Science Master's Program at SF STATE (Biomedical Science in Biotechnology and Stem Cell Science) Program

THE DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY at SF STATE offers an innovative graduate degree option, Science Master’s Program, used to known as the Professional Science Master's (PSM). The SMP program (Master of Science in Biomedical Science) supports students to pursue advanced training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines while simultaneously developing workplace skills that are highly valued by the life sciences workforce community.

Advanced Professional Education Connecting Science Innovation, Industry Partnership and Social Responsibility

The Professional Science Master's (PSM), supported by the Sloan Foundation and the Council of Graduate Schools, is a specialized advanced degree for students interested in a wider variety of career options than provided by traditional science graduate programs.


Graduate Degree Offers Diverse Career Options

The MS in Biomedical Science (Biotechnology and Stem Cell Science) program, which obtained final academic approval from the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor in July 2009, was developed over a three year period. Begun in 2006, the CSU PSM Initiative completed an initial feasibility study that included a statewide and local industry-needs assessment, and a statewide student-interest survey. The positive outcome of the feasibility study resulted in a three-year award of $1.365 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to help advance PSM programs on 14 CSU campuses (including SF State University) - making CSU the largest statewide higher education system to launch PSM degree programs on multiple campuses.

The SF STATE program, previopusly affiliated with the Council of Graduate Schools and the National PSM Association, admitted its first class of graduate students in Fall 2010. The core curriculum includes two years of interdisciplinary training in science, technology and business, along with research or industry internships that prepare graduates for diverse professional careers in biomedical and biotechnology industries, business corporations, government and non-profit organizations.

For more information about the PSM/SM program, email:,

SF State's Science Master's program in Biomedical Science is housed in the Department of Biology in the College of Science and Engineering.

Two internship-based Concentrations prepare master-level science graduates for advanced professional careers.

- Biotechnology

- Stem Cell Science


1) Core Requirement

  • Core Concepts of Biotechnology

  • Graduate Colloquium

  • Skills for Scientific Proposal Writing

  • Management Principles and Organizational Behavior

2) Concentration Requirement

Concentration in Biotechnology

  • Bioinformatics & Genome Annotation

  • Cell and Molecular Techniques

  • Molecular Biology of Cancer

  • Pharmacogenomics

  • Nucleic Acid Probe Method (or Cell Culture or Stem Cell Techniques)

  • Biomedical Advanced Topics

Concentration in Stem Cell Science

  • Developmental Biology

  • Bioethics

  • Reproductive Technologies

  • Cell Culture & Stem Cell Techniques

  • Topics in Stem Cell Biology

  • Biomedical Research Design

  • Life Science Career

3) Culminating Experience

  • Cooperative Internship Experience

  • Applied Research Project

Prospective students typically have a baccalaureate degree in Biology, Biochemistry or other life science disciplines, and a sufficient background to undertake a graduate program in biomedical science. Other undergraduate disciplines with professional work experience in biotechnology may apply.

All applicants must meet the following requirements for admission into the graduate program in Biology:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0

  • 2 letters of recommendations

  • Official transcripts

  • Resume

  • A "Statement of Purpose"

  • On-campus selection interview

  • At least one year of professional experience (strongly recommended)

  • Approval for admission by the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Optional: Graduate Record Exam (General Test) score within a minimum of 4.0 on the Analytical Writing Test

  • International Applicants: Satisfactory Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS scores

For more information, visit:

Send inquiries to Dr. Lily Chen, PSM Director:

(415) 338-6763