Admissions Procedures and Requirements - CTS Ph.D. and M.S.

Prior to Applying

Prospective applicants unfamiliar with clinical translational science should review the information in our FAQ.  All applicants are encouraged to review the requirements for the degree they wish to pursue in the CTS Graduate Program Handbook and to contact the CTS Director of Graduate Affairs with any questions prior to applying.  We recommend that applicants also review the research being conducted by faculty on the Tucson or Phoenix campus and contact potential mentors to discuss research opportunities prior to applying.  Applicants should identify faculty of interest in their application; any prospective offer of a research rotation or mentorship will considerably strengthen the application. 

General Admission Requirements

All applicants must supply transcripts, a current CV or resume, a personal statement of interest in the program, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation that attest to their ability to complete a graduate research degree program.  An applicant who is recommended to the Graduate College for admission by the CTS program will be reviewed by Graduate Admissions to confirm they meet all of the Graduate College's minimum admission standards before receiving the final offer of admission.

International Students

All international applicants from non-English speaking nations must provide an adequate score on an accepted English proficiency exam to satisfy the Graduate College's admission requirement. Tests must be dated within 2 years of the desired admission semester to be considered current.  (Note that the English proficiency exam score is not required by the CTS application deadline below, but will be required by the Graduate College before final admission is processed for an applicant recommended for admission by the CTS program.)

Please note that the Graduate College requires newly admitted international students to provide a financial guarantee demonstrating they can afford to study in the United States before the student will receive the I-20 form needed to request the student visa from the U.S. embassy or consulate.  An offer of funding from the CTS program or any faculty member may be used to satisfy the financial gurantee.

How to Apply

Applications for admission to the CTS Ph.D. or M.S. program are submitted using the Graduate College’s online application system.  The applicant uploads all supporting materials as part of the online application and identifies at least two people to provide professional letters of recommendation; each recommender will receive an e-mail requesting they upload their letter to the application. 

The applicant will apply to the CTS program on either the Main (Tucson) campus or the Phoenix biomedical campus of the University of Arizona, depending on where they would prefer to study and on which campus offers the best opportunities for finding a faculty mentor.  Note that there are considerably more faculty at the Tucson campus than in Phoenix (though there are also more graduate programs in Tucson with students seeking faculty mentors).

For questions about the application process, please contact Graduate Admissions at For questions about the CTS program's admission requirements, please contact

Admission Application Deadlines

Fall deadline: Domestic Ph.D. applicants (i.e. U.S. citizens or permanent residents) are encouraged to complete their applications for Fall admission by December 15 to maximize funding opportunities. Applications to the Ph.D. or M.S. program can be accepted as late as February 1 for Fall (August) admission.

Spring deadline: Applications can be accepted as late as September 15 for Spring (January) admission.

Note: All application materials, including the minimum two required letters of recommendation, must be received by the stated deadline for the application to be considered.  An applicant may e-mail to confirm their recommenders have uploaded their letters and that the application is complete and ready for consideration.

What We Look For in an Applicant

A qualified applicant to the CTS M.S. or Ph.D. program is one who understands and is pursuing a career in clinical translational science.  The applicant should have at least minimal experience in or exposure to health sciences research in a laboratory or clinical research setting and may have training as a clinician or health sciences professional.  A record of completed research projects and peer-reviewed publications is helpful, but not essential.  Applicants typically will have identified one or more UA faculty members whose research is related to the applicant’s interests as potential faculty mentors.  The CTS Admissions Committee reviews each application holistically to judge whether the applicant would be successful in the program if offered admission.