Clinical Research Certificate

This certificate is designed for clinicians and other health professionals who have at least five years of relevant experience and who want to learn how to design, implement, and interpret clinical research studies.

The program includes 16 credits and can be completed in six terms, attending part-time.

The University of Minnesota offers a unique environment for clinical research training as a national center of academic clinical research and having a substantial portfolio of clinical research within the Academic Health Center.

Specific expectations of our students include the ability to:

  • Pose clinical research questions
  • Review and critique the literature in the field
  • Understand and utilize different study design approaches
  • Understand research study implementation, data collection and quality control
  • Understand good clinical practice in research studies
  • Perform statistical design, analysis and data interpretation
  • Understand the factors associated with ethical conduct of research

Eleven of the 16 required credits will be offered entirely online.

Required Courses

PubH 6301 (3 cr) – Fundamentals of Clinical Research – available in-person fall term
PubH 6320 (3 cr) – Fundamentals of Epidemiology – available online or in-person
PubH 6450 (4 cr)– Biostatistics I – available online or in-person fall and spring
PubH 6742 (1 cr) – Ethics in Public Health: Research and Policy – available online or in-person
PubH 6303 (2 cr) – Clinical Research Seminar – available in-person spring term
PubH 7415 (3 cr) – Clinical Trials – available online summer or fall term

Sample Schedule

Year One

Fall – PubH 6301 (3 cr) Fundamentals of Clinical Research
Spring – PubH 6450 (4 cr) Biostatistics I

Year Two

Fall – PubH 6742 (1 cr) Ethics in Public Health: Research and Policy
Spring – PubH 6320 (3 cr) Fundamentals of Epidemiology

Year Three

Fall – PubH 7415 (3 cr) Clinical Trials
Spring – PubH 6303 (2 cr) Clinical Research Seminar

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, and have at least five years of relevant clinical research experience (or sufficient GRE scores). A GPA of a 3.0 or better is preferred. Applications are reviewed holistically.
Students are admitted three times per year. Deadlines are as follows:

Fall: August 1
Spring: December 1
Summer: April 1

Instructions about how to apply can be found on our admissions page.

The field of clinical and translational research is expanding, driven by changing disease patterns and emerging therapeutic approaches from the laboratory, clinical, and population sciences.

However, there are growing concerns about the quality and safety of research in humans, as evidenced by public scandals and increasing regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The result is an increasing demand for well-trained individuals who bring knowledge to the design, implementation and interpretation of clinical research studies.

The need and demand reaches beyond Minnesota. The epidemiologic transition, which posits increasing numbers of chronic diseases throughout the developing world, expands the need for testing innovative and appropriate therapies.

The Clinical Research Certificate also provides an opportunity for health professionals outside of the U.S., especially South Africa and other developing countries, to receive proper training in clinical research methods as requested by the NIH.

The goal of the certificate is to increase the research skills of clinical research professionals in the U.S. and those overseas and to provide relevant, distance-accessible education programming.

Why should I get a Certificate in Clinical Research (PHCert-CR)?

The certificate program offers an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills in basic clinical research practices and applications.

Who is eligible for the program?

The certificate is designed for clinicians and other health professionals who have at least five years of relevant experience. Applicants with less than five years of experience must submit GRE scores. Please contact the program if you have questions about your specific eligibility.

How long does the program take?

The PHCert-CR must be completed within four years of matriculation. It can be completed in two years by taking one course per term. Due to sequencing issues, it takes a minimum of 3 terms (including one summer term) to complete.

Can I transfer credits from the certificate to a degree program at the School of Public Health?

If you apply for and are accepted to an MPH program, with the MPH director’s approval, your certificate credits can move with you into that program. Please note that the certificate program is not meant to be an entry point into the Clinical Research M.S. and the programs have significant differences.

Can I transfer credits into the certificate program?

The School of Public Health has policies in place governing transfer credit. If you wish to apply credits you have earned as a non-degree seeking student, from another institution, or from another degree program at the University of Minnesota, please contact the program staff for detailed information.  Credits may only be transferred if they appear on a graduate level transcript, were taken within the last 5 years, and have a grade of B- or better. In most circumstances, you can transfer in only up to 40% of your program credits (which translates into approximately 6 credits) that were taken prior to formal admission to the certificate. Some exceptions apply. Certificates are not awarded retroactively.

What if I’m already a student in the School of Public Health? Do I still need to apply?

Yes. All prospective students, regardless of their current status in the School of Public Health,  must apply and be admitted to the program before completing all program requirements if they wish to earn a certificate. Certificates are not awarded retroactively.

How must does the certificate cost?

The School of Public Health charges tuition on a per credit basis. Currently (2015-2016) the tuition rate is $910 per credit. At this rate, the whole certificate will cost approximately $15,000, including tuition, fees, and books.

Are scholarships available?

There are no current scholarship opportunities within the School of Public Health. Most students in the program finance their education through their employer’s education benefits, outside scholarships, and personal resources. Federal financial aid is not available.

Once my application is complete, how soon can I expect to hear from the School of Public Health?

It can take the admission committee two to four weeks to review your application. You will hear from the School of Public Health via email.

Application Deadline

Spring (January) Term: December 1
Summer Term: April 1
Fall Term: August 1

Contact Info

Enrollment and Program Development Manager
Kathryn Schwartz Eckhardt

Program Director
Russell Luepker,