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MS in Clinical Investigation

The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation provides training in the methods and conduct of clinical investigation for future leaders in patient-oriented research. In addition to traditional instruction in biostatistics, epidemiology and study design, this program will provide students with a strong foundation in ethics and professionalism, while developing skills in critical thinking, communication of scientific findings, leadership, and study management. This one-year program begins in the Summer and is completed the following Spring.

Program Competencies
  • Problem formulation: Define focused research questions and testable hypotheses
  • Methodology: Compare and select study designs for addressing clinical or translational research questions; identify a target population with consideration of socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural diversity; identify measures to be utilized while addressing reliability and validity, data quality, and cultural diversity
  • Data management and security: Manage data using computer technology; define strategies to ensure data security and protection of privacy are maintained
  • Data analysis and interpretation: Generate statistics that fit the study design chosen and answer research questions; identify risk/preventive factors that may contribute to outcomes and incorporate them into a research study; interpret computer output containing results of statistical procedures and graphics
  • Scientific communication: Compile statistical output into tables and figures suitable for publication; prepare and communicate research findings to different groups of individuals through oral presentations and research papers; critically appraise the existing literature 
  • Ethics and professionalism: Describe the fundamental principles of the protection of human subjects and voluntary informed consent; describe the authority for and professional standards for the responsible conduct of research; explain the concept of good clinical practice; explain conflict of interest management in research
  • Teamwork and leadership: Demonstrate group decision-making techniques; manage conflict; lead and manage team-based and individual projects; foster innovation and creativity
Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the school's admission requirements for entrance into master's programs at SPHTM.

Degree Program Requirements

In addition to the SPHTM academic standards, students in the MS in Epidemiology and those taking advanced epidemiology courses must demonstrate the following standards:

  • All students must complete and earn a "B" or better in the prerequisite foundational course, SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health, before advancing to EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II or other advanced epidemiology courses.
  • Any Epidemiology student receiving a grade of "C" in any required course (including any foundation course) must repeat the course.
  • Epidemiology students receiving a grade of "F" in any course may not continue in the MS program (unless special extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated).
  • To take an advanced epidemiology course, student must have a grade of "B" or better in any prerequisite courses.

The MS in Clinical Investigation Degree in Epidemiology requires 36 credits that includes:

Epidemiology Course Requirements (26 credits)

SPHL 6020 Foundations in Public Health (3)

SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (3)
EPID 6230 Computer Packages for Epi (2)
EPID 6340 Clinical and Translational Research Methods (3)
EPID 6420 Clinical Epidemiology (3)
EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology (3)
EPID 7170 Clinical Trials: Design, Conduct and Analysis (3)
EPID 7310 Meta-analysis (3)

Biostatistics Course Requirements (6 credits)

SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health (3)
BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics (3) 

Research Requirements (1 credit)

MSCR 6420 Responsible Conduct of Research (1)

Elective Courses (3 credits)

Selected from courses within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor. 


Students must successfully complete a research component and have several options for this culminating experience: a systematic review or meta-analysis, a secondary data analysis, a grant proposal, a research protocol, or a drafted manuscript.

Model Course Schedule

Degree Program Requirements (entry prior to Fall 2018)

The MS in Clinical Investigation requires 42 credits. The program is grounded in epidemiology, the basic science of public health with the following requirements:

Epidemiology Required Courses (27 credits)

  • EPID 6030 Epidemiology Methods 1 (3)
  • EPID 6230 Computer Packages for Epi (2)
  • EPID 6340 Clinical and Translational Research Methods (3)
  • EPID 6420 Clinical Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 7000 Department Seminar (1)
  • EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 7170 Clinical Trials: Design, Conduct and Analysis (3)
  • EPID 7220 Analytic Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 7310 Meta-analysis (3)

Biostatistics Required Courses (12 credits)

  • BIOS 6030 Introduction Biostatistics (3)
  • BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics (3)
  • BIOS 7060 Regression Analysis (3)
  • BIOS 7150 Categorical Data Analysis (3)

Elective courses (3 credits)

Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor.

Grounding in Public Health

  • BIOS 6030 Introduction Biostatistics (3)
  • EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods (3)
  • EPID 7000 Department Seminar (3)

Research Experience

EPID 9910 Master of Science Research Experience (0)


MS students must successfully complete a research thesis​ that demonstrates an ability to interpret current literature and conduct epidemiologic research and analysis.

Contact Us

Department Chair: Jiang He, MD, PhD

Program Director: Jiang He, MD, PhD

Department Administrator: Therese Carter


Phone: (504) 988-6809

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