The Program for Applied Biotechnology Studies

Applied Masters Project

This webpage is intended to assist students and site supervisors in planning for and carrying out Applied Masters Projects that fulfill the degree requirements of the PABS Master of Biotechnology program. All MBt students must have at least an aggregate of 12 weeks of full time (480 hours) experience working on an assigned project on-site in a pharmaceutics, biotechnology or medical device engineering business.


The PABS MBt Applied Masters Project is a capstone element of the MBt degree program. The project should build on the industrial experience gained by the student in the course of the PABS curriculum and internship, and further enable the student to:

  • Experience firsthand the nature of the business workplace in his or her area of expertise.
  • Apply knowledge acquired from previous training and academic experience to a practical problem at the workplace.
  • Acquire additional skills and knowledge related to the business environment.
  • Plan and carry out work that is useful to the sponsor site and to the student.
  • Produce a written analytical report of the work completed./li>
  • Be able to clearly and succinctly explain the outcome and results of the assigned project to industry professionals.
  • Interact regularly with industrial professionals and become knowledgeable about their skills, work responsibilities and requirements.
  1. Professional Behavior

    Project Placement: PABS students will be placed for the most part in projects that are prearranged with industrial partners. A few of the PABS industrial partners will recruit students on a competitive basis. All PABS MBt students are required to dress and act professionally, be on time and be fully engaged at all times on the worksite. Further, they are to conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards, and to positively represent the PABS MBt program.
  2. Projects at Employment Sites

    Students can receive project credit at their sites of employment under the following circumstances:
    • The location of the project is approved by the ICCT and the PABS MBt Program Director
    • The student is assigned to a new area of responsibility (e.g. different department) for the duration of the project. Students cannot receive credit for their regular jobs and must be allowed to have the opportunity to learn new skills and obtain new knowledge
  3. Site Supervision

    The project site mentor will work in conjunction with the PABS Program Director to monitor the student. The site mentor and the PABS Program Director will communicate on a weekly basis to review the performance and progress of the student. The comments and contents of these updates will be logged by the Director, and made available to the student and Intercampus Coordination Team members upon request. A fellow MBt student may not act as a mentor to a classmate. In addition, projects from industrial partners are considered confidential in nature. Students will often be required by project sponsors to sign a formal nondisclosure agreement in order to protect the intellectual property of the project sponsor.
  4. Intellectual Property and Confidentiality

    The full project report, containing potentially confidential information, will remain in the possession of the sponsoring company. A second report, written without any proprietary information, will be assembled after the formal project presentation and defense. This second, "public" copy of the report will be retained by the PABS Program Director in the program offices at CSU Fullerton. In addition, a .pdf version of the public copy will be made available to the Biological Science department of the student's home campus.
  5. Compensation

    Compensation for projects is allowed, but not the responsibility of the California State University, or the PABS MBt program.
  6. Liability

    Neither the California State University System, nor the PABS MBt program can assume worker's comp liability the student for off-campus activities; which must be covered by the project-sponsoring business. Alternatively, low cost insurance is available at each of the PABS campuses, and may be paid by the student if the sponsoring company will not cover this cost.
  1. Hours and Credits

    Students must complete 480 work hours minimum at an approved project site. The student should sign up for the appropriate course at his or her campus in the fall semester/quarter following the project to obtain the units of course credit for the project as follows:
    Campus Course Units
    Fullerton BIOL597 Fall Semester: 3, Spring Semester: 3
    Pomona BIO500 Fall Qtr: 3, Winter Qtr: 3, Spring Qtr: 3
    Los Angeles BIOL599 Fall Qtr: 3, Winter Qtr: 3, Spring Qtr: 3
  2. Project Requirements
    1. Identification of an appropriate MBt project site, mentor and project committee.
    2. Development of Learning Objectives and a Project Plan prior to the start of the project. These objectives must be pre-approved by the PABS Program Director. After approval, the Objectives and Plan must be signed by the student, mentor, and PABS Program Director.
    3. Completion of the Project Memorandum of Understanding with signatures documenting approval by the student, mentor, and PABS Program Director.
    4. Completion of the Student Consent Form with signature by the student.
    5. Completion of on-site project.
    6. Completion of Student Evaluation of Project, and Mentor Evaluation of Student. These will also be emailed to the mentor and student prior to the end of the project.
    7. Submission of the Project Portfolio that includes the Project Memorandum of Understanding with the final signatures from the site mentor, student and PABS Program Director documenting completion and Project and Presentation Evaluation Forms, completed, signed and dated by all committee members.
    8. Oral Presentation of the project to Project Committee.
  3. PABS Project Learning Objectives

    The PABS Applied Masters Project learning objectives are intended to optimize the student and sponsor's project experience. PABS has established that the Student Learning Objectives (SLO's) should be met in the process of completing the project. The activities carried out by the students will vary with the needs and activities of the project sponsors, however, PABS requests that project activities be directed at achieving as many of these objectives as possible. In order to accomplish this, several weeks prior to the start of the project, the student and the site mentor should meet to plan out the project activities. Activities must be achievable and measurable, and their descriptions should be as specific as possible. Use words such as "describe", "recognize", "identify", "employ", "interpret", "apply", "analyze", "compare", "design", "create", "evaluate", or "manage". The PABS Program Director will assist the site, if necessary, in writing up these activities.
  4. Project Deviations

    In some cases business circumstances may prevent the completion of the original project. In this situation, students must work with site mentors to identify an alternative project to replace that. In such cases, the student under the guidance of the site-mentor, must complete a "PABS AMP Project Deviation Memorandum". This document must be approved by the project committee, PABS Program Director, and Biology Department Chair prior to the student's commencing work on an alternative project.
  1. Committee
    1. The AMP Committee shall consist of at least one Industrial Mentor, and at least one faculty member from the student's home campus, preferably with experience in the project topic, and the PABS Program Director.
    2. The AMP Committee shall be responsible for project and student oversight and evaluation.
  2. Student Time Line of Responsibilities
    1. Apply and interview to appropriate AMP-sponsoring companies, as directed by the PABS Program Director.
    2. When site selection is confirmed, work with the site mentor to develop and finalize the Learning Objectives and Project Plan to accomplish these objectives (student, site mentor and PABS Program Director should review and sign this document).
    3. Complete all necessary forms:
      1. Project Memorandum of Understanding
      2. Student Learning Objectives Activities
      3. Student Consent Form
    4. Make final work schedule arrangements and set a project start date. Inform PABS Program Director of your schedule and start date.

    Important Note: All PABS MBt students must represent the University and themselves in a professional manner and must adhere to the rules and regulations of the project site. Should there be a problem that cannot be satisfactorily resolved with your site supervisor, consult with the PABS Program Director.

  3. Site Mentor
    1. Help develop approve and sign the Learning Objectives prior to the start of the project.
    2. Provide initial signature for the Project Memorandum of Understanding.
    3. Make all needed arrangements for the student experience.
    4. Ensure that the student has physical space at the site.
    5. Ensure that the student is actively involved at the site.
    6. Provide orientation, guidance and supervision to the project student.
    7. Monitor the progress of the student and communicate developmental needs.
    8. Provide evaluations of the student. One face-to-face evaluation should be done mid way through the project and one at the conclusion of the project.
    9. Provide the final completion signature for the project Memorandum of Understanding.
    10. Contact the PABS Program Director if any problem arises that is not resolved after meeting with the student.
Last Updated: May 29, 2014