Advanced Training in Clinical Research Certificate

Applications for the 2024-25 academic year are now open:

Applyby June 15, 2024

For questions, please contact [email protected].

The Advanced Training in Clinical Research (ATCR) Certificate is a one-year program intended for individuals who desire rigorous training in the methods and conduct of clinical research.

Through required coursework, students learn the methods to:

  • perform both observational and experimental clinical research;
  • apply clinical research methods to one or more projects; and
  • analyze, interpret and present their clinical research data.

Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate of completion from UCSF in Advanced Training in Clinical Research. Graduates are poised to work in a variety of research settings, including universities, public health departments, foundations and private industry. (Note: The program does not provide instruction in laboratory investigation and is not intended for scholars who envision themselves working primarily in a wet laboratory.)

The 2023-2024 academic year will be based in person at our UCSF Mission Bay campus.

The ATCR Certificate program can be taken either as a stand-alone educational program or as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree program, such as the UCSF Masters in Advanced Studies Clinical and Epidemiological Research or the UCSF PhD in Epidemiology and Translational Science.

Bylaws for the Advanced Training in Clinical Research Certificate Program



ATCR Certificate students are required to complete 16 courses (28.5 units). In addition, students are encouraged to take one or more electives according to their interests.

General 2024-2025 Schedule

Sample Course Schedule

Summer Clinical Research Workshop Fall Winter Spring

EPI 202 — Designing Clinical Research (2)

EPI 218 — Data Collection and  Management  for Clinical Research (1)

BIOSTAT 212 — Introduction to Statistical Computing in Clinical Research (1)

EPI 201 — Responsible Conduct of Research (0.5)

EPI 203 — Epidemiologic Methods (4)

EPI 204 — Clinical Epidemiology (3)*

BIOSTAT 200 — Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research I (3)

EPI 220/230 — TICR Program Seminar for First-Year Master's and Certificate Program Scholars (1)

EPI 205 — Clinical Trials (2)

EPI 222 — Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities: What Every Researcher Should Know (1)

BIOSTAT 208 — Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research II (3)

EPI 220/230 — TICR Program Seminar for First-Year Master's and Certificate Program Scholars (1)

EPI 212 — Publishing and Presenting Clinical Research (1)

EPI 214 — Systematic Review/Meta-Analysis (1)

BIOSTAT 209 — Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research III (3)

EPI 220/230 — TICR Program Seminar for First-Year Master's and Certificate Program Scholars (1)

*ATCR Certificate students may opt out of EPI 204. Students who opt out of EPI 204 must take the equivalent of 3 units in another elective(s).

Research Products

In the TICR Program Seminar (EPI 220/230), scholars will present their research-in-progress several times during the year.

In Biostatistical Methods III (BIOSTAT 209) in the spring quarter, scholars conduct a statistical analysis of their data and give an oral presentation at the end of the term.

Professional Goals

The following activities are target accomplishments for all ATCR Certificate scholars during the year. Although the program does not formally monitor these activities, it provides encouragement and methodologic guidance to help students meet these objectives.

Interaction with Mentor and Career Development

Mentoring is an essential element of the program. Faculty provide methodologic guidance, and students are encouratged to meet regularly with a research mentor in their chosen subject area who reviews their progress and offers scholarly guidance.

  • We encourage students to meet with a mentor at least monthly to discuss research project specifics and career issues.
  • Consider getting involved in more than one project (e.g., if one involves primary data collection, the other could be secondary data analysis, meta-analysis, decision analysis or cost-effectiveness analysis).
  • Begin to attend regional, national and international conferences in the chosen research area.
  • Develop a five-year career plan.

Written Products

  • Review of a manuscript submitted to a journal (serve as co-referee with mentor).
  • Letter to an editor on a topic involving the chosen research area.
  • A systematic review of the selected research topic.
  • Abstract for a poster or oral presentation at a national conference.
  • Application for a small grant (e.g., UCSF intramural).
  • Manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal, ideally as first author.

Promotion of Best Practices in Clinical Research

  • Serve as an agent in local research and teaching environments to introduce perspectives and techniques learned in the ATCR Certificate program.


January 1, 2024: Application opens

May 15, 2024: Application deadline

July 15, 2024: Program begins with orientation

June 6, 2025: Program ends

General 2024-2025 schedule


Admissions Criteria

The following qualifications are required:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (equal to a letter grade of B).
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have demonstrated knowledge or experience in some aspect of a health-related field (e.g., clinical practice, public health, health promotion) by virtue of a graduate or professional degree (MD, DDS, PharmD, PhD or international equivalent), being currently enrolled in such a program or relevant work experience. Although not required, this prior knowledge or experience is preferred because program scholars will be required to perform original research in an area of their choice to fulfill graduation requirements. Prior substantive knowledge or experience in a health-related field can be beneficial in identifying a research area of interest and maintain motivation for the work.
  • For scholar who are primarily based in other training programs at UCSF, we require a supervisor's assurance that at least 70 percent of their time will be available from August through May to divide between the classroom activities of this program and the conduct of the trainee's clinical research projects.
  • Affirmation of the Professional Conduct Statement (signed during orientation)

How to Apply

Applications open January 1, 2024, and the application deadline is May 15, 2024.

The following are required:

Complete the UCSF Graduate Division application.

Upon completing the Graduate Division Application, official transcripts from all institutions attended after high school should be submitted directly to the Program. We do not accept transcripts submitted by the student. The Program prefers official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts). Official e-transcripts can be sent directly to [email protected]. If only hardcopies are available, official transcripts should be mailed to:

Training in Clinical Research (TICR) Program
University of California, San Francisco
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Mission Hall (UCSF Box 0560)
550 16th Street, 2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
(For FedEx only, use 94158)

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and applicants are notified of admission decisions within six weeks of our receipt of complete applications. All application materials, including letters of recommendation and transcripts, must be received for the application to be considered complete. If any portion of the application is missing by the final due date, the application will be considered incomplete. It will not be further considered without petition, explanation and payment of a $150 late fee. Additional late fees may apply for exceptionally late transactions.

Early application is particularly encouraged for applicants originating outside of the San Francisco Bay Area who may require finding housing or visas.

International Applicants

The ATCR Certificate program welcomes applications from international scholars who meet the prerequisites, but the program does not directly provide any financial aid.

Applicants to the credit-bearing ATCR Certificate program: International applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate proficiency in English by completing one year of study with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at an accredited college or university in the United States or by obtaining the following minimum scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS - International English Language Testing System (code 4840):

  • Paper-based TOEFL – 550
  • Computer based TOEFL – 213
  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) – 80
  • IELTS – 7

An evaluation from an accredited evaluation service must accompany all transcripts from outside the United States and Canada. We recommend World Education Services (WES). The evaluation must be included with the application.

Once an international applicant has been accepted into the program, the scholar should work with UCSF's International Students and Scholars Office to obtain the appropriate visa. Note that the program begins on July 18, 2022, so travel arrangements should be made to arrive in San Francisco by July 17, 2022.

Info Session

See our last info session to learn more about Training in Clinical Research.