The National Science Foundation awarded SFSU's PSM program as one of 21 projects designed to enhance workforce training in STEM disciplines funded by the 2010 America COMPETES Act.
During the 2010-2013 funding period, 24 SFSU science master's students received NSF scholarships for interdisciplinary graduate training in Biotechnology and Stem Cell Science. In addition to providing support in curriculum implemetation and student scholarships, the NSF America COMPETES Act award has contributed to the diversification of the biotechnology workforce by increasing the participation and retention of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and by preparing all participants for success in an increasingly diverse workplace. Of the 42 students enrolled since Fall 2010, 62% are female and 26.2% are underrepresented minorities.
By integrating rigorous scientific coursework with business training and industry research experiences, the SFSU program equips graduates with broad-based skills needed for rapid advancement in applied biosciences careers. In collaboration with local Bay Area biotechnology affiliates (e.g., Genentech, BioMarin, Qiagen, Life Technologies/ Applied Biosystems, SanBio, Betastem, Cellerant, IncellDX, MedImmune, CellSight Technologies, Baxter, Nodality) and research institutes (e.g., UCSF, J. David Gladstone Institutes, Stanford University, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Buck Center for Age Research), as well as with the California Department of Public Health, SFSU’s interdisciplinary science master’s program provides effective academic and applied research experiences for a diverse student population. The success of the program is evident in the 100% graduation, 100% internship placement and nearly 100% employment rate in the life sciences workforce for the 30 graduates of the program's first three cohort classes.