MS in Clinical Investigation

The focus of the Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation (GPCI) is to provide physicians, clinical scientists, and other health care professionals the knowledge and skills needed to conduct and translate basic science discoveries into clinical applications through patient (human or animal)-oriented research, commonly known as bench-to-bedside research. Patient-oriented research includes the study of disease, therapeutic interventions, development of new technologies, and clinical trials.


Students in the Masters in Clinical Investigation program formulate a research question, investigate a problem or issue, report the results, and discuss the findings and implications of a study. Courses are complemented by research, culminating in defense of a master’s thesis.

By the end of the first semester of coursework, the student initiates a meeting with the major advisor to discuss research topics and project ideas. During subsequent semesters, the student will have further opportunities to develop a research proposal. During the final year of coursework, the student will be conducting the research project, as well as meeting frequently with the major advisor, who will monitor progress and provide feedback. Near the end of the final year of coursework, the student should have completed the project and begun to prepare the thesis manuscript.

Through coursework and research, the MS student works toward the following learning objectives:

  1. Determine when it is and is not appropriate to use a multidisciplinary patient-oriented research design to investigate a therapeutic problem.
  2. Conceptualize and design multidisciplinary patient-oriented research protocols.
  3. Execute multidisciplinary therapeutic intervention studies.
  4. Interpret and report research findings using the expertise of collaborators in multiple disciplines.
  5. Contribute to the leadership of programs that integrate clinical and translational science across multiple departments, schools and colleges, clinical and research institutes, and healthcare delivery organizations.
  6. Translate research from the laboratory to the clinic through technological innovations, such as drug therapies, medical devices or biological materials (“bench to bedside”), as an active participant in a multidisciplinary clinical research team.

The Institute for Clinical and Translational Research governs the MS program jointly with representatives of its academic partners: Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, College of Engineering, and Marshfield Clinic. Faculty members from each academic partner serve as instructors, advisors, and leaders in the MS and PhD programs in Clinical Investigation.

Procedure for Admissions (PDF)
MS Curriculum (PDF)
Funding (PDF)

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