School of Molecular Biosciences

MBioS Professional Science Masters Degree


The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in molecular biosciences is designed to help students transition into the workplace by training them in skills that employers need. The interdisciplinary option is available online, or students can choose to take some courses on the Pullman campus.

The PSM combines science with training in ethics, business, management, and communication, bridging the gap between academia and the workplace. One career-oriented aspect of the program is that it requires a business internship rather than a thesis. The nationwide shortage of scientists with managerial and business training means PSM graduates will be well positioned for employment.

The PSM can be obtained completely online, or on-campus or in a hybrid format. The core components of the minimum 33-credit PSM, are courses in molecular biosciences, one course from each of 5 Professional core areas in Ethics, Communication, Business Focus, Management and Skills Seminar and a workplace based Internship. The PSM is an excellent career choice for:

  • Recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree in science who want to expand their science knowledge and develop the business skills needed to enter their chosen career.
  • Midcareer professionals seeking advancement and enrichment in their current careers.
  • K-12 science teachers seeking additional education for career promotion and increased compensation.


Last week I attended the 5th Annual National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The event was attended by PSM Directors, PSM Alumni, University Faculty and Administrators as well as Employers, so a broad spectrum of individuals, some of whom reported on the successes of their programs, while others were interested on learning how to develop new programs.  There are currently 322 PSM affiliated programs in the US and PSM programs have recently been developed in Korea, Australia and the UK.  The conference was very informative and I attended presentations on:  the skills employers are looking for in employees, the employability of PSM graduates, how to improve the PSM curriculum and state wide initiatives on PSM program development.  As NPSMA members, you have access to the presentations and we have provided the link here (2014 National Conference).  The NPSMA association organizes relevant workshops and conferences throughout the year and I encourage you all to think about attending if it is convenient, as  attendance provides great opportunities for networking with the PSM community at the national level.

 Norah McCabe


Diana Kim spotlightMeet Diana Kim, who currently serves on active duty in the United States Army.  She received her undergraduate degree in Life Science from the US Military Academy in West Point, NY and is currently pursuing a Professional Science Master's degree in Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University as an on-line student. 

During her time as a cadet, she worked on an exciting project involving the development of a new microRNA-based drug to address Heterotopic Ossification, or uncontrolled bone growth, in the soft tissue surrounding the site of blunt force trauma such as that from an improvised explosive device (IED) or other combat related injury.  As a commissioned officer in the US Army, she competed for and earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, which is awarded to a select few capable of completing an array of mentally and physically demanding tasks.  She has also served on a combat tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  She spends her free time swimming, playing the piano, and traveling the world.

“The PSM degree allows me to pursue my passion for molecular biosciences while still enhancing my communication and managements skills.  The professional development is highly applicable to my current career field, but the coursework also allows me to gain critical skills necessary to succeed in any future workplace.  The best kind of leader requires not only knowledge, but also the communication skills to relay acquired information effectively.  Balancing active duty military service and graduate studies is challenging, but the PSM degree further prepares me to succeed in the rapidly evolving molecular biosciences marketplace.”  Diana Kim, 2014.

Kristina Hoffman spotlightMeet Kristina Hoffman, who works as a Forensic Scientist with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) - Crime Laboratory Division.  She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Wake Forest University and is currently pursuing a Professional Science Master’s degree in Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University.   In 2013 she was selected as WSP Marysville Crime Laboratory Employee of the Year and in 2014 received the WSP Chief’s Coin and Division Commendation in recognition of outstanding commitment to duty in performing DNA testing related to the identification of deceased human victims as a result of the Oso mudslide tragedy. 

After working in the lab for several years, Kristina was looking to advance her education and found the PSM program at WSU to be the perfect combination of science and business management-type courses.  With the courses being offered completely online, the program allows her the flexibility to continue to work full-time and not have to live near the Pullman campus.  In her free time, Kristina enjoys spending time with her family, especially her new baby who was just born on Father's Day.  She also enjoys interior design, reupholstering projects, baking and traveling.

Check out the new PSM Facebook page!

PSM degree ranked as one of best in nation:

The PSM degree in Molecular Biosciences at WSU has been ranked as one of the top online Biology degrees in the nation for 2015-16 by

PSM Final Exam Presentations:

Current WSU students, faculty and staff may view PSM Final Exam Presentation videos by going to the link below.  WSU Net ID and password are required. Others interested in viewing one of these presentations should contact the PSM Academic Coordinator at for further information.

PSM Final Exam Presentations

PSM Student Handbooks:

PSM Online Handbook 2015-16

PSM ON CAMPUS Handbook 2015.2016

Other Resources:

National Professional Science Master’s Association

National Association of System Heads and Professional Science Master's Degree

Science Master's Programs

Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA)

Graduates on the Job -- NPSMA: Professional Science Master's Milestone Event

Presidential Management Fellows Program - STEM Track

Career and Job Information:

WBBA Job Flash

Combined BS and PSM:

BS (GenCB) and PSM Degree

BS+PSM Brochure

BS + PSM Recommended Course Schedule

PSM Graduates:

Rachael Fasnacht: May 2015
Stacey Gregersen: May 2015
Bryionne Heim: May 2015
Tanis Jimenez: May 2015
J. Michael Mackay: May 2015
Saint Inman: May 2014
LaQuita Brock: Dec. 2013
Brandi Heath: Dec. 2013
Brandon Kyriss: Dec. 2013
Chelsea Pickett: Dec. 2013
Jean Paul Tousignant: Dec. 2013
Rachelle Rozsonits: July 2013
Archie Hoggan: June 2013
Cordy Herring: Feb. 2013
Brian Wasicek: Mar. 2013
Eleni Alexiou: 2011
Chandima Bandaranayaka: 2011
Professional Science Masters Graphic

National Professional Science Masters Association Graphic

School of Molecular Biosciences, SMB, PO Box 647520, Life Sciences Building 202, Pullman, WA 99164-7520 phone: 509-335-8751, fax: 509-335-4159
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