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GHIT Emphasis

Program Overview

The MS in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) degree program provides classroom and mentored experience in clinical research and innovation, preparing its trainees for careers in academic medicine, the allied health sciences, and global health related fields. The program prepares trainees to be competitive investigators and collaborators capable of gaining extramural funding for their projects. The curriculum of the MSCI focuses on the theories, models, competencies, methods, and tools used to conduct bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-community translational research.

Candidates for the MSCI degree will elect one of three tracks:

  • Track 1(Med into Grad) emphasizes the inherited basis of human disease, mechanism-oriented clinical research, and bench-to-bedside translational research.
  • Track 2 (Clinician Scientist) emphasizes epidemiology, health services research, and bedside-to-community translational research.
  • Track 3 (Global Health Innovation and Technology) emphasizes human-centered design, principles of innovation, and global translational research.

The MSCI program is also designed to support mentored research and innovation capstone experiences at campus sites at the University of Utah School of Medicine and its global collaborators.


The MSCI is a post-graduate program intended for individuals who seek training to pursue research with a clinical emphasis and have or are studying toward an MD, DO, DMD or PhD degree. The program is also open to individuals with engineering or business degrees who are involved in health care systems and those with doctoral degrees in clinical areas, such as nursing, physical therapy, and pharmacy.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Qualified individuals who are not earning an MSCI degree may register for MSCI program courses (MDCRC course listings) with the permission of the course instructor. Non-degree students may include graduate students in other health sciences programs, as well as University of Utah faculty, fellows, and staff.

Class Meeting Times

MSCI courses are offered in all academic semesters.  Track 1 and 3 students will normally start their program studies in fall. Track 2 students commence studies in a  four-week summer intensive session starting in July. For 2022, the summer session dates will be Monday, July 11th through Friday, August 5th. The summer intensive introductory session courses meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the day. Since many track 2 students have clinical responsibilities, the majority of track 2 fall and spring courses are scheduled to start after the workday at 5 pm or later. The expected time for completion of MSCI requirements is two years.

Please see Schedules on our Current Student Information page or in the University of Utah Catalog for information regarding specific class meeting times.

Program Requirements

  • Didactic coursework (20 graduate level credits; 5000 level or higher): For every 1 hour of face-to-face classroom time, University of Utah students are expected to spend an additional 3 hours completing required readings and/or assignments outside of class. Thus, for every 3 credit hour course, the expectation is 3 hours of class time plus 9 hours of outside class work per week for the duration of the semester
  • Research (10 masters level credits): MSCI candidates are expected to spend at least 4 hours per week engaged in research or innovation work per research credit hour for each semester they are registered for research credits.
  • Required Conferences: All MSCI students are required to attend and present their research in progress during the annual CTSI Translational Research: Engagement and Training Symposium (TREATS), a day long event held in November of each year. Each Track has additional presentation requirements.  Track 1 students are required to attend and present at monthly U2M2 Special Topics meetings.  Track 2 students are required to attend and present in the monthly Translational Research in Progress (TRIP) sessions. Track 3 students are required to attend the Bench to Bedside (B2B) program lecture series and the April competition night.

Program Application Process

Each applicant must submit:

  • Application to the University of Utah Graduate School
  • Previous transcripts
  • Statement of purpose: Describe your career status, reasons for applying to the program, and career development objectives; identify your areas of interest in clinical investigation and outline ideas for one or more possible research projects that you will pursue during your MS training.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required. One of these letters for Tracks 1 and 2 must be from the faculty mentor at the University of Utah; this is the researcher who has committed to providing research mentorship for the applicant’s degree research. For Track 2 applicants this letter should state that the MSCI protected time statement has been reviewed and accepted.
  • Curriculum vitae

How Do I Apply?

1.  Contact us

Send an email to, to let us know who you are and that you will be applying.  This is especially important for Track 1 students who are currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Utah.

2.  Arrange for transcripts

Have your transcripts sent to the University admissions office. Do this early because delay in receiving transcripts will hold up the University admissions process. Have official transcripts mailed to:

University of Utah, Admissions Office 201 South 1460 East, Room 250S Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9057

3.  Complete the online application

Fill out the University of Utah 'Apply Yourself' online application. On the program information page under "Program of Interest", select Clinical Investigation MS as your intended graduate program and degree.

With the application you will upload (as a .doc or .pdf):

  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Your CV
  • Your statement of purpose (see above), and
  • Names of individuals who will provide "letters of reference", which for this program should be the letters committing mentorship and protected time as described above.

You are not required to complete your online application in one sitting. The application allows you to save your application and return later to continue.

4.  Have recommendation and protected time letters sent

Request that these letters (see above for description) are sent electronically via the ApplyYourself website.


  • Apply for I-20 Certificate of Eligibility

After completing the online graduate student application (Step #3), students must then apply for an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. An I-20 is necessary to apply for an F-1 student visa through a U.S. Consulate abroad or to maintain F-1 student status in the United States. The University of Utah begins processing I-20 Certificates of Eligibility for students after they have been admitted.

To learn how to apply for the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility, please visit:

  • Apply for F-1 Student Visa

Once you have received your I-20, you can apply for your F-1 visa. To acquire this, you must fill out the online visa application, pay the non-refundable application fee, and schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (excluding citizens of Canada and Bermuda.)


  • Only students with a new SEVIS number are required to pay the fee - Print the receipt as proof of payment for your visa interview

Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee


Once completed, print the application form confirmation page to bring to your visa interview - You will be required to upload a photo to complete the application

Online Visa Application


Schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Be sure to take all required documents with you to the interview, including:

- Passport - Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DA-160) - Application Fee payment receipt - I-20 Certificate of Eligibility - Additional documents may be required. Review instructions on the website of the Embassy or Consulate where you will apply.

7 - Register for International Student Orientation

All international students (F-1 or J-1 student visa) are required to attend International Student Orientation during their first semester at the University of Utah. Additionally, students who have not been enrolled at the University for three consecutive semesters or more must attend this orientation again. For more information, please visit the International Student and Scholar Services website.

Curriculum & Courses

Credit Hours

A total of 30 credit hours will be required to meet graduation requirements for the MSCI degree. 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 capstone projects. The expected time to completion for the MSCI degree is two years.


The curriculum for the MSCI program begins in July for Track 1 and 2 candidates with a four-week intensive introductory session and in August for Track 3 candidates with a six-week intensive introductory session. Students in all tracks take a group of common core courses in epidemiology, data management, bioethics, and biostatistics. After completing the introductory sessions, 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/innovation interests and goals and may include courses offered by other departments with complementary curricula, namely human genetics, oncological sciences, biomedical informatics, global health innovation or public health.

Supervisory Committee

MSCI degree candidates 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. At least one member of the Supervisory Committee should be a faculty member with expertise in research methodology or global innovation, usually from chosen from the MSCI Core Faculty. The primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of students through the program will lie with the primary research mentor and the committee members.

Research/Innovation Project

Because the Master's program is intended to train individuals to pursue careers as independent investigators, the culmination of the mentored capstone project will be either a peer-reviewed research paper ready for submission to a leading journal or the analysis of their preliminary data prepared for an NIH career development application (e.g. K23, K08) or an equivalent federal or foundation career development grant. Track 3 candidates are expected to present a functional prototype with detailed project report, the results of testing an innovation product, or a patent application such as 510k submission. 

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