Public Affairs

The Frontline of Professional Science Master's

May 20, 2011
By Erik Fallis

The Frontline of Professional Science Master's

On May 17, the California State University brought together educators, administrators and industry leaders to discuss the current state and future of Professional Science Master's programs.  

CSU campuses are on the frontline of a national effort to create and expand the PSM, providing a unique opportunity for the development of new degree programs.  The PSM aims to blend advanced training in science or mathematics with professional skills.  Most CSU programs also incorporate a paid internship or apprenticeship with a potential employer to reinforce the skills learned in the classroom.

The CSU offer 22 programs at 17 campuses with 400 students enrolled annually.  CSU students constitute more than 13 percent of enrollment in PSM programs nationwide.  Campuses and CSU Extended Education have made investments in these programs, but have also secured $14 million in external support from the National Science Foundation, Department of Labor and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The types of programs at CSU campuses include assistive and rehabilitative technologies, bioengineering, bioinformatics and medical informatics, biostatistics, biotechnology, communication and photonics, computer hardware and software, computational science, environmental sciences, forensic science, genetic counseling, and stem cell research training. 

Left to right: Outgoing San Diego State President Stephen L. Weber with CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed  During the meeting, CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed acknowledged outgoing San Diego State President Stephen L. Weber for his work and that of the SDSU community in developing PSM programs that specifically cater to veterans in order to transition the skills they learned in the military to the private workforce.

To continue improving outcomes for students, university officials specifically sought input on the programs' ability to meet workforce needs from representatives of BD-Bioscience, the Southern California Biomedical Council, the California Healthcare Institute, Life Technologies, Cisco, Mannkind Corporation, BIOCOM, CONNECT and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

As the PSM programs have ramped up, the CSU system boasts 409 graduates over the last four years.  Of those graduates, 96 percent are employed or have gone on to additional education.

For more information on CSU PSM programs, please visit