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Extended Learning

Extended Learning

Offered at the San Marcos Campus


The Master of Biotechnology: A Professional Science Master’s degree program at CSUSM uniquely combines technical, scientific and MBA-level business courses with real-world experience. Earn your master’s degree and prepare for advancement in the growing field of biotechnology and life sciences.

Distinguished Professor Award

Betsy ReadDr. Betsy Read was honored recently with CSUSM’s 2020-21 Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching, research, creative scholarship and service to the campus and community. She is a founder of the Master of Biotechnology: PSM and a professor of biological sciences at CSUSM.

“Dr. Read exemplifies the true spirit of the Brakebill Award; she is an extraordinary faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to her students, to her academic discipline and to our campus community,” said CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt in announcing the award. “In every aspect of her 27-year career at CSUSM, she has shown tremendous dedication in academic excellence, and has been an inspiration to her students and colleagues alike.” Learn more here.

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National Professional Science Master's Association

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New cohorts begin every fall semester.

Application and document deadline: 

  • Fall 2022: Feb. 16, 2022

View application instructions.

Fall 2022 Application

Program Details


    How to Apply

    Admission Requirements

    • Two letters of recommendation
    • One-page personal statement describing your reasons for pursuing this program
    • Résumé or curriculum vitae
    • One official transcript from each academic institution attended
    • An undergraduate GPA in all completed science and math courses of at least 2.75 or a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 35 semester units of science and math
    • GPA of 2.5 on last degree completed or last 60 semester units
    • No GRE required to apply


    Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree with a major in a bioscience, chemistry or related area. Alternatively, if you have a BA/BS degree in a related field or equivalent work/certification experiences, you may be considered for conditional admission.

    While a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required, admissions will consider pertinent background, prerequisite courses and opportunity for successful completion.

    Generally, you should have courses or experience in:

    • Molecular cell biology or molecular/cellular biotechnology (i.e. BIOL 351 or BIOT 355/356)
    • Microbiology or biology of microorganisms (i.e. BIOL 160 or BIOL 367)
    • Statistics (i.e. BIOL 215 or MATH 242)
    • Chemistry and biochemistry (i.e. CHEM 150 and CHEM 341/351)

    If you have not completed an upper-division biochemistry course you may be required to take CHEM 341 or 351.

    View Catalog Page

    Semester Units* Subtotal**

    Fall Semester 1




    Spring Semester 1 9


    Summer Semester 1 7


    Fall Semester 2 8


    Spring Semester 2 7


    Total 39 $32,175

    *Unit rate for this program is $825

    **University semester fees not included. View complete breakdown of Extended Learning fees. Semester tuition subtotals based on sample program sequence. All quoted tuition rates are based on previous academic years and are subject to change without notice.

    Funding and Financial Aid

    • This program is eligible for financial aid
    • Visit the Extended Learning funding page or call 760-750-4850 to learn more about your funding options
    • Federal VA educational benefits can be used for this program (not eligible for Cal Vet fee waiver)
    • Active duty military, veterans and dependents should visit the military services page or call 760-750-8705

    View course descriptions and specific program requirements on the Biotechnology Catalog Page.

    Please note: This program has a set schedule of courses that you are expected to follow as part of your cohort.

    Semester Course (units)

    Fall Semester 1


    CHEM 440 (3) - Protein Structure and Function for the Life Sciences

    CHEM 440L (1) - Protein Structure and Function for the Life Sciences Lab (Optional)

    BIOT 660 (2) - Scientific Communication in Technology Industry

    BA 504 (3) - Accounting for Managers

    Spring Semester 1

    BIOT 600 + Lab (5) Genomics:  DNA/RNA Technology

    BIOT 650 (3) - Regulatory Affairs and Quality Management

    BIOT 500 (1) - Preparation for the PSM and Bioscience Engagement

    Summer Semester 1

    BIOT 620 (3) - Bioprocessing and Bioengineering

    BA 506 (2) - Management of Complex Organizations

    BIOT 680 A or B (1-2) - Semester-In-Residence Writing Workshop

    Fall Semester 2

    BIOT 630 (3) - Experimental Design and Statistics in Biotech

    BIOT 655 (2) - Business Law & Intellectual Property In High-Tech Enterprises

    BA 670 (2) - The BioEntrepreneur:  Science to Market

    BIOT 675 (2) - Biotechnology Across the Borders

    Spring Semester 2

    BIOT 681 A or B (4-5) - Semester-In-Residence/Internship

    BA 627 (3) - Business Analytics and Project Management

    Classes are typically held Monday - Thursday from 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.Schedule is subject to change. Some students may be required to take additional units where there are deficiencies and/or when project demands warrant additional units.

  • FAQ

    What is a cohort?

    A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree. Because they are accepted into the same program, take their classes together and graduate together, students in cohorts tend to form a strong support system and professional network that benefit them during their degree program and beyond.

    What is Semester-in-Residence?

    The Semester-In-Residence (SIR) program helps you put your coursework in action by working at a biotechnology or related life sciences business to address a real-world issue, project or problem. The SIR functions as a capstone experience in lieu of a master’s thesis and runs for approximately 15 weeks requiring 300 hours of work. It is similar to a structured internship with a very specific, comprehensive schedule of deliverables that you establish in consultation with the CSUSM Biotechnology Advisory Committee and your community partner. View previous SIR projects completed by CSUSM biotechnology students.
    Previous SIR projects

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help.

    What is a Professional Science Master's degree?

    • Professional Science Master's (PSMs) are designed for students who are seeking a graduate degree in science, and also understand the need for developing business, transferable and workplace skills valued by top employers
    • Students can be assured that this program meets and maintains the standards set by National Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA) to infuse highly-valued business skills into a science master’s curriculum
    • The blend of graduate level, practical science knowledge with sought after soft-skills produces highly in-demand professionals ready to meet workforce needs and launch careers in science, business, government, or nonprofit organizations

    PSM logo

Designed for working professionals

Complete the program part time in five semesters with convenient evening classes

No thesis required

Program culminates in the presentation of a Semester-in-Residence project where you work with a biotech company to address a real-world issue, project or problem

Cohort program

Benefit from immediate peer support, individualized attention, guaranteed placement in courses, guaranteed time to completion, small classes and more

Outstanding faculty

Learn from local leading experts who bring their industry experience to the classroom

“This program has allowed me to consider the business side of biotechnology. I’ve been able to learn why we have certain budgets, why we have certain deadlines and what the business needs are for the company. I always thought I would be in the lab doing research, but now I can bridge the gap between the two and perhaps be a liaison. It definitely opens up more doors.”

– Nathan Roscoe

Student; Research Associate, Navigate Biopharma Services

– Nathan Roscoe

“If you want to work in industry, you need to know about accounting and you need to know about marketing and other skills. I know I have the knowledge and the skills to broaden my career. I think this will open opportunities for me in the future.”

– Tannaz Rafizadeh

Graduate; Research Associate, BioLegend

– Tannaz Rafizadeh

“With the tools and skills acquired through the program, especially outside of the laboratory, I understood more about the business side of the biotech industry, which separated me from other candidates.”

– Edwin Golez

Graduate; Senior Research Associate, Organovo Inc.

– Edwin Golez

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