Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • discuss issues related to biomedical informatics impacting clinical research;
  • summarize requirements for building and maintaining a multidisciplinary research team;
  • describe health and disease measurement in clinical and community populations;
  • describe how to implement a clinical research study;
  • develop a clinical research question;
  • apply principles of responsible research and clinical research ethics to a research project;
  • use computers to collect, manage, and analyze data for evaluation of hypotheses;
  • determine a study aim, objectives, and appropriate design to address a hypothesis;
  • analyze data using appropriate statistical techniques;
  • analyze literature to identify gaps in knowledge; and
  • communicate clinical research findings effectively in writing and oral presentation.

The Master of Science program in clinical investigation requires 37 s.h. of graduate credit. In addition to completing the program's required coursework, students must write a thesis in the form of a manuscript, or a grant proposal for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) career award or its equivalent, with oral defense. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Those who receive a grade of C in 7 s.h. of coursework may be dismissed from the program.

The program, which is offered in collaboration with the University's Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, is designed for clinicians interested in pursuing careers in clinical research. It includes in-depth training in biostatistics, epidemiology, research ethics, and academic survival skills as well as didactic training applicable to clinical research careers. Graduates of the program are able to critically evaluate clinical literature, write competitive grant proposals, design and conduct clinical research projects, work effectively with other researchers and support staff, and disseminate research results through manuscripts and presentations.


The M.S. program requires at least 6 s.h. of prerequisite coursework in the disciplines of pathology, physiology, and/or pharmacology. Students accepted into the degree program who have not completed at least 6 s.h. from those disciplines may meet the requirement while they are enrolled.

The M.S. with a major in clinical investigation requires the following coursework.

Core Courses

Students must take CPH:7270 Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health during their first year in the fall semester (enroll for 0 s.h.) and in the spring semester (enroll for 1 s.h.). They must retake CPH:7270 if they completed the course more than four years ago or if they have changed degree programs.

All of these:
EPID:4400Epidemiology I: Principles3
EPID:5241Statistical Methods in Epidemiology4
EPID:5500Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology3
EPID:5610Intermediate Epidemiology Data Analysis with SAS and R3
EPID:6150Writing for Medical Journals1
EPID:6400Epidemiology II: Advanced Methods4
EPID:6950Clinical Research Ethics2
BIOS:4120Introduction to Biostatistics3
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health2
CPH:7270Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health (taken first year in the fall and spring semesters for 0 s.h. and 1 s.h. respectively)1
Total Hours26

Capstone Requirement

While a student does not take a final examination of courses, the evaluation of the student for graduation is based upon a positive review of a mentored K or R grant or a mentored publishable research paper. The grant or paper is completed in the second year of the program and based on the area of focus. The capstone is a mentored activity which requires approval by a clinical mentor and a Department of Epidemiology primary faculty member. Successful completion of the course is denoted with a satisfactory (S) grade. The complete grant or paper will be due no later than one month prior to graduation for review.

EPID:6000Independent Study in Epidemiology2


Students must earn a minimum of 9 s.h. in elective coursework, including at least 6 s.h. in a research interest area. The following elective courses are recommended.

EPID:5214Meta-Analysis of Epidemiologic Studies3
EPID:6100Writing a Grant Proposal3
EPID:6900Design of Intervention and Clinical Trials3
EPID:6910Pharmacoepidemiology and Comparative Effectiveness Research3

Research Interest Areas

Community Studies

CBH:5235Community-Based Participatory Research3
CBH:5305Evaluation: Approaches and Applications3
CBH:6205Designing and Implementing Interventions3
EPLS:5165Introduction to Program and Project Evaluation3


EPID:5560Introduction to Molecular Epidemiology3
EPID:5570Zoonotic Diseases3
EPID:6250Genetics and Epidemiology3
EPID:6510Injury Epidemiology3
EPID:6550Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases3
EPID:6560Hospital Epidemiology2
EPID:6600Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases3
DPH:6004Principles of Oral Epidemiology3
GEOG:3110Geography of Health3

Health Services Epidemiology

EPID:4990Practicing Evidence-Based Public Health3
EPID:6360Nutrition Intervention in Clinical Trials Research2
EPID:6900Design of Intervention and Clinical Trials3
EPID:6910Pharmacoepidemiology and Comparative Effectiveness Research3
EPID:6920Applied Administrative Data Analysis2
BIOS:6610Statistical Methods in Clinical Trials3
BIOS:7600Advanced Biostatistics Seminar3
CBH:6205Designing and Implementing Interventions3
PCOL:5136Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics1


EPID:5200Principles of Public Health Informatics3
EPID:5600Introduction to Epidemiology Data Management and Analysis3
HMP:5315Health Information Systems3
HMP:5370Health Informatics3

Nutrition Science

EPID:6330Global Nutrition Policy2-3
EPID:6350Nutritional Epidemiology2
EPID:6360Nutrition Intervention in Clinical Trials Research2
EPID:6370Nutrition Intervention in Research Lab3

Outcomes and Health Services Research

HMP:5410Health Economics I3
HMP:7550Cost Effectiveness and Decision Analysis3
HMP:7960Analytic Issues in Health Services Research I3
HMP:7965Analytic Issues in Health Services Research II3

Pharmacy Science

PHAR:5310Health Services Research Seminar1
PHAR:5350Introduction to Research Methods3
PHAR:6305Foundation Literature in Health Services Research3

Statistical Methods

BIOS:6210Applied Survival Analysis3
BIOS:6310Introductory Longitudinal Data Analysis3

Translational Biomedicine

TBM:5001Introduction to Translational Biomedicine3

Applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS); they also must pay the required application fee to the Graduate College through the University of Iowa Office of Admissions when prompted. For detailed application information, visit How to Apply to the Department of Epidemiology on the department's website.

Applicants must hold a doctoral-level degree in a clinical discipline (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., Ph.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M.) or be enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program (Carver College of Medicine). They must hold a baccalaureate degree with a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00; foreign-trained applicants must have an outstanding doctoral training record evidenced by research publications.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. Applicants can verify English proficiency by submitting official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Applicants are considered based on their credentials, prior training, and research training plans. Applicants with deficiencies in one area may be admitted if all other components of their application are strong. Individuals must have a sponsoring department.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Application deadlines for fall admission are June 1 for U.S. citizens, April 15 for international applicants. For summer admission, the deadline is April 1; for spring admission, December 1.

A limited number of graduate research assistantships are available for advanced students; for information, consult the department. For information on financing education through jobs, grants, and loans, contact the University's Office of Student Financial Aid.

Opportunities for funded predoctoral fellowships are available. Funded positions sponsored by federal agencies are available only to U.S. citizens.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Clinical Investigation, M.S.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
37 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a
A program GPA of at least 3.00 is required.
First Year
BIOS:4120 Introduction to Biostatistics 3
EPID:4400 Epidemiology I: Principles 3
EPID:5500 Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology 3
CPH:6100 Essentials of Public Health 2
CPH:7270 Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health b 0
EPID:5241 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology 4
EPID:6400 Epidemiology II: Advanced Methods 4
EPID:5610 Intermediate Epidemiology Data Analysis with SAS and R 3
CPH:7270 Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health b 1
Second Year
Elective course c 3
Elective course c 3
Elective course c 3
Capstone Requirement d
EPID:6150 Writing for Medical Journals 1
EPID:6950 Clinical Research Ethics 2
EPID:6000 Independent Study in Epidemiology e 2
 Total Hours37
Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information.
Taken in the fall and spring of first year for 0 s.h. and 1 s.h., respectively.
A minimum of 9 s.h. of graduate level coursework is required with at least 6 s.h. in a research interest area; see General Catalog and website for coursework and specifics. Work with faculty advisor to select appropriate coursework and to determine sequence.
While no final examination of courses will be taken, the evaluation of the student for graduation is based upon a positive review by the student's faculty mentor of 1) a mentored K or R grant, or 2) a mentored publishable paper.
The Capstone Requirement is completed under the Independent Study mentorship; work with faculty advisor for approval.