Master's Degree Programs in Quality Control
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.
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.
Students in both degree programs need to have a bachelor's degree with a background in technology and quality control.
- Program Levels in Quality Control: Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees
- Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree; background in science, technology and quality control
- Other Requirements: A thesis or final project may be required
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.
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
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.
Students in this program usually 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
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 $92,470, noted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2014. Employment of this type of quality control supervisor is expected to decline by 2% from 2012-2022.
Depending on experience, quality assurance workers may qualify for professional certifications through the American Society for Quality, (http://www.asq.org). Relevant accreditations include the Certified Quality Auditor, Certified Quality Manager or Quality Process Analyst.