Masters Program

Program Overview

This two-year, full-time Master’s Program, offered by the Office of International Education housed in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is designed for applicants with

previous clinical training or those in concurrent clinical degree programs, especially those in fellowship programs, postdoctoral training positions, or junior faculty with clinical responsibilities. Over the course of two years, the Master’s Program prepares international medical graduates full-time as well as in a classroom setting with clinical research and teaching skills while also providing exposure to the American healthcare system and culture.

Program Brochure

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Master’s Program Description

As part of the MS in Clinical and Translational Science, students enhance their statistical skills as well as deepen their understanding about epidemiology and study design. Also, students learn to communicate their insights effectively, to write well-conceived and persuasive grant applications and to ensure the ethical treatment of their subjects. As apprentice clinical investigators, they learn how to participate in a broader multidisciplinary research community that includes basic and social scientists, as well as clinicians from other areas of clinical practice. Graduates of the MS in Clinical and Translational Science have the skills to direct a broad range of clinical studies, including the translation both of scientific knowledge into clinical science and of clinical science into practice.

The MS in Clinical and Translational Science consists of three basic components:

  • a multi-disciplinary didactic program,
  • a series of workshops and seminars, and
  • a research project under the mentorship of senior clinical researchers.


The program consists of 22 semester hours of required core coursework in the following areas: quantitative methods, epidemiology, research ethics, research design, and grant writing. Students, with guidance from the program director and advisor, also complete 11 semester hours of electives from a broad array of relevant courses. Finally, students need to successfully complete 16 hours of mentored research to graduate.

Required Courses Hours
BSTT 400 – Biostatistics I 4
BSTT 401 – Biostatistics II 4
MHPE 512 – Clinical Research 3
EPID 403 – Introduction to Epidemiological Methods 1
BHIS 509 – Informatics for the Clinical Investigator 3
HPA 522 – Public Health Research Design and Methods 3
HPA 591 – Grant Writing for New Investigators 3
Elective Courses 11
IPHS 598 – Mentored Research 16
Total Hours 48


In addition to the coursework, students attend seminars and workshops that provide them with exposure to the broad range of clinical and translational research. Students are encouraged to attend research seminars hosted by the CCTS and other departments. The monthly Professional Development Workshop Series addresses topics essential to success as a clinical and translational researcher, including mentoring, negotiating for protected time, etc. Students are also required to present their research proposal during the Initial Research Proposal Defense. During this presentation, they will receive feedback on their research plan from the Program Director and their research mentors.


The MS in Clinical and Translational Science culminates in a mentored research project in which the student works closely with one or more senior researchers. The mentored research project gives students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have acquired in classes and seminars/workshops. With the intention for students to submit a paper or poster presentation, students are highly encouraged to attend one professional conference annually of which travel, registration, and accommodation expenses are fully sponsored.

Thesis Defense

The final oral examination consists of a presentation of the student’s research findings at an open meeting of student’s Thesis Examining Committee. The presentation should be based on the publishable paper and research proposal products of the student’s clinical research project.

Program Outcome

At the end of the program, the students will be equipped with the following skills, abilities, and documents to help them compete for a United States residency position:

Students will demonstrate the following skills and abilities to assist in their future career goals:

  • Develop exposure and understanding of the U.S. healthcare system and culture
  • Develop critical thinking and analytical skills for clinical medicine and research
  • Utilize evidence-based medicine in research and clinical practice
  • Develop and refine English communication skills in both speaking and writing
  • Demonstrate skills of effective teaching in one-on-one clinical teaching, and in small and large groups
  • Design and implement instruction to facilitate learning
  • Demonstrate skills in providing effective feedback to students and peers
  • Diagnose and manage learners in difficulty
  • Develop leadership skills for research and clinical practice
  • Develop long-term mentoring relationship with faculty member and a network of professional support

Financial Benefit

University of Illinois College of Medicine does not provide salary or benefits for any students accepted under this program.

Required Application Materials

Applications will be processed by the Office of International Education in coordination with the Department of Medical Education as well as the Departments within the College of Medicine upon receipt of the following application documents:

  1. Copy of passport – Photocopy of passport’s biographical page showing name and personal information.
  2. If applicable, provide copies of the front and back of all immigration documents (i.e. DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status, I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student, etc.).
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Copy of medical degree*
  5. ECFMG certification** with USMLE I and II scores of ≥ 220; OR pass the USMLE Step 1 with a score of ≥ 220 AND one of the following:
    1. Pass the USMLE Clinical Skills; OR
    2. TOEFL score of ≥ 100, OR
    3. IELTS equivalent overall band score of 7
      1. Please note if you recently graduated from Medical School and are currently preparing to take the USMLE I and II, you do not need to include these scores in your application.
  6. Medical school transcripts
  7. Three letters of recommendation
  8. One-page personal/objective statement detailing goals for the Master’s Program
  9. Financial guarantee or sponsorship letter from a sponsoring institution for the duration of the Master’s Program.

*Equivalent graduate degree is acceptable for those applicants not seeing U.S. residency
**USMLE scores can be waived for those applicants not seeking U.S. residency

Admissions Process

  • Applicants must be financially sponsored by their government or by a home country health institution.
  • Admission is on a rolling basis and we encourage applicants to continue submitting their applications until we reach capacity.
  • The Master’s program accepts a new cohort once a year to begin June 1st.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so it is best to submit as soon as possible. The admissions process may take several weeks depending on approvals and interviewer schedules.
  • Upon admission, the Office of International Services (OIS) will provide instructions requesting the electronic submission of the required OIS Documents in order to prepare the proper immigration document (I-20) for the students to apply for their F-1 student visas. As part of their OIS Documents, international students must submit he following three things:
    1. Declaration of Certification of Finances (DCF)
    2. Evidence of Funding (Submit a copy of the financial guarantee from the Sponsor showing a total balance equal to or greater than the estimated)
    3. Copy of Passport (Photocopy your passport’s biographical page showing your name and personal information)
  • The applicant is responsible for providing UIC Office of International Education with a financial guarantee from the sponsoring institution that complies with the dates and duration of the acceptance letter.
  • Once the I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, the Office of International Services will package it with other welcome materials including information and guidance on how to apply for the F-1 or J-1 student visa or transfer your F-1 or J-1 status to the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Accepted students will be sent information concerning arrival and check-in information and new international student orientation.
  • Health insurance: The sponsoring institution shall provide each fellow with a comprehensive health insurance, a health benefits plan offered by an insurance company, or managed care organization authorized to do business in the state of Illinois, which also complies with the J-1 visa requirements.
  • Students who are sponsored under the J-1 non-immigrant student status must provide proof of health insurance that meets the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor requirements.
  • Participating in or completing the Master’s Program does not constitute acceptance of medical research fellows into UI COM’s residency programs or into any other UI COM programs.

Students may inquire about how to apply by contacting Kay Spreitzer at [email protected]. Use the program name “Master’s Program” as the subject heading. Applications cannot be processed until all required documents are submitted.