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Master of Science in Clinical Investigation

Applications Closed

Applications for Fall 2024 are now closed. us to learn more about the program.

Clinical Investigation Program

The O’Donnell School of Public Health offers the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) degree and the Certificate in Clinical Investigation to equip investigators with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to succeed in academic or industry careers in clinical and translational research.

Graduates will gain the expertise to plan and conduct their own clinical and translational research, disseminate their results, and apply for grant funding. This program is intended for individuals trained in the medical sciences or those who have relevant scientific backgrounds and experiences who are seeking to deepen their knowledge of research design and methodology. Eligible candidates may include physicians, nurses, dentists, medical students, residents or fellows, other health care professionals, and Ph.D. level scientists.

 Charuta Joshi, M.D.

"The overall program has reignited my research passions and urge to take on new areas of study. In particular, the biostatistics course is absolutely eye-opening. This has been truly 'oxygen' for me, as the program has made the transition to a new job easier."

Shanti Pinto, M.D.

"Though I have some prior clinical research experience, I never had any formal education until starting the program. The first-year classes have provided me with a much better understanding about how to develop a clear, concise research proposal that is competitive for external funding and how to manage my research team. These are skills we do not learn during our clinical training but are vital to success as a physician-scientist."

Srinivas Kota, Ph.D.

"As a current student in the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program at UT Southwestern, I have found the curriculum invaluable for building a strong foundation in clinical research. Core courses in research design, biostatistics, grant writing, and ethics have equipped me to develop my own research proposals. The elective courses have also been highly beneficial. I highly recommend this program to fellow engineers interested in transitioning into clinical research."


Our Offerings

Program Credit Hours Time to complete
Master of Science in Clinical Investigation 36 semester credit hours Part time: 18-36 months
Full time: 18 months
Certificate in Clinical Investigation 15 semester credit hours 12-18 months

How to Apply

Learn more about how to apply for the MSCI program at UT Southwestern.

Tuition Reimbursement for UTSW Employees.

UT Southwestern policy EMP-305 (requires VPN) indicates that funds may be available for tuition assistance for those employees who meet the minimum requirements. Please us for inquiries.

Core Competencies

Our program helps students develop strong research skills based on core competencies in:

  • Ethics
  • Study design
  • Conduct of observational studies and randomized trials
  • Clinical epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Scientific communication including manuscripts and grants

What You Will Learn


The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program provides rigorous training in the skills and competencies necessary to plan, conduct, and interpret superior clinical and translational research. Our program provides a comprehensive, individualized, team-science based education in the principles and methods of research and in the skills and strategies required for the development of successful academic careers through a didactic and Socratic curriculum.

The goal of the master’s program is to prepare investigators for a successful career in clinical and translational research. The curriculum includes courses on research training, financial planning, leadership, ethics, and career development. Our program is designed to provide intense research training and career development opportunities in a multidisciplinary setting that culminates in the submission of a publishable manuscript and a completed research project. Trainees acquire competence in critical thinking, team science, leadership, biomedical statistics and informatics, and other disciplines. All program participants are mentored by faculty representing a variety of UT Southwestern departments with team science approaches that spans the spectrum of translational medicine. 

Career-Focused Pathways


An important part of our program is its personally tailored approach. While the required foundational curriculum centers on core clinical research competencies, students have the option to choose their electives specific to individual career needs using career-focused pathways that support study in informatics, community engagement, and health disparities, including multiomics for biomarker and therapeutic discovery and traditional and alternative trial designs. The MSCI program provides the following career-focused pathways:

  • Precision Medicine
  • Interventional Studies
  • Population Health

What You Will Gain

Research Skills

Those completing the MSCI program will be able to:

  • Design, conduct, and analyze clinical and population wide investigations; studies that provide insights into the molecular pathophysiology of disease, therapeutic targets, or biomarkers; or studies using large health care databases 
  • Disseminate and implement research findings 
  • Navigate funding acquisition

Career Development

Students will become leaders in clinical investigation through their experiences: 

  • Join a UTSW community of learners who share experiences and resources 
  • Participate in weekly Socratic seminars for senior and peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Receive mentorship from senior research leaders

Career Path

Upon graduating from this program, our students are well prepared to become independent investigators, pharmaceutical industry leaders, directors of research, or chief medical officers and to advance in clinical and translational science leadership. 

Eligibility and Requirements

Students in the MSCI program complete a structured series of courses, seminars, and workshops related to the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical research. The core curriculum is enhanced with presentations by invited speakers, participation in journal clubs, research in progress seminars, research conferences, and extensive contact with their mentoring teams. 

For the satisfactory completion of a thesis, students must design a research project, defend a formal proposal, perform the described study, and prepare a scholarly scientific paper on the principal study findings. The thesis must be relevant to the student’s career-focused pathway and written in the format of an article suitable for submission to a scientific journal. The initial thesis project and final draft of the research project must be approved by the student’s Thesis Committee. An oral presentation of the findings is required. 

Master of Science of Clinical Investigation Curriculum 

  Minimum hours required
Didactic Curriculum 21
Socratic Curriculum 2
Research Practicum 8-15
Total Degree Plan 36

This includes active participation and regular attendance at seminars, lectures, grand rounds, and visiting professorships. 

Fall CoursesHours
Professionalism, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Ethics I OR  1
Responsible Conduct of Research  
Introduction to Principles & Methods of Clinical & Translational Research  3
Biostatistics I  3
Spring CoursesHours
Professional, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Ethics II OR 1
Ethics in Clinical Science  
Essentials of Management & Leadership 2
Practical Clinical & Translational Research Proposal Development 2
Biostatistics II 3
Epidemiology for the Clinical Investigator 3
Courses Offered in Multiple SemestersHours
Socratic Seminar/Clinical & Translational Science Forum 2
Grant Writing & Funding Strategies 1
Clinical & Translational Research from Proposal to Implementation 1
Research Practicum/Directed Research 8-15
Elective Coursework 3-10
Total Required Hours 36
Fall CoursesHours
The U.S. Health Care System 3
Health Information Technology 3
Evidence-Based Medicine: Decision Support 3
Spring CoursesHours
Data Analytics 3
Summer CoursesHours
Manuscript Writing & Social Media 1
Courses Offered in Multiple SemestersHours
Independent Study 1-3
Special Topics 1-3

Get More Information us to learn more about the program.