Course Work and Registration

The clinical and translational science track in the Ph.D. Program can be designed to emphasize one of three focus areas: laboratory-, patient- or population-based translational science.

Required course work

All Ph.D. students in the clinical and translational science track have a common core curriculum:

  • CORE 6000 — Responsible Conduct of Research
  • CORE 6100 — Chemical Principles of Biological Systems
  • CORE 6150 — Genome Biology
  • CORE 6510 — Mechanisms of Human Disease
  • CTSC 5010 — Clinical Research Protocol Development
  • CTSC 5020 — Regulatory Issues in Clinical Research
  • CTSC 5300 — Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology
  • CTSC 5600 — Statistics in Clinical Research
  • CTSC 5601 — Utilizing Statistics in Clinical Research
  • CTSC 5720 — Clinical Trials: Design and Conduct
  • CTSC 6110 — CTS Works in Progress
  • CTSC 6120 — Case Studies in Translation
  • CTSC 6130 — CTS Journal Club

Required workshops

"Writing and Publishing High-Impact Research Manuscripts" focuses on how to successfully publish your original research manuscripts in biomedical journals. "Write Winning Grants" addresses the conceptual and practical aspects associated with the grant-writing process.

Advanced and elective course work

For Ph.D. students, 42 credits are required for graduation. In addition to the core, track and rotation requirements, Ph.D. students have advanced and elective courses, which should be selected after consulting with your thesis adviser and the CCaTS predoctoral programs director.

Depending on your area of concentration (laboratory-, patient- or population-based translational science), additional advanced courses will be selected from either clinical and translational science track courses (CTSC prefix) or graduate school core courses in the basic science disciplines.

M.D.-Ph.D. students are required to take the core course work above and two additional courses — MDPD 5100 (Bioinformatics Selective) and MDPD 5150 (Medical Scientist Survival Skills).

Research and laboratory rotations

Ph.D. students in the clinical and translational science track are required to complete three to five two-month research or laboratory rotations. The purpose of these rotations is to familiarize you with research activities in your area of interest and enable you to make informed decisions in choosing a thesis adviser.

Your first lab rotation will be chosen with input from the CCaTS predoctoral programs director, while the remaining two to four rotations are chosen by you. You are allowed to rotate only once in any given lab and are encouraged to complete a minimum of one rotation each in:

  • Laboratory-based translational research (wet bench)
  • Patient-based translational research (human studies or Clinical Research Unit-based)
  • Population-based translational research (epidemiology, statistics or health outcomes)

M.D.-Ph.D. students complete three one-month full-time rotations. It's recommended that your first rotation be completed before entering medical school, your second rotation be completed between your first and second years of medical school, and your third rotation be completed between medical school and graduate school (after United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1).

Research and laboratory rotations may be completed with Mayo faculty members who hold full faculty privileges in any track in Mayo Graduate School. If you are interested in completing rotations with faculty who do not hold full faculty privileges, you may request a review of the faculty member's qualifications for these privileges. This request must be submitted in writing to the CCaTS predoctoral programs coordinator at least six weeks prior to the start of the requested rotation.

Rotations at Mayo Clinic in Arizona or Mayo Clinic in Florida

Students interested in completing research or laboratory rotations at Mayo Clinic in Arizona or Mayo Clinic in Florida must submit a request in writing to the CCaTS predoctoral programs coordinator at least three months prior to the start of the requested rotation.


At the end of each rotation, you'll receive a formal, written evaluation of your performance during that rotation.


All students enrolled in CCaTS predoctoral programs are full-time students. Full-time enrollment each quarter may include any combination of course work, laboratory rotations or research.

Students who have completed all course work and are engaged in full-time thesis research must register for research each quarter. You'll retain full-time enrollment status and will be graded on the S-N scale. No credit hours will be assigned, and research is not calculated in the GPA. You are not precluded from registering for research before course work is completed.

For detailed information on registration, announcements, and annual and quarterly course schedules, visit Mayo Graduate School Course Information.