Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Clinical Investigation and Translational Science

The Master of Science degree in Clinical Investigation and Translational Science (MS-CITS) program trains clinicians who are interested in conducting clinical investigations. 

Eligible students include physicians, nurses, dentists, allied health professionals, and currently enrolled UT Health Science Center graduate students. Students will have the opportunity to become expert in the design and conduct of outstanding multidisciplinary, patient-oriented research studies involving direct interaction with human subjects in culturally diverse settings.

The M.S. degree in Clinical Investigation and Translational Science requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours and submission of one full-length research manuscript to a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal. For more information, click here

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have a sufficient educational background in the biological or biomedical sciences. It is expected that most applicants will have a health professional degree (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., Ph.D., or B.S. or M.S. in nursing and/or allied health) or a B.S./B.A. or M.S. degree with emphasis in a health related discipline.

The following general requirements will be applied: 

- A medical, dental, masters and/or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an U.S. equivalent degree and training at a foreign institution as determined by an evaluation from the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) or the World Education Services, Inc. (WES) of the foreign transcripts. 

- A grade point average (GPA) no lower than B (3.00 in a 4.00 system) in the last 60 hours of coursework for a BS/BA degree or a GPA of at least 3.0 for applicants with a MS degree.

- A satisfactory score for the combined verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum of 300 (1,000 for scores prior to August 2011) for the combined scores on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE is required. Scores on GRE tests taken more than five years prior to the date of application will not be accepted. Applicants who have completed a graduate degree in a health-related discipline or an U.S. equivalent degree (if awarded from a foreign institution, in a health-related discipline) (MD, DDS, RN, or PhD) are exempted from the requirement to complete the GRE. 

- A minimum score of 560 on the paper version or 68 on the internet version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 on the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for applicants from countries where English is not the native language. Scores on the TOEFL and IELTS (academic version) tests taken more than two years prior to the date of matriculation will not be accepted.

About The Program

The MS-CITS Program was established in September 2000 – the first class was enrolled in August 2001. The MS-CITS Program is part of the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science, which is funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH/NCATS) (UL1 TR001120). The MS-CITS Program is interdisciplinary and involves all five UT Health Science Center Schools.

The course format emphasizes active learning with readings, problem solving, and homework assignments for each week. The assigned work is reviewed and analyzed in weekly sessions with course participants taking the responsibility and lead for initiating the discussions. This web site is constantly evolving to improve communication and support the education mission of the MS-CITS Program (e.g., disseminating course slides and notes). To see the year plan, click here

The MS-CITS courses are highly integrated – i.e., topics taught in one course are concurrently reinforced in others. For example, when case-control study design is taught in the research methodology course, the concurrent sessions in biostatistics focus on the strategies and methods for analyzing case-control studies. Each semester consists of 16 weeks. A total of 30 semester credit hours (SCH) is necessary to complete a Masters program in the University of Texas system (e.g., a class that meets for 1 hour per week for 16 weeks constitutes 1 SCH). The UT Health Science Center Schools Graduate School considers students who are enrolled in 8 SCH per semester as full time.

The scope and sequence of the courses is structured so students will be able to strategically incorporate their learning into their mentored research projects. Responsible Conduct of Patient Oriented Clinical Research is given in the first semester to facilitate the ability of program participants to write consent forms and obtain Institutional Review Board approval. The first semester Patient Oriented Clinical Research Methods and Biostatistics courses cover topics related to cross-sectional and case-control studies - the research designs logistically most likely to be completed during a two-year training program. Scientific writing is positioned in the third semester of the sequence, a time when participants are likely to have original data and are beginning to analyze and write up the results. 

How do I apply to the program? 

To apply to the MS-CITS Program you must complete and submit the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on-line application and all required documentation as listed in the MS-CITS Handbook and on the MS-CITS Applicant Checklist.

Application requirements 

Completed and submitted GSBS online application. Official test scores, transcripts, and foreign transcript translations, mentioned above, should be sent to: Registrar’s Office-Graduate Admissions - MSC 7702 UTHSCSA 7703 Floyd Curl Drive San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900

1. The GSBS online application can be found on the GSBS homepage at

2. Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended. 

3. Course by Course Translation of ALL foreign transcripts to include GPA and U.S. degree equivalency by the ECE or WES agencies. 

4. Official GRE scores taken within the past five (5) years.

5. Official TOEFL or IELTS (academic version) scores taken within the past two (2) years for foreign national applicants.

6. A Statement of Purpose (a.k.a. Personal Statement) (1-2 pages) that includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, long term research and/or career goals, and an indication of the basis for application into the MS-CITS Program including how this program fits into the applicant’s career objectives. The Statement of Purpose should be submitted with the online application to the GSBS.

7. A current curriculum vitae. This should be submitted with the online application to the GSBS.

8. A copy of current visa for foreign national applicants.

9.Copy of U.S. Medical License/Certificate for licensed health care professionals. 

10. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation attesting to the applicant's readiness for graduate level studies in clinical investigation and translational science. These letters should be uploaded to the Recommendation Form by the individual recommenders who will receive an e-mail from the online application system with a link to the Recommendation Form. 

- Residents or fellows in an approved UTHSCSA residency or fellowship program are required to submit one (1) of the three (3) letters from the departmental chair with a statement indicating the availability and approval of release time for the completion of the MS-CITS educational and research activities. 

- Staff employed at The UTHSCSA are required to submit one (1) of the three (3) letters from their authorized supervisor with a statement indicating the availability and approval of release time for the completion of the MS-CITS educational and research activities. 

- Faculty (non-tenured only, includes faculty who are on the tenure tack but have not received tenure) at The UTHSCSA are required to submit one (1) of the three (3) letters from the Chair of his/her department. In addition, the Chair’s letter must have the approval signatures of both the Dean of the school that houses the department and the President of The UTHSCSA. (See the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP), Policy 3.2.5)

How long will it take to earn the degree?

Students enrolling full-time should complete their MS-CITS degree in two years. Students enrolling part-time can expect to complete their MS-CITS degree in three to four years. 5. How many credit hours are needed to earn the MS-CITS degree? A total of 30 semester credit hours (sch) are required to obtain the MS-CITS degree. There are 18 sch of required didactic courses, 1.0 sch of thesis, and typically the remaining 11.0 sch are obtained by taking the research course; however, the MS-CITS elective course sch can also be counted towards the 11.0 sch.

Can I be a part time student?

Students may complete the MS-CITS program as a part-time or full-time student. Part-time matriculation takes longer to earn the MS-CITS degree, but provides the necessary flexibility for students and their divisions to accomplish their clinical and administrative work, while participating in an educational program. All MS-CITS classes are scheduled during the week, Monday through Friday. Class times are subject to change. Typically, classes are held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. as not to break up the work day.

In order to receive the Master of Science Degree in Clinical Investigation you must complete the 30 semester credit hours and submit one full-length research manuscript to a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.

Can I apply if I have a J-1 Visa or if I want to obtain an F-1 Visa?

Yes. However, individuals obtaining an F-1 visa must attend full-time as required by the F-1 visa rules and there are enrollment principles for individuals with J-1 Visa status. Enrollment principles for students with J-1 visa are as follows:

- Enrollment in classes must be incidental to their primary activities for which they came to the UTHSCSA.

- Enrollment must be part-time with no more than 3.0 semester credit hours (sch) of didactic course work.

- The 3.0 sch will be in formal lecture and seminar courses which are “incident to” the purpose of the visa. To request an extension to take more than the allowed 3.0 sch an individual will need to contact the Office of International Services at (210) 567-6241 and speak to your case supervisor.

- Enrollment in the research course must be done under the supervision of your research mentor. The research course must directly relevant to and obtained from the work you are conducting in the United States. The number of research credits allowed per semester will be determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the individual circumstances of the student.

At no time will participation in the MS-CITS program interfere with the timely completion of the duties and responsibilities for which the visa status was granted for admission to the United States. These principles assure that the Federal Rules and Regulations for the visa process are upheld while creating a pathway by which foreign nationals may participate in clinical research education at the UTHSCSA. Acceptance into the MS-CITS Program does not guarantee approval of an applicant’s F-1 Visa. The F-1 Visa must be obtained and the student must be able to begin class within the first two weeks of class or the student will be required to re-apply to the MS-CITS Program

Do I need to have my foreign transcripts translated? 

Yes, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences requires that all foreign transcripts be translated by providing a listing of all courses taken and the cumulative grade point average. Approved credentialing agencies can be found on the Office of International Services (

What is the GRE and am I required to take it? 

The GRE is the Graduate Record Exam. More information can be found at The GRE is required by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. However, the MS-CITS Program will waive the GRE for applicants who have completed a graduate degree in a health related discipline (e.g. M.D., D.D.S., R.N., or Ph.D.).

Donald M. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Director and COGS Chair, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation and Translational Science Program  

Contact Information:
Lora Tumlinson

Academic Programs Coordinator
(210) 567-4631 

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Application Deadline:
Spring/October 1
Fall/April 1

Students requiring F-1 or J-1 visa:

Fall/February 1

Program Handbook:
MS Clinical Investigation and Translational Science Graduate Program Handbook

Want to learn more about students in the program?