Clinical Research (MS): Admission Requirements
This program is targeted to health care professionals with advanced degrees including MD, PhD or PharmD degrees. Students with other advanced degrees including nursing and pharmacy degrees and experience in clinical trials may also apply, however an advanced degree is not required. Many students in the program are physicians in fellowship programs at Rush and Stroger Hospitals. Students seeking admission to the Master of Science in Clinical Research program must complete an application and provide formal transcripts from all institutions of higher education that were previously attended. The deadline for application is generally July 30, although exceptions can be made. Applicants must enter the program in the fall semester, which starts early September. The majority of students applying to this program are current health professionals, and if an advanced health professional degree is documented, no entrance examination is required. If the applicant does not hold a professional degree, the GRE must be taken except in instances where professional experience would demonstrate performance in the field. If evidence of performance in the 50th percentile in national examinations (e.g., MCAT or USMLE step I or an equivalent test scores or DAT) is provided, the GRE requirements can be waived.
Applications will be reviewed by the Program Director and students will be notified when they are accepted.
Clinical Research (MS): Thesis Process
After identifying a mentor, the student and mentor will begin to outline the research project during the spring and summer of the first year. This can be of the student’s own design or, alternatively, a student may participate in a large multi-centered trial provided permission is received in advance for publication of the subset of that data collected by the student as a thesis. Any project that involves patient-oriented research (requires IRB approval, or involves a systematic review of patient data) can be submitted. By midterm of the spring semester the student will present the project in the form of a scientific abstract with anticipated methods, statistical analyses, power analysis and possible outcomes. The Program Director must approve the abstract. Once approved, an IRB application can be submitted
The student will be required to complete the research project and write up the findings as a research thesis. The student is then encouraged to formulate the thesis into a scientific journal article and submit the manuscript as a publication in a peer reviewed journal. If a manuscript is not written and submitted, the student must still present a written thesis for consideration for degree completion. All students will present their work publicly prior to graduation. The mentor and Program Director sign the completed thesis document indicating acceptance of the thesis for completion of the degree. There are no written or oral qualifying exams for the program.
Clinical Research (MS): Academic Policies
To remain in good standing, The Graduate College requires that the student has a passing (“B” or higher) cumulative average for all required coursework. For this purpose a P will count as a B for grade averaging.
Students are expected to attend all classes and participate in discussion. Students are also expected to participate in the various computer laboratories that are routinely held in the McCormick Educational Technology Center (METC) throughout the first year of the program where the Biostatistics courses are taught.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This includes respecting the rights of others and being kind and courteous to students, faculty/staff and patients. Intimidation of other students and faculty/staff will not be tolerated and is grounds for dismissal. Sexual harassment as well as harassment related to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or parental status, or disability is prohibited. The University Bulletin details the policies regarding inclusion of minorities and those with disabilities as well as the policies and procedures for reporting harassment. The Graduate College understands that many of the students are clinicians, but it does expect for them to be available for class time (generally 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
The Master of Science, major in Clinical Research, program follows the University Policies on Academic Honesty and the University Statement on Student Conduct.
Student Grievance Procedure
Numerous checks are in place to assure the fair treatment of students. However, if a grievance does evolve, the student should speak with the Program Director first in an attempt to resolve the problem. If this is unsuccessful or the grievance involves the Program Director, the student’s grievance can be appealed to the Dean of the College.
Graduate College/Rush University Academic Policies
Academic policies specific to The Graduate College are located earlier in this catalog. In addition, the Academic Resources and Policies section of this catalog contains Rush University academic policies.
Clinical Research (MS): Graduation Requirements
The student must maintain a passing cumulative average of B or higher to graduate. The student’s advisor and the Program Director must approve the student’s thesis.
Clinical Research (MS): Faculty Research Interests
Because this is a multidisciplinary program, there are no identified faculty members aside from those who teach in the curriculum. Please see the various clinical departments/sections at Rush University for their respective research interests.
Clinical Research (MS): Curriculum
The curriculum for the program is single track the first year and self-directed the second year. All students in the program are required to maintain a cumulative average of “B” or greater (or pass). Courses offered are graded in year one as either pass/no pass or with a letter grade. With the exception of the IRB modules, all classes in the first year are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Program Total: 32 credit hours
For graduation, students are required to complete a minimum of 32 credit hours. Students are recommended to take the readings courses in the second year along with Grantsmanship course. The students will also meet periodically with the Program Director during the second year to monitor progress on their master’s thesis research project. A trainee who fails a class or receives a no-pass in a course will have an opportunity to retake the exam or rewrite the paper to reverse the no-pass grade. A cumulative average of “B” or greater (pass) in required courses is needed to continue in the program. Failure to remediate the no-pass grade will automatically require the Program Director to review the trainee’s status and officially place the trainee on academic probation for a period of one semester. The course director will develop a remediation plan to ensure the trainee has mastery of the subject area covered. Required courses are GRE-557, CRE 558, GCC 551, GCC 546, GCC 547, GCC 552, PVM 553.
The second year is designed to provide an intense mentored clinical research project under a mentor’s guidance and the preparation of a Master’s Thesis. Students usually enroll in at least six credit hours per semester. These are typically research hours (CRE-597) or elective readings classes. The student and mentor will identify a clinical research project and will submit that project in the form of an abstract by the end of the spring semester of year 1. The student and mentor will further refine the proposal in the summer between the first and second years. Only projects relating to clinical research questions will be considered for this program. The student is expected to complete all of the data collection by the beginning of the spring semester for submission of the thesis by the end of the spring semester of the second year.
Minimum Credit Hours Required
Successful completion of the clinical research program requires 32 semester hours as a minimum for graduation along with preparation and public defense of a written thesis, as well as submission of a completed thesis to the Rush Library for publication. Of the 32 semester hours required to complete the program; 13 credit hours should come from required courses, a minimum of 12 semester hours from Thesis Research, and a minimum of 2 semester hours of electives. Students may opt to take additional credit hours beyond the required 32 credit hours, but are financially responsible for the additional tuition cost.