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Master's of Science in Clinical Research

The Master of Science degree in clinical research is designed specifically to meet the needs of the clinician or clinician-in-training by providing a combination of course work and research experiences needed for a successful career in clinical investigation. The curriculum provides students with a thorough understanding of clinical research methodology, biostatistics, and research ethics and will provide participants with the necessary skills to conduct independent clinical research, to teach, and to mentor others. Graduates will gain the ability to identify important research questions, develop research protocols, generate pilot data, conduct clinical investigations, analyze and write the results in a publishable form and develop and submit grant proposals. The program will prepare students to be competitive in seeking external support and be knowledgeable in the complex issues associated with conducting sound clinical research.

A total of 36 credits is required for the degree, which can be completed on a part-time basis within two years. Students may select from multiple concentration areas:

  • Epidemiologic Research
  • Patient-Oriented Research
  • Human Genetics
  • Outcomes/Health Services Research
  • Research Ethics 

Mentored Research Project

The completion of a research project in the student's area of research interest is one unique aspect of the program. The purpose of requiring this project is to provide the student with a comprehensive awareness of the research experience from the formulation of the research question to the design and conduct of the research protocol, to the analysis and presentation of the findings of the study, to finally the publication of the research results.

Students can fulfill this requirement through a Master's thesis (PREV 799) or a two-semester course, Research Practicum (PREV 747 & 748). Both mentors and students will participate in a formal mentoring program to optimize the mentor-mentee relationship. It is expected that, for most students, the mentoring and training activities invested in the master's thesis ultimately will result in a funded research project.

Course Requirements

Core Courses (18 credits)

  • PREV 600 Principles of Epidemiology (Credits: 3)
  • PREV 616 Introduction to Clinical Investigation at UM
  • PREV 619 Biostatistical Computing (Credits: 2)
  • PREV 620 Principles of Biostatistics (Credits: 3)
  • PREV 720 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (Credits: 3)
  • PREV 617 Writing a Clinical Research Grant (Credits: 2) (This course is not required. It is recommended for individuals who are actively pursuing grant funding)
  • PREV 633 Application of Legal and Regulatory Issues in Clinical Research (Credits: 1)
  • PREV 706 Research Informatics: Data Management in Research (Credits: 2)
  • CIPP 909 Responsible Conduct of Research (or equivalent) (Credits: 1 or 2)

Download the Core Courses for MS in Clinical Research chart.  

Concentration Courses (6-8 credits)

Concentrations are not required; however, they provide a focus on specific clinical research methods. For more information, view the Graduate School Catalog.  

Epidemiologic Research

Concentration Coursework (6 credits) 

  • PREV 659 Observational Studies in Epidemiology (Credits 3)
  • PREV 803 Clinical Trials and Experimental Epidemiology (Credits 3)

Patient Oriented Research

Concentration coursework (6 credits) 

  • PHAR 600 Principles of Drug Discovery (Credits 3)
  • PREV 803 Clinical Trials and Experimental Epidemiology (Credits 3)

Human Genetics

Concentration Coursework (7 credits) 

  • HGEN 601 Human Genetics I (Credits 4)
  • PREV 711 Genetic Epidemiology (Credits 3)

Outcomes/Health Services Research

Concentration Coursework (7 credits) 

  • PREV 648 Health Care Administration and Evaluation (Credits 2)
  • PREV 758 Health Survey Research Methods (Credits 3)

Research Ethics Concentration

Concentration Coursework (6 credits) 

  • PREV 637 Ethical Issues in Clinical Research (Credits 3)
  • PREV 638 Ethical Issues in International Health (Credits 3)

Remaining Coursework

Practicum/Electives (9-11 credits) 

  • PREV 747/748 Research Practicum I and II OR PREV 799 Masters Thesis (5-6 credits)
  • Electives to total to 36 credits (4-5 credits)

Admission Requirements

Applicants complete the University of Maryland's graduate school application for admission. More information on the graduate admissions process can be found on the Graduate School website.

Physicians or other health professionals may substitute MCAT (or equivalent) scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirement. 

Only six credits of coursework may be taken as a coursework-only student prior to applying as a Master's degree student.

For additional information, download the Frequently Asked Questions or contact: jkelley@som.umaryland.edu