Master of Science in Product Stewardship

Who will benefit from this degree?

The MS in Product Stewardship is designed for those who would like to advance their careers by meeting the ever-growing demand for product stewardship professionals. Competitive candidates include:

  • Working professionals who are already active in the product stewardship field, who seek the formal training that will allow them to move up in their product stewardship organizations.
  • Working professionals from a wide range of other backgrounds, including environmental health, regulatory compliance, industrial hygiene, occupational health and safety, sustainability, product development, supply chain, and law.
  • Current undergraduates who want to pursue a graduate degree in order to fast-track their careers.

Successful applicants will have strong academic records and proven skills in science and analytical thinking.

Jobs outlook

Logistician

2021 Median Pay

  • $77,030 per year

Job Outlook, 2020-2030

  • 30% (Much faster than average)
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Product Manager

2021 Median Pay

  • $125,317 per year

Best U.S. Jobs of 2022

  • #10 according to Glassdoor
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It’s a great program! I have both enjoyed and learned so much from every class so far! I would absolutely recommend it to anyone in the product stewardship field.

Katie Benjamin - MSPS Student, Regulatory Specialist

A focus on meeting industry need

The Fairbanks School of Public Health has worked with product stewardship leaders at top companies around the world to develop a curriculum that meets the industry’s need for well-trained product stewardship professionals. Specialized product stewardship courses will include:

  • Fundamentals of Product Stewardship
  • Product Hazard, Exposure and Risk Assessment
  • Regulatory Affairs for Product Stewardship
  • Product Improvement and Sustainability
  • Product Stewardship Strategy and Management
View the curriculum »

Student profile

Kristie Murray, a student pursuing the MS in Product Stewardship, shares why she chose this degree, how it will help with her career, and what she's learned so far.

Read Kristie's story

Product stewardship program competencies

The goal of the MS Program in Product Stewardship coincides with IUPUI’s Principles of Graduate and Professional Learning. Students will master the knowledge and skills set forth in the Product Stewardship Program Competencies, be able to communicate effectively with peers, clientele, and the public, think creatively and critically to improve practice in the field of product stewardship, and behave in an ethical manner both professionally and personally. The specific competencies for the MS in Product Stewardship are as follows:

  • Describe the core functions, values and principles of environmental and occupational public health.
  • Identify and characterize product hazards, exposures, and risk through inherent product characteristics, uses, and misuses of products.
  • Select and apply appropriate frameworks to analyze product risks to humans and the environment throughout product supply chains and product lifecycles.
  • Identify and evaluate current and emerging societal issues, regulatory requirements, and voluntary frameworks that may affect products throughout their lifecycle.
  • Assess and apply best practices to improve product sustainability and competitive advantage while minimizing business risk through management and product development.
  • Identify and recommend strategies to improve the capabilities of product stewardship organizations within the larger business construct.
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Frequently asked questions

In a world of rapidly evolving consumer values, society is demanding that products are not only high quality, but environmentally sustainable, safe and healthy for workers and consumers, and socially responsible.

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 that addresses local, national, and global issues related to the environment, worker health and safety, and social accountability as they relate to the design, use and disposal of everyday products. The product stewardship profession is growing and evolving to meet this societal demand.

The Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health’s strong ties with industry, including adjunct faculty who are active in the product stewardship field, assures that students will receive content and skills that are aligned with specific needs of the workforce.

The degree is an entirely online and interactive, 30 credit program that 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 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.

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.

The interactive, online courses typically take place during the evenings from 6-8:40 p.m ET on the web. Instructors will provide a link for the courses before the beginning of the semester.

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.

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

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.

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
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
Provides 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
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
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
Introduces 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.

When you get to the Application Information page, select Master's 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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