THE FIRST PSM DEGREE IN WASHINGTON STATE
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.
A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
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.
Meet 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.
Meet 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.