In 2002, the Ford Foundation supported a CGS Professional Master’s in Social Sciences and Humanities (PMA) initiative focused on the social sciences and humanities. As an initial step, CGS convened a meeting of disciplinary society and industry representatives. Participants identified a trend of professionalization and recommended that further research be conducted and that a project be developed to encourage faculty members in the social sciences and humanities to consider reforms of master’s programs so that graduates would be better prepared for entry into professional careers in the business, government, or nonprofit sectors.
Responding to these recommendations, CGS, with support from the Ford Foundation, awarded planning grants in 2003 to thirty-eight universities to determine the feasibility of creating new professional master’s programs or adding professional elements to existing master’s programs. Based upon the initial planning efforts and the continued interest among universities in establishing PMA programs, a third Ford Foundation grant awarded in 2005 allowed CGS to make grants to eighteen universities to implement twenty-six PMA programs.
As part of its work on the PMA Initiative, CGS studied the landscape of professional master’s education in the humanities and social sciences. In this multi-part study, CGS analyzed the professionalization of master’s degrees in the social sciences and humanities. CGS engaged disciplinary society members, program directors, and graduate deans to discuss next steps in institutionalizing the professional master’s degree as a regular feature of social science and humanities graduate education. The most recent outcome of these efforts appears as the Afterword in the fall 2011 CGS publication, Professional Science Master’s: A Council of Graduate Schools Guide to Establishing Programs.
A list of PMA Implementation Awardee institutions is provided below:
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