Several features of the Joint Program are designed with the working student in Mind:

  • Many class times are tailored to be compatible with the work day
  • A 12-month curriculum offers core courses throughout the year
  • The work experience requirement can be integrated with work activities
  • Some courses are offered at the federal agency's facility
  • Remote access to the JPSM Network is available 24 hours a day for students to use our computer network and software.
  • A computer lab set up solely for use by JPSM students
  • Course email groups are created in which students share questions and answers on course content and assignments.
  • Most class materials are available online, allowing student to access these from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Some course electives are available online*

Successful completion of a graduate program by working students requires a partnership between the student, the employer, and the educational program. The M.S. program can be undertaken in a variety of ways and according to many different schedules. JPSM works with potential students to choose a program of study that fits best into their lives and is sensitive to differing levels of support from employers. Some working students pursue the M.S. curriculum at the rate of four courses per term (full-time students), to complete the program in 21 months. Others pursue the program at the rate of two courses per term (half-time students). The 12 month (i.e. fall, spring and summer semesters) core curriculum permits the half-time students to complete the M.S. program in 33 months. Finally, some working students may elect to pursue the program at the rate of one course per term (part-time students). Such students will take 57 months to complete the program. The University of Maryland requires that all coursework for the M.S. degree be completed in five years.

*All MS required courses must be taken on-site.