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Clinical Research

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The Campus on Villa La Jolla
8950 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite A-212
(858) 534-9164

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Program Description

The master of advanced studies (MAS) in clinical research offers a broad-based curriculum in clinical research methodology and integrates classroom instruction with practical training to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce valid, credible research. Linking the academic and professional scientific communities, the program is appropriate for physicians, pharmacists, nurses with advanced training, psychologists, and biomedical scientists employed in biomedical firms, hospitals, and pharmacies. The program aims to accommodate the varying needs of the students through its modular approach to instruction, a year-round schedule, and a choice of general electives organized by tracks.

The MAS in clinical research is a self-supporting degree program with a flexible course schedule designed for working professionals and academics. The program can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. The UC San Diego Graduate Division confers the MAS and the Department of Medicine in the UC San Diego School of Medicine is responsible for the academic management of the curriculum. UC San Diego Extended Studies and Public Programs administers the program and provides student advising and career counseling services.


New students are admitted in the summer quarter of each academic year. Individuals should submit and complete the official UC San Diego online graduate application for admission, the application fee, one set of official transcripts from each institution attended after high school, three letters of professional letters of recommendation, and a current resume or curriculum vitae. The GRE/GMAT is not required; however, it is strongly recommended that candidates possess, or currently be pursuing, a graduate degree in a scientific or health-care related field and also have some level of experience in scientific or clinical research. In some instances, candidates without an advanced degree may be admitted to the program if they have demonstrated substantial professional experience in the field at increasing levels of responsibility. Applications are usually due in early fall/late winter for summer admission. Please refer to the program website ( for current information on application due dates and other admission details. 

Program of Study

The master’s degree program is designed to be completed in twelve to thirty-six months, depending upon a participant’s time to devote to the program. Classes are typically scheduled in the late afternoons and evenings. The forty-unit degree comprises thirty-four units of required courses, which includes twenty units of core clinical courses, four units of experiential learning (to be taken twice at two units per course), four units of professional development seminar (to be taken twice at two units per course), two units of general elective course, four units ISP (Independent Study Project) seminar series (to be taken twice at two units per course), and two units of an ISP. Students are also required to take four units of advanced statistics electives and two units of general electives as indicated below. Students will be required to receive a “B–” or higher in all courses where a letter grade is required. Students who receive a C+ or lower or an unsatisfactory grade (if grading option allows), must retake the course so a passing grade is obtained.

Core Courses

  • Epidemiology I, CLRE 251 (2)—winter and summer quarter
  • Epidemiology II, CLRE 257 (2)—spring and fall quarter
  • Patient Oriented Research I, CLRE 250 (2)—winter and summer quarter
  • Patient Oriented Research II, CLRE 256 (2)—spring and fall quarter
  • Scientific Communication Skills, CLRE 259 (2)—winter and summer quarter
  • Biostatistics I, CLRE 253 (2)—winter and summer quarter
  • Biostatistics II, CLRE 254 (2)—spring and fall quarter
  • Health Services Research, CLRE 252 (2)—winter and summer quarter
  • Data Management and Informatics, CLRE 255 (2)—spring and fall quarter
  • Translational Research Fundamentals, CLRE 236 (2)—summer and winter quarter

Experiential Learning Courses:

  • Experiential Learning in Clinical Research, CLRE 270 (2)—summer and winter quarter
  • Qualitative Research, CLRE 232 (2)—winter quarter
  • Applied Translational Research, CLRE 238 (2)—fall and spring quarter
  • Applied Translational Research II, CLRE 239 (2)—summer quarter
  • Translational Regenerative Medicine, CLRE 237 (2)—winter quarter
  • Designing Research for Diversity and Community Engagement, CLRE 240 (2)—fall quarter

Additional Core Courses:

  • Independent Study Project (ISP) Seminar Series A, CLRE 295A (2)—fall and spring quarter
  • Independent Study Project (ISP) Seminar Series B, CLRE 295B (2)—summer and winter quarter
  • Professional Development in Clinical Research, CLRE 258 (2)—topics vary; please check with the program on quarterly offerings.

Advanced Statistics Electives—four units required

Please note that courses you select to satisfy the advanced statistics requirement cannot be used toward the general elective requirement.

  • Longitudinal Data Analysis, CLRE 263 (2)—winter quarter
  • Clinical Decision Analysis, CLRE 264 (2)—fall quarter
  • Advanced Regression Methods, CLRE 265 (2)—fall quarter
  • Bioinformatics Applications to Human Disease, MED 263 (4)—winter quarter
  • Principles of Biomedical Informatics, MED 264 (4)—fall quarter
  • Statistical Concepts for Biomedical Research, MED 268 (4)—fall quarter
  • Machine Learning and Predictive Analysis in Biomedical Research, CLRE 267 (2)—spring quarter
  • Social Network Analysis, CLRE 234 (2)—summer quarter

Independent Study Project, CLRE 297—two units required

(Offered every quarter, but typically completed in last quarter of study.)

General Electives—varies, two units required

Students are required to take a minimum of two units of electives. Students may select their two units of course work from any one or more of the elective categories below.

Group 1: Translational Research
  • CLRE 237. Translational Regenerative Medicine (2)
  • CLRE 238. Applied Translational Research (2)
  • CLRE 239. Applied Translational Research II (2)
  • CLRE 240. Designing Research for Diversity and Community Engagement (2)
  • CLRE 260. Directed Studies in Clinical Research (2)
  • CLRE 270. Experiential Learning in Clinical Research (2)*
  • MED 224. Molecular and Cellular Basis for Disease (3)
Group 2: Biostatistics/Data Analysis/Biomedical Informatics

Selected course(s) must not have been taken previously for advanced statistics requirement.

  • CLRE 234. Social Network Analysis (2)
  • CLRE 260. Directed Studies in Clinical Research (2)
  • CLRE 263. Longitudinal Data Analysis (2)
  • CLRE 264. Clinical Decision Analysis (2)
  • CLRE 265. Advanced Regression Methods (2)
  • CLRE 267. Machine Learning and Predictive Analysis in Biomedical Research (2)
  • CLRE 270. Experiential Learning in Clinical Research (2)*
  • MED 263. Bioinformatics Applications to Human Disease (4)
  • MED 264. Principles of Biomedical Informatics (4)
  • MED 262. Current Trends in Biomedical Informatics—seminar format (1)
  • MED 267. Modeling Clinical Data and Knowledge for Computation (2)
  • MED 268. Statistical Concepts for Biomedical Research (4)
  • MED 269. Clinical Decision Support Systems at the Point of Care (4)
Group 3: Clinical Research Leadership and Management
  • CLRE 230. Digital Health (2)
  • CLRE 231. Implementation Science (2)
  • CLRE 232. Qualitative Research (2)
  • CLRE 233. Regulatory Science (2)
  • CLRE 235. Team Science (2)
  • CLRE 258. Professional Development in Clinical Research (2)
  • CLRE 260. Directed Studies in Clinical Research (2)
  • CLRE 266. CER/Comparative Effectiveness Research (2)
  • CLRE 268. Behavioral Science Research (2)
  • CLRE 270. Experiential Learning in Clinical Research (2)
  • FPM 246. Occupational and Environmental Health (2)
Group 4: Global Health Research
  • CLRE 260. Directed Studies in Clinical Research (2)
  • CLRE 270. Experiential Learning in Clinical Research (2)*
  • FPM/MED 267. Emerging Global Infectious Diseases (2 or 4)
  • FPM 270. Cultural Perceptions about Health/Disease (4)
  • MED 224. Molecular and Cellular Basis for Disease (3)