About the Professional Science Master’s Program

The PSM in Zoo, Aquarium and Animal Shelter Management is a unique opportunity to blend business skills and applied science with a specific focus on helping animal organizations. Our two year Professional Science Master’s degree program focuses on experiential learning and development of skills in addition to academic learning. You will come in having a passion for helping animals and leave knowing how to implement specific strategies.

The majority of our students come from undergraduate science backgrounds such as Biology, Zoology, Wildlife Biology or Animal Science. We have also had students with Psychology, Anthropology and Business degrees join our ranks. Our students have diverse interests and the name of our program does not convey the great number of possible career options available to you graduating with this degree.

This is a dynamic and flexible degree that can be suited to your career goals. Take your experience with animals and become well-qualified to lead teams and influence outcomes in animal organizations.


  • PSM degrees are a specialized degree. PSM programs are a degree type that signals to employers that you know more than just science. PSM degrees are highly sought after professional degrees that can distinguish you from other potential job candidates.
    You can complete the PSM in two years. All PSM students start in the fall and move through the program as a cohort together. The friends and professional connections you make will shape your future direction and job opportunities.
  • You will learn by doing. Experiential learning builds skills and connections. This program will give you practice managing people and performing other advanced job skills. We value our relationships with our local cooperating organizations who provide our students with great experiential learning opportunities.
  • Your capstone project defines your emphasis. Between your first and second year, you will complete a capstone project in an area of your interest. This may involve research, development and or production of a product in cooperation with a mentoring zoo, aquarium, animal shelter or wildlife rehabilitation center. This is a plan C not a thesis-based masters.
  • Our PSM program is unique in the country. In no other program can you get both the business skills and the advanced science opportunities available at Colorado State.


Jennie K. Willis, PHD

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