Skip to Main Content
CWRU Links

School of
Medicine

Qualifying Exam

Qualifying Examination

Per CWRU School of Graduate Studies requirements, after completion of required coursework, students must pass a qualifying examination, which enables a student to advance to candidacy and formally begin the dissertation research phase of the program. The examination will test the depth and breadth of the student’s knowledge in clinical translational research theory, methods for conducting clinical translational science (including analytical methodologies and team science approaches) and ethical conduct of research. To schedule the candidacy examination, the student must have completed all required coursework and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The examination will consist of the following two parts:

  • A closed book, in-class written examination, which will last approximately 4 hours and will cover fundamental knowledge in the area of clinical translational science
  • A take-home examination, which will be one week in length, will be more open-ended and will consist of the following:
    • A research article critique
    • A mock research project (database and research questions provided by the examination committee; student develops the design, conducts the analysis and writes up study results and conclusion)

There are 3 possible test outcomes:

  • Pass (without revisions) Advances to candidacy.
  • Conditional Pass (revisions needed) This outcome occurs when there is a deficiency in a small number of specific questions or domains. The scholar will be required to prepare a written response to question(s) created to address the deficiency. If responses are satisfactory, the scholar will advance to candidacy.
  • Fail After completion of additional coursework and/or other remedial steps, the scholar will be allowed to retake the exam the following semester and must retake the examination within one calendar year. Should a scholar not advance to candidacy, with approval of the Program Director and the School of Graduate Studies, s/he may apply earned credit hours towards completion of the Master’s degree in Clinical Research.

Those advancing to candidacy status will be able to register for dissertation credit hours (CRSP 701) and are expected by the School of Graduate Studies to complete their dissertation and defense within 5 calendar years from the date the first dissertation credit hour is taken.