CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Extended University student Faisal Minhas worked as a physician in his native Pakistan, but when he relocated to the U.S. with his American-born wife, he wanted to explore other career options.

“Getting a license to practice medicine here is a lengthy process, so I was looking into other options,” Minhas said.

Minhas then discovered CSUCI Extended University’s dual degree program—one of only a handful in the nation—where he could simultaneously earn a Master of Science (MS) in Biotechnology and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). A dual degree in a region rich with biotechnology companies such as Amgen, Baxter, Allergan and hundreds of others, would make Minhas a valuable job candidate, so he enrolled in the fall of 2020.

According to Academic Program Director of the MBA program—Associate Professor of Economics Zhong John Lu, PhD—the faculty of the dual degree program are diverse and have experience beyond their academic credentials.

“They all have a good combination of academic knowledge, and real-world, practical experience,” Lu said. “In fact, many of our faculty members hold full-time, private sector positions, and several are successful business owners themselves.”

Among the faculty members who teach classes for the dual degree program is Business Lecturer Doug Lane, who uses his background in numerous industries to share real-world scenarios with students.

“I’ve found my professional experience in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, finance and management offer an added benefit to students,” Lane said. “I like to detail how my accomplishments are a direct result of education.”

Networking with students, faculty and business professionals is another advantage to pursuing a dual degree, according to student Maximilian Seligman.

“I know how important teamwork is, and through many collaborative projects, I have built strong relationships with my peers and professors that I see lasting a lifetime,” Seligman said.

The  MS Biotechnology/MBA degree program is designed for working adults who want to advance their careers, but need flexibility and convenience, so the program offers Saturday and evening classes, and takes about three years to complete. Many of the classes are online or a combination of online and in-person instruction.

Professor of Biology Nitika Parmar, Ph.D., who is Program Director of MS Biotechnology/Bioinformatics, said coursework covers topics such as molecular biology; genomics; biotech law and regulation; clinical trials and stem cell techniques, to name a few areas.

The MBA courses will range from supply chain management to financial strategy to information technology and more.

An MS Biotechnology/MBA degree allows graduates to enter fields such as research and development; stem cell technology; regenerative medicine; stem cell technology, patent law and academia, to name a few possibilities.

Minhas is still exploring the field that is right for him, but knows a dual degree will qualify him for a number of possibilities.

“I will have the option of going into a lot of industries,” Minhas said. “India is full of biotechnology companies, but in Pakistan, there is not a single biotech company. In Pakistan, I can see a lot of opportunity. Maybe I can get to know some people interested in a startup.”

To learn more about the MS Biotechnology / MBA Dual Degree program, visit website.

Back to Top ↑