Concern for the Professional Science Masterís (PSM) Programs

AS-2785-07/AA (Rev) - January 18-19, 2007

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) recognize the opportunities for the campuses and its students that arise from the Professional Science Masterís Programs; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge that individual campuses ensure that all requests of PSM degree programs requiring new courses and/or programs follow established curriculum review and approval processes; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU ask the campuses to ensure that all PSM programs be given a degree designation that distinguishes them from other degree programs within the same discipline; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge all campuses launching PSM programs address the continuing funding of such programs beyond the initial support offered by temporary grants such as those from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU request that all PSM programs be developed only in response to a demonstrated need, rather than a reaction to the immediate availability of funds.

RATIONALE: CSU is the first statewide higher education system in the nation to launch the PSM Degree program on multiple campuses. An $891,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will enable the CSU to initiate the program on individual campuses.

CSU plans to launch new PSM programs on individual campuses within the next three years, which will be implemented in a variety of fields, including: bioinformatics, biostatistics, biotechnology, clinical project management, computational science, ecological economics, environmental science, and forensics. PSM programs also include internships, which provide essential industry-based experience and exposure.

Additional support for the initiative has been committed by the CSU, the participating campuses, and business and industry partners. Long-term institutionalization within the CSU is planned to sustain the programs.

Currently, there are approximately 100 PSM programs spread across the nation. These programs are increasingly recognized as the vehicle best suited to prepare scientists and professionals to meet the demands of top employers.

CSUís PSM programs will be developed in concert with the stateís largest growth industries, such as biotechnology, medical, and computational sciences, by building on successful models already piloted on CSU campuses. San Diego State University, a pilot campus, will play a key role in administering the new grant.

The PSM has received substantial interest nationally due to the positive impact it has on local and the national economies. In fact, proposed new federal legislationóthe National Innovation Actó would provide $20 million to support national PSM programs as an important component in building the nationís innovation infrastructure.

More information on the Professional Science Masterís Program can be found on the CSU website (

Approved Ė March 8-9, 2007

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