Clinical Research

Students working in a lab
Master of Science

About the Program

Choose Cleveland's health care hub as your entry to clinical research in this flexible 15-month to five-year master's program. Through rigorous coursework and either in-depth mentored investigative thesis or hands-on clinical research, you'll become more effective, efficient and experienced with your research and collaborations. The thesis pathway—designed for those with advanced degrees—prepares you to become a clinical investigator, taking the lead in academia, government and industry. Or choose the capstone program as a bridge to serving as a research assistant, study coordinator or data manager—or even as an opportunity to prepare for a PhD program or medical school.

What to Expect

You'll become familiar with every step of the clinical research process. Prepare to identify a research question and critically evaluate relevant literature, transform your question into a feasible and valid study design, develop and execute the study protocol, and analyze and effectively communicate your findings.

This program consists of three stages that build upon your experiences as you learn:

  1. Formal didactic modular and semester-long coursework
  2. A seminar series that focuses on communication skills required for career development
  3. An intensive mentored experience centered on a specific clinical research topic (Thesis Pathway) or intensive hands-on experience/internship as a study-team member (Capstone Pathway)

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Mentored Research

Gain advice from a qualified mentor. No matter which pathway you choose, you'll be guided by two mentors. It's an essential element of the program—and critical to your success.

In the thesis pathway, you'll be paired with a scientific research mentor, who is responsible for research supervision and help with your career development, and a faculty advisor/career mentor, who helps you understand and manage your participation in the program.

If you choose the capstone/internship/practicum pathway, you'll also have a faculty advisor, as well as a capstone advisor, who will guide you through your project and provide hands-on experience in conducting clinical research.

By the Numbers


participating institutions: Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland VA Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals


pathways of study: thesis or capstone/internship/practicum


clinical faculty from across 4 schools at the university

Application Requirements

  • Apply online
  • Non-refundable $50 application fee
  • Three recommendation letters, either online or in individual, unopened, sealed envelopes
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or CV
  • GRE or MCAT test results (for Master's B Pathway applicants only)
  • Official transcripts for all higher education degrees (original language and English translational versions) and ECFMG (if applicable)
  • Additional scores for international applications without a degree from a U.S. college/university or other English speaking institution
  • Non degree-seeking applications should submit an Application for Admission to the School of Graduate Studies

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Contact Us

James Spilsbury
James Spilsbury, PhD
Program Director and Associate Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Science
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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