Admission Criteria

Students interested in participating in the Designated Emphasis in Translational Research program must be enrolled in the Ph.D. program of one of the participating graduate programs or groups. The student’s mentor should be a member of the Designated Emphasis in Translational Research faculty. It is recommended that a student enroll during the first two years of their Ph.D. program. For a current list of affiliated graduate programs and groups, please consult the web site. The Designated Emphasis in Translational Research program welcomes the addition of new graduate programs and graduate groups, as well as applications for membership by faculty. Students must be selected as Designated Emphasis in Translational Research trainees prior to taking the Ph.D. qualifying examination of their degree program.


Required Courses - 12 Units

The core courses will introduce Ph.D. students to the clinical and translational environment and is intended to acculturate trainees to the clinical environment, integrate medical principles into their research, and highlight high-impact clinical studies. It also includes aspects of study design and reproducible research.

  • Integrating Medicine into Basic Science (CLH 250) – 4 units (Summer)
    Summer institute consisting of clinical rotations to acculturate students to the human medical environment; integrate medical principles, physiology and pathophysiology into basic research; introduce high-impact clinical studies related to medicine and health.
  • Critical Assessment of the Biomedical Literature (CLH 211) – 1 unit (Fall, Winter or Spring)
    This course has a journal club format, and exposes students to topical issues and controversies in the design of interdisciplinary translational research, with an emphasis on critical assessment of the biomedical and health sciences literature.
  • Team Science (CLH 207) – 1 unit (Spring)
    This course offers guidance on how best to engage in team science to pursue complex questions, work effectively with team members, and produce high impact research that meets society's needs.
  • Elective courses: Choose from approved elective list. – 6 units (Fall, Winter or Spring)

Elective Courses

Students should take 6 units of elective courses from the approved elective course list. Elective choices should be outside the requirements of the PhD program in which the student is enrolled and should provide additional competency in translational aspects of research. Other courses may be considered by the Chair upon request with justification.

  • CLH 240: Research Integration (1 unit)
  • CLH 210Y: Principles and Methods of Comparative Effectiveness Research (4 units)
  • CLH 298: Precision Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease (2 units)
  • GGG 296 - Scientific Professionalism and Integrity (2 units)
  • NSC 225: Translational Research in the Neurobiology of Disease (2 units)
  • NSC 261C: Topics in Vision: Clinical Vision Science (2 units)
  • PTX 277: Molecular Mechanisms in Cancer and Other Diseases (3 units)
  • PHA 207: Drug Discovery and Development (3 units)
  • PHA 225: Gene Therapy (3 units)
  • PHA 250: Functional Genomics: From Bench to Bedside (3 units)

Qualifying Examination

The Ph.D. qualifying examination shall include an examination of knowledge within the designated emphasis. At least one faculty member of the designated emphasis program shall participate in the qualifying examination. Satisfactory performance on the qualifying examination for the Ph.D. will be judged independently from the performance on the designated emphasis.

Dissertation Requirements

The dissertation topic shall incorporate study within the designated emphasis.
The dissertation committee shall include at least one faculty member of the designated emphasis. The major professor must be a member of the Designated Emphasis in Translational Research faculty.

Degree Conferral Process

The Designated Emphasis in Translational Research will be awarded solely in conjunction with the Ph.D. and will be signified by the degree designation “Ph.D. in X with Emphasis in Translational Research."

Student Advising

The chair will serve as graduate advisor, and the program coordinator will also serve as an adviser.

Impact on Time to Degree

Because the Designated Emphasis in Translational Research requires only four graduate courses, one of which may be in the student’s home program, it is estimated that the impact of completing the Designated Emphasis in Translational Research on the student’s time to degree will be minimal.