Sloan Grant Funds New CSU Master’s Program

By Tekeilla Peterson

The CSU system is the first in the nation to introduce the
Professional Science Master’s Degree Program, and Cal Poly Pomona
is one of the schools benefiting.

The program is designed for graduates who wish to obtain a
two-year degree to help them gain skills to succeed in science and
technology industries.

The program was made possible by an estimated $891,000 grant
from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

“There is a need for these new programs because industries in

growth economic sectors in California need a workforce that is

in both science and management skills,” said Joan Bissell,
member of academic affairs for the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

Out of the 23 CSU campuses, 12 schools will start the program.
There will be 16 programs between the 12 schools within the next
three years.

The program will be in different fields throughout the campuses.
Some include the biotechnology, environmental science, forensics,
bioinformatics, and four other departments, as well as an
opportunity for internships.

The new degree programs are meant to prepare individuals with
undergraduate backgrounds in science, mathematics and engineering
for positions in such fields as biotechnology and ecological
economics, which have a high demand for skilled workers.

The Master’s Degree Program combines academic study in the
sciences with professional course work and internships.

The combination of experiences allows students to be better
prepared for positions that employers seek to fill with trained

“It is going to offer students the opportunity to obtain
significant management positions that utilize their knowledge and
skills in the sciences,” said Bissell. “The change it brings about
is to provide new and exciting career paths that expand the options
available to students who have majored in the sciences beyond
current academic and research positions.”

The program is not said to have an impact on enrollment, but it
will make available a new enrollment option at the Master’s degree

“It is expected to result in undergraduates completing majors in
the biological sciences in order to prepare for graduate study in
this field,” said Bissell.

According to the CSU Web site, there are approximately 100 PSM
programs around the country, which are becoming recognized as being
one of the best programs to prepare students to obtain the skills
and become professionals in their field for some of the top

The CSU has set a goal for the next five years to have more than
1,000 graduates of this program who are skilled and ready to enter
into the workplace.

New federal legislation being proposed, the National Innovation
Act, would provide $20 million to the PSM programs nationally.

This program is best for those who want to expand their
knowledge beyond what they learned at a four-year level.

There are also businesses that are in partnership with the PSM
program and will look at students obtaining this degree for future

Due to PSM’s actual training, program students are better
prepared for their field and employers can rest knowing students
have some experience before entering their career.

Tekeilla Peterson can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (909) 869-3747.

Sloan Grant Funds New CSU Master

Sloan Grant Funds New CSU Master’s Program

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