Scholars are required to complete a research paper submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in order to obtain the MSCI degree or for completion of the thesis requirement of their CRTC program.

To qualify as a thesis, the manuscript must be submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed journal and be based on work done during the period of the degree. A thesis project is meant to reflect the learning obtained during the course of the degree, encompassing the majority of the coursework and mentored independent research completed.

The thesis research work must involve patients, human tissue, human cell lines, or clinical data. It cannot be a review article, case report, or case series. The publication must be submitted within one year of completing all degree related coursework. Final conferral of the MSCI degree is contingent on demonstration that the manuscript was approved by the scholar’s thesis committee and was submitted for review by a peer-reviewed journal.

TL1 Standards planning to complete the MSCI must complete a thesis which is different than the dissertation to be used for the completion of the PhD degree requirements.

If you are doing the Entrepreneurial Thesis option for the MSCI degree the meeting requirements below are the same, but the documentation is slightly different. See more details on this option below.


Mentorship Meetings

  • Held each semester throughout the duration of the program, each meeting should include a review of the scholar’s research progress and his/her plan for completing the thesis requirement.

Mentorship Meeting Form

  • Any difficulties anticipated in completing the project should be discussed and documented on the mentorship meeting form.
  • Mentorship Meeting Forms (pdf) must be signed by the scholar and the primary mentor in acknowledgment of the mentorship committee’s expectations.
  • A copy of each form must be returned to the scholar’s CRTC program coordinator each semester, no later than December 1 and May 1.
Thesis and Committee


  • Must be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal
  • Must be approved by the scholar’s thesis committee before submission
  • It is strongly suggested, although not required that the scholar if the first author. The scholar must be a major contributor to the publication.

Thesis Committee

  • Each scholar will form his/her own thesis committee.
    • Members should include: the primary mentor, the CRTC program mentor, and one additional mentor selected by the scholar and his or her primary and CRTC mentors.
    • Mentor Agreement Forms should be used for any mentor with whom you are not already working.
  • The thesis committee must meet at least twice.
    • Scholars are responsible for scheduling their own meetings.
    • CRTC conference rooms are available for use if needed (please contact to reserve a room).
Final Approval Meeting

Final Approval Meeting

  • Held during the scholar’s final semester.
  • Send a copy of the manuscript to the thesis committee members at least one week prior to the meeting. Include the proposed journal and anticipated date of submission.
  • The meeting should consist of the scholar’s brief (about 15 min.), formal presentation of the research followed by the committee’s discussion of the manuscript. PowerPoint presentations are not required but may be useful.
  • The Thesis Final Approval form (pdf) must be signed by all three mentors indicating their approval, and returned to the Curriculum and Evaluation Manager for MSCI completion or your CRTC program coordinator for program completion no later than May 1st (May completion), August 1st (August completion), or December 1st (December completion).

Entrepreneurial thesis option

We are excited to continue the expansion of the MSCI degree to include two new entrepreneurial focused thesis options. Students can be matched with entrepreneurial mentors within the Skandalaris Center based upon area of focus. The entrepreneurial thesis will be available in any of the three MSCI concentrations: Clinical Investigation, Translational Medicine, and Genetics/Genomics.

Option A: Grant Funding Proposal, or Business PlanOption B: Peer-Reviewed Manuscript
6-8 credit hours of Mentored Independent Research to include:An externship with an entrepreneur mentor, assisting on the development of a business planWorking with the Center for Research Innovation in Biotechnology (CRIB) to conduct a historical analysis of medical device or drug class (e.g., biologics, antimicrobials)
Electives:It is strongly recommended you select electives from the Bio-Entrepreneurial CategoryIt is strongly recommended you select electives from the Bio-Entrepreneurial Category
Submit to the Thesis Committee for approval:Grant Application (e.g. SBIR/STTR), Funding Proposal, or Business PlanManuscript prepared for an appropriate peer-reviewed journal
Final Thesis:Presentation to an appropriate funding mechanism (e.g., NIH, Bear Cub, Skandalaris Center Cup, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition, Global Impact Awards, Gates Foundation), or submission to the appropriate granting institutionSubmission to a peer-reviewed journal

Entrepreneurial thesis option resources