A collaborative professional Master's program between CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles, and Cal Poly Pomona
Offered by: College of Science, Biological Sciences Department
The Program for Applied Biotechnology Studies (PABS) Master of Biotechnology (MBt) is a Professional Science Master's degree program that prepares graduates for challenging and rewarding careers in the biomedical device, biocomputing and/or biopharmaceutical industries. The PABS-MBt has been recognized as a Professional Science Master's program in all of its six concentration areas by the Council of Graduate Schools.
The curriculum is offered through the Program in Applied Biotechnology Studies (PABS), a consortium of three member CSU campuses: Fullerton, Los Angeles, and Pomona. This multi-campus model allows students to benefit from faculty expertise and educational resources at each of the member campuses. Departments involved at these campuses include chemistry and biochemistry, biological sciences, business, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. Each campus offers at least one core course as well as advanced courses in one or more of the concentration areas.
The two-year program provides thorough training not only in major academic disciplines fundamental to the industry, but also in essential business, information literacy, communication, project management, cross-functional teamwork, and group leadership skills. The curriculum for the degree includes a series of required core courses to be taken by all members of a class as a cohort, a summer internship in a biotechnology company, a second-year biotechnology project in a biotechnology company, and 3 elective courses in one of the six concentration areas listed below.
- Molecular Biology/Biochemistry. Innovation and development in the fields of industrial biochemistry and molecular biology have yielded many important applications to benefit mankind. For example, industrial biochemists and molecular biologists are involved with many critical aspects of the drug discovery and development process, including the identification of therapeutic targets, isolation and screening of novel therapeutic agents, and assessing the molecular interactions of these in vitro and in vivo. They are key players in solving medical problems at the molecular level. Students enrolled in the concentration in molecular biology/biochemistry will receive training in the fundamental principles and techniques associated with drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. This concentration area is suited for students that have a background in biology, biochemistry, physics or engineering.
- Analytical Chemistry. Analytical chemists are employed in all aspects of chemical research in the biotechnology sector, and their work comprises the foundation of the basic operations of the biotechnology industry, including drug discovery, manufacturing, and quality assurance and control practices. The analytical chemist is involved in basic laboratory research, process and product development, and analytic instrument design, and provides support in marketing and intellectual property evaluation. Students enrolled in the concentration in analytical chemistry have an option to receive training in the fundamental principles and techniques employed by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, including drug discovery and development, process development and validation, or in total quality management in manufacturing. This concentration area is best suited for students that have a strong background in chemistry and analytical chemistry.
- Engineering. Biomedical engineering for medical devices utilizes traditional engineering expertise to analyze and solve problems in biology and medicine. From nano-devices to artificial organs, biomedical device engineering encompasses a wide variety of applications and holds a tremendous potential for therapeutics development in the future. Students enrolled in the concentration in engineering will receive training in the technical areas related to bioinstrumentation and biomaterials. They also receive training in technical aspects of the regulatory and business environments associated with the clinical development and approval of medical devices. This concentration is well suited for students that have an engineering background.
- Business. The businesses of biotechnology, medical devices and molecular diagnostics are varied and complex. The bright promises of advances in micro- and nano-devices and discoveries from genomics and proteomics are balanced by a dwindling drug development pipeline and increased competition from generics. Individuals who have a solid foundation in both management and in technology are needed to address the business and management requirements of life science industries. Students enrolled in the concentration in business receive training in analysis of biotechnology market trends, identification of strategic development opportunities, and business risk management. The PABS Professional Science Master's program provides excellent preparation for the future managers of the biotechnology sector. This concentration area is best suited for students that have an educational or practical background in business. Biomedical engineering for medical devices utilizes traditional engineering expertise to analyze and solve problems in biology and medicine. From nano-devices to artificial organs, biomedical device engineering encompasses a wide variety of applications and holds a tremendous potential for therapeutics development in the future. Students enrolled in the concentration in engineering will receive training in the technical areas related to bioinstrumentation and biomaterials. They also receive training in technical aspects of the regulatory and business environments associated with the clinical development and approval of medical devices. This concentration is well suited for students that have an engineering background.
- Informatics/Biomathematics. Bioinformatics utilizes pattern recognition algorithms to identify biological or clinical patterns in large amounts of data. Professional work is generally grouped into algorithm development, software engineering and systems biology. Since data mining continues to produce vast amounts of data and many new opportunities for therapeutics development, professionals in the area of bioinformatics are in high demand. Students enrolled in the concentration in informatics/biomathematics will receive training in the theory and methods associated with their choice of one of the above three areas, with a focus on industrial applications. This concentration area is best suited to students that have an educational background in mathematics or computer science.
- Regulatory Affairs. The pharmaceutical industry is the most regulated of all industries, and regulatory affairs, quality assurance and clinical trials personnel are critical in managing these requirements. In this science-based concentration, students receive training in the fundamentals of FDA regulations surrounding the new drug development process. Students enrolled in the Concentration in Regulatory Affairs also receive training in statistics, preclinical and clinical trial design, data management and current Good Clinical Practice (cGCP). Concepts and practices in quality assurance and quality control also will be discussed. This concentration is suited for students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds.
The second-year project is a culminating experience within an industry setting. It includes the completion of a team-based project, an individually written project report, and a team-based an individual presentation of the project findings.
Admission to the Program
Admission to the Master of Biotechnology program is determined by a committee comprised of faculty members from each of the member campuses (PABS Inter-campus Coordinating Team, ICCT). Evaluation takes into account the applicant's total academic record, industrial or work experience, and statement of purpose. Because of the rigorous nature of the PABS program, the applicant's practical experience and career aspirations will be important factors in applicant selection.
To be admitted to the program, an applicant must be accepted first by the PABS-MBt Program and then by the Admissions office of the home campus at which the student is to be placed (Fullerton, Los Angeles, or Pomona).
The prospective student must submit an initial application directly to the PABS-MBt program first, as described fully at http://www.calstate.edu/pabs/applicants/. IMPORTANT: Students do not apply through CSU mentor until after they have been accepted into the program and subsequently assigned by the program office to apply to one of the three participating campuses.
Applicants must meet the requirements for admission, which include an appropriate (see below) baccalaureate from an accredited institution and a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in the last 90 quarter units or 60 semester units attempted. (Note that the grade point average requirement for admission to the PABS-MBt program has been set higher than that required for general admission to Cal State Los Angeles for graduate study or for admission to the M.S. degree program in Biological Sciences at Cal State Los Angeles.) Students with academic deficiencies may be considered for conditional acceptance into the program. For conditionally accepted students, the specific conditions and a deadline for their completion are determined at the time of admission; continuation in the PABS-MBt program is contingent upon completion of the admission conditions by the specified deadline.
In addition to general university requirements for CSU admission, acceptance into the PABS-MBt program is contingent upon the following:
- B.A. or B.S. from an accredited institution with a grade-point average of 3.0 in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester units of courses in a major in one of the following general areas:
a. Biological Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry or Biochemistry, Business, Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Information Science, or Mathematics
- Submission to the program office of a completed application to the PABS-MBt program, which is available at the PABS-MBt program web site application page (http://www.calstate.edu/pabs/applicants/)
- Submission to the program office of all supporting documents for the program application, as described at http://www.calstate.edu/pabs/applicants/
- Upon an offer of admission into the program following review of materials in items 2 and 3 above, the applicant will be assigned a home campus. The applicant will need to apply through CSU mentor to his/her assigned home campus and submit all required documentation to that campus.
Students must complete the required core and selected elective courses in a given concentration as described in the table below. Students may elect to complete any one of the six concentrations. While the PABS core courses require no prerequisite coursework, the concentration courses often have prerequisites. Students must have completed prerequisites for any elective courses chosen for their concentration or must have obtained permission from the instructor to enroll. Permission from the instructor does not alter the standards for achievement within the class. In the majority of cases, these prerequisites have been met by coursework taken as part of a student's undergraduate major. There are no prerequisites for the concentration in Regulatory Affairs. No undergraduate degrees in Regulatory Affairs are offered in the United States at this time.
Before being awarded the degree, the student must present his/her project work as a written project report (modified as necessary for proprietary reasons of the company at which the work was done) for submission to the university library. In addition, the student must present his/her work (modified for proprietary reasons as necessary) during a PABS symposium.
Curriculum: 38 semester units/55 quarter units
Note: Academic units are presented below as semester units/quarter units.