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MS-BATS Degree Program

The Master of Science degree in Biomedical and Translational Science (MS-BATS) is a clinical research training program offered by the UCI School of Medicine. Students engage in a flexible, interdisciplinary clinical research program geared for both experienced researchers seeking additional clinical skill development and for students in any academic discipline interested in conducting clinical research.  

Studies are suitable for preparing junior faculty in clinical departments, fellows, residents, fourth-year medical students, physicians and anyone with a solid basic science foundation interested in developing the skills to conduct, interpret, evaluate and apply clinical research. Individuals with doctoral preparation in any academic disciplines who are interested in conducting clinical research will benefit considering the growing demand for evidence-based medicine, comparative effectiveness research and the science of quality assessment and improvement.

The MS-BATS program offers a one-year accelerated program for those with proven clinical research experience. Applicants interested in the accelerated program must receive prior approval from Sherrie H. Kaplan, PhD, MS-BATS program director. To initiate review, send your CV to Thuy Pham at  UCI medical students interested in the accelerated program are required to enroll in the Summer Ethics course in the summer prior to Fall quarter entry.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed by the MS-BATS admissions committee upon submission of the complete application. Please upload the completed application and all required documents in UCI's Online Application portal.

For more information about MS program in Biomedical and Translational Science, view the following pages:

More resources:

For questions regarding the MS-BATS degree program, application process and minimum requirements, contact Thuy Pham at or 949-824-0095.

About the MD/MS-BATS dual degree program »

The MD/MS-BATS dual degree program is intended for medical students who are interested in the conduct, interpretation and implementation of clinical research that translates biomedical discoveries into clinical practice, improves the delivery of high quality care and informs healthcare policy.

Preparing physicians to work at the border between the clinical and basic sciences, the program is specifically designed to offer comprehensive didactic training in the fundamental skills required for conducting high-quality biomedical and translational investigation including: study design reflecting the breath and complexity of clinical translational science applications (i.e., beyond traditional clinical trials); critical appraisal of multidisciplinary research literature; conduct and management of clinical research; medical statistics; research ethics; training in leadership of multidisciplinary research teams; medical statistics, data analysis, use of data repositories, reporting and dissemination (including preparation of research proposals).

Courses are held on Thursdays and Saturdays. Whilepossible to complete the MS-BATS program in one year, many students have found it easier to complete their thesis over their final year of medical school.

Sample Program

Quarter Summer Fall Winter Spring
School year
1st year MD
2nd year MD
3rd year MD
4th year MS-BATS
5th year MD

The MS-BATS degree is awarded at the completion of the MS-BATS curriculum. Students who are enrolled in the dual degree program may elect to receive their MS hood at the same time that the MD hood is conferred.

Preparation for admission

Students interested in the MD/MS program must be current UCI medical students.  Please see our frequently asked questions (FAQ) for program admission requirements. No student will assume acceptance into the MS-BATS program solely on his/her acceptance into the MD program. 

Applying to the MS-BATS Program - Instructions »

When completing your online application for graduate admissions, you will be asked to complete a section about "Degree Program" information. Please follow the directions below to insure a successful application to the MS degree program in Biomedical and Translational Science:

School/Department: Choose “School of Medicine” from the drop-down menu
Major/Degree: Choose “Biomedical & Translational Science M.S. (MS-BATS)
Specific Area of Interest: Type in Your specific research interest(s): e.g., Device Develop, Drug Develop, IT, Diagnostics, etc.
Overview of MS-BATS »

School of Medicine faculty members have developed a comprehensive set of curriculum tracks to address the acute need for clinical researchers trained to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of the clinical research environment we operate in today.

There is an acute recognition of the accelerating gap between the rapid expansion of biomedical discoveries and the implementation of those discoveries into clinical practice. This gap is exacerbated by the current shortage of adequately trained physician-investigators who are needed if we are to keep pace with the current rapid expansion being experienced.  In the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) 'Roadmap', Dr. Elias Zerhouni articulated his vision to stimulate the application of "bench" research to the "bedside" care of patients to address this need.

Zerhuni called for the transformation of biomedical training and mentoring to promote synergism between physician-investigators and those trained in basic science and other non-clinical disciplines (see EA Zerhouni, New Eng J Med 2005; 353: 1621-1623).  Francis Collins, current director of the NIH, has underscored the importance of translational research, along with the development of comparative-effectiveness research, placing them among his top priorities for the NIH research agenda (see E Dolgin, Nature News 2009; 460:969).  Currently, less than 2 percent of active physicians pursue careers in research.

While the need on a national level continues to be articulated by numerous physician leaders, faculty leaders at UC Irvine clearly see the urgency to expand local training opportunities in clinical research — especially for our trainees in clinical residency and fellowship programs. 

In addition, there are related shortages of qualified researchers that must be addressed across a broader range of the biomedical and translational science spectrum, from the study of disease on the molecular level and the conduct of clinical research on human subjects, to the synthesis of evidence-based medicine and the development of guidelines to improve clinical practice.

Initially, our MS degree program curriculum will focus on the conduct and interpretation of clinical research and the assessment and improvement of quality of healthcare. The long-range expectation is to offer additional fields of emphasis, especially in molecular medicine and population health sciences.

  • Molecular medicine will focus on the molecular mechanisms and molecular physiology of human disease.
  • Population health sciences will focus on the application of epidemiologic research and research methods to clinical practice.

Eventually, as the MS-BATS program expands, we expect to offer medical specialty and disease-focused elective concentrations corresponding to different medical specialties and sub-specialties throughout the School of Medicine.

The current curriculum design of our MS-BATS degree program is sufficiently flexible to encourage trainees from various departments to enhance their specific training through electives specific to the content focus of their departments or research interests. While it is expected that research projects of our trainees will be related to the content focus of the trainee's department, a multidisciplinary approach is strongly encouraged by and reflected in the student's mentoring committee.