Fall Deadline February 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

The program accepts applications each February 1 for the Ph.D. for the fall term only. Exceptions for spring admission are made rarely and only if the applicant has taken fall prerequisite courses.

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, Pharm.D., Ph.D., BSN, BSE, MPT, DPT).
  • Identify a primary 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. Identification of a faculty advisor and research area of study is a key consideration in the admissions process but does not guarantee admission.

Acceptance into the program does not assure funding.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Prospective Ph.D. students should see the program website for funding information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 51 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B or above in all core curriculum coursework.
Assessments and Examinations Oral preliminary exam required.

Defense of Ph.D. dissertation required. The dissertation is submitted in writing to the degree committee two weeks prior to the defense date, and then defended verbally during the defense meeting.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements Doctoral students in Clinical Investigation are not required to complete a doctoral minor. Breadth is achieved in other areas of the curriculum.

Required Courses

POP HLTH/​SOC  797 Introduction to Epidemiology3
NURSING/​MEDICINE/​POP HLTH  705 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Clinical Research Evidence2
FAM MED 701 Perspectives in Multidisciplinary Clinical & Translational Research2
B M I 773 Clinical Research Informatics3
CS&D 900 Seminar-Speech Science (Topic: Research Career Development Seminar on Grant Writing)2-3
B M I/​STAT  542 Introduction to Clinical Trials I3
B M I 544 Introduction to Clinical Trials II3
A graduate entry level biostatistics course. Students select one of the following:1-6
Introduction to Biostatistics
Independent Study (Topic: Introduction to Biostatistics) 1
Introduction to Biostatistics for Population Health
and Regression Methods for Population Health 2
An intermediate statistics/research methods course. Possible course selections include:3
Introduction to Qualitative Research
Statistical Methods Applied to Education I
Advanced Qualitative Design and Methods
Statistics for Sociologists I
Advanced statistics or analytical methods courses. Students are encouraged to consult the program administrator about their options, such as:6
Regression Methods for Population Health
Statistics for Sociologists I
Statistics for Sociologists II
Statistical Methods for Bioscience II
One lecture course in the Responsible (Ethical) Conduct of Research selected from the following list or an equivalent course approved by the Executive Committee:1-2
Ethics in Science
Advanced Topics (Topic: Responsible (Ethical) Conduct of Research)
Research Ethics: Scientific Integrity and the Responsible Conduct of Research
Research Ethics and Career Development
Responsible Conduct of Research for Biomedical Graduate Students
Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research
A noncredit regulatory experience activity: Students attend PHARMACY 800, sign a confidentiality agreement, review a protocol submitted to an Institutional Review Board, and attend an IRB meeting (supervised). This activity is also known as the RCR Laboratory.
Research credits (and possible electives)
Total Credits51

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, a Ph.D. student’s graduate coursework from other institutions no longer than ten years ago may count toward the degree.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, Ph.D. students may be allowed to count graduate level courses that they took as a Special student. Because the program provides flexibility to clinical professionals who frequently begin their graduate careers part time as Special students, the program may allow up to 15 such credits for M.S. and Ph.D. students. Courses taken as a Special Student numbered under the 700 level do not count toward the 50% graduate coursework requirement.


A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.0 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time enrollment (or 12 credits of enrollment if enrolled part-time) the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for 1 additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.


Ph.D. students select their faculty advising (degree) committees by the end of the first year in the program. Students and the advisors who sign the Proposed Degree Committee form are asked to meet annually or more; dissertators (post–preliminary exam) twice a year or more.


12 credits

Time Constraints

Doctoral students are expected to pass the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation no later than five years from the date of passing the preliminary examination. The oral examination is the oral defense of the completed dissertation. Full-time students generally complete the dissertation within two years of the preliminary examination. Part-time students may take longer.

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Grievance Procedures (from Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation Student Handbook 2019-2020)

Procedures for proper accounting of student grievances: 

  1. The student is encouraged to speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed to see if a situation can be resolved at this level. 
  2. Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact the program’s Grievance Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies to discuss the grievance. The Grievance Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies will facilitate problem resolution through informal channels and facilitate any complaints or issues of students. The first attempt is to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. University resources for sexual harassment, discrimination, disability accommodations, and other related concerns can be found above.
  3. If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction the student can submit the grievance to the Grievance Advisor in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  4. On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Grievance Advisor to manage the grievance. The program faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance.
  5. The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Grievance Advisor will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received.
  6. At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the School/College.
  7. Documentation of the grievance will be stored for at least 7 years. Significant grievances that set a precedent will be stored indefinitely.

The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the school/college level:


Full-time Ph.D. students and dual degree students are eligible for NIH funding. Students must obtain a faculty adviser, and write a detailed personal statement that demonstrates working knowledge of clinical and/or translational research. No rotations are offered.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Program Resources

See the ICTR website for more information.

  1. Lead to translation of research among the laboratory, clinic and population through technological or systems innovations, including but not limited to drug therapies, medical devices, biological materials, clinical processes, and/or behavioral interventions.
  2. Are appropriately patient-oriented.
  3. Draw on the expertise of collaborators in multiple disciplines.
  4. Integrate clinical and translational science across multiple departments, schools and colleges, clinical and research institutes, and healthcare delivery organizations.
  5. Determine when it is appropriate to use a patient-oriented research design to investigate a translational clinical problem.
  6. Analyze, interpret and report research findings of clinical studies through peer-reviewed scientific channels and to a lay audience.
  7. Disseminate knowledge through teaching and mentoring students/trainees.
  8. Apply and foster professional, ethical and responsible conduct of clinical research.