MD/MS in Clinical and Translational Science
Medical students interested in conducting research and transferring clinical skills from “bench to the bedside,” “study to practice,” and “practice to policy” should consider participating in the University of Illinois College of Medicine MD/MS CTS Joint Degree Program.
Combining the strength of the University of Illinois College of Medicine with the only fully accredited School of Public Health in Illinois as well as innovative clinical and translational research opportunities, the MD/MS CTS joint degree provides a unique opportunity to formally learn about the scientific process, develop relationships with specialty mentors, and prepare for careers as clinician-scientists in academic medicine.
Through CTS didactic coursework and a mentored research project in one of several participating clinical departments, the MD/MS CTS helps build a new generation of skilled clinician-investigators focused on improving patient health outcomes through research. Graduates of the MD/MS CTS Joint Degree Program are ready to enter and capitalize on residency and fellowship programs that provide research opportunities combined with clinical training. Prior combined degree participants have been academically prolific, and have matched at highly competitive, top tier training programs.
As part of the MS in Clinical and Translational Science, students learn to communicate their insights effectively, to write well-conceived and persuasive grant applications, complete research hours to collect data that is then written into a thesis paper and also formatted into a presentation for a Thesis Examining Committee. Students learn the importance of ethical treatment of their subjects and as apprentice clinical investigators, and 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.
The joint degree program allows students to complete both degrees in five years. Students would typically complete three years of medical school and then take a leave of absence during Year four to complete the MS CTS curriculum. After Year four, students return to complete their final year of medical school while also completing the mentored research and thesis requirement for the MS degree. Students interested in pursuing the joint MD/MS CTS degree are encouraged to apply within the first six months of Phase 1 or within the first six months of Phase 2.
Prior combined degree participants have been academically prolific, and have matched at top-tier residency programs. For more information on program outcomes (in the University of Illinois Department of Radiology), please read this publication.
All medical students are eligible to participate. University of Illinois School of Public Health tuition and fees will apply for the MS CTS portion of the program. Completion of USMLE step 1 is required. Previous research experience is of benefit.
Participants will complete MS CTS. coursework; design and conduct clinical research; record and maintain research data; perform statistical data analysis, prepare manuscripts for journal publication and abstracts for presentation at national meetings; complete a mentored MS research project thesis and defense.
Graduate student stipend allotted by participating departments listed below; stipend provided at departmental discretion for other units. University of Illinois School of Public Health tuition and fees will apply for the MS CTS portion of the program.