Thesis Requirement

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 the Entrepreneurial Thesis page for more details on this option.

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.


  • 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 Mary Favazza to reserve a room).

Preliminary Meeting

  • Held during the semester before completion of the program (typically in November or December).
  • Review the scholar’s plan for completing and publishing a research project.
    • Any difficulties anticipated in completing the project must be discussed and the approval of the committee obtained in writing.
  • The Thesis Preliminary Meeting form (pdf) must be signed by all three mentors indicating their expectation for completion, and returned to your CRTC program coordinator no later than December 1st of your final year in the program.

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).