Master of Science in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations

The Master of Science in Clinical, Biomedical, and Translational Investigations (CBTI) is a joint effort to train medical students, fellows or other health professionals, including faculty and other scientists conducting clinical related research, in clinical research methods to translate clinical, biomedical and technological discoveries into advances in population-based, clinical or basic science research.

The program is available to medical students who have completed their second year of medical school, and pre-doctoral students who are interested in expanding their pre-doctoral training to include methodology associated with conducting translational research. Pre-doctoral students will earn a joint degree (PhD in their research area and an MS in CBTI).

The program is designed to train students, fellows and faculty for future independent research careers in an academic, government or private sector setting. The objective of the MS program is to produce a clinical researcher with either an in-depth knowledge in laboratory methodologies or statistical and analytic skills in population-based, clinical studies or outcomes research. The program gives students a solid background in the methodological aspects of translational research, and in statistical thinking as applied to molecular epidemiology, as well as a solid grounding in biostatistical, epidemiological methods, and community based intervention strategies.


MS in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations curriculum at-a-glance

Core Cousework

Typically completed in 2 years, the 29-unit degree consists of didactic course credit (minimum 15 units), directed research (1-12 units) and a master’s thesis (4 units). Core courses vary based on the track selected.

Because the background and interests of applicants varies widely, the director will consult with each student prior to the first year in order to design an individual development plan (IDP) with recommended courses. At the end of the first year, the trainee must submit a final program plan to the Director. This will summarize the courses taken, the proposed thesis title, and the names and credentials of the MS thesis committee. One of the members of the MS thesis committee will be the trainee’s research adviser and will serve as the chair of the committee. At least one member of the thesis committee must be from outside the student’s department. For faculty, at least two members of the thesis committee must be from outside the student’s department.


The program offers ten unique tracks with specialized learning outcomes:

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. The equivalent of one year of full-time effort must be devoted to research leading to a master’s thesis. The thesis provides a structure for the development of a plan to address a research problem and a suitable approach to the analysis and presentation of the results.

Seminars and Workshops

Participation is required in a Recent Advances Journal Club to learn how to read papers critically and develop the speaking skills necessary to explain a research paper. Faculty members in the program rotate as course directors in order to emphasize new topics.

Students are expected to attend the three-day workshop on NIH proposal development and a workshop on the principles of scientific manuscript preparation.

Certificate alternative for SC CTSI's Mentored Career Development K awardees

For those trainees or SC CTSI’s Mentored Career Development K awardees who do not wish to pursue an MS degree, the school offers a certificate in clinical, biomedical, and translational investigations (CBTI). The certificate program requires completion of 12 credits, and a minimum of six months of practical research experience working on a research project (PM 590) approved by either an Oversight Committee or the CETCD’s K and T Award Committee Review Process.