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 receives training in the following areas:

  1. A CTS PhD student can expect to acquire an adequate base knowledge of biostatistics and to complete coursework that is specific to the student’s area of clinical interest.
  2. Experience and training in research, culminating in a major research project for the 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, oncology or others. Courses for the CTS major may be selected from any of UA's Health Sciences colleges: Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health and Nursing. 

To achieve this specialized training, each student selects a faculty mentor, contributing to the research done in the mentor’s lab or research group. 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 may be supported by the CTS program for their first year in the program as a graduate research assistant depending on availability of funds*. 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 typically funds the student, generally via a graduate research assistantship. 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 College of Pharmacy, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and the College of Nursing.

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

*No CTS program funding is available to international PhD students.