MS in Product Stewardship FAQs

MS in Product Stewardship FAQs

  • What is product stewardship?

    Product stewardship is the “responsible management of the health, safety, and environmental aspects of raw materials, intermediate, and consumer products throughout their life cycle and across the value chain in order to prevent or minimize negative impacts and maximize value." It is an emerging and evolving profession which addresses local, national, and global issues relating to the environment, worker health and safety, and social accountability as they relate to the design, use and disposal of everyday products.

  • What are the courses required for the Master of Science? Do students have to take the courses in a specific order?

    The degree is an entirely online and interactive, 30 credit program which includes 6 credits of public health fundamentals (PH), 9 credits of environmental health science fundamentals (EHS), and 15 credits of specialized product stewardship (PS) coursework.

    There is no required order of courses. However, it is recommended that students take the Fundamentals of Product Stewardship course as the introductory course and the Product Stewardship Strategy and Management as the culminating course.

  • If I previously took product stewardship courses, will the courses transfer to the MS degree?

    If you took the courses for credit as an IU student through the university, the credits will transfer. If you took the courses as non-credit, you cannot later apply them to the degree.

  • What is the format for the courses?

    All courses are entirely online and interactive. Students are expected to log on to the provided web meeting platform such as Adobe Connect, Zoom, or other meeting platform at the specified class meeting times. Each student has an audio and video connection to see and hear the instructor and other students and utilize screen sharing. Like other university courses, instructors will interact with the students during each class session. Class sessions will be recorded and available if students are not able to log on; however, regular attendance throughout the semester is necessary to successfully complete each course.

  • Where and when do the courses meet?

    The interactive, online courses typically take place during the evenings from 6-8:40 pm (Eastern Time) on the web. Instructors will provide a link for the courses before the beginning of the semester.

  • I am in a different time zone, do I have to meet at the designated time?

    To achieve the maximum benefit from the online courses, students are expected student log on live to interact with classmates and the instructor. If the student would like to take the courses by watching the recorded lectures only, this is possible but not recommended. Special permission is required from the instructor of each course.

  • What are the hardware and software requirements for connecting with the course?

    A computer with internet connection and a web browser. The student will also need a computer headset with microphone.

  • Are there any prerequisites for these courses?

    There are no specific course requirements, however previous exposure to physical or life sciences would be helpful. If the applicant is concerned about whether they are adequately prepared for a particular course, a discussion with the program director or instructors before enrollment should clarify any issues.

  • What will I learn in each PS course?

    There is a brief description of each of the product stewardship courses below. If the applicant would like any additional details, the syllabi can be provided for each course upon request or a meeting with the instructor can be arranged.

    • Fundamentals of Product Stewardship
      Fundamentals of Product Stewardship is designed to introduce the elements of product stewardship and sustainability. Students will learn about a variety of important regulatory, customer and societal issues that may affect products and how to incorporate product stewardship and sustainability solutions into business strategy using appropriate tools, concepts and systems. The course will provide an understanding of the product supply chain (product trail), by addressing key stakeholders, the sourcing of raw materials, production, transportation and manufacturing of materials into products, and the ultimate fate (cradle to cradle or grave). Along the supply chain, students will gain a better understanding of key risks and consideration at each stage.
    • Product Hazard, Exposure & Risk Assessment
      Product Hazard, Exposure & Risk Assessment will provide the student with an understanding of product hazards (physical characteristics) measured against probable and misuse exposure scenarios (inhalation, dermal, etc.) that translate into a risk assessment. The student will then explore a framework (the product stewardship review) used to determine and document appropriate and effective systems for ongoing assessment and management of product and business risk. The product stewardship review framework will help the student understand the fundamentals and techniques of how to assess risk throughout the products' movement within the supply chain (product trail) to determine if appropriate stewardship systems and risk management activities are in place.
    • Regulatory Affairs for Product Stewardship
      Regulatory Affairs for Product Stewardship explores the major national and international legislative, regulatory, and voluntary frameworks that impact manufacturing, importing, and placing products into commerce, and aspects of compliance management for businesses. We will examine landmark legislation and initiatives affecting major industry sectors, and best practices in anticipating and responding to emerging regulatory trends and issues.
    • Product Improvement & Sustainability
      Product Improvement & Sustainability explores best practice principles in product design, focusing on materials selection and packaging. The student will explore alternatives in the product development cycle (R&D) and understand when improvement opportunities exist that can contribute to societal value by reducing a product's environmental footprint while providing comparable or superior efficacy. We'll also discuss methods and strategies to develop competitive advantage through product stewardship that create business value and determining long-term impact on human and environmental health.
    • Product Stewardship Strategy & Management
      Product Stewardship Strategy & Management will introduce the student to a typical management system framework in which product stewardship is integrated with the business strategy, and leadership is engaged at all levels of the organization (product stewardship as a business process). The student will learn how an organization sets overarching goals and targets for its product stewardship program and how it factors in regulatory considerations, risk assessments, and sustainability. The student will also gain an understanding of the roles and expectations of professionals who work in the product stewardship program, as well as the implementation and capabilities of systems and resources necessary to achieve performance goals and targets over time.
  • Where do I find the MS in Product Stewardship in the application link?

    When you get to the Application Information page, select Masters under the degree you intend to pursue. Under the Academic Program header, select Public Health. Under the Academic Plan header, select Product Stewardship MS.

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