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Department of Biology


This section contains the following information:

Internship Overview

  1. Oral Presentation Guidelines
  2. Applying For Internships
  3. National Internship Programs
  4. Tips for Applying to Biotechnology Internships
  5. Frequently Asked Questions - Helpful Hints

Internship Overview

An internship is a form of instruction and learning in off campus learning work sites/sponsor sites. Internships often provide the opportunity to take a peek at what working for a company or in an industry would be like. Learning potential could include learning about career positions and occupations along with the qualities and training required to obtain those positions. One of the major benefits of an internship is how it helps you to develop self-confidence, assertiveness, and basic work habits.

Students should schedule an appointment to discuss placement options. The California State University, Biotechnology Professional Science Master's program works with several companies and organizations. The Biotechnology Program can assist you with who these companies and organizations are and the locations of these work sites/sponsor sites. However, it is the responsibility of each and every student in the Biotechnology Professional Master's program to secure a work site/sponsor site and complete the Industrial Experience component of the program for the award of the degree.

Criteria for completing Industrial Experience (BIOTC 275)
Before the internship begins:

  • Students must enroll in Biotc 275, Biotechnology Industrial Experience, to receive credit for the internship.
  • Before starting their internships students must complete core coursework, including Biol/Chem 241B, Biol/Chem 248, MBA 270 and MBA 272 or MBA 273 and any relevant prerequisite courses.
  • Students must demonstrate biotechnological skills, often by taking a graduate level laboratory course.
  • Students must complete the Graduate Writing Requirement before starting an internship.
  • Students should submit a resume to the Associate Program Coordinator and schedule an appointment with her to discuss it.
  • Most internship opportunities will require site specific applications and interviews.
  • Early in the process of finding an internship, students must obtain approval for a specific internship site with a Program Director. Send the industry name, contact person for the internship, address, phone number and information about the site to the Program Director by email.
  • International students, who have an internship that pays a stipend or wage, must fill out a CPT (Curricular Practical Training) form and submit it to Immigration Services with the International Student Services Office. This must be signed and submitted to Immigration before the internship begins. Meet with the Biotechnology Program Coordinator(s) for details.
  • Letter of Agreement and Internship Code of Conduct Forms must be completed.
  • Checklists for Graduate Students and Industry Sponsors regarding Internships must be completed. The AssociateCoordinator of the PSM program will assist students with these forms and the evaluation processes.
  • Familiarize yourself with university policies regarding off site employment and learning experiences. CSU Fresno is committed to providing a learning environment free of harassment, discrimination, and sexual harassment extending to all remote learning sites.

During and after the internship:

  • Students maintain a log of hours worked that is signed by your work station supervisor at the completion of the internship. A log form will be provided to students upon registration of BIOTC 275.
  • Mid semester check. Stop by the internship office, to let us know how you are doing once you have completed half of the internship. A mid semester check can also be done by sending a one page email. Do not wait until you have completed the course before discussing any concerns or problems. Complete the student evaluation form and turn it in to the Biotechnology Office.
  • Exit Interview: Ask your site supervisor to fill out the employer evaluation prior to exit interview. The evaluation form will be provided to you upon registration and must be turned in at the Exit Interview.
  • At the end of the internship, a student's site supervisor needs to complete an evaluation form for our program. This evaluation form is to evaluate the students work performance during the internship. It is also used to help determine a grade for BIOTC 275.
  • Oral presentations of student's internship activities are required in a session with other students that are completing their internship presentation requirements. Details about the requirements for the presentation are provided below. For other questions, please contact a Biotechnology Program Director.
  • Students are required to complete a written report on their internship to complete the course. This report should be turned into the Program Directors.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the presentations and the report do not violate any confidentiality agreements.

For questions about internships, feel free to contact the Professional Science Master's in Biotechnology Program at or 559-278-2001.


Oral Presentation Guidelines

Graduate students will present the Industrial Experience (internship) to satisfy the requirements for Biotc 275 and as a component of the Master's in Biotechnology. A presentation is required from each graduate student. Students have a maximum 20 minutes for their presentation. We recommend students prepare to present for 15 minutes and leave at least 5 minutes for questions or interaction with the audience. Presentations may be structured in any form that the student feels is most interesting and informative. Students must inform the program a week before the presentation what resources are needed; such as computer, projector, overhead, etc.

Biotechnology Industrial Experience Seminar presentations will be graded in the following categories: Delivery, Content and Internship Work Experience.


  • Clarity and articulation: the graduate presenter is clear, concise and articulate while delivering the information.
  • Exhibiting comfort and relaxation: The graduate presenter exhibits a great deal of comfort and is relaxed in providing the information.
  • Enthusiasm and passion toward the work completed: The graduate presenter exhibits enthusiasm and passion during the presentation toward the work completed.


  • Inclusion of relevant introductory and background content: The graduate presentation provides a thorough introduction to the topic with sufficient background information so all attendees can clearly follow the subject matter.

Internship Work Experience:

  • Connection of topic to Internship Work Experience: The graduate presentation provides a strong and direct connection from the internship work experience, to the exploration and findings relevant to the subject matter.


Applying for Internships

To assist the biotechnology graduate students in their search for internships, there are a number of resources available for students. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain and complete the internship. Below are some of the people and services at Fresno State to assist graduate students.

  • The Associate Program Coordinator for the Professional Science Master's Program at Fresno State
    This coordinator is the primary person for students to contact and meet about internships. To contact the Associate Program Coordinator, please call the Biology Department Office at 559-278-2001 or email When looking for internships, please keep the Associate Program Coordinator informed of your progress.
  • Career Services at California State University, Fresno
    The Career Services Center has a wide variety of programs and workshops to assist students in writing their resumes, learning job etiquette, and preparing for interviews with internship sites. There are also numerous career counselors who can assist students in their internship search. For more information about their services or to set up an appointment, here is the center's contact information:
    Career Services
    Thomas Administration, Room 103
    5241 N. Maple Ave. M/S TA61
    Fresno, CA 93740-8026
    (559) 278-2381; Fax: (559) 278-6483
  • Local Internship Opportunities
    The Biotechnology Program at Fresno State has hosted networking and internship events to foster possible internships for biotechnology graduate students with local biotechnology-related companies. There are a number of internship opportunities in local companies. By attending Career Fairs and meeting the Associate Program Coordinator, students are able to find many local opportunities. For more information about local industries, click on the Biotechnology Industry Partners link within this website.
  • National Companies and Online Internship Searching
    Many biotechnology graduate students apply to national internship programs that are often highly competitive and have specific application deadlines. The following internship programs are not only for biotechnology students, but also biology and other related disciplines. There are also many other programs available. Students use many different sources to find internship opportunities, but finding biotechnology companies and opportunities via online searches is a major source of information.


National Internship Programs

Amgen - University Recruiting Program and summer internships for undergrad and graduate students with applications accepted from January to April

BASF - Summer Internships only available for undergraduates and a University Students' Development Program for both undergrads and graduate students in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Business

Bayer - University Recruiting Program and internships for undergrads and graduate students in Physical and Life Sciences

DuPont - Internship and Co-op Programs for undergrads in Physical and Life Sciences, and for graduate students in Engineering and Business

Genentech - Summer Internship Program for juniors in college and possibly graduate students in Physical and Life Sciences

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories - Summer employment for undergrad and graduate students in Physical Sciences and Engineering. Most positions require U.S. citizenship.

Los Alamos National Laboratory - Internships through their Student Program Office available for undergrad and graduate students

Monsanto - Summer Internship and Co-op Programs for both undergrad and graduate students in Physical and Life Sciences, along with Agricultural Biotechnology

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - University Recruitment for undergrads and graduate students in the Biological Sciences and Environmental Technology
Most positions require U.S. citizenship.

Pioneer - Professional Internship Program for undergraduates and graduate students with a focus in Agricultural Technology
Look under Careers and click on "Student and Post Graduate Programs" for internships

USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) - A variety of internship and fellowships. Requires U.S. citizenship or proof of work permit in U.S. federal government.
Look under the Subject, "Education and Outreach" and then click on Related Topics, "Internships and Scholarships"

The following websites may be useful for students looking for internships or a permanent position in the biotechnology field. These are additional resources for students as they search for national opportunities online.

Bay Area Biotechnology Consortium, Resource Center -

Bio Online: Life on the Net -

Biolink, Internships and Fellowships Listings -

The Biotechnology Institute, Job Links -

Cal Career Center, Internship Opportunities in Biotech -

The Southern California Biotechnology Center -

UC Davis Biotechnology Program, Company Listings -


Tips for Applying to Biotechnology Internships

Here are a few tips when looking for internships:

  1. Make sure to use the resources that are available to you, early and often. Talk with the Biotechnology Program Director, the Associate Program Coordinator, professors, and fellow students about local internship opportunities, as well as learn about how past students obtained internships.
  2. Visit with Fresno State's Career Services and meet with a program advisor about your resume. Your resume is crucial to securing the first interview for an internship position. Your resume should reflect your diverse skills and experience in the biotechnology field, while also highlighting your outstanding communication and leadership abilities.
  3. Begin your internship search months in advance of when you hope to begin your internship. Many summer internships have applications deadlines starting in January or February of that same year. So start looking during the winter break if you're searching for a summer internship!
  4. Investigate and network. You need to investigate as many companies as possible in your field of interest. If you have friends or relatives working or living near companies that interest you, contact them and find out if they know of people you can talk with about internship opportunities.
  5. Remember that there are many opportunities out there for you! Don't only apply to large, big-name companies. Many small, local biotechnology-related organizations are interested in working with interns. Make sure to contact a variety of small and large companies.


Frequently Asked Question - Helpful Hints

Q1. I don't have any experience; can I still apply for an internship?

Yes, an internship is the opportunity needed to gain the experience you need in starting your career. The sought out internship should meet the profile between your studies and the needs of the Sponsor/work site.

Q2. Will I get paid?

Employers determine their ability and resources to pay interns. If the position is paid it will be noted near the position description. Just as a word of advice, seek out internships that will assist you in your career path.

Internships are not part-time jobs but rather learning experiences. If you think of an internship as an applied experience class and not a job the pay will become less of an issue.

Q3. Can I set up my own internship?

Yes, if you have contacts with companies and people who could provide a great internship experience for a business student. The requirements will be the same - the internship must be meet the requirements for the Industrial Experience component of the program that will last a minimum of 320 hours and be under the supervision of an experienced mentor or supervisor. And a fee of $1,000 must be paid to the Department of Biotechnology for the Industrial Experience.

The proposed internship must be approved by the Academic Advisor and acknowledged by the Associate Director.

Q4. Can my current job count as an internship?

In most cases you cannot count a position you are already in for internship credit. If the company you are working for can offer you a new type of position or project related to your studies, there is a possibility it could be applied. Please see the Academic Advisor for consideration.

Q5. Do I have to take an internship for credit?

Yes. To meet the requirements for the Biotechnology Professional Master's program, the Industrial Experience component must be met.