AGRI/NRES 897: Master of Applied Science Project (Syllabus)

Course Instructors

Dave Gosselin, PhD -, Office 402-472-8919

Matthew Douglass, PhD- Cell: 402-270-7220

Course Objectives

The final project for the Master of Applied Science provides a significant opportunity to apply your scientific knowledge and understanding to an area relevant to your interests. The product of this project is an original work that reflects a scholarly understanding of science and learning. Projects can take many forms, but all projects must demonstrate intellectual contributions to the field of science and learning.

After completing the course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a command of scientific knowledge and best teaching practices.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to apply graduate coursework in an area of specific professional or personal interest to the student.

You will also submit a personal rubric establishing the intended goals to be met by your final project. Instructions for the rubric are elaborated below.

About this Course

This course serves as a capstone experience for students in the Master of Applied Science (MAS) program. The intent of the course is to provide students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills developed through their MAS program in an area of particular applicability to their professional and personal interests. In developing the MAS program, the faculty determined that the degree project is a valuable and essential component of the graduate education experience.

The Final Project is a combination of two courses of study within NRES 897 taken for 4-6 credit hours. The first course (taken for 1-3 credit hours- to be determined by you and your advisor) requires an independent study during which you will devise an original question or issue (topic) that you will address with your Final Project. While taking this course you will complete a literature review pertinent to your approved topic. Guidelines for the literature review are available below. Finally, you will outline and devise a timeline for the completion of your Final Project and related reflection piece which you will undertake during the second course. This will also include the development of a rubric –approved by your advisor –for guiding your project, progress and completion.

During the second course (taken for 3 credit hours), you will complete your Final Project and reflection piece per your approved outline. Upon completion of this work, you will submit to an examination by the Graduate Committee for the MAS- Science for Educators specialization.

This is the final requirement for completion of the MAS program and –upon approval of the Final Project– the Graduate Committee will recommend you to the Graduate Studies office for conferral of the Master of Applied Science degree.

The success of a final project will be determined by its creativity, rigor, synthesis, and application of coursework as laid out in your earlier developed rubric. Failure to meet these standards or to meet deadlines associated with individual aspects of the Master of Applied Science program will result in a No Pass grade.

Course Activities

Completing your MAS project should be a rewarding experience. It is an opportunity for you to showcase your understanding of science and learning in an area that matches your intellectual and professional interests. Pick a topic which you are truly interested in and is an original contribution to the field of science. Below are guidelines developed to assist you in completing this and other tasks related to your Final Project.

The requirements for the course involve multiple steps:

  1. development and submission of a topic and literature review;
  2. development and submission of a proposal, including goals, objectives and a rubric;
  3. submission of progress updates;
  4. development and submission of a portfolio including a reflection piece.

Typically, a 3 credit hour course can take 150 hours of in-class face-time and study outside of class. The MAS degree project will likely take a similar amount of time to complete.

How do you know if your project has sufficient quality and depth to receive a passing grade? Projects completed with the goal of "being good enough" are rarely good, or enough. Students who complete their projects in accordance with their approved proposal and invest quality time and effort, will likely receive passing grades. It is likely that you will submit multiple drafts before you have completed the project. Students should work towards the goal of completing a project that they are proud to submit.