Washington State University- Professional Science Master’s Degree in Molecular Biosciences
(available to ALL WBBA Members)
The School of Molecular Biosciences (SMB) was formed in 1999 by merging three departments: Biochemistry & Biophysics, Genetics & Cell Biology, and Microbiology. As SMB has evolved and adapted, molecular, cellular and structural biology have emerged as the unifying interdisciplinary areas that bridge each of the founding disciplines. Thus, SMB is best viewed as a dynamic continuum of disciplines that use approaches derived from chemistry, physics and biology to explore and elucidate the cellular, molecular, and structural basis of biochemical and genetic processes essential for the proper function of prokaryotes, archaea, and eukaryotes. To respond to students who want to earn a science Master’s degree, yet do not want to pursue a traditional thesis based Master’s, and to respond to employer needs, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Molecular Biosciences was developed. The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Molecular Biosciences is designed to help students transition effectively into the workplace by training them in skills that employers need. This interdisciplinary program is available entirely online, or students can participate in the program by taking some courses on the Pullman campus and others via online delivery i.e. in a hybrid format.
Every affiliated PSM program has three components: graduate science courses, graduate professional (non-science) courses and a workplace based internship, thus epitomizing an interdisciplinary program. The Professional Science Master’s degree in Molecular Biosciences, (PSM-MB) has all the components of an interdisciplinary program. The curriculum is composed of approximately 50 % graduate science coursework with 40% professional courses and an internship which will be carried out in a pre-approved workplace. Training in this program will ensure that graduates will successfully transition efficiently and effectively into present and future career opportunities. These career openings are seeking so called “T”-shaped as opposed to “I”-shaped individuals; individuals who are trained in more than one discipline, who are conversant in scientific and non-scientific fields and who can transition into careers more efficiently and effectively. This non-thesis master’s degree can be earned both on-campus at WSU- Pullman or online in collaboration with the established WSU Global campus. The PSM-MB non-thesis Master’s degree offered by the School of Molecular Biosciences requires that students complete 33 semester credit hours, with 26 hours of graded course work. Students also complete 4 semester credit hours (minimum) of Internship.
The PSM in Molecular Biosciences combines courses in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics with courses in Ethics, Communication and Management and thus provides a bridge between academic training and skills required for success in the workplace. In addition the required workplace based internship rather than a thesis ensures that students get ‘hands-on’ workplace exposure. The nationwide shortage of scientists with professional training means that PSM graduates will be well positioned for employment.
In summary the PSM program offers graduate students:
Development of professional skills for entering their chosen career
Opportunities for advancement and enrichment in their current careers
Additional education for career change and increased compensation
Science and non-science skills to compete in the global economy