Clinical Research

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The Campus on Villa La Jolla
8950 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite A-212
(858) 534-9164

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Program Description

The master of advanced studies (MAS) in clinical research offers a broad-based curriculum in clinical research methodology and integrates classroom instruction with practical training to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce valid, credible research. Linking the academic and professional scientific communities, the program is appropriate for physicians, pharmacists, nurses with advanced training, psychologists, and biomedical scientists employed in biomedical firms, hospitals, and pharmacies. The program aims to accommodate the varying needs of the students through its modular approach to instruction, a year-round schedule, and a choice of general electives organized by tracks.

The MAS in clinical research is a self-supporting degree program with a flexible course schedule designed for working professionals and academics. The program can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. The UC San Diego Graduate Division confers the MAS and the Department of Medicine in the UC San Diego School of Medicine is responsible for the academic management of the curriculum. UC San Diego Extended Studies and Public Programs administers the program and provides student advising and career counseling services.


New students are admitted in the winter and summer quarter of each academic year. Individuals should submit and complete the official UC San Diego online graduate application for admission, the application fee, one set of official transcripts from each institution attended after high school, three letters of professional letters of recommendation, and a current resume or curriculum vitae. The GRE/GMAT is not required; however, it is strongly recommended that candidates possess, or currently be pursuing, a graduate degree in a scientific or health-care related field and also have some level of experience in scientific or clinical research. In some instances candidates without an advanced degree may be admitted to the program if they have demonstrated substantial professional experience in the field at increasing levels of responsibility. Applications are usually due in late summer/early fall for winter admission, and in late winter/early spring for summer admission. Please refer to the program website ( for current information on application due dates and other admission details. 

Program of Study

The master’s degree program is designed to be completed in twelve to thirty-six months, depending upon a participant’s time to devote to the program. Classes are typically scheduled in the late afternoons and evenings. The forty-unit degree comprises thirty units of required courses, which includes eighteen units of core clinical courses, four units of experiential learning (to be taken twice at two units per course), two units of professional development seminar, four units ISP (Independent Study Project) seminar series to be taken twice at two units per course, and two units of an ISP. Students are also required to take four units of advanced statistics electives and six units of general electives as follows. Students will be required to receive a “B–” or higher in all courses where a letter grade is required. Students who receive a C+ or lower or an unsatisfactory grade (if grading option allows), must retake the course so a passing grade is obtained.

Core Courses

Additional Core Courses:

Advanced Statistics Electives—4 units required

Please note that courses you select to satisfy the advanced statistics requirement cannot be used toward the general elective requirement.

Independent Study Project, CLRE 297—2 units required

(Offered every quarter, but typically completed in last quarter of study.)

General Electives—varies, 6 units required

Students are required to take a minimum of six units of electives. Students may select their six units of course work from any one or more of the elective categories below.

Group 1: Translational Research
Group 2: Biostatistics/Data Analysis/Biomedical Informatics

Selected course(s) must not have been taken previously for advanced statistics requirement.

Group 3: Clinical Research Leadership and Management
Group 4: Global Health Research

*CLRE 270 may be taken up to four times for credit. While students are required to take the course two times, the course would apply toward general elective requirements when taken a third and fourth time.