The Graduate School at Missouri Western State University is now accepting applications for a new Master of Applied Science degree program in Industrial Life Science. The first students will enter the program this spring.

“The life sciences industry is a cornerstone of the local economy, and our new master’s program will help prepare graduates for leadership positions in that industry,” said Dr. Ben Caldwell, dean of the Graduate School. “Like all of our Master of Applied Science programs, the Industrial Life Science option will provide advanced training in biology and chemistry while developing workplace skills valued by employers.”

The Master of Applied Science degrees at Missouri Western consist of both discipline-specific academic training as well as cross-training in business and communications.

“The MAS in Industrial Life Science is a great option for current biologists and chemists seeking career advancement as well as recent science graduates looking for a competitive edge as they enter the workforce,” said Dr. Jason Baker, professor of biology and coordinator of the new program. “Our graduates will be well prepared for science careers in business, government and non-profit organizations.”

St. Joseph is a part of the Animal Health Corridor, the single largest concentration of animal health businesses in the world. Companies in the region stretching from Manhattan, Kan., to Columbia, Mo., are responsible for about one-third of the $19 billion global animal health market. More than 20,000 employees work in the corridor, and the need for well-trained workers is increasing, Dr. Baker said. According to a recent survey by the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, nearly 80 percent of the 240 life science companies in the Animal Health Corridor plan to expand in the next three years.

The emphasis on business training makes the Missouri Western program unique, Dr. Baker said.

“The professional core, covering topics like business fundamentals, organizational theory, marketing, economics and communication, totals 18 of the 35 credit hours required to earn the Master of Applied Science in Industrial Life Science,” he said. “The 17 hours in the Industrial Life Science option also includes training in topics like the management of laboratory environments and production issues, quality assurance and intellectual property, topics that other programs pay minimal attention to.”

To be admitted to the program, students must have completed an undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry or a closely related discipline with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Most courses are scheduled after 4:30 p.m. Assistantships and scholarships are available on a competitive basis. For more information, visit or call Dr. Baker at 816-271-4380.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit