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Clinical Translational Sciences (PHD) 
Program Description

The Clinical Translational Sciences (CTS) graduate program is designed to provide a strong foundation in clinical translational sciences for post-baccalaureate or post-graduate students with either a clinical or basic science background.  Students may earn either a Master of Science (M.S.), or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in CTS from the University of Arizona.  While the CTS program is housed in the College of Medicine - Tucson, students may earn the Ph.D. either at the University's main Tucson campus or at the Phoenix biomedical campus.

The program is intended to provide the foundation for a research career in the Clinical Translational Sciences. To achieve this aim, the student requires: (a) an adequate base knowledge of biostatistics and CTS coursework that is specific to the student’s health-related discipline or clinical interest (e.g. Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology, etc.), (b) experience and training in research, culminating in a major research project, and c) professional development including experience and training in presentation and publication of research findings, preparation of grant applications and teaching.  For Ph.D. students, a Minor program of study is also required in a discipline that is relevant to the student’s long-term scholarly goals.

The mission of the Ph.D 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 and to offer a mechanism for the student to obtain in-depth knowledge in a specific area of medical research. To this end, students will work with a faculty mentor, contributing to the research done in the mentor’s lab and leading a specific laboratory or clinical research project that will form the basis of the student’s dissertation.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

College of Medicine, Tucson -

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson provides state-of-the-art programs of medical education, groundbreaking research opportunities, and leading-edge patient care. As Arizona’s only MD degree-granting college, the UA College of Medicine is proud to be a resource for the state and its people.

Founded on the campus of the University of Arizona in 1967, today the UA College of Medicine ranks among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. From an initial class of just 32 students, the UA College of Medicine today has graduated more than 3,400 physicians. College of Medicine students, faculty, staff, and alumni today continue more than 45 years of service in advancing medical care and knowledge in Arizona—and around the world.

College of Medicine, Tucson  
Campuses where offered
Main Campus - Tucson Phoenix Campus  
Admissions Contact
Anabel T Moreno
Graduate Program Coordinator
Anabel T Moreno
Director of Graduate Studies
Ronald P Hammer
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Cindy T Nguyen
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
  1. Submit your application for admission to the CTS Ph.D. program using the Graduate College’s online application (GradApp) at
  2. Letters of Recommendation:  You must have two professional letters of recommendation attesting to your ability to complete the program.  You will request in GradApp that the recommenders directly upload their letters of recommendation to accompany your application.
  3. Curriculum Vitae:  You will upload your current C.V. to be included with your application in GradApp.
  4. Test Scores:  Applicants without a doctoral degree, as well as those whose highest degree is a Pharm.D., must take the GRE and have the score reported to the UA Graduate College.  (The only exception is for applicants tot he M.D./Ph.D. program, whose MCAT scores can be accepted in lieu of the GRE score.)  International students from non-English speaking countries must take the TOEFL or IELTS and have their score reported to the Graduate College.
  5. Personal Statement:  Please prepare a statement explaining your interest in Clinical Translational Sciences, including any specific research interests (and expected faculty advisor, if already identified).  You may also discuss why you feel you are a good candidate for the CTS program and/or how training in CTS would contribute to your career objectives.
Standardized Tests

All applicants who have not earned a doctoral degree in a health sciences field, as well as those who have earned a Pharm.D., must take the GRE.  No minimum score is specified.  GRE scores must be no more than 3 years old by the application deadline.

International applicants from non-English speaking countries must report an adequate score on an English proficiency exam accepted by the Graduate College.

Financial Aid

Domestic Ph.D. students receive funding from the CTS program for their first year in the program in the form of employment as a Research Intern.  No funding is available to international Ph.D. students.  By the end of the first year in the program, each Ph.D. 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.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants (U.S. citizens and permanent residents):

  • Applications for Spring admission accepted through September 15
  • Applications for Fall admission accepted through April 1

International Applicants:

  • Applications for Spring admission accepted through September 15
  • Applications for Fall admission accepted through March 15

Note:  All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by the deadline for the application to be considered.  (For questions, please contact

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 (letter grade of B) or better to maintain good academic standing, as required to receive financial support and to be awarded a Ph.D. degree.

Students must complete a minimum of 36 units of coursework toward the CTS major and at least 9 units toward the declared minor (or more for some minors).  All courses must be completed at the graduate level, and at least 50% of the required coursework units must receive regular letter grades (i.e., A, B, C).  A limited number of courses may be transferred from another institution with the approval of the major or minor faculty advisor, and presuming the courses earned graduate credit at the home insttitution with a grade of B or better.

A minimum of 18 units of dissertation must be completed in addition to the required coursework.

For a detailed curriculum list for the M.S. degree, please see the CTS Graduate Program Handbook available at

Minor Requirements

The Graduate College requires all Ph.D. students to complete a doctoral minor.  The specific requirements for successful completion of a minor field of study are determined by the program in which the minor is obtained. A typical program of study includes at least 9 units of coursework, though some programs require more.  The student identifies a faculty member from the minor program who can serve as their minor advisor.  The minor advisor guides the student in developing a mutually agreeable minor program of study and typically also joins the student's comprehensive exam committee. Alternatively, an additional specialized component of the CTS curriculum can be utilized to satisfy the minor program requirement. For example, CTS graduate students might take coursework in Applied Nanobioscience or another specialty area as a minor within the CTS major.

Examples of some minor areas available to CTS students are: Physiological Sciences, Cancer Biology, Immunology, Biomedical Engineering, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, etc.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 50%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) n/a
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 32%
Enrollment Percent Female 68%
Enrollment Percent International 16%
Enrollment Percent URM 29%

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Last revised 10 Dec 2018