PhDCR Curriculum

The PhDCR program requires a total of 66 credits (37-41 credits of coursework, and 25-30 credits of Doctoral Thesis), to be taken over the course of five years. All students take the same courses in year one, and declare a specialization, or track, at the end of the first year. The second year is spent completing track-specific coursework, as well as a full year of Integrative Problem Solving in Clinical and Translational Research, a full-year course that is designed to prepare doctoral students for the comprehensive qualifying exam at the end of year two. Students should refer to the Clinical Research Education Program’s Blackboard page to review the PhDCR course checklists for their selected track.


PhDCR required coursework is as follows:

Year One

  • BIO6400 Biostatistics for Biomedical Research (Fall)

  • CLR0006 Spectrum of Methods in Clinical Research I (Fall)

  • CLR0501 Computational Tools for Clinical Research (Fall)

  • MPH0812 Applied Linear Models I (Spring I)

  • CLR0016 Spectrum of Methods in Clinical Research II (Spring I)

  • CLR0700 Professionalism & Ethical Issues in Clinical Research (Spring I)

  • MPH0822 Applied Linear Models II (Spring II)

  • CLR0007 Spectrum of Methods in Clinical Research III (Spring II)

  • CLR0011 Grant Writing (Spring II)

Year 2

  • Coursework as defined by the student’s selected track

  • CLR0017, CLR0018 & CLR0019 Clinical and Translational Research Journal Club and Seminar Series I-III

  • CLR0012, CLR0014 and & CLR0015: Integrative Problem Solving in Clinical and Translational Research I-III

Written Comprehensive Qualifying Exam

The written comprehensive qualifying examination will take place in June of year two. The exam includes five pre-selected questions provided at the time of the examination. Students must register for, attend and successfully complete the “Integrative Problem Solving in Clinical and Translational Research” sequence (CLR0012, CLR0014 & CLR0015) during their second year, prior to taking the exam. Students must submit a Written Comprehensive Qualifying Exam Registration form to the CLR Program Manager by May 31 of year two. The Course Director of the Integrative Problem Solving sequence must sign the form indicating whether the student is ready to take the exam or not. Each CLR Core Faculty Member who has developed a question for the Qualifying Examination will be responsible for grading that individual question. Following the grading of each question by the authoring faculty member, the faculty who contributed to the exam will meet to review the scores and make any final revisions to the assessment, after additional deliberation and discussion. This process is meant to assure fairness and objectivity on the part of all faculty in grading the exam. The exam is worth a total of 100 points and students must score a total of 65 points or higher in order to pass. Students will only be permitted to retake the qualifying exam once, in January of the following year. Students who fail the exam twice will be dismissed from the program. This policy is consistent with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences policy.

Following the exam, students will be informed in writing of their result, and will also have the opportunity to review their exams in person. Furthermore, all students will have the opportunity to review their answers with each respective faculty member, if helpful or desired on the part of the student. Students will not be permitted to keep a copy of their exam. A copy of their exam will remain as part of their file, which they may access at any time.

Doctoral Thesis

After passing the Written Comprehensive Qualifying Exam, students must register for 25-30 credits of CLR0020 Doctoral Thesis, depending on the requirements of their track. See Section Seven for additional information on dissertation requirements.

Last updated