PhD in Clinical Translational Science

This interdisciplinary program is designed for professional scholars committed to leading interdisciplinary CTS research teams, sustaining independent research programs that promote innovation and new discovery, or both. In addition to extensive research training, scholars will receive expanded training in the skills needed to meet career objectives: grant writing, grant management, team leadership, and personnel and laboratory management. Admission is limited to applicants with terminal professional degrees (i.e., MD, DMD, DDS, PharmD, DVM, DO, DNP, DSc, or PhD) or to professional students in dual-degree programs (MD/PhD). The primary mentor, along with an interdisciplinary PhD advisory committee, plays a prominent role in overseeing education (18 credit hours required to establish residency – 14 credit hours of competency-based training in Clinical and Translational Science and a minimum of 4 credit hours tailored to the career development needs of the scholar), qualifying examination, research training, and dissertation requirements. Successful completion of the degree is contingent on the scholar's completion and presentation (written and oral) of well-reasoned research that yields clinically significant, publishable CTS knowledge.



  • Limited to applicants with terminal professional degrees (i.e., MD, DMD, DDS, PharmD, DVM, DO, DNP, DSc or PhD) who hold appropriate domestic licensure to practice professionally 

  • Students in professional health colleges that have dual degree programs

  • Full-time UK employees may use the Employee Education Program to cover tuition costs.

Application Process/Dates:

  • All application materials for the Fall semester must be received by May 1.

  • All application materials for the Spring semester must be received by October 1.

  • Late applications will NOT be considered until the following semester


  • Completion of CTS Core Curriculum (14 credit hours) to establish core competencies in CTS. They will then 

  • Completion of a tailored curriculum of interdisciplinary courses designed to meet their research interests and career trajectories (minimum of 4 credit hours).


CTS Core Curriculum (14 credit hours):


Course Number


Course Credit



BSC 731

Methods and Technologies in Clinical and Translational Science


Fall and Spring

BSC 732 

Interdisciplinary Protocol Development 


Fall and Spring

BSC 733 

Seminar in Clinical and Translational Science


Fall and Spring

BSC 534

Ethics and Responsibility in Clinical Research


Fall and Spring

BSC 772

Fundamentals of Biostatistics for Clinical and Translational Research


Fall and Spring

BSC 790

Research in Medical Behavioral Science


Fall and Spring

Mentored Research: 

The mentor/trainee relationship is probably the single most important predictor of a scholar’s success in early stages of a research career.         

PhD Advisory Committee:

  • Primary Mentor - UK faculty member with a successful, funded research program in the scholar’s area of interest.

    • The primary mentor should be willing to support the scholar’s:
         - Curriculum progress
         - Research productivity
         - Dissemination of scientific ideas
         - Career development

  • Three Co-Mentors – UK faculty members chosen to support interdisciplinary content, techniques and skills related to the scholar’s research interest.