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Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Sciences

Degree Awarded: MSc.
Unit: GH
Program Webpage:

Program Information


The M.Sc. in Clinical Investigation Sciences is offered in the School’s Clinical Research, Epidemiology and Statistics Training (CREST) Program. The M.Sc. can be pursued in combination with the M.D. degree from the School of Medicine.

The M.Sc. degree program provides physicians, dentists, nurses and other health professionals an opportunity to acquire the clinical research skills necessary for a career in an academic health center.

The CREST curriculum integrates biostatistical and epidemiologic methods in a problem-based learning format with additional instruction in bioethics, health economics, health services and outcomes research and social and behavioral science. Students pursuing the master degree take didactic courses while they engage in mentored and independent research that culminates in the preparation of a professional paper.


The successful student is able to:

  • Access and critique the scientific literature.
  • Address and discuss methods and issues of clinical epidemiology.
  • Identify important clinical research questions and state as testable hypotheses.
  • Develop collaborative clinical research studies in accordance with appropriate epidemiologic and biostatistical methodologies.
  • Apply the principles of data collection, monitoring, management and analysis within the context of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Disseminate study results to professional and lay audiences through oral and written communication.
  • Analyze human subjects’ issues and apply ethical principles in performing and disseminating clinical research.
  • Discuss and respond to the legal issues in new drug and device development.

It is expected that prior to graduation, students in the program have demonstrated these competencies by completing the curriculum, participating in a collaborative research project, and successfully writing and defending the professional paper.  


Applicants should have a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and, in most cases, should have completed a professional doctoral degree (e.g., DM.D., D.O., M.D.) or academic degree from an accredited institution or its equivalent. Other applicants with research experience may be considered (e.g., research coordinator).

The following are additionally required for admission:

  1. Graduate application (see submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS).
  2. Non-refundable application fee.
  3. At least two letters of recommendation written within past twelve months (can be submitted with form at
  4. Submission of GRE score to SIGS (no minimum score required).  This is not required if you have an M.D. degree or other terminal degree.
  5. All postsecondary transcripts (may require foreign credential evaluation if not from accredited U.S. institution).
  6. Statement of goals submitted to the department office (must include desired academic and degree program).
  7. Foreign credential evaluation is required for each degree not from an accredited U.S. institution. This requirement may be waived, with approval by the dean, for degrees not considered to be relevant to evaluation of the applicant or whose transcript requires no foreign credential evaluation.
  8. International students for whom English is not their primary language must show English language proficiency by one of:
  • Award of a degree from an accredited U.S. institution
  • Official TOEFL score of 100 or higher (iBT, or Internet-Based Test), 250 or higher (CBT, or Computer-Based Test), or 600 or higher (PBT, or Paper-Based Test)
  • Official documentation of passing the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville




The typical progression through the M.Sc. curriculum is:

  • Develop program of study (Year 1 beginning).
  • Take coursework (Year 1 and Year 2 Fall).
  • Select research project and begin work (Year 2 Fall).
  • Do research project and prepare thesis or professional paper (Year 2 Spring).
  • Present and defend research project (Year 2 Spring).

Faculty Advisor

The program director serves as faculty advisor for each student until the student begins his or her research for the thesis or professional paper, at which time the student selects a mentor for his or her research with the approval of the program director. The mentor may be any member of the School’s faculty and assumes the functions of faculty advisor.

Program of Study

Upon matriculation in the program, each student meets with the program coordinator and develops a program of study based on the student’s time availability (e.g., typical two-year program or extended three-year program). The program of study may be modified as the student’s needs change or course availability is altered.

Degree Requirements


31 total credit hours of required coursework
     5 credit hours of epidemiology coursework
     10 credit hours of coursework in research design and statistics
     8 credit hours of coursework in effectiveness and outcomes
     5 credit hours of mentored research
     3 credit hours of electives

Required Coursework


Course #

Course Title

Credit Hours

Fall I


Clinical Trials I



Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology



Introduction to Health Behavior



Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health I


Semester Total



Spring I


Evaluating Health Care Literature



Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health II



Ethical Conduct of Research



Clinical Trials II


Semester Total



Fall II


Public Health in the U.S.



Health Decision Risk Analysis



New Drug and Device Development


Semester Total



Spring II


Mentored Research


Semester Total



Degree Total



Thesis or Professional Paper

A thesis or professional paper, based on original research conducted by the student, is required of a candidate for the degree of master of science in clinical investigation sciences. It is to be an original work of professional quality and a scholarly achievement that demonstrates the student’s thorough understanding of research techniques in clinical research and the ability to conduct independent research.

Thesis or Professional Paper Committee

The thesis or professional paper is read by a reading committee, chaired by the student’s mentor/faculty advisor, and appointed by the dean of the school upon the recommendation of the program director. This committee consists of three members, and must include one representative of an allied department. The thesis or professional paper must be approved by the committee and the program director.

Thesis or Professional Paper Proposal

The proposal for thesis or professional paper is to be developed in written form and presented to the committee for approval.

Thesis or Professional Paper Preparation

If the student prepares a thesis, it is to be prepared in format and binding according to the guidelines established by SIGS, available at If the student prepares a professional paper, it is to have the format and style appropriate for its type and potential destination.

Thesis or Professional Paper Approval

The thesis or professional paper is to be submitted in completed form to the chair of the thesis committee at least fourteen days before the end of the term in which the candidate expects to be graduated, and the candidate is not eligible for the final oral examination until the thesis has been accepted by the committee.

The committee schedules an oral examination of the candidate during which the student presents his or her thesis or professional paper and is asked to defend it and the supporting research. The thesis or professional paper is approved by a majority vote of the committee and by the program director.

Thesis Distribution

If the student prepares a thesis, one unbound copy, signed by the thesis committee, must be deposited with SIGS before graduation.

Departmental Faculty

Susan Muldoon, Ph.D., MPH

Assistant Professor


Contact Information

Clinical Investigation Sciences - MSc

Susan B. Muldoon, Ph.D., M.P.H.
CREST Program

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