Education and Training

The University of Arizona offers 10 degree-granting programs for training the clinical and translational research workforce. These include a combination of several long-standing programs and six new programs launched over the past ten years to address the changing research landscape and critical workforce needs and UAs newest degrees, the MS and PhD in Clinical Translational Science (CTS). These programs train future physician and nurse scientists (MSTP and DNP), clinical investigators (CTSP) and (Global Health), and quantitative experts in computational biology, biostatistics, and informatics.

The University of Arizona Health Science' Colleges of Medicine, Nursing Pharmacy and Public Health have a significant history in preparing disciplinary clinical scientists.  All are leading ranked colleges. Significant programs include:

Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

The UA Zuckerman College of Public Health offers tremendous opportunities to its students for education, research and community involvement thanks to a locale rich in history, research opportunities, and university academic resources. The College consistently ranks among the top five in American Indian and Hispanic graduates and students enrolled among 46 accredited schools of public health, according to recent data from the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).

In addition, the University of Arizona is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization that recognizes universities who have developed exceptionally strong overall research and academic programs. The COPH offers masters and doctoral degrees in biostatistics, epidemiology, public health and health promotion as well as has offered a certificate in clinical translational research since 2001 as previously noted.  Example programs from the COPH include:


 The College of Public Health offers both the master and doctorate in biostatistics.

PhD in Biostatistics

The PhD in Biostatistics places an emphasis on the foundations of statistical reasoning and requires its graduates to complete rigorous training in applied probability and statistical analyses.  The PhD required 74 credits including 32 units of major, 15 units of electives, 9 units of minor and 18 dissertation units. The MS in Biostatistics prepares graduates to work effectively as applied biostatisticians in a variety of public health, epidemiological and clinical research settings. MS requires 39 credits including a comprehensive research thesis. The training emphasis is in probability and statistical theory with a research focus. 

MPH in Biostatistics

The MPH in Biostatistics is also offered requiring 42 units.  The difference between the MS and MPH in biostatistics is that the MPH provides a broader emphasis on public health.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

The MPH is designed to be an interdisciplinary professional degree program, provides an opportunity for students to obtain broad knowledge and skills in the core areas of public health. Students are able to acquire proficiency in one or more specialized areas through advanced coursework, and gain experience in applying advanced knowledge to the solution of actual health problems in community settings.

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The DrPH program prepares graduates to translate scientific knowledge into community-based programs that improve the health status of communities, identify solutions to community health problems, and provide leadership in public health policy and management within both academic and nonacademic settings, as well as in public-agency or private-sector settings that emphasize improving the health of the public. Students are required to select either Maternal and Child Health or Public Health Policy and Management as a study focal area.


The COPH offers both the MS and PhD in Epidemiology.  The MS is designed for individuals seeking graduate training in epidemiological research and the PhD provides multi-disciplinary collaboration among faculty and university departments as well as state and national institutions to prepare epidemiology researchers.

Health Behavior Health Promotion (PhD)

 The Doctorate in Health Behavior Health Promotion (PhD) has an emphasis on the biological, behavioral, and socio-cultural determinants of health and health behavior, and the interventions and policies aimed at improving community and population health.  The doctoral program offers students a diverse and challenging curriculum that addresses health behavior health promotion theory, knowledge/skills in working on health issues within the diverse communities of the Southwest United States, mixed qualitative/quantitative research methods, statistics, and grant development skills. 

Global Health and Development Certificate

The graduate certificate in Global Health program teaches students about key global health concepts and challenges, methodologies used in global health research, bioethical training and considerations applicable across cultures, and core concepts to evaluate and understand health systems. All courses are taught online for greatest flexibility. Faculty teaches both the core and elective courses from multiple schools. The elective offerings allow students to focus on a specific area, such as environmental health or health policy, and build an individualized skill set and knowledge base best suited to their career goals.

College of Medicine

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Through the collaborative efforts of the College of Medicine and the Graduate College, UA offers a combined MD-PhD program. Doctoral studies may be pursued through one of a number of biomedical departments and interdisciplinary programs. The MD-PhD program is intended for students who are planning careers in academic medicine or biomedical research or who seek formal training to enhance their clinical skills. The student, the College of Medicine, and the graduate program design the specific program of study jointly. Students usually begin their coursework with the first two years of medical school, followed by completion of graduate course work and dissertation research, and then by completion of medical school curriculum. The typical timeline to earn both MD and PhD degrees is 7 years. Available study options include These include MS and PhD programs in Biomedical Engineering, Cancer Biology, Cellular Biology, Cognitive Biology, Cognitive Science, Genetics, Immunobiology, Medical Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Physiological Sciences.

College of Nursing

PhD in Nursing

The College of Nursing’s PhD program dates to the 1970s, as the CON was a forerunner of preparing nurse scientists. Today, the CON is among the top 10% of nursing programs in the country, graduates four times more PhD nurses than most schools, and prepares nurses to lead interdisciplinary research initiatives and trains nurse scientists in one of three major emphasis areas:  Biobehavioral Neuroscience, Health Disparities and Illness Self-Management, and Population Health & Wellness: Health Promotion, Systems and Informatics. The CON is a national leader in using web-based state-of-the-art technologies to prepare nurse scientists as the program is online.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The CON was an early responder to the increasing national need for nurses with the clinical, administrative, and management skills to translate evidence into practice, Again, offered online, the CON’s DNP degree prepares nurses for careers in implementation science, including the skills to translate research and other evidence into clinical practice and measure patient outcomes.  Study emphasis includes options in primary (FNP, PNP, or PMHNP) or acute care (AG-ACNP). The CON implemented their DNP in 2006, the 11th DNP program in the Nation at that time.  Today, almost 300 students are enrolled and each student conducts a DNP project that is translational and implementation oriented.

Dual DNP/PhD in Nursing

The CON also offers dual DNP/PhD degrees that promote graduates with advanced clinical practice skills and strong research competencies who are prepared at the highest level of professional nursing practice and with advanced skills for engaging in research to create, apply and translate new knowledge to improve healthcare.

College of Pharmacy

Pharmacy Science

The College of Pharmacy has consistently ranked as a top 10-pharmacy school for more than 20 years. The COP excels in collaborative research programs and today offers the PhD in four tracks: drug discovery and development, pharmaceutics/pharmacokinetics, pharmacology/toxicology, and pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes.  The COP also offers the PharmD to prepare clinical pharmacists who also are prepared for translational implementation science.