Graduate Studies
Professional Science Masters Degree

MBioS Professional Science Masters Degree

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.

PSM Alumna Kristina Hoffman to receive American Academy of Forensic Sciences Award

Kristina Hoffman, December 2015 PSM graduate has been notified that she will be receiving the AAFS 2017 Outstanding Early Career Achievement in Forensic Science. Kristina credits her PSM internship work involving the lean project as a primary basis for her being eligible for this award.  We extend our hearty congratulations to Kristina.

A big welcome to our first international students on the Pullman Campus

We want to welcome three international students to the Pullman campus for Spring 2016: Aaditi Lele from India, Gregory Goh from Singapore and Inje Paek from the Republic of Korea. We hope that you all enjoy the academics offered on the Pullman campus and the quality of life offered by the city of Pullman during your graduate experience.

Kristina Hoffman: Internship Work Impacts the Public

Kristina Hoffman spotlight

Kristina Hoffman graduated with her Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree in Fall 2015. Her internship was entitled ‘Improving the Effectiveness of Forensic DNA Testing Services Through the Application of Lean Principles’. Kristina is a full-time employee with the Washington State Patrol, and she is a Forensic Scientist in the Crime Laboratory Division, where she carried out her internship. Kristina recognized that there was a delay in the processing of DNA evidence samples, and the goal of her internship work was to determine if she could reduce the delay in sample processing by applying the principles of Lean Management. As such Kristina prepared herself for her internship by enrolling in a Lean Agility course; one of the PSM professional courses. During her internship she incorporated many Lean principles in various aspects of the workflow from DNA case assignment to DNA sample analysis and ultimately DNA sample result reporting. Based on Kristina’s internship work she was able to reduce the turnaround time of sample processing from 93 days to 71 days; that is a reduction of 22 days, while still maintaining a high level of quality sample processing. What does that mean and how does this internship work translate into the lives of citizens? Well, at its most simplistic—it means that if you were a suspect and you were in jail awaiting DNA analysis, your time in jail would be shortened by more than 3 weeks (assuming you were not guilty), or alternatively, a DNA sample can help identify a serial criminal, who may now be arrested 3 weeks sooner thus making communities safer!

The importance and impact of Kristina’s PSM internship are immediately translatable to the public at large and of course Kristina presented this work as part of her final PSM examination. We congratulate Kristina on her amazing impactful work, and we wish her the very best wishes with the next step in her career.

A Note From the Director

We are starting off the year with the wonderful news about Kristina Hoffman receiving the 2017 Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). Congratulations to Kristina, and I want to take this opportunity to remind you all that we want to celebrate all your successes and milestones, so please contact us with your good news, no matter how small or large the recognition is.  We are still growing our program and still accepting students every fall, spring and summer. To date we have 23 PSM graduates, all of whom are either employed or pursuing another degree, and this spring we have 18 students active in the program.  We continue to be impressed by the scope and quality of our PSM students and in particular the diversity of the internship work ranging from basic research, to product commercialization, to developing new management skills.  Our goal is to continue to have an open dialogue with you all, not only to solicit feedback but also to energetically act upon that feedback. To that end, the curriculum is always on our radar screen with the objective of adding and developing new courses, even in times of university budget constraints.   

We were delighted that 8 PSM students joined us in Pullman for the 2016 annual SMB retreat that takes place in the week before the semester starts, and as a heads up we will be sending an invitation to all of you soon for the 2017 retreat.   In addition, last year I attended the annual National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA) meeting in lovely Arlington, Virginia: the theme of which was ‘Listening to Employers ’  As in the past it was a time to reconnect with other PSM directors and to hear about all the new PSM initiatives that are indicative of a very energetic PSM community. The conference was packed with informative presentations from business owners, government officials, and educators; all of whom are strong advocates of PSM degrees.

 Here’s to another successful PSM year!

 Norah McCabe


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 (internal)

PSM Graduates:

Stacy Martin:  Dec 2016

Charisma Jenkins:  Aug. 2016

Karlie Bagan:  May 2016

Kent Bloodsworth: Dec 2015

Kristina Hoffman: Dec 2015

Wendi Russac: Dec 2015

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