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 24 didactic credits
  • A written comprehensive exam
  • Two workshops
  • Preparation and oral defense of a thesis

If the scholar is able to commit 100% of his or her time to the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program, it is possible to complete the 24 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 coursework.

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.

The Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program competencies reflect an overarching and integrated set of skills that goes 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
  • Be prepared to write successful grant proposals
  • Critically evaluate clinical research in the 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 24 credits are necessary to complete the program, of which 15 are required.

Curriculum overview

Required foundational courses
Course Credits
CORE 6000: Responsible Conduct of Research 1
CTSC 5010: Clinical Research Protocol Development 2
CTSC 5020: Regulatory Issues in Clinical Research 1
CTSC 5370: Introduction to Epidemiology 2
CTSC 5390: Advanced Applied Epidemiological Methods 2
CTSC 5600: Statistics in Clinical and Translational Research 2
CTSC 5601: Utilizing Statistics in Clinical Research 1
CTSC 5610: Introductory Statistical Methods II 3
Total: 14

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

Concentration required and elective credits

Beginning in 2020, new scholars can choose to focus their remaining credits in one of the following concentrations:

Scholars choosing not to pursue a concentration can select their elective credits based on recommendations from their mentors or on their professional goals. Scholars are encouraged to fulfill electives with clinical and translational science (CTSC) courses. Other Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences courses may be considered with approval. Visit Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Course Information for links to all courses.

Scholars admitted to CCaTS programs are given priority registration in clinical and translational science (CTSC) classes. Nonadmitted attendees are allowed to register on a space-available basis.