlights of this innovative interdisciplinary degree are as follows:

Meeting the needs of the working professional. The course activities are designed to adapt to the demands of working professionals with a variety of obligations. Through innovative use of information technologies and flexible course scheduling, participants are able to balance the demands of work with an intensive learning experience.

Linking theory and practice. The degree incorporates action-oriented group learning as a way to integrate theory and practice. Grouped into teams, candidates are immersed in the practical problems of organizations and at the same time engage each other through collaborative technologies. By dealing with practical organizational issues, participants gain deeper insight into how complex organizations work and how to affect them.

Building a learning community. The program produces a tightly integrated learning experience and focuses on building a learning community. Participants will work on projects as teams and will gain an understanding of how to develop team-based organizations.

Integrating collaborative technologies. Collaborative technology skills developed early on are used throughout the degree program. They enable a high degree of collaboration and interaction between students.

New Professional Studies is an umbrella degree program with six tracks:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology
  • Forensic Biosciences
  • Organizational Learning
  • Teaching
  • Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics

Four core courses (12 credits) are common to all tracks:

  • MNPS 700 The New Professionalism: Theory and Practice
  • MNPS 702 The New Professional as Reflective Practitioner
  • MNPS 703 Technology and Learning in the New Professions
  • MNPS 704 Research Methodologies in the New Professions

The remaining elective courses (21 credits) are selected from participating disciplines. For information about the forensic biosciences, biotechnology, and bioinformatics tracks, see the School of Computational Sciences; for the organizational learning, and the transportation policy, operations, and logistics track, see the School of Public Policy; for the teaching track, see the Graduate School of Education.