Master's Degree Programs in Quality Control
Learn about the master's degree programs available in quality control. Get information on prerequisites, coursework, career options and opportunities for continuing education.
Master's degree programs in quality control are available as general management programs and as specialized regulatory programs. Graduate students enrolled in a quality control program develop critical-thinking and research skills and learn industry standards in quality assurance. Students in both types of degree programs need to have a bachelor's degree with a background in technology and quality control.
In a quality assurance master's program, students take business-focused courses that will help them develop management skills. Courses may cover client relations strategies, quality assurance evaluation and statistical analysis. A thesis or comprehensive final project may be required.
Students in a regulatory and quality compliance degree program generally have some experience in quality control. Courses vary depending on the student's needs, but topics may include statistics, food industry law and federal policies regarding medical devices.
Master of Science in Quality Assurance
Quality control master's degree students come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. The M.S. in Quality Assurance program is geared toward developing quality control managers. As students work on building analytical skills, proficiency in math and computers may be helpful. Students also improve research, oral and written communication skills.
Applicants to a quality assurance graduate program need a 4-year degree from an accredited school, preferably with a technological focus. Those who do not have the preferred educational background may have to take pre-entry coursework. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores may be required, and applicants must typically possess a 2.5-3.0 GPA to be considered for admission.
Students enrolled in a quality assurance master's degree program typically complete a thesis or graduate project. Topics of study may consist of:
- Task administration
- Efficiency in production
- Strategies for client relations
- Quality assurance evaluation methods
- Industry standards in quality control administration
- Statistical analysis in quality control
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
One avenue for quality control employment may be in industrial production management. Industrial production managers earned an annual median wage of $89,190, noted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, www.bls.gov. Employment of this type of quality control supervisor will be expected to grow at a slower than average pace from 2010-2020.
Depending on experience, quality assurance workers may qualify for professional certifications through the American Society for Quality, www.asq.org. Relevant accreditations include the Certified Quality Auditor, Certified Quality Manager or Quality Process Analyst.
Master of Science in Regulatory and Quality Compliance
Scientists looking to take on administrative quality control roles often enroll in this type of graduate program. Students learn general management strategies as well as industry-specific standards. Concentrations may be available in drug and food policies, quality control management, quality control inspections and quality assurance regulations.
A professional background in science or in some aspect of quality control is often preferred. Applicants must also have a bachelor's degree, and letters of recommendation are generally required. GRE scores are not typically needed; however, individuals with higher scores may be given special admissions consideration.
Students gain skills in research and analysis. Specific classes may include:
- Legalities affecting quality control
- Regulations affecting pharmaceutical production
- Laws affecting the food industry
- Federal policies involved in medical device manufacturing
Popular Career Options
Individuals with a master's degree in regulatory quality control can often find careers in food, drug and health instrument manufacturing. Depending on experience and undergraduate work, individuals with a master's degree in regulatory quality control may find work as:
- Product developers
- Quality control auditors
- Regulatory affairs specialists
- Quality assurance managers
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