Applying for Admission
Finances and Funding
Clinical translational science examines the connections between basic laboratory science and clinical treatment practice. A clinician seeing different results from the same treatment administered to different populations can investigate the reason for the difference by studying the scientific basis of the treatment in the lab. Conversely, a researcher conducting basic science can look at clinical applications for the research findings.
The University of Arizona offers the M.S. and Ph.D. in CTS at both its main Tucson campus and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Students in one location can also take some courses offered on the other campus that are taught online or using a video-link between campuses.
Most CTS students do "bench-to-bedside" research - i.e. research in a laboratory that generates knowledge which can be translated into improvements in diagnosis, treatment or public health practice. However, the CTS program also offers a Clinical Research track for its M.S. degree, in which students learn to design, conduct and analyze the results of clinical research studies.
There is a growing demand for trained physician-scientists and clinician-scientists in many areas of modern health science. Clinical translational scientists may work in an academic setting or in industry, helping to further understanding of the scientific bases for effective clinical treatments for a wide range of diseases and health concerns.
Applying for Admission
The CTS graduate program welcomes applications from post-baccalaureate and postgraduate students. A post-baccalaureate student is one who has completed a bachelor’s or non-terminal master’s degree (e.g. M.P.H.) in a science or health sciences discipline. A postgraduate applicant is someone who has already earned a terminal health sciences degree such as an M.D., Pharm.D., D.N.P. or D.P.H.
An application for admission to the CTS graduate program (for either the Ph.D. or M.S.) must be submitted via the Graduate College’s online GradApp system. To begin an application, click here.
All applicants must supply transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, a current CV or resume, a personal statement of interest in the program, and two letters of recommendation that attest to their ability to complete a graduate research degree program. In addition, a post-baccalaureate applicant must take the GRE (Institution Code for UA: 4832). Further, an international applicant from a non-English speaking nation must provide a score from the TOEFL or IELTS exam to demonstrate English proficiency.
Applications are accepted for admission in either Fall or Spring semester each year. Students who begin the program in Fall may have funding opportunities not available to Spring admits.
The CTS Admissions Committee recommends applicants for admission to the Graduate College. The Graduate College then processes the admission decision and notifies the applicant of the offer of admission. Applicants for Fall admission can expect to hear the admission decision by approximately the end of May. Spring applicants can expect to hear the admission decision by approximately mid-December.
There are some specific courses required for either the Ph.D. or M.S., but other coursework can be customized with your faculty mentor’s approval. The required courses for post-baccalaureate or postgraduate students for both degrees can be found in the CTS Graduate Program Handbook, available at https://cts.a4d.arizona.edu/programs/forms. Aside from these course requirements, you may take any courses offered in the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy or Nursing that your faculty mentor agrees will benefit you. Ph.D. students also choose a minor and take courses in that area as recommended by their minor faculty advisor.
Once you select your faculty mentor, you will work with him or her to decide the topic for your dissertation or thesis research. You will conduct an original research project with guidance and support from your mentor. The research you do will likely be related to your mentor’s research, but your project will be your own.
In addition to the research you conduct, your CTS coursework will provide training in research ethics, biostatistics, presentation skills, grant writing and general understanding of the interplay between basic science and clinical practice.
All CTS students are encouraged to prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The final Ph.D. dissertation or M.S. thesis may be presented as one or more manuscripts along with brief contextual information if you have prepared or published manuscripts about your research.
Finances and Funding
The CTS program is not able to support all students, but most students do gain employment or other funding through their faculty mentor. Domestic Ph.D. students (i.e. those with U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status) are normally funded by the CTS program for their first year in the program, dependent on availability of funds. For the second and subsequent years, a domestic Ph.D. student's funding is expected to come from the faculty mentor. M.S. students and international Ph.D. students are not funded by the CTS program, but may be funded by the faculty mentor or may seek other employment at UA to offset the costs of attendance.
University of Arizona benefits-eligible employees may take advantage of the Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) program, which greatly reduces the cost of tuition. Information about the QTR program can be found on the UA Human Resources site.
Any student who is not using QTR pays tuition at a rate determined by their Arizona residency status. The Residency Classification office determines a student’s residency status used for calculation of their tuition. Information about qualifying for Arizona resident (i.e. “in-state”) status is found on the Registrar’s web site.
Every CTS Ph.D. student prepares a grant application for a NIH NRSA award as the written comprehensive exam for the program. All CTS students, including M.S. students, are encouraged to apply for external grants. The CTS faculty mentor and the CTS Director of Graduate Affairs will assist a student in preparing any appropriate grant application.