A total of 15.0 credits comprising all the required courses in the concentration and a selection from the electives are required in partial fulfillment of the 39.0 total elective credits necessary for graduation. Students are encouraged to consult with the MS program director for course selection. To complete the MS degree with a Translational, Clinical, Infectious Diseases, Public Health or Bioprocessing Research thesis, students must complete 12.0 or 6.0 credits of ALS 495 Research Thesis capstone. Thesis contracts must be submitted within the first week of the fall semester of the 2nd year of studies. Please refer to the ALS 495 Research Thesis syllabus for more information.

Students may focus their studies further by choosing one of six concentrations.

  • The Translational Research Thesis concentration is designed to give students a panoramic perspective of the translation of a basic research idea into a pragmatic or advantageous product for the biopharmaceutical industry, academia, or healthcare fields.

    Why is Translational Research Important?

    Despite landmark breakthroughs in the fields of drug discovery development, there are tens of thousands of diseases without any treatments or cures. Translational scientists partner with interdisciplinary teams of pharmacists, bioinformaticists, engineers, and others by taking basic discoveries in disease causation and transforming them into new drugs, devices, and diagnostic interventions. Translational research allows scientists to utilize a “bench to bedside” perspective in the development of new medications, diagnostic tools, and treatment strategies.

    pharmacy pills


    80-90% of drug development research projects fail before they get tested on humans.

    approval icon


    For every drug that ultimately receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some 5,000 to 10,000 compounds don’t make it through the process.

    Why pursue the Translational Research Concentration?

    Translational Research Thesis concentration students participate in curriculum that is both diverse and interdisciplinary to prepare them to meet the demands of industry as well as areas of research deficit.

    Students will build a strong foundation for future careers and academic pursuits in:

    • Clinical or academic research laboratories
    • Biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries
    • Doctoral or professional degrees

    Past and current Translational Research Thesis concentration projects include:

    • Discovery of amodiaquine-mediated synthetic lethality
    • Rapid automated pathogen diagnosis and reporting
    • discovery and characterization of small-molecule inhibitors of peroxiredoxin asp f3 in aspergillus fumigatus
    • GWAS-identified variations and their role in colon cancer etiology
    • CNS drug delivery
    • Low-cost vaccines for diseases that are problematic in developing countries
    • Identification of specific pathogenic or environmental triggers causing autoimmune diseases
    • Red blood cell trafficking in brain endothelial cells
    • Point of care diagnosis of chlamydia trachomatis, neisseria gonorrhoeae, and dengue virus infections
    • Neuronal loss in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease

    USDA logo

    Translational Research Thesis students will have the opportunity to conduct research at the USDA Western Regional Research Center within the following project areas:

    1. Produce Safety and Microbiology Research
    2. Healthy Processed Foods Research
    3. Crop Improvement and Genetics Research
    4. Bioproducts Research
    5. Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research
    6. Invasive Species and Pollinator Health
    7. Plant Gene Expression

    More information on the research project areas can be found on the USDA website.

    Our Faculty and Research Labs

    • Biomarker Research
    • Drug Discovery
    • Molecular Basis of Human Disease
    • Engineering, Medical Diagnostics, and Devices
    • Sociology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

    Course Offerings in the Translational Research Concentration – 15.0 credits

    Students are required to identify their thesis capstone project site during their first year of studies and must commit to a minimum of 18 hours per week to work on their thesis.

    Note: Students planning to pursue the Translational Research Concentration are strongly recommended to enroll in Independent Research / Independent Study during their first year of studies.

  • The Clinical Research Thesis concentration is designed to give students the ability to identify and problem solve healthcare-related issues, which in turn allows them to provide solutions in increasing healthcare access, improving patient outcomes, and other quality improvement needs.

    Students apply research methods learned to solve healthcare issues in our partner clinical sites. In partnership with COPE Health Solutions, KGI graduate students complete their Clinical Research Thesis projects within one or more of the hospital sites within the COPE Health Scholars program.

    Cope Health Scholars logo

    Graduates of this concentration are uniquely positioned for future careers as medical researchers (clinical and academic), hospital administrators, or for the pursuit of doctoral studies or a medical or healthcare professional degrees. Students have the opportunity to conduct research in the areas of nosocomial infections, blood stewardship and usage, antibiotic stewardship, ICU cost control, staff performance, pain management, and case costs.

    Through this research project, students will actively engage in projects that align with their field of study and learn from their on-site advisor how to identify hospital and/or health system needs to provide solutions to address gaps in quality and patient outcomes. Students will be assisting in data collection and statistical analytics, as well as tracking progress of existing or pending hospital projects. Students will not be assisting with hands-on patient care or delivery, but instead gain exposure to various careers in healthcare by going participating in rounds with nurses, doctors, and/or hospital administrators to gather the necessary data for their focused project.

    Course Offerings in the Clinical Research Concentration – 15.0 credits

    Students planning to pursue the Clinical Research Thesis concentration must apply to participate in the program through the KGI-COPE application website by May 1.

    Students must dedicate a minimum of 18 hours/week to work on their thesis.

    Note: Students planning to pursue the Clinical Research Concentration may apply through the KGI-COPE application website or consult with the MS program director to identify a project. The MS program director must approve the projects.

    Sample Project Topics

    Sample Project
    Nosocomial Infections
    Nursing/Infection Prevention Departments
    Antibiotic Usage
    Antibiotic Stewardship Program
    Blood Usage
    Documented indication of every transfusion
    ICU Cost Control
    Ventilator weaning and associated ICU protocols
    Medical Staff
    Physician feedback on performance
    Pain Management
    Protocols/Patient-controlled analgesia
    Case Costing
    Analysis of components of high cost/high volume procedures

    Examples of hospital site placements

    • Adventist Health Bakersfield (AHBD) – Bakersfield, CA
    • Adventist Health Glendale (AHGL) – Glendale, CA
    • Adventist Health Simi Valley (AHSV) – Simi Valley, CA
    • Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM) – East Los Angeles, CA
    • California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) – Downtown Los Angeles, CA
    • Citrus Valley Health Partners (CVHP) – Covina, West Covina, and Glendora
    • Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (Hoag) – Newport Beach, CA
    • Kaiser Permanente Irvine (KPI) – Irvine, CA
    • Kaiser Permanente Riverside (KPR) – Riverside, CA
    • Kaiser Permanente South Bay (KPSB) – Harbor City, CA
    • Riverside Community Hospital (RCH) – Downtown Riverside, CA
    • Francis Medical Center (SFMC) – Lynwood, CA
    • John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) – Oxnard & Camarillo
    • Joseph Hospital of Orange (SJO) – Orange, CA
    • Mary Medical Center (SMMC) – Long Beach, CA

    Clinical Research Thesis Requirements

    • Complete training on regulatory and compliance-related issues (HIPAA, emergency response protocols, codes, etc.)
    • Clear background check
    • On-site interview at clinical site
    • Proof of immunization/test records
    • Health screening
    • Proof of CPR certification
    • Proof of health insurance
  • The Public Health Research Thesis concentration prepares students to examine public health issues through a science lens, blending lab work with global and community health issues.

    Why is Public Health Important?

    Public health initiatives improve the lives of millions worldwide through addressing not only immediate health crises, but also workig to prevent future illness and injury. Public health professionals work tirelessly to ensure the health of the population as a whole by examining the root causes of disease and how to affect change on a large scale.

    Areas of action and research in public health today include epigenetics, chronic disease, mental health, nutrition, and more.

    Why pursue the Public Health Research Concentration?

    Public Health Research concentration students participate in curriculum that builds their skills in the sciences and provides a strong foundation in public health principles.

    Students will build a strong foundation for future careers in:

    • National, state, and local government
    • National and local health agencies and departments
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Private health-based organizations and foundations
    • Research colleges and universities

    Graduates will be able to pursue numerous careers in public health, including:

    • Community health worker
    • Disease investigator
    • Environmental scientist
    • Epidemiologist
    • Microbiologist
    • Public health educator
    • Research analyst

    Our Partners in Public Health

    CSUSB logo
    NORD logo

    In partnership with California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Public Health Research concentration students have the opportunity to conduct their thesis within the following projects:

    • Examining capacity of health professionals to address the needs of sexual and gender minorities
    • Determining the barriers the transgender population faces when seeking healthcare services
    • Efficacy of peer-based HIV education in improving condom use self-efficacy
    • Understanding of sexual consent knowledge and practice among college students
    • Mental health and substance use outcomes among college students
    • Examining the relationship of food security and college students
    • Complementary and integrative health modalities among minority populations
    • Factors related to hospital readmissions for inpatient stays
    • Factors related to multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) infections in emergency room visits
    • Program enhancement initiatives, analytics support, and partner engagement within the field of rare diseases

    Course Offerings in the Public Health Research Concentration – 15.0 credits

    Note: Students planning to pursue the Public Health Concentration should consult with the MS program director to identify a project. The MS program director must approve the projects.

  • Why pursue Infectious Diseases Research Concentration?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to the entire world the impact that infectious diseases can have on human health, communities, and the global economy. The MS Infectious Diseases Research Thesis concentration provides graduate-level training in the fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology, immunology, as well as basic, translational, and clinical aspects of infectious diseases caused by important pathogens.

    More specifically, the curriculum is designed to emphasize the biology of host-pathogen interactions, host immune response, pathology, evolution, transmission, laboratory methods, and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Students participate in classroom activities, online learning, and research experiences to cover the fundamentals of pathogenic agents and infectious diseases they cause. Infectious diseases concentration students are prepared to pursue doctoral degrees, or professional education focused on medicine and infectious disease.

    Course Offerings in the Translational Research Thesis Concentration is 15.0 credits. The Infectious Diseases concentration will be offered in two options: 12.0 or 6.0 credits of ALS 495 Research Thesis capstone.

    Infectious Diseases Research Concentration (Option A)

    Infectious Diseases Research Thesis Concentration (Option B)

    Note: Students enrolled in the Infectious Diseases Concentration must work on the thesis project related to infectious diseases (drug discovery, medical devices, bioinformatics, the molecular basis of a disease, etc.). The MS program director must approve the projects.

  • Bioprocessing Research Concentration (Option A)

    Bioprocessing Research Concentration (Option B)

    Note: Students enrolled in the Bioprocessing Research Concentration must enroll in the concentration-required courses starting from the 1st year. The MS program director must approve the projects.

  • The Team Masters Project (TMP) concentration prepares students for working in cross-functional teams to work with sponsoring companies to solve real-life problems. The TMP ideally includes both business and technical aspects; for example, students may be asked to validate a new technology and to develop a strategy for market penetration of the technology. The actual deliverables for each TMP are negotiated by the student team and the company liaison.

    More information about TMP can be found here.

    Course Offerings in the TMP Concentration – 15.0 credits

Pre-Health Track for Postbac Students

Students from KGI’s PPC or PPA programs who aspire to work in healthcare can enroll in the “pre-health track” within the MS program. Within that track, students participate in postbac courses and experiences in the first year, and in the second year, select from one of the five concentrations above to focus their studies on. 

Learn more about the postbac MS pre-health track: PPC | PPA