Curriculum & Courses
Thirty credit hours will be required to graduate from the program. Students must take at least 20 credits of core and elective classroom courses. In addition, students will enroll for at most 10 credits for their mentored clinical research projects. The expected time to completion of the MSCI degree is two years.
The curriculum for the MSCI program begins in July with a four-week intensive introductory session. Students in both tracks take a group of common core courses in epidemiology, data management, bioethics, biostatistics, and genetics. After completing the summer session, students participate in additional core and elective courses in fall and spring semesters. Our courses are described under the School of Medicine Clinical Research Center (MDCRC) heading in the University of Utah Catalog. The majority of fall and spring class meetings starting at 5:30 pm to reduce time conflicts with clinical responsibilities. Each clinical investigation student may tailor his or her program of study to fit individual research interests and goals and may include courses offered by other departments with complementary curricula, namely human genetics, oncological sciences, biomedical informatics, or public health.
A student starting the program will identify a primary research mentor within his or her department or area of clinical expertise. Students will be responsible for identifying two additional University of Utah faculty members to serve with their mentor on their MS degree supervisory committee. The primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of students through the program will lie with the primary research mentor and the committee members. At least one member of the thesis advisory committee should be a faculty member with expertise in research methodology, usually from chosen from the MSCI core faculty.
Because the master's program is intended to train individuals intending to pursue careers as independent clinical investigators, the preferred culmination of the mentored clinical research project will be the preparation and submission of an NIH career development application (e.g. K23, K08) or an equivalent federal or foundation career development grant. With prior approval, a peer-reviewed research paper in a leading journal may be accepted as an alternative culminating graduate project.