PSM in Biotechnology-Curriculum


A Professionally-Focused Curriculum

Saint Mary's Professional Science Master's in Biotechnology program is designed to give students a competitive edge in the life sciences field while also emphasizing their growth as industry professionals, thought leaders, and constructive members of society. 

Saint Mary's roots lie in the Lasallian traditions of respect for all persons, social justice, and the belief that education can transform the lives of individuals and their communities—so our students not only graduate with a professionally-focused MS degree, but we help them develop the skills and framework needed to make a real impact in the biotech industry through a small, cohort-based, and flexible program model.

Over the course of our two-year PSM program, Saint Mary's students will approach and consider different areas of Biotech—giving them the versatility needed to pursue their career goals while blazing their own path in the workforce. Our courses offer technical and practical skills for success in the biotechnology field including a blend of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, research methods and statistics, and bioinformatics. 

Committed to Your Professional and Personal Development

At Saint Mary's, our students sharpen their science technique skills with classes like Advanced Molecular Biology and Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry and Cell Biology where they can build hands-on experience in biochemical techniques like protein purification and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. They'll also engage with cutting-edge research and scholarly conversations in Genomics and Immunotherapeutics and Advanced Research Methods in Biotechnology.

These courses are interwoven with a mix of business-focused courses that give students the real-world tools needed to succeed in their careers like Project Management, Financial and Managerial Accounting, and Organizations and Management of Life Science Companies—that said, our courses in Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Biotechnology and Management and Leading Contemporary Organizations with a Social Justice Framework ensure that our students are also thinking about the big picture, encouraging them to become responsible and ethical participants in the industry.

All of these classes come together in the final Biotechnology Internship where students will gain individualized insight about the pros and cons of working in the biotechnology industry and build a network of industry professionals to help them with their career progression. Even though the internship happens in their final Spring semester, our faculty work with students from the moment they start the program to identify and explore their long-term career and professional goals.

With faculty coming from both the academic sector and the professional world (including professors and an advisory board with top leadership experience at big-name Biotech companies like Genentech), we do everything we can to help students make the most out of their professional careers and personal development.

Learn more about our program course offerings below!

Student working with pipette

PSM in Biotechnology Internship Requirement

Higher education should help your career, not hold it up. With Saint Mary’s Biotechnology PSM, students gain hands-on industry experience prior to graduation. Each student is required to complete four credits of internship experience in the biotechnology field. Leverage our Bay Area positioning and industry network to maximize your exposure and connections.


1st Semester-Fall (10 credits)

  • BTECH 500: Introduction to the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry (2 credits)
  • BTECH 501: Advanced Molecular Biology (4 credits)*
  • BTECH 503: Organizations and Management of Life Science Companies (2 credits)
  • BTECH 506: Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Biotechnology (2 credits)

January Term (1 credit)

  • BTECH 514: Global challenges and opportunities for Biotechnology (1 credit)
  • or BTECH 515: Becoming a Lasallian Business Leader (1 credit)

2nd Semester - Spring (9 credits)

  • BTECH 504: Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics (3 credits)
  • BTECH 505: Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4 credits)*
  • BTECH 502: Regulations and GMP in Drug, Diagnostics and Medical Device development (2 credits)

Summer Intersession (2 credits)

  • BTECH 607: Biotechnology Seminar I (1 credits)
  • BTECH 616: Career Preparation Seminar  (1 credits)

3rd Semester - Fall (10 credits)

  • BTECH 608: Biotechnology Seminar II - Genomics and Immunotherapeutics (3 credits) 
  • BTECH 609: Advanced Research Methods in Biotechnology (4 credits)*
  • BTECH 610: Bioinformatics (3 credits) 

January Term (1 credit)

  • BTECH 780: Internship Preparation (1 credit)

4th Semester - Spring (7 credits)

  • BTECH 790: Internship (4 credit)
  • Business Elective (3 credits)
    • BTECH 611: Managing and Leading Contemporary Organizations with a Social Justice Framework 
    • or BTECH 612: Financial and Managerial Accounting
    • or BTECH 613: Project Management
Student looking through a microscope

PSM in Biotechnology Learning Outcomes

Gain the lab experience and business perspective you need to advance your career in biotechnology. After finishing the PSM program, Saint Mary’s students:

  1. Acquire hands-on training in cutting-edge techniques, unpack the core concepts behind modern molecular biology and biotechnology, and understand why they are significant.
  2. Clearly understand legal, social, ethical issues and best practices related to the biotechnology industry.
  3. Critically evaluate scientific research and effectively communicate findings in oral and written formats.
  4. Gain a strong foundational knowledge of biotechnology’s business side.
  5. Apply the understanding of market forces and social justice issues to strategic planning and problem solving in the biotechnology industry.


School and Department Information

Vidya Chandrasekaran, Ph.D.
Program Director, PSM in Biotechnology

Collin Skeen
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment