Certificate in Translational Science

The Graduate Certificate in Translational Science (CTS) is designed to provide graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and other health care professionals with a formal introduction to the essential components involved in the advancement of scientific discoveries in basic biomedical research into clinical applications and improvements in human health. 

The CTS Program is an alternative for health professionals who do not have the time to complete the requirements of an advanced Master’s or Doctoral degree and to graduate students, fellows, and others who desire additional training in the evolving discipline of translational science to supplement their clinical or science training.

Admissions Requirements

The CTS Program has an open application policy and will accept on-line applications for admission at any time.

However, GSBS deadlines (for submission of on-line application and required documentation) for matriculation in a specific academic semester are listed below.

  • Fall Semester: April 1
  • Spring Semester: October 1

All applicants should have a sufficient educational background in the biological or biomedical sciences prior to admission to the program.

All transcripts from foreign institutions (including GPA) must be evaluated and submitted by an approved foreign credentialing evaluation agency. The CTS Program will only accept course by course transcript translations (including GPA) from the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) or the World Education Services, Inc. (WES).

A grade point average (GPA) no lower than B (3.0 in a 4.0 system) in the last 60 hours of coursework for a BS/BA degree or a GPA of at least 3.0 for applicants with a MS degree.

A minimum score of 300 score for the combined verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required.  Scores on the GRE tests taken more than five (5) years prior to the date of application will not be accepted.

Applicants who have completed a graduate degree in a health-related discipline (M.D., D.D.S., RN, DVM, M.S., or Ph.D.) will be exempted from the requirement to complete the GRE.

A minimum score of 560 on the paper version or 68 on the internet version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 on the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for applicants from countries where English is not the native language.

Scores on TOEFL or IELTS tests taken more than two years prior to the date of matriculation will not be accepted.

Letters of recommendation (three) attesting to the applicant's readiness for graduate level studies in translational science.

If a matriculated graduate student has a Supervising Professor, one letter must be provided by this individual.

A Personal Statement (1-2 pages) that includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, long term research and/or career goals, and an indication of the basis for application into the CTS Program including how this program fits into the applicant’s career objectives.

A current curriculum vitae is required.

Certificate Requirements

Twelve semester credit hours of didactic coursework are required to obtain the CTS.  Satisfactory completion of required and elective coursework is also needed in order to be recommended for awarding of the certificate.

Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
TSCI 5070Responsible Conduct Of Patient-Oriented Clinical Research 2
TSCI 5071Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Methods-1 2
TSCI 5072Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Biostatistics-1 2
TSCI 6001Introduction To Translational Science 1
Spring
TSCI 6101Topics In Translational Science 1
TSCI Elective Coursework  4
 Total Credit Hours: 12.0

CTS Elective Courses (may be taken in any semester when offered)

TSCI 5076Introduction To Informatics1
TSCI 5073Integrated Molecular Biology With Patient-Oriented Clinical Research1
TSCI 5074Data Management, Quality Control And Regulatory Issues2
TSCI 5075Scientific Communication2
TSCI 5077Translational Science Training (TST) Practicum1-3
TSCI 5078Introduction to Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization1
TSCI 5079Practicum in Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization0.5-1
TSCI 5080Integrating Molecular Biology with Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Practicum1
TSCI 6060Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Methods-22
TSCI 6061Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Biostatistics-22
TSCI 6064Grantsmanship and Peer Review1
TSCI 6065Health Services Research2
TSCI 6066Instrument Development And Validation1
TSCI 6067Genetics And Genetic Epidemiology1
TSCI 6068Cross-Cultural Adaptation Of Research Instruments1
TSCI 6069Statistical Issues, Planning, And Analysis Of Contemporary Clinical Trials2
TSCI 6070Biostatistics Methods For Longitudinal Studies2.5
TSCI 6100Practicum In IACUC Procedures1
TSCI 6102Practicum In IRB Procedures1
TSCI 6103Selected Topics In Advanced Research Ethics1-3
TSCI 6105Topics in Cancer Prevention1
TSCI 6106Practicum in Cancer Prevention Science0.5-1

Twelve (12) semester credit hours (SCH) are required to obtain the Certificate in Translational Science (CTS). Students must be admitted to the CTS program to be eligible for certification.

Objectives/Program Outcomes

The goal of this program is to provide graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and other health care professionals with formal education in the essential components of translational science. That is, the advancement of scientific discoveries made in basic biomedical research towards clinical applications and improvements in human health. This training will prepare professionals to integrate within interdisciplinary investigative teams for the conduct of clinical and translational research in culturally diverse settings.

Specific aims are to support the intellectual environment at the Heath Science Center for clinical and translation science, and to provide fundamental curricular activities in translation science to Heath Science Center students, postdoctoral trainees, clinical residents and fellows, and faculty from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Health Professions, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as well as from local organizations that are partnered with the Heath Science Center. The aims will be achieved via participation and successful completion of required didactic coursework.

Program-Specific Policies for Laptop Computers

Students are required to have laptop computer that can connect to and operate over a wireless network. 

Software Required:

  • Microsoft Office Suite  (A personal copy of the latest version can be purchased at the Health Science Center bookstore at student pricing with a student ID).

Laptops with an Apple based Operating System must be able to also operate using a Windows based Operating System.

TSCI 5070. Responsible Conduct Of Patient-Oriented Clinical Research. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is designed to train participants in the responsible conduct of patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course, be required to: (1) delineate a history of hallmark abuses of humans enrolled in clinical research; (2) describe the evolution of national and international codes and regulations guiding inclusion of human subjects in clinical investigations; (3) list the elements of informed consent and describe procedures and precautions for enrolling special populations into clinical investigation; (4) write a consent form in understandable language; (5) recognize different forms of scientific misconduct; (6) describe the role and processes of a peer review board to judge violations in research ethics; (7) develop strategies for self-assessment and validation of scientific objectivity in one's own research; and (8) recognize the ethical responsibilities and consequences of whistle blowing.

TSCI 5071. Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Methods-1. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is the first in a two-semester sequence designed to train participants in the conduct of patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course, be required to: (1) define a research question; (2) effectively conduct a systematic review of the scientific literature; (3) design strategies for recruitment into a study; (4) delineate strategies for minimizing bias in cross-sectional and retrospective studies; and (5) read and interpret research reports of cross-sectional and case-control investigations.

TSCI 5072. Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Biostatistics-1. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is the first in a two-semester sequence designed to train participants in the analysis and biostatistics of patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course, be required to: (1) identify and summarize different categories of data; (2) set up and perform tests of hypotheses; (3) estimate sample sizes for survey and case-control studies; and (4) use statistical software packages to enter, summarize, graph, visualize, and analyze data.

TSCI 5073. Integrated Molecular Biology With Patient-Oriented Clinical Research. 1 Credit Hour.

This interdisciplinary course is designed to train participants on integrating molecular biology methods into patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to: (1) appropriately use molecular terms in clinical investigation; (2) describe the events involved in protein synthesis; (3) describe the principles involved in molecular techniques (e.g., polymerase chain reactions, southern blots); (4) identify the appropriate specimens, collection, and handling requirements for each molecular technique; (5) identify and correct common sources of error in performing molecular techniques; (6) cite examples of clinical applications of molecular techniques in clinical medicine; and (7) apply molecular techniques in the laboratory to specific clinical problems.

TSCI 5074. Data Management, Quality Control And Regulatory Issues. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is designed to train participants in the necessary data management and quality control procedures required for the conduct of patient-oriented clinical research. It consists of three segments: (1.) introduction to data management principles and standard practices; (2) development of the student's own mentored research; and (3) introduction to bioinformatics.

TSCI 5075. Scientific Communication. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is designed to train participants to write effectively in all aspects of conducting patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course, be required to: (1) recognize and avoid errors in grammar, punctuation, and usage that are common in scientific writing; (2) construct units of writing whose structure, style, and logical continuity allows instant and clear comprehension; (3) construct concise, informative titles; (4) develop clear, comprehensive, abstracts for papers and grant proposals; (5) construct complete, well-rationalized sets of specific aims for grant proposals; and (6) effectively apply the 4-Point Rule (What is the question? How did we approach it? What happened? What does it mean?) to all forms of scientific writing.

TSCI 5077. Translational Science Training (TST) Practicum. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This elective course provides an opportunity for participation in unique clinical and translational research activities that are highly individualized for each student on the basis of prior experience and research interests.

TSCI 5078. Introduction to Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course provides an in-depth overview of the essential components encompassed in the protection of intellectual property, patents, licensing, technology transfer, and product commercialization. Content is provided through a series of lectures, assigned readings, literature reviews, class presentations, and discussions with faculty.

TSCI 5079. Practicum in Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization. 0.5-1 Credit Hours.

This elective course provides an opportunity for participation in unique and translational research activities that focus on the processes involved in the protection of intellectual property and the transfer and commercialization of technology. Activities are highly individualized for each student on the basis of prior experience and research interests.

TSCI 5080. Integrating Molecular Biology with Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Practicum. 1 Credit Hour.

This is the required practicum to TSCI 5073. This practicum is designed to provide the opportunity for highly individualized research activities for integrating molecular biology methods into patient-oriented clinical research.

TSCI 6001. Introduction To Translational Science. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course provides an in-depth overview of the essential components encompassed by translational science. Content is provided through a series of lectures, assigned readings, literature reviews, class presentations, and discussions with faculty.

TSCI 6060. Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Methods-2. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is the second in a two-semester sequence designed to train participants in the conduct of patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course be required to: (1) define criteria for inferring causation from observational studies; (2) design strategies for subject retention in a prospective study; (3) design strategies for monitoring progress in a randomized control trial; (4) delineate strategies for minimizing bias in cohort studies and randomized control trials; (5) compare and contrast the uses, strengths, and weaknesses of different clinical trial designs; (6) read and interpret research reports of cohort studies and randomized control trials; and (7) describe the steps in conducting a meta-analysis. Prerequisites: TSCI 5071.

TSCI 6061. Patient-Oriented Clinical Research Biostatistics-2. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is the second in a two-semester sequence designed to train participants in the biostatistical analysis and patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course, be required to: (1) perform a two-way analysis of variance and explain the results; (2) perform survival analysis; (3) compare and contrast the purpose and characteristics of different forms of interventional trials; and (4) plan the sample size, analysis, and stopping rules of a randomized clinical trial. Prerequisites: TSCI 5072.

TSCI 6064. Grantsmanship and Peer Review. 1 Credit Hour.

The purpose of this elective course is to provide an overview of the peer review process for research proposals as well as the essential components of grant management. Lecture and assignment topics will include: (1) funding agencies, missions, deadlines, and instruction; (2) Institutional Grantsmanship Issues; (3) National Institutes of Health (NIH) Organization (Institutes, Councils, Centers, and Budgets); (4) NIH Awards and Study Sections; (5) process and communications with the NIH; (6) interpreting and responding to written critiques; (7) mock study section meeting; and (8) grantsmanship after funding.

TSCI 6065. Health Services Research. 2 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on concepts and methods used in research focusing on health care quality, utilization, access, and safety. The seminar will utilize skills-based learning, small group activities, and outside assignments. By the end of the course, candidates will be required to: (1) Articulate underlying core concepts; (2) Describe basic methods used in health services research; (3) Identify relevant databases and data sources for health services research; (4) Critically appraise and interpret published reports of health services research; (5) Discuss current issues in HSR; (6) Understand how to incorporate health services concepts, methods, or tools into current research. Prerequisites: TSCI 5071 and 6060.

TSCI 6066. Instrument Development And Validation. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course introduces methods to develop and evaluate self-report measures. The seminar is built on classical test theory with a focus on the practice of creative surveys. Participants should be able to (1) estimate various forms of reliability; (2) demonstrate various forms of validity evidence; and (3) explain how statistical analyses may be used to inform the validation process.

TSCI 6067. Genetics And Genetic Epidemiology. 1 Credit Hour.

The main objective of this elective course is to familiarize students with current concepts and methods used in patient-oriented genetic studies. The class is oriented toward all health professionals - no prior genetics coursework is required. Topics include a review of the human genome structure followed by lectures and discussion on current research areas such as genetic epidemiologic studies, applications of microarray technologies, and pharmacogenomics. By the end of the course, candidates will have had the opportunity to learn to: (1) articulate basic concepts and current analytical methods used for human genetics research; (2) identify and use relevant databases and data sources for genetics research; (3) interpret the literature and discuss current issues of human genetics research; and (4) understand the potential and current limits of personalized medicine.

TSCI 6068. Cross-Cultural Adaptation Of Research Instruments. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course introduces students to the concept of cross-cultural equivalence of research instruments - a prerequisite for making valid comparisons across two or more ethnic groups - and the process of cross-cultural adaptation used to achieve this equivalence. Students will have the opportunity to learn the multiple steps necessary to successfully cross-culturally adapt research instruments and how to assure content, semantic, technical, conceptual, and criterion equivalence of individual items and scales. A number of instruments used in cross-cultural research will be reviewed and critiqued with regard to their cross-cultural equivalence.

TSCI 6069. Statistical Issues, Planning, And Analysis Of Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2 Credit Hours.

This elective course will serve as an in-depth survey of the various clinical trial designs, analysis, and regulatory issues. Students will learn to apply statistical principles in designing clinical trials to minimize risk to patients while maximizing generalizable discovery. Specific topics include Phase I-V studies, adaptive designs, longitudinal and survival studies. Students will learn to specify the primary outcome and to estimate the required sample size for common trial designs. Clinical trial design and analysis is often complicated by idiosyncrasies such as missing data, and the methodology for handling these will be covered. Prerequisites: TSCI 5072 and TSCI 6061.

TSCI 6070. Biostatistics Methods For Longitudinal Studies. 2.5 Credit Hours.

This elective course will discuss a broad range of statistical techniques for deriving statistical inference from longitudinal studies. Main topics include design of longitudinal studies (power analyses and sample size estimation), analyses of repeated measured outcomes (continuous and discrete), analyses of time to event outcomes, techniques to address challenges associated with missing data and confounding, and rigorous casual modeling approaches. Students will learn to identify feasible and efficient statistical design of longitudinal; studies and to conduct rigorous and robust statistical methods to analyze data arising from longitudinal studies. The goal is to develop students' biostatistical competencies in conducting high-quality longitudinal studies in medical research. Prerequisites: TSCI 5072 and TSCI 6061.

TSCI 6100. Practicum In IACUC Procedures. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course presents an in-depth introduction to the institutional program that provides oversight and regular review of projects that involve the care and use of animals. This includes consideration of the operational procedures of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Course objectives are achieved through a combination of readings, monthly attendance at selected IACUC meetings, and discussions with faculty.

TSCI 6101. Topics In Translational Science. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course addresses selected topics in translational science through a series of lectures, assigned readings, literature re-views, class presentations, and discussions with faculty.

TSCI 6102. Practicum In IRB Procedures. 1 Credit Hour.

This elective course presents an in-depth introduction to the institutional program that provides oversight and regular review of research projects that involve human subjects. This includes consideration of the operational procedures of the multiple Institution Review Boards (IRB) of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Course objectives are achieved through a combination of readings, monthly attendance at selected IRB meetings, and discussions with faculty.

TSCI 6103. Selected Topics In Advanced Research Ethics. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This elective course provides an in-depth understanding of a selected topic in research ethics. Students work independently to develop a detailed literature review specific to an area of research and are required to prepare a manuscript describing the results. Regular meetings with the Course Director will review progress towards course goals.

TSCI 6105. Topics in Cancer Prevention. 1 Credit Hour.

This course address current topics in cancer prevention science through a series of didactic lectures and discussions with cancer prevention faculty. Topics span the continuum of cancer prevention from basic cancer epidemiology and carcinogenesis, to cancers of special relevance in South Texas and interventions. An exposure to prevention clinical trials and disparity research will also be presented. Consent of instructor is required for registration.

TSCI 6106. Practicum in Cancer Prevention Science. 0.5-1 Credit Hours.

This elective course provides an opportunity for participation in unique clinical and laboratory cancer prevention research activities that are highly individualized for each student on the basis of prior experience and research interests. Consent of the instructor is needed for registration.