MA Stem Cell Program

Overview

Stem Cell DiagramStudents in our Stem Cell Program will earn a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Biological Sciences from California State University, Sacramento.

Our graduate program is designated as a Professional Science Master's (PSM) Program and is in partnership with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Stem Cell Program. The goal of our PSM MA Stem Cell Program is to provide advanced coursework and a cutting edge research experience
 to prepare graduates for success in the stem cell workforce.


This is a "CIRM Bridges" program; the research internship within the program is supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Student research takes place at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures (IRC) and affiliated institutions, located within a few miles of the CSUS campus. Stem cell-related translational research is conducted with participating disease teams, including: heart disease
, traumatic brain injury
, Huntington's disease, swallowing and airway disorders, chronic diabetic wounds
, cancer
, HIV, and more. For more information about research within the UC Davis Stem Cell Program, please click here.

Student coursework is taken at CSUS, with the exception of a GMP course and a week-long intensive stem cell techniques training course.

Please visit our CSUS stem cell blog to read about research performed by previous CSUS stem cell students.

The priority application deadline for the next admission cycle is December 8, 2017.  The final application deadline is February 1, 2018. For consideration, students are strongly encouraged to apply by the December 8, 2017 priority deadline.

Program Highlights:

  • 20-month Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Program
  • 3 semesters of graduate-level classes at Sacramento State
  • 8-month paid research internship at the UC Davis Stem Cell Program supported by CIRM:
    • $2,500/month stipend for the 8-month internship, totalling $20,000
    • 2 semesters of paid tuition during the 8-month internship (please note: CSUS tuition is not supported outside of the 8-month research internship period) 
  • Stem Cell Biology and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Course
  • 1-week intensive stem cell research techniques training course at The Buck Institute for Research on Aging
  • Mentoring from research faculty at UC Davis, academic faculty at CSUS, and senior graduate students
  • Opportunity to contribute to the development of treatments or cures for debilitating conditions

Page Contents 

Who Should Apply?

Commitment to Educational Equity & Diversity in Science

General Program Schedule

Applying to the Program

CSUS Faculty associated with the Stem Cell Program

Who Should Apply?

  • Highly motivated students interested in stem cell-related translational research
  • Students who want to gain skills necessary for a job as a senior research associate in an academic laboratory or biotech company (that performs cell-based studies)
  • Students who are interested in working in other areas related to stem cell-based research or therapies (MS, PhD, or MD)
  • Students with a baccalaureate degree in biology (or closely related field) with 24 units of upper division biological science courses with a grade of C- or better
  • Students who earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper division biology coursework
  • Students who earned a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all biology coursework
  • Students who earned a minimum GPA of 2.5 overall

Commitment to Educational Equity & Diversity in Science

At CSUS we embrace diversity and understand that bringing people of diverse backgrounds together can improve scientific innovation. A prominent goal of the CSUS MA Stem Cell Program is to promote diversity within our program and the broader scientific community. To that end, students who are from underserved and/or underrepresented minority groups or economically disadvantaged backgrounds should feel encouraged to apply.

General Program Schedule

Stem CellsIn the first year of the program, students take graduate level coursework at CSUS in the fall and spring. In the following June, students begin their 8-month research internship, which continues through January. Afterward, students return to classes for their final spring semester, and graduate at the end of the semester (May).

By the end of the first semester (fall) students will have identified and interviewed in research labs of interest within the UC Davis Stem Cell Program (although limited to a list of participating research investigators, students get to choose which research labs to interview and, ultimately, conduct research in). Students will devise a research plan with their UC Davis mentor, and then write a research proposal during the first spring semester, as well as present an “advancement seminar” to a mixed committee of CSUS and UC Davis faculty who determine if the student is qualified to advance into the research internship based on the quality of their work.

After advancement, students begin the summer with a week of intensive training on stem cell research techniques at The Buck Institute Research for Aging. Upon thier return, students begin their research internships in June at their UC Davis labs, as well as participate in a GMP course. During the research internship, students are expected to work 40 hours per week in their host lab (during this period students receive a monthly stipend of $2,500). The research internship ends eight months later in January. Students resume coursework at CSUS in their final spring semester. They will also write their final project report and put together an exit seminar, which is presented to a mixed committee of CSUS and UC Davis faculty during the spring semester.

Students are expected to participate in all scheduled components of the program, including: CSUS coursework, the UC Davis research internship, the STEM regenerative medicine lecture series, and professional development programs. Students must also maintain a GPA of 3.0 in all courswework.

Applying to the Program

Important Dates

The priority application deadline for the next admission cycle is December 8, 2017.  The final application deadline is February 1, 2018. For consideration, students are strongly encouraged to apply by the December 8, 2017 priority deadline.

Application Package Requirements
  1. General Application: submit online through www.csumentor.edu (click "Apply Today" and follow the step-by-step instructions)
  2. Supplementary Application* (under 'Degree Objective' select 'MA Program' and 'Stem Cell Track')
  3. A statement of purpose* (1-2 single-spaced pages)
  4. GRE general test scores* (MUST be submitted by the application deadline)
  5. One set of unofficial transcripts* (for Departmental review process)
  6. One set of official transcripts*
  7. Two letters of recommendation*
*Process for Submitting the Supplementary Application Materials

To submit materials described in #2-7 (supplemental application, statement of purpose, GRE scores, transcripts, and recommendation letters) you must:

  1. Submit an application at Cal State Apply
  2. Wait for an email from Office of Graduate Studies providing you with a Sac State ID
  3. Create a SacLink Account here
  4. Load supplementary documents using your new SacLink account at: https://gradsup.webhost.csus.edu

Please disregard the statement at the end of the Supplementary Application that indicates you should mail the materials to the Graduate Secretary, and instead follow the instructions listed here.


Timeline
  • December 8, 2017—Priority deadline
  • Mid-to-late January, 2018—Applicants who met the priority deadline will be notified if they will be invited to a Skype interview
  • February 1, 2018—Final application deadline; applications will only be reviewed if open spots remain in the program
  • Late February-early March, 2018—Applicants who applied Dec 9-Feb 1 will be notified if they will be invited to a Skype interview

 

CSUS Faculty associated with the Stem Cell Program

CSUS advisors provide continued support for the duration of the program. They serve as readers who provide feedback and guidance for your research proposal and project reports.

  • Lisa Hammersley, PhD (Director of the MA Stem Cell Program, Associate Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics)
  • Rosalee Sprowls, PhD (Stem Cell Program Advisor, Coordinator of the MA Stem Cell Program, Professor of Biological Sciences)
  • Robin Altman, PhD (Stem Cell Program Advisor, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences)
  • Robert Crawford, PhD (Stem Cell Program Advisor, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences)
  • Thomas Landerholm, PhD (Stem Cell Program Advisor, Professor of Biological Sciences)
  • Kimberly Mulligan, PhD (Stem Cell Program Advisor, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences)

For more information about the program, please email Dr. Rosalee Sprowls (sprowls@csus.edu

CIRM logoUC Davis IRC