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Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)

The academic programs in the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering (PBE) emphasize fundamental engineering science and engineering skills pertaining to chemical engineering with specialization in the pulp, paper and allied industries, and the bioprocess and chemical industries.

Programs include courses in traditional areas of chemical engineering, applied chemistry, industrial bioprocessing, industrial biotechnology, chemical engineering, and pulp and paper technology. The department’s educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are committed to preparing students for leadership roles in the paper and bioproduct industries.

Careers of Graduates

Graduates are finding positions with a variety of companies typically starting as entry-level engineers. Over the past five years, graduates have taken the following positions:

  • Development Associate
  • Electrical Project Manager
  • Engineer III
  • Process Engineer
  • Research Associate
  • Validation Engineer

A wide range of companies are hiring graduates of the M.P.S. program in paper and bioprocess engineering. These companies have locations all across the United States. Employers of recent graduates of the M.P.S. program include:

  • Biogen Idec
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Georgia-Pacific
  • Grifols Diagnostic Solutions
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • M-E Engineers
  • Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics
  • Pratt Industries
  • RockTenn
  • Skye Media Ltd

Starting salaries for M.P.S. graduates have recently ranged from $60,000 to $75,000 annually.

The programs leading the M.P.S. degree are designed for train students from other fields in the fundamentals related to paper engineering and bioprocess engineering. They are also ideal for engineers and scientists currently working in the industry who wish to retrain and refresh in a new field. The current demand for engineers at the B.S. level indicates that graduates of the M.P.S. program will be in high demand in the near future.

With only four universities across the United States with Paper Science and Engineering programs and only two with Bioprocess Engineering programs, the M.P.S. degree in the PBE department adds great value to your B.S. degree while opening up opportunities in a field where there is a shortage of engineers and scientists. In addition, the program offers:

  • Non-thesis masters
  • Paid internships
  • Full-time and part-time opportunities available
  • Financial support available from the Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation
  • Companies ready to hire
  • Starting salaries beginning at $60,000/year

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering and are expected to have completed courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, statistics, differential and integral calculus, and biology (for the bioprocess engineering options). Students admitted without necessary background may be required to take additional prerequisite courses required by the department. Students well-suited for the M.P.S. program in paper and bioprocess engineering includes those with B.S. degrees in engineering, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, and environmental science.

The M.P.S. degree requires the successful completion of a minimum of 30 to 36 credits at the graduate level (depending on the option chosen). A professional experience (internship) or synthesis completes is a key requirement of the M.P.S. degree requirements. The programs can typically be completed in 3 semesters on a full-time basis, but also can be done on a part-time basis. Some financial support is available from the Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation.

Program Options

The M.P.S. is offered in four programs:

Bioprocess Engineering

This program encompasses both the use of renewable and sustainable resources (e.g., wood) for the production of chemicals, advanced materials, fuel, and energy, as well as the use of bioprocessing technology to produce such products. Such bioproducts extend to the production of energy from renewable resources including the use of gasification, co-firing of byproducts, anaerobic digestion, solar, and the production of ethanol. Courses include chemical engineering, advanced chemistry, biotechnology, and bioengineering, building on a strong base of mathematics, chemistry, and biology.

Paper Science and Engineering

Studies in this program deal closely with processes involved in the manufacture of pulp and paper as well as the allied industries. Courses concerned with this subject are central to a student’s program, extended and enriched with selected courses in chemistry, polymers, chemical engineering, process control, applied mathematics, and computer applications. Supporting this work is an experimental pulp and paper mill with two complete paper machines, a pressurized refiner, and extensive auxiliary equipment.

Sustainable Engineering Management

This program allows students to investigate a either of the two topic areas above together with courses in business, management, policy, law, and other fields to form a Professional Science Master’s program (PSM) recognized by the National PSM office (www.sciencemasters.com).

The PSM concept is an innovative graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or engineering while also developing skills in the areas of business, management, and other professional skills. The educational objectives of the MPS in Sustainable Engineering Management are to produce graduates who effectively practice engineering for the design and operation of systems and can also apply their knowledge of business, management, policy, and other areas to their particular area of Sustainable Engineering Management. Graduates will have an understanding of their technical field together with a background in business and management.

Wood Science

The M.P.S. in Wood Science is open to students with a demonstrated interest in wood science or the wood products industry. A bachelor’s degree in science or engineering is strongly recommended. Applicants to the M.P.S. in wood science and technology should have completed at least one semester of coursework in chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus.

CHE Graduate Program Links

Program Information

Financial Support

Financial support is available from the Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation and the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering to students in the M.P.S programs. The information sheets on each option list the financial support that may be available. Further information about the specific support available can be found in the links below.


Please contact Dr. Gary M. Scott, Professor and Chair at 315-470-6501 or gscott@esf.edu.

For more information: