PhD in Clinical Translational Science (CTS)

Now offered on UAHS Phoenix and Tucson Campuses!

Program Description

The Clinical Translational Sciences (CTS) Graduate Program at the University of Arizona (UA) is designed to provide a strong foundation in clinical translational sciences, either for postgraduate students holding a terminal degree in a health science-related field (e.g., MD, DPharm, DrPH, DNP, etc.), or for post-baccalaureate students (with a bachelor's or master's degree).

The CTS program is intended to give the student the foundation for a research career in the Clinical Translational Sciences. To achieve this aim, the student requires: (a) an adequate base knowledge of biostatistics and CTS coursework that is specific to the student’s health-related discipline or clinical interest (e.g. Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology, etc.); (b) professional development including training in research ethics, presentation and publication of research findings, and preparation of grant applications; and (c) experience and training in research, culminating in a major research project.  For Ph.D. students, a minor program of study is also required in a discipline that is relevant to the student’s long-term scholarly goals.

The mission of the Ph.D. program is to train the student to be a skilled researcher who can successfully address both clinical and basic science aspects of translational research. The program provides an avenue for the student to gain experience in and exposure to the diverse areas of the clinical translational sciences and offers a mechanism for the student to obtain in-depth knowledge in a specific area of medical research. To this end, each student works with a faculty mentor, contributing to the research done in the mentor’s lab and leading a specific laboratory or clinical research project that will form the basis of the student’s dissertation.

Research Opportunities in Our Academic Units

The CTS Program is administered on both the Tucson and Phoenix campuses by the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, with participating faculty from the College of Medicine-Tucson, the College of Medicine-Phoenix, the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

  • Tucson research opportunities, click here.
  • Phoenix research opportunities, ckick here.

Tuition and Fees

Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information and tuition and fees. Note that anyone employed by UA in a benefits-eligible position may also take advantage of the University’s Qualified Tuition Reduction program.

Admissions Procedures and Requirements

General Admission Requirements

All applicants must supply transcripts, a current CV or resume, a personal statement of interest in the program, and two letters of recommendation that attest to their ability to complete a graduate research degree program.  Students who have not already completed a terminal health-sciences degree, as well as those holding a Pharm.D., must also take the GRE. (The Institution Code to have the score reported to the University of Arizona is 4832.)

International Students

All international applicants from non-English speaking nations must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores. Tests must be dated within 2 years of the intended admission term to be considered valid. (Minimum TOEFL score: 79 iBT or 550 PBT; minimum IELTS score: 7)

To apply for admission to the CTS Ph.D. program, please submit your application using the Graduate College’s online application system. For questions about the application process, please contact Graduate Admissions at For questions about the admission requirements for the CTS program, please contact

Admissions Deadlines

  • U.S. Citizen and Permanent Resident Applicants: April 1 for Fall (August) admission; October 15 for Spring admission.
  • International Applicants: March 15 for Fall (August) admission; October 15 for Spring admission.

     All application materials, including letters of recommendation and test scores, must be received by the deadline for the application to be considered.

Degree Requirements

Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 (letter grade of B) or better to be awarded a Ph.D. degree. Students must complete a minimum of 36 units of coursework toward the CTS major and at least 9 units toward the declared minor (or more for some minors). All courses must be completed at the graduate level, and at least 50% of the required coursework units must receive regular letter grades (i.e., A, B, C). A limited number of courses may be transferred from another institution with the approval of the major or minor faculty advisor, and presuming the courses earned graduate credit at the home insttitution with a grade of B or better.

A minimum of 18 units of dissertation must be completed in addition to the required coursework.

Sample Curricula

Sample curricula for the Ph.D. degree are available for postgraduate and post-baccalaureate students.

Note: Substitutions for normally required courses may be approved by the CTS Director of Graduate Affairs and the faculty advisor. The remainder of the required units will be accounted for by courses from any of UA's Health Sciences colleges selected by the student’s faculty advisor as relevant to the student’s research interests.

More Information

For more information, please contact the CTS program at