Program Description

The PhD program in Clinical Translational Sciences (CTS) at the University of Arizona (UA) welcomes applications from post-baccalaureate students who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a biological or health science discipline and from postgraduate students holding a terminal health sciences degree (e.g., MD, PharmD, DrPH, DNP, etc.).

The program is intended to provide the foundation for a research career in the Clinical Translational Sciences. To achieve this aim, the student requires:

  1. A CTS PhD student can expect to acquire an adequate base knowledge of biostatistics and CTS coursework that is specific to the student’s health-related discipline or clinical interest.
  2. Experience and training in research, culminating in a major research project for their dissertation.
  3. Professional development, including experience and training in presentation and publication of research findings, preparation of grant applications and ethics in clinical research.

The mission of the PhD program is to train the student to be a skilled researcher who can successfully address both clinical and basic science aspects of translational research. The program provides an avenue for the student to gain experience in and exposure to the diverse areas of the clinical translational sciences. Students also customize their elective coursework to obtain in-depth knowledge in a specific area of health sciences research, such as immunology, neuroscience, cardiology, cellular and molecular medicine, pharmacology or oncology. Courses for the CTS major may be selected from any of UA's Health Sciences colleges: Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health and Nursing. To achieve these goals, each student selects a faculty mentor, contributing to the research done in the mentor’s lab. The mentor advises the student on appropriate coursework to undertake and guides the development of a specific laboratory or clinical research project that will form the basis of the student’s dissertation. The faculty mentor provides the resources needed for the student to complete the dissertation project.

Domestic PhD students receive funding from the CTS program for their first year in the program in the form of a stipend. No CTS program funding is available to international PhD students. By the end of the first year in the program, each PhD student identifies a faculty mentor who will advise them and guide their research. The mentor funds the student, generally via employment in the mentor's laboratory. All students are encouraged to apply for grants to support their research and are provided with training in preparing grant applications.

This program is offered at the Tucson and Phoenix campuses of the UA Colleges of Medicine, in collaboration with the UA College of Nursing, UA College of Pharmacy and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

For more information about the CTS graduate program, please visit the CTS website.