Clinical Research MAS

The Master's Degree Program in Clinical Research is a two-year course of study intended for graduate and professional students, clinical residents, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty members who wish to master clinical research methods and pursue independent research careers. Graduates from the MAS program fill a growing need for highly qualified clinical investigators who are adept in designing and carrying out research that will translate into better treatments and outcomes for patients.

The MAS Degree Program in Clinical Research at UCSF is broadly recognized as one of the best and most rigorous programs of its kind in the nation. The overarching philosophy of the program is to combine theoretical instruction with practical application. Many of the required courses integrate the student’s research projects into the curriculum. The methods taught are germane to all fields, so that courses accommodate scholars from a variety of backgrounds in basic science, medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy, and are accessible to scholars at all levels of training. (For some, it may be more practical to pursue the less in-depth certificate program at UCSF.)


The Clinical Research program has a large and diverse faculty of 125 individuals, most of whom have their primary affiliation in the UCSF Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and other departments in the School of Medicine, but also includes teaching faculty from the Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Radiology. The program also includes faculty whose primary affiliation is outside UCSF, including experts in the field from the California Pacific Medical Center, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and Kaiser.

The Clinical Research program is affiliated with the groundbreaking Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF.


The Clinical Research MAS program includes a specialized track in implementation science. See the program website for more information.

Career Outcomes

The vast majority of graduates from the MAS program go on to have successful academic careers. They work in a variety of disciplines, garnering funding, publishing, and teaching the methods of clinical research. Five years after graduation, 83% of program graduates hold academic positions, and 73% report that they are engaged in clinical research as at least 40% of their total professional effort. (Data from 2013.) A number of graduates have become faculty at UCSF.

The Clinical Research program is located in Mission Hall at the UCSF Mission Bay campus. See the program website for more information.

The Clinical Research program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division. The program is administered by the UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF schools of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy.


Program Coordinator
Clair Dunne

Program Co-Directors
Alexis Beatty, MD, MAS
Elaine Ku, MD, MAS