News and Events

Mon, 04/22/2013

The department of plant biology has launched a new website for current students, prospective students, and for alumni of its plant biology professional science master's degree.

The plant biology program, part of the Illinois Professional Science Master's (PSM), has made information available on all aspects of the program including degree requirements, industry opportunities, research opportunities, and admission requirements and processes.

Visit the new website to learn more.  Dr. Joan Huber, major advisor of the plant biology program, can be reached at or (217) 333-5498.

(Click to enlarge)

ALSO:  The plant biology PSM was recently profiled in the 2012 magazine of the  School of Integrative Biology.  Read the full article which profiles the graduates for the programs's first graduating class.


Sat, 03/16/2013

Eva Sztechmiler is an Illinois Professional Science Master's (PSM) graduate in agricultural production.

In this video, she discusses her summer internship at the Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center in Colorado.

Eva earned an undergraduate degree in environmental and forest biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. To learn more about the Illinois PSM and internships, visit us on the web at or call (217) 265-5363.

Tue, 02/26/2013

Enrollments in professional science master’s (PSM) programs have seen a steady rise over the past several years.

PSM enrollments have grown over the past few years even though overall graduate enrollments have decline.  Increasing enrollments suggest the value of the PSM is growing as employers become more familiar with what PSM graduates can deliver.

Total enrollment in PSM programs topped 5,800 students in 2012.  Of those, 1,900 enrolled for the first time in 2012. 

Women constitute 45% of total PSM enrollments.  Excluding international students, more than 25% of students are underrepresented minorities

International students represent 15% of total PSM enrollments.  Of the students who enrolled for the first time in a PSM program in 2012, 22% were international students.

Data were reported in the Council of Graduate Schools’ annual report of PSM enrollments and degrees awarded.  Actual numbers are likely higher, as the report includes only those programs opting to participate.

“The numbers speak to the reputation of the professional science masters and what PSM graduates uniquely bring to the table,” said Kevin Sightler, founding director of the Illinois PSM.  “The national trends reflect what we are experiencing with the Illinois program.  Employers are reaching out to connect with Illinois PSM interns and graduates; our reputation is growing.”

For information on the Illinois PSM and its five degree programs, visit us on the web at or email us at

Fri, 02/15/2013

Watch the video

Watch and learn about the Illinois PSM in this Information Session video

Dean Bill Buttlar and program director Kevin Sightler discuss the five Illinois PSM programs, jobs, internships, applications, and more. 

Illinois PSM bioenergy alumnus Aris Dumbrys discusses his experience in the Illinois PSM and impact it had on the career he has created for himself.  Aris is the founder and president of The Green Fire Company in Chicago.

This Information Session was recorded live from the Illini Center in downtown Chicago on February 12, 2013.

Visit us on the web at or email us at for more information. 

Tue, 01/29/2013

Learn what an Illinois Professional Science Master’s can do for you:  Two ways to participate

How might a University of Illinois master’s degree help you create a career that uniquely combines SCIENCE and BUSINESS?

Designed for people who want a graduate education in science plus applied business know-how, the Illinois Professional Science Master’s (PSM) offers 16-month, non-thesis M.S. degree programs.

Learn more

Meet us in person – if you are in the Chicago area – or online to learn about

  • careers pursued by Illinois PSM graduates
  • which companies have hired Illinois PSM interns and graduates
  • program flexibility
  • business and professional skills you’ll gain

To join us in person:

Day:  Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Time:  6:30 p.m. Central time
Location:  Illini Center, 200 S. Wacker Drive (Lobby), Chicago, Illinois [map; directions and parking]

Meet Illinois PSM representatives and other guests from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; light dinner will be provided.

To join us LIVE on February 12 via ONLINE WEBCAST, go to:

No special software is required.  On the log-in screen, you can "Enter as a guest."


To reserve your space, register online at:

We’ll ask for basic information to help us prepare for your participation.

More information?

Need more information about the Illinois PSM?  Sign-up now for Illinois CONNECT, your personalized gateway to the Illinois PSM.  We’ll keep you posted on news and information about the program.  It’s also the gateway to create and submit your application for admission.  Sign-up today; you can opt-out at any time.

Visit us on the web at, contact us by email at, or call (217) 265-5363.

(Photo: Courtesy of Nimesh Madhavan, Wikimedia Commons)