Your  Account:



  • When will my application be reviewed?

    The applications will be reviewed soon after the close of the application period. Interviews will be conducted in March and April.


  • Are there any prerequisite courses or experiences?
    There are no prerequisites, but this internship is aimed at students who are enrolled in Biotechnology major or Biology major. Preference will be given to students who have completed some basic biology and math courses. Prior experience in a laboratory setting, even if just through successful completion of a laboratory course, will also be valued greatly. 
  • What courses will I have to take during the internship?

    The COMPASS interns will take courses in the Biotechnology major that includes FAIR principles of data sharing, good research habits, principles of translational research, bioengineering, statistics and bioinformatics. Specifically, these students will take the lower division BIOL 210 and BIOL 211 which is the preparation for the Biotechnology major and include molecular biology basics, statistics and evolutionary biology. Once they have completed these lower division courses, the COMPASS interns will take the core Biotechnology courses that include BIOT 355 (Molecular Biotechnology), BIOT 356 (Cellular Biotechnology), Foundations of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Foundations of Biotechnology. The course content includes principles of biotechnology, research and development and more detailed bioengineering and the clinical process to bring products to market. Additionally, we strongly recommend enrolling in BIOT 497.

  • Are we allowed to take other classes during the internship?
    We advise you to discuss any additional coursework with Madilyn Areskog ( prior to enrolling in the course.
  • If I am about to graduate, can I still be in the program?

    This program is aimed at newly enrolled first-time freshman, sophomore and juniors in Biotechnology and Biology majors at CSUSM. Applications are due at the end of freshman year. Sophomore who are selected to the program will work in a laboratory on campus for two years. You must be a full time student enrolled in Biotechnology or Biology major at CSUSM during the internship. This may require you to defer your graduation for a year.

  • What if I don't know anything about research or biotechnology?

    If accepted, you will undergo various trainings during the summer prior to starting your internship. Additionally, the coursework associated with this internhip will continue to provide you with the skills necessary to carry out your work throughout the internship in your host lab.

  • Where will I be placed for the 24-month internship?
    Each of the selected students will interview with 5 host labs mentioned in the application.
  • Will I be able to move among more than one lab?
    No. You will remain in the same lab during your internship.
  • What does a typical work week in the program look like?

    Typically you will spend minimum 10 hours in the lab. Please note that this may include weekends as needed per your experiment schedule. You will do mostly benchwork, but will also be required to read scientific articles, and attend seminars and meetings with other members of the lab. We also recommend that you attend the BIOTECH 497 course. 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.

  • What is the stipend & how much of my tuition/fees are covered by this program?
    Students will be expected to work on a part-time basis as interns in their laboratories (at least 10 hours/week) for which they will receive a monthly stipend. Interns are expected to be full time students: tuition is covered per year of the internship. 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. One letter of recommendation is required and should ideally 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 letter of recommendations, particularly if I have not been interacting with my professors in person?
    We prefer letter from faculty that can attest to your capabilities in the lab. You may also get the letter 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. Most of your time will be spent working in the lab at CSUSM; however, you may have to travel to off-campus locations to attend community engagement activities as part of the internship program .
  • Other questions?

    Please contact the Program Coordinator, Madilyn Areskog at