Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Clinical Research M.S.

School of Public Health - Adm
School of Public Health
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
School of Public Health, MMC 819, A395 Mayo Memorial Building, 420 Delaware Street, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-626-3500 OR 1-800-774-8636, Fax: 612-624-4498)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 38
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The MS in clinical research is a graduate degree as well as a career development path for physician-scientists, clinical scholars, and biomedical researchers. The program trains you to conduct patient-oriented research, directly interacting with human subjects to better understand disease, the development of therapeutic interventions, and the conduct of clinical trials. You will learn how to conduct epidemiologic and behavioral studies and understand issues related to outcomes-based research, and also develop grant writing and data analytic skills.
Program Delivery
  • partially online (between 50% to 80% of instruction is online)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Applicants must have an advanced health professional degree (MD, DDS, DVM, DO, DNP, DC, PharmD, PhD etc) or other advanced doctoral degree in a clinical biomedical field from an accredited university.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students must have completed or must be at an advanced stage of their clinical practice training and be affiliated with someone at the University of Minnesota who can provide advising and access to a clinical project. The admissions committee considers exceptions on an individual basis.
Special Application Requirements:
The M.S. has specific application requirements including an advanced health professional degree, and training sufficient to be eligible for a license to practice as supported in the form of an official transcript. One of the three required recommendation letters and a completed School of Public Health Recommendation form should be from the clinical director of training supporting the applicant's potential as a clinical researcher.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 100
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 600
    • Total Score: 7.0
    • Final score: 80
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 26 major credits, 2 to 4 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 26 to 32 major credits and 6 to 12 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:There are two options for capstone project: 1) A manuscript, for which the student is the first author who contributes to the design and analysis presented, and which is to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal in the student's field. The manuscript cannot be a review article; however meta-analysis and formal systematic reviews are allowed. 2) A grant proposal, for which the student is Principal Investigator (PI) at the standard national institute grant mechanism level of R21, R03 or higher (example, R01), to be submitted to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Students' choices regarding the topic and scope of their capstone project must be approved by the advisor and director of graduate studies.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
Students must complete both sessions of the University's Responsible Conduct of Research course, validated by ORTTA. Students also must complete the NIH's online training, Protection of Human Research Subjects, validated by electronic certificate upon successful completion.
Required Coursework
All students take the following courses:
PUBH 6301 - Fundamentals of Clinical Research (3.0 cr)
PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I (4.0 cr)
PUBH 6451 - Biostatistics II (4.0 cr)
PUBH 6742 - Ethics in Public Health: Research and Policy (1.0 cr)
PUBH 6250 - Foundations of Public Health (2.0 cr)
PUBH 6307 - Clinical Epidemiology (2.0 cr)
Epidemiology options
PUBH 6341 - Epidemiologic Methods I (3.0 cr)
or PUBH 6320 - Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3.0 cr)
Clinical Trials options
PUBH 7420 - Clinical Trials: Design, Implementation, and Analysis (3.0 cr)
or PUBH 7415 - Introduction to Clinical Trials (3.0 cr)
Plan Options
Plan A Requirements
The Plan A curriculum prepares the next generation of clinical researchers and principal investigators. It covers clinical trials, epidemiology, biostatistics, ethics, grant writing, and research methods. Students are trained to conduct patient-oriented, epidemiological, and behavioral research.
Plan A Coursework
PubH 6390: Clinical Epidemiology (2 credits); in consultation with your academic advisor or director of graduate studies.
PUBH 6303 - Clinical Research Project Seminar (2.0 cr)
PUBH 6348 - Writing Research Grants (2.0 cr)
Supporting Coursework
Take at least 4 credits in a related field to meet minimum course credit requirements.
Thesis Credits
Take at least 10 master's thesis credits.
PUBH 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
Plan B Requirements (online)
The Plan B curriculum prepares the next generation of translational, clinical, and outcomes researchers. The flexible curriculum, determined through consultation with mentors and the director of graduate studies, includes a core of required courses covering clinical trials, epidemiology, and biostatistics, supplemented by elective courses in translational sciences, outcomes sciences, health services research, and other areas.
Supporting Coursework
Take at least 6 to 12 credits in a related field to meet minimum course credit requirements, in consultation with your academic advisor or director of graduate studies.
Capstone Project
Take 6 to 10 credits of PUBH 8394, in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies.
PUBH 8394 - Plan B Project: Clinical Research (1.0-10.0 cr)
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PUBH 6301 - Fundamentals of Clinical Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00562
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts of clinical research design/implementation/analysis. Students will learn skills needed for research in humans.
PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Descriptive statistics. Gaussian probability models, point/interval estimation for means/proportions. Hypothesis testing, including t, chi-square, and nonparametric tests. Simple regression/correlation. ANOVA. Health science applications using output from statistical packages. prereq: [College-level algebra, health sciences grad student] or instr consent
PUBH 6451 - Biostatistics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Two-way ANOVA, interactions, repeated measures, general linear models. Logistic regression for cohort and case-control studies. Loglinear models, contingency tables, Poisson regression, survival data, Kaplan-Meier methods, proportional hazards models. prereq: [PubH 6450 with grade of at least B, health sciences grad student] or instr consent
PUBH 6742 - Ethics in Public Health: Research and Policy
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Introduction to ethical issues in public health research/policy. Ethical analysis. Recognizing/analyzing moral issues.
PUBH 6250 - Foundations of Public Health
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
In this course we will examine values, contexts, principles, and frameworks of public health. We will provide an introduction to public health, consider the history of public health, social/political determinants, impact of health disparities on race, class and gender, moral and legal foundations, public health structures, historical trauma and cultural competence, health and human rights, advocacy and health equity, communication and financing, and the future of public health in the 21st century. Grounded in theory and concepts, we will incorporate core competencies and skills for public health professionals and will focus on developing problem solving and decision-making skills through critical analysis, reflection, case studies, readings, and paper assignments.
PUBH 6307 - Clinical Epidemiology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Clinical epidemiology is the science of using population methods to answer individual patient questions. This course in clinical epidemiology will cover the design of epidemiological studies and the analysis and interpretation of epidemiological data in order to answer clinical questions. A variety of study designs methods including cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional study designs will be used. In addition to disease and exposure, the course will cover concepts related to prognosis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The design and analysis of clinical trials is covered in-depth by other courses (e.g. PubH 7420 and 7415) and hence is not covered here. This course is intended for MS students majoring in clinical research. Others including medical students, students in various MS programs, MPH and PhD programs in the School of Public Health and other interested students are welcome to enroll as long as they meet the course requirements. If you have already studied advanced methods in epidemiology or biostatistics or completed Epi Methods II (PubH 6342) or more advanced courses, please do not take this 2-credit course since there will be redundant material. You may contact the instructor to discuss alternative options instead.
PUBH 6341 - Epidemiologic Methods I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02236 - PubH 6320PubH /6341
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to epidemiologic concepts and methods: (1) Study design (randomized trials and observational studies); (2) Measures of exposure-disease association; (3) Casual inference and bias; (4) Confounding and effect modification.
PUBH 6320 - Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course provides an understanding of basic methods and tools used by epidemiologists to study the health of populations.
PUBH 7420 - Clinical Trials: Design, Implementation, and Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to and methodology of randomized clinical trials. Design issues, sample size, operational details, interim monitoring, data analysis issues, overviews. prereq: 6451 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 6451 or 7406 or instr consent
PUBH 7415 - Introduction to Clinical Trials
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Hypotheses/endpoints, choice of intervention/control, ethical considerations, blinding/randomization, data collection/monitoring, sample size, analysis, writing. Protocol development, group discussions. prereq: 6414 or 6450 or one semester graduate-level introductory biostatistics or statistics or instr consent
PUBH 6303 - Clinical Research Project Seminar
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Students will present their thesis and give and receive feedback. Students must have their project underway.
PUBH 6348 - Writing Research Grants
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Focuses on NIH research grants. Mechanisms of grant writing: specific aims, hypotheses, innovation, background, approaches, evaluation analyses, principles of informed consent, budget development, and grant-review process.
PUBH 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]
PUBH 8394 - Plan B Project: Clinical Research
Credits: 1.0 -10.0 [max 10.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Directed research toward completion of culminating experience project in clinical research.