MD/MS Program in Clinical and Translational Sciences FAQs


MD students who have been accepted into the RWJMS program may apply for the Clinical and Translational Sciences Program. Students may choose to apply for the full Masters program, which along with specific course requirements requires completion of a thesis, on either a full- or part-time basis. Note that all core courses are offered in the late afternoon-early evening time frame.

The usual program for medical students will be:

Year I: Medical Year 1
Year II: Medical Year 2/begin coursework on MS (2-3 courses): USMLE Part I
Year III: MS Year 1 (finish courses/thesis)
Year IV: Medical Year 3
Year V: Medical Year 4: USMLE Part II

While most students will apply during the Medical Year 1, students can apply before matriculation or during the Medical Year 2. Students may also choose to complete the MS year after Medical Year 3.


Since I’ve already applied for Medical School, do I need to fill out a separate application for the MS in Clinical and Translational Science program?

Yes, MD/MS candidates must submit a separate application for the Clinical and Translational Science Masters Programs. Applications are available at

Since I have already submitted an RWJMS application for medical school, do I need to provide my official transcripts and MCAT scores again?

No, the program staff can view your scores and transcripts from you medical school application; however, you will need to sign a release form to give permission to the program staff to view your application. The Release Form can be found at .

Will the program take me one or two years to complete the Master?

For medical students, it is anticipated that it will take one additional year to complete the Masters. Generally, students will begin taking coursework (in the evenings) during their second year. In their third year, students will likely take the year off to complete all coursework and the thesis. Other arrangements may be appropriate and should be discussed with the Program Director, Dr. Ramsey Foty (

Must my thesis be completed at RWJMS?

The thesis work must be completed primarily at RWJMS under the auspices of a RWJMS faculty mentor. Students may receive approval to perform thesis work at our partner institution Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

How does the Masters program compare with year out fellowship programs, such as HHMI-Cloisters or the Doris Duke Translational Research Fellowship?

Completion of a structured degree program, especially featuring successful defense of a thesis, carries more weight not just in a residency application but also in consideration for an academic or industry position. The thesis represents a mentored, independent project which is developed by the student with advice from the mentor. Many fellowships, including those mentioned above, provide excellent access to a research experience, although many do not provide training in the broad spectrum of clinical and translational research and may assign students to specific labs or projects. Our MS program was created to meet a specific need to provide formal clinical sciences training and an enhanced clinical research experience.

How does a student compete for a RWJMS Scholarship?

The student will apply to the CTS MS program and note on their application if they'd like to be considered for the MD-MS dual degree scholarship.  Deadline for application to the CTS program is May 01.  If accepted into the program, the student will be considered for the RWJMS Master’s scholarship. All students wishing to be considered for the scholarship must write a brief essay on how the dual degree will enhance their professional development and stimulate their contributions to the fields of medicine and clinical and translational research.  Scholarship awardees will be determined by review of their academic record and their essay by a special RWJMS committee.  All essays should be submitted to Dr. Carol Terregino, Associate Dean for Admissions of RWJMS, to or fax to (732) 235-5078.  Please note that RWJMS will award THREE scholarships per year; however, the scholarships will be shared with the other combined degree programs (MD-MBA and MD-MPH).  The three awardees will not necessarily be from each of the combined degree programs.

How does the scholarship work?

If awarded a scholarship, students will borrow the graduate tuition/fees and be refunded the tuition/fees upon COMPLETION of the MS degree. Students pay the graduate school tuition at the beginning of each semester as per standard practice. The MS degree must be completed before or at the same time as the MD degree in order for reimbursement to occur. For information regarding financial aid, please contact Marshall Anthony in the Financial Aid Office at or (732) 235-4689. 

Can an MD student enroll in the Certificate in Clinical and Translational Sciences?

Yes, students who are not interested in completing a thesis may apply for the certificate program which entails completion of 6 “core” courses for 18 credits. The certificate program is also available on a full- or part-time basis. RWJMS dual degree scholarships, which reimburse for program tuition and fees, are only available to RWJMS medical students who matriculate into the Masters program, not the certificate.

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