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Clinical Investigation

Administrative Unit:Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
College/School: College of Engineering, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Adams, Asthana, Barrett, Benca, Carnes, Chappell, Chen, Coen, Connor, DeMets, Dempsey, Dopfer, Drezner, Emborg, Gangnon, Gern, Gumperz, Heiderscheit, Ikonokidou, Iskandar, D. Jackson, Jarjour, Kahl, Kao, P. Keely, G. Kennedy, Kent, Kim, Li, Liu, Mathur, Mendonca, Mitchell, N. O'Connor, D. Page, Pearce, Rabago, Raval, Reeder, Safdar, Sheibani, M. Smith, Sondel, Sorkness, Suresh, Thibeault, Wald


The Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation (GPCI) is housed in the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). The program, which offers the M.S., Ph.D. and doctoral minor, was developed in direct response to the broadly recognized need, most notably by the National Institutes of Health, to stimulate clinical research and develop and promote clinical research training programs. Funding of the ICTR through the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) facilitates UW–Madison's ability to offer a spectrum of graduate programs in clinical research.

The program complements the areas of clinical research training emphasized by the graduate program in population health. The focus is to provide physicians, clinical scientists, and other health care professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct and translate basic science discoveries into clinical applications through patient (human or animal)-oriented research, or what is commonly known as "from bench to bedside." Patient-oriented research includes the study of disease, therapeutic interventions, development of new technologies, and clinical trials. The graduate program focus on epidemiological or health services research helps move research from clinical trials to clinical practice and community settings.

The ICTR, the administrative home for the degree program, joined academic partners to develop and offer the GPCI. Representatives from the schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Engineering came together as a task force in 2006 to design the program. Partner schools are represented in the curriculum and are joined by the Marshfield Clinic on the faculty Executive Committee overseeing the program.

The curriculum draws from existing courses in the partner schools, and includes new courses developed exclusively for the GPCI. Course work provides a solid foundation in research methods and analysis, including biostatistics, study design, and ethical conduct. Through electives and a research requirement, students pursue their own areas of specialization in patient-oriented clinical research.

The program prepares students for careers in academia, industry, and research institutes, or with health or regulatory agencies. Applicants ideally will have a health professional degree (e.g., M.D., DVM, Pharm.D., Ph.D., BSN, MPT, DPT). Because active clinicians are enrolled as students in the program, both full- and part-time enrollment is available, with the goal of offering most core courses at times to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.


The program accepts applications for the M.S. and Ph.D. for fall only, with a February 1 deadline for completed applications. Rare exceptions are made for spring admission.

The faculty Executive Committee for the program considers all aspects of each application. The applicant must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School plus those of the program, listed here:

  • Have a focused area of interest in patient-oriented clinical research and a passion for continuing in a career in patient-oriented research
  • Ideally have a health professional degree (M.D., DVM, DDS, Pharm.D., Ph.D., BSN, DPT or MPT) or a B.S. in an engineering field or other degree in a clinical or biomedical field
  • Have GRE scores if the applicant does not have a graduate or medical professional degree from a U.S. institution
  • Identify a major advisor to mentor and support the applicant throughout graduate study.

Acceptance into the program will depend in part on identification of a research program that aligns with a student's research interests and career goals, a student's fit with the program and likelihood of successfully completing a graduate degree. Acceptance into the program not assure funding. Identification of a faculty advisor and research program is a key consideration in the admissions process but does not guarantee admission.

For more information: Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Attn: Sally Wedde, 2112G Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705; 608-262-3768; sewedde@wisc.edu; https://ictr.wisc.edu/GraduateProgram.