Make the connections between clinical research and patient care with a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from UW-Madison. Return to school part-time while continuing your work as a clinical scientist, MD, DVM, BSN, BSE, or PhD.

Is this program right for you?

A Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from UW-Madison allows you to understand and practice evidence-based research to help tackle the world’s complex research questions—such as those in therapeutics, diagnostics, and preventative health care—and bring solutions to patients.


We designed our program to work with your schedule; most classes are offered on the UW-Madison campus after 4pm or are at least partially available online.


The degree is offered through the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW ICTR), part of a national consortium of patient care and research institutes funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Awards.


The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at UW-Madison is a highly competitive program that requires discipline, motivation, and a great deal of focus. This program is best suited for those with a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, or Doctor of Philosophy. Our students are already working on campus as clinical researchers or scientists.


Your primary concern throughout your master’s program will be the people helped by the research. As part of your application, you will identify a major advisor who monitors your progress and provides feedback.


Learn to design clinical research projects, scale them up or down, assess the ethics of each detail of the research design, create protocols for human or animal subjects, and appropriately pursue evidence for patients. You will gain a broad perspective on the community and clinical outcomes of research, and be part of a uniquely qualified biomedical workforce. You will also complete a master’s thesis that either addresses a significant scientific problem or involves substantial research and is suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


Our faculty value collegiality, collaboration, and interdisciplinary learning. As a master’s student in Clinical Investigation, you gain the research skills sought by employers and by the National Institutes of Health. Most importantly, you help move research out of laboratories and into the hands of medical, veterinary, and other professionals who assist people facing critical medical decisions.


What you Learn

  • Determine when it is and is not appropriate to use a multidisciplinary, patient-oriented research design to investigate a therapeutic problem
  • Conceptualize and design multidisciplinary, patient-oriented research protocols
  • Execute multidisciplinary, therapeutic intervention studies
  • Interpret and report research findings using the expertise of collaborators in multiple disciplines
  • Contribute to the leadership of programs that integrate clinical and translational science across multiple departments, schools, and colleges, in clinical and research institutes, and in healthcare delivery organizations
  • 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 research team

Where & How you learn


  • Hybrid; most courses are offered on campus after 4pm or online


  • Begin your master’s degree in the fall semester
  • By the end of your first semester, initiate a meeting with your major advisor to discuss research topics and project ideas
  • During subsequent semesters, develop your research proposal
  • In your final year, conduct and complete your research project with oversight from your major advisor
  • Also in your final year, write and defend your thesis in front of a three-member degree committee; your thesis can be either a technical report or traditional thesis and must be suitable for potential journal publication (i.e., a publishable/published literature review is not adequate)

Apply Now

All applicants must:

  • Have a background that includes a health professional degree: MD, DO, DDC, PharmD, DVM, PhD, BSN, BS in an engineering field, or other post-baccalaureate degree in a clinical or biomedical field
  • Have an interest in patient-oriented research
  • Provide recommendations from three people, including a major advisor familiar with your background, academic experience, statement of purpose, career goals, and research interests; they should evaluate your potential for graduate study and a career in clinical investigation
  • Submit a detailed, 1-2 page statement of purpose that includes your reasons for wanting to enroll, your educational goals as a graduate student, and your patient-oriented interests and career objectives
  • Submit an up-to-date NIH biosketch or curriculum vitae
  • Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores if you do not have a graduate or medical professional degree from a U.S. institution
  • Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale; international applicants must have a strong academic performance comparable to a B or above-average grade
  • Provide official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended; documents must be issued by the institution with the official seal/stamp and an official signature; international academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation
  • Review the Graduate School’s minimum admissions and English language requirements
  • Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide a Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) proficiency test score

Apply now or visit program website.


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