Your  Account:



  • When will my application be reviewed?

    The applications are reviewed by the selection soon after the close of the application period. Letters for interviews will be sent out shortly following this meeting. The selection committee will be informing students if they have been selected by mid-January.


  • Are there any prerequisite courses or experiences?
    There are no prerequisites, but we recommend some basic biology and math courses. We also recommend some lab experience, even if just through class labs. 
  • What courses will I have to take during the internship?
    You will take the online 12 unit Stem-Cell Intership course (BIO 498) through CSUSM in both fall and spring semesters. You are also required to take a Regulatory Affairs course.
  • Are we allowed to take other classes during the internship?
    No, you are prohibited from taking additional courses during the internship.
  • If I am about to graduate, can I still be in the program?
    Yes, however you must be a full time student enrolled in a BS, MS or Certificate program at one of the partnering colleges during the internship. This may require you to defer your graduation for a year.
  • What if I don't know anything about stem cells?
    If accepted, you will attend a two-week course that includes basics about stem cells and some basic lab techniques you will need to know when you start in the host lab.
  • Where will I be placed for the 12-month internship?
    Each of the selected students will interview with interested labs (up to 5 labs). There are 51 labs that conduct stem cell research, which have expressed interest in hosting students in the program. These labs are located at various institutions, which include the University of California-San Diego, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The Scripps Research Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Allele Biotech/Scintillon, Modulo bio and other biotechnology companies in the area.
  • Will I be able to move among more than one lab?
     No. You will remain in the same lab for the full year. You will have your own project and will need the full year to complete it.
  • What does a typical work week in the program look like?

    Typically you will spend 40 hours in the lab , including weekends. You will do mostly benchwork, but also reading of scientific articles, attending seminars and meetings with other members of the lab. You will also attend the BIOTECH 498 course weekly. 

    There will be times when you are required to attend additional activities, outside the lab, on your own time. These will be determined by the program. These activites will include things like volunteering for the JDRF Walk in Balboa park, meeting with patients and their families or helping with Super STEM Saturday at CSU San Marcos.

  • What is the stipend & how much of my tuition/fees are covered by this program?
    Students will be expected to work full-time as interns in their laboratories (at least 40 hours/week) for which they will receive $3000/month stipend. Interns are expected to be full time students: tuition is covered at a rate of up to $8000 for the year. Anything beyond this amount will need to be covered by the intern.
  • How do I submit my application and recommendation letters?

    Please submit the online application. Two letters of recommendation are required. One must be from a faculty member that can attest to your abilities in a laboratory setting. You will need the name and e-mail for the people you are requesting letters from for the application. Please contact your letter writer prior to submitting the application and make them aware that they will receive an automated request for the letter.

  • Who should I have write letters of recommendations, particularly if I have not been interacting with my professors in person?
    We prefer letters from faculty that can attest to your capabilities in the lab. You may also get letters from someone who knows you well and knows your level of committment to learning, such as an employer, a mentor, etc.
  • I don't have a car. How will I get to CSUSM and the lab?
    Interns are responsible for reliable transportation.You will not be going to San Marcos, except for rare occasions. Most of your time will be spent working in the lab, which will likely be in La Jolla, Sorrento Valley, etc.
  • Other questions?
    Please contact the Program Coordinator, Susan Kaiser at