Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Sciences

Major: CISCMSC
Degree Awarded: MSc.
Unit: GH
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/sphis/academics/clinical-investigation-sciences

Program Information

Introduction

The M.Sc. in Clinical Investigation Sciences is offered by the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. 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 M.Sc. in Clinical Investigation Sciences curriculum integrates biostatistical and epidemiologic methods in a problem-based learning format with additional instruction in several other biomedical and public health topics. 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.

Competencies

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.

Admission

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with research experience (e.g. research coordinator) or have completed a professional doctoral degree (e.g., D.M.D., D.O., M.D.) are preferred.

Application requirements are submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies Office of Admissions and include:

  • Formal application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement, a one-page essay that discusses the student’s background and his or her long-term goals in clinical research
  • Application fee
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all postsecondary coursework
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (if applicant does not have a doctoral degree)

For specific information about the degree program or the application process, students should contact Dr. Jack Barnette, Interim Program Director, 502-852-8674. The application for the M.Sc. is found at: http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply

    Curriculum

    The M.Sc. curriculum has been designed in such a way that a full-time student could complete the degree in one Calendar year. However, it is expected that many students will take longer than one year to complete the M.Sc.

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

    • Develop program of study
    • Take coursework
    • Select research project and begin work
    • Do research project and prepare professional paper
    • Present and defend research project

    Faculty Advisor

    The program director serves as faculty advisor for each student until the student begins his or her research for the professional paper, at which time the student selects a Principle Advisor for his or her research with the approval of the program director. The Principle Advisor may be any member of the School’s faculty, or (with the approval of the program director) a mentor in the student’s laboratory or employment affiliation that is willing to assume the function of a 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.

    Award of a degree from an accredited School of Public Health requires successful completion of the equivalent of three (3) credit hours in each of:

    • Instruction that provides a broad overview of public health
    • Instruction in epidemiology

    Either or both of these requirements may be determined to have been met prior to matriculation by approval of the academic dean of a variance request submitted by the program director. The request for a variance in one or both requirements must be justified by one of: previous degrees received, such as an M.P.H. or Dr.PH.; previous coursework successfully completed, or extensive experience in the public health workforce. In the absence of a variance for a requirement, the coursework included in the M.Sc. program satisfies both requirements.

    Degree Requirements

    Coursework

    31 total credit hours of required coursework

    19 credit hours of required coursework
    9 credit hours of elective coursework
    3 credit hours of mentored research

    The following includes all required courses organized by the semester in which they are offered. Course scheduling does allow for the possibility of completing the degree in one year for a full-time student. Some courses are offered in alternating years (see below).

    Course Offerings by Semester

    Required Coursework

    Semester

    Course #

    Description

    Credit Hours

    Fall

    PHST-624

    Clinical Trials I

    2

    PHMS-523

    Public Health in the U.S.*

    2

    PHST-500

    Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health I

    3

    PHST-631

    Data Collection for Clinical Research

    2

     

    Elective(s)

    6

    Semester Total

    15

    Spring

    PHPH-601

    Evaluating Health Care Literature **

    1

    PHST-501

    Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health II

    3

    PHPH-632

    Ethical Conduct of Research **

    2

    PHST-625

    Clinical Trials II

    2

    PHEP-614

    Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology **

    2

     

    Elective(s)

    3

    Semester Total

    13

     

    PHPH-699

    Mentored Research

    3

    Semester Total

    3

    Degree Total Credit Hours

    31


    * PHMS-523 is required of students who do not have a broad exposure to public health through experience or coursework. It is offered only in the Fall. Any student who waives out of the course must replace the two semester hours with elective coursework.

    ** PHPH-632 Ethical Conduct of Research is offered every other spring semester on even numbered years (2018, 2020, 2022, etc.).
    PHEP-614 Intro to Clinical Epidemiology is offered every other spring semester on odd numbered years (2017, 2019, 2021, 2023, etc.).
    PHPH-601 Evaluating Health Care Literature is offered every other spring semester on odd numbered years (2017, 2019, 2021, 2023, etc.).

    Sample Two-year Plan

    Required Coursework

    Semester

    Course #

    Description

    Credit Hours

    Fall I

    PHST 500

    Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health I

    3

    PHMS 523

    Public Health in the U.S.*

    2

     

    Elective

    3

    Semester Total

    7

    Spring I

    PHPH 601

    Evaluating Health Care Literature

    1

    PHST 501

    Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health II

    3

    PHEP 614

    Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology

    2

     

    Elective

    3

    Semester Total

    9

    Fall II

    PHST 631

    Data Collection for Clinical Research

    2

    PHST 624

    Clinical Trials I

    2

     

    Elective

    3

    Semester Total

    8

    Spring II

    PHST 625

    Clinical Trials II

    2

    PHPH 632

    Ethical Conduct of Research

    2

    PHPH 699

    Mentored Research

    3

    Semester Total

    7

    Degree Total Credit Hours

    31

     

    Electives:

    Semester Offered

    Credit Hours

    Nine hours of electives from the following (other courses on approval of program advisor)

    PHST XXX

    Advanced Coursework in Biostatistics

    Variable

    PHEP XXX

    Advanced Coursework in Epidemiology

    Variable

     

    PHPB 604

    Health Decision Risk Analysis

    Spring

    3

    PHPB 501

    Introduction to Health Behavior

    Fall

    2

    PHPH 610

    New Drug and Device Development

    Fall

    2

    ENGL 599

    Advanced Academic Writing Across Disciplines

    Spring

    3

    CECS 536

    Data Management and Analysis

    Fall

    3

    SOC 618

    Qualitative Field Research Methods

    Spring

    3

    * PHMS-523 is required of students who do not have a broad exposure to public health through experience or coursework. It is offered only in the Fall. Any student who waives out of the course must replace the two semester hours with elective coursework.

    Professional Paper

    A 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.* PHMS-523 is required of students who do not have a broad exposure to public health through experience or coursework. It is offered only in the Fall. Any student who waives out of the course must replace the two credit hours with elective coursework.

    Professional Paper Committee

    The professional paper is read by a reading committee, chaired by the student’s 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 the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. The professional paper must be approved by the committee and the program director.

    Professional Paper Proposal

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

    Professional Paper Approval

    The professional paper is to be submitted in completed form to the Principle Advisor of the 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 professional paper has been accepted by the committee.

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

    Faculty

    Jack Barnette
    Professor

    Program Director, MSc in CIS

    Frank Groves

    Associate Professor

    Bakeerathan Gunaratnam

    Assistant Professor

    Doug Lorenz

    Assistant Professor

    W. Paul McKinney

    Professor

    Mark Rothstein

    Professor