Scholars in the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program in Clinical and Translational Science are expected to gain competencies through carefully selected didactic coursework and a mentored research project. The degree requirements include:

  • A minimum of 45 didactic credits
  • A written comprehensive exam
  • Preparation and oral defense of a thesis

If the scholar is able to commit 100% protected time to the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program, it is possible to complete the 45 credits and thesis proposal in two years. The program may take longer if less than 100% of the scholar's time is available to complete the program requirements.

Core competencies

The CCaTS Education Resources Executive Committee has defined a set of core competencies that scholars are expected to acquire and refine during the master's degree program coursework and research. These competencies reflect an overarching and integrated set of skills that go beyond individual course objectives to represent the core knowledge and abilities needed to become a productive clinical investigator. Upon successful completion of the program, scholars are able to:

  • Apply the appropriate study design
  • Articulate the legal and ethical responsibilities of a clinical investigator
  • Articulate the strengths and limitations of each study design
  • Write successful grant proposals
  • Critically evaluate clinical research in medical literature
  • Design and conduct a clinical research project
  • Devise feasible and testable hypotheses
  • Effectively communicate research results through both manuscripts and presentations
  • Understand the peer-review process and consider that process when preparing papers and grants
  • Utilize appropriate biostatistical methods

Coursework component

All coursework for the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program is offered through Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. A minimum of 45 credits is necessary to complete the program.

Curriculum overview

Required foundational courses
Course Credit(s)
CORE 6000: Responsible Conduct of Research 1
CTSC 5010: Clinical Research Proposal Development 2
CTSC 5020: Regulatory Issues in Clinical Research 1
CTSC 5100: Publishing in the Sciences 1
CTSC 5110: Grant Writing in the Sciences 1
CTSC 5370: Introduction to Epidemiology 2
CTSC 5390: Advanced Applied Epidemiologic Methods 2
CTSC 5600: Statistics in Clinical and Translational Research 2
CTSC 5602: Utilizing Statistics in Clinical Research 1
CTSC 5610: Introductory Statistical Methods II 3
Total: 16

Choose one of the following:

Selective foundational courses
Course Credit(s)
CTSC 5710: Practical Data Collection 1
CTSC 5810: Qualitative Research Design, Methods and Analysis 1
CTSC 5820: Introduction to Survey Research 1
Total: 1
Required research courses
Course Credit(s)
MGS 6100: Master's Thesis Proposal 3
MGS 6840: Master's Research 16
Total: 19

Concentrations and elective credits

Nine additional elective credits are required within the 45-credit program. Scholars can customize a curriculum that best meets their individual professional goals or choose to focus their elective credits in a concentration area.

Scholars are encouraged to fulfill electives with clinical and translational science courses (CTSC). Other Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences courses may be considered with approval.

Course descriptions and schedules

The CCaTS Education Programs and Courses webpage provides current and future course schedules (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network to access). Course descriptions appear in the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences course catalog, which can be found in the Quick Links section of the school's intranet website (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network to access).

Course registration

Course registration opens approximately one month before the start of each quarter. View specific dates for each registration period on the MCGSBS Academic Calendar (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network to access).

First-time registrants must complete the Course Registration form (PDF) and email it to the clinical and translational sciences education inbox at Returning scholars register online through Self-Service Banner (SSB). A user guide (PDF) is available to assist with SSB registration (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network to access).

Scholars admitted to CCaTS programs are given priority registration in CTSC classes.