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

  • The Translational Research Thesis concentration is designed to give students the panoramic perspective of being able to translate a basic research idea into a pragmatic or advantageous product for the biopharmaceutical industry, academia, or healthcare fields. To this end, the curriculum is diverse and interdisciplinary, helping students to draw from the fields of science to meet the demands of industry as well as areas of research deficit. This allows students to build the foundation for future careers in research laboratories or management careers in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry, clinical or academic research laboratories, or pursue doctoral or professional degrees. Examples of research opportunities are: treatments for emerging infectious diseases, rapid pathogen diagnostic technologies, cost efficient vaccines for humanitarian purposes, antibiotic stewardship, Parkinson’s/Alzheimer’s disease, as well as others.

    Past and current research projects:

    • Host-oriented therapies for Anthrax, Zika, and Ebola infections
    • Rapid automated pathogen diagnosis and reporting
    • 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
    • Responsible use (stewardship) of antibiotics
    • Neuronal loss in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease

    Course Offerings in the Translational Research Thesis Concentration


    • ALS 407 Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine 3.0 units A
    • ALS 430 Advanced Pharmaceutical Discovery 3.0 units
    • ALS 480 Fundamental Papers in Applied Medicine I 1.5 units
    • ALS 480 Fundamental Papers in Applied Medicine II 1.5 units
    • ALS 493 Independent Research 3.0 units (during the first year of studies or summer)
    • ALS 495FA Research Thesis Capstone 6.0 units
    • ALS 495SP Research Thesis Capstone 6.0 units

    Students are required to identify the Thesis Site during their first year and initiate their thesis work during their summer semester leading to the second year of studies. Students must dedicate a minimum of 18 hours/week to work on their thesis.

  • The Clinical Research Thesis concentration is designed to give students the ability to identify and problem solve healthcare-related issues; allowing students to provide solutions to increase access, improve patient outcomes, reduce cost, and other areas in hospital settings. This allows students to apply research methods learned to solve healthcare issues in our partner clinical sites. In partnership with COPE Health Solutions, KGI Graduate students will be completing their clinical research thesis project within one or more of the hospital sites within the COPE Health Scholars program.

    COPE 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 do research into: 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 and provide solutions to address the gaps within a hospital and/or health system. Students will be assisting in data collection and statistical analytics as well as tracking progress of existing hospital projects and/or pending projects. Students will not be assisting with hands-on patient care task or delivery, but instead, gaining exposure to various careers in health care by going on rounds with nurses, doctors, and/or hospital administrators to gather the necessary data for their focused project.

    Course Offerings in the Clinical Research Thesis Concentration


    • ALS481 Medical Harm Reduction 1.5 units
    • ALS 407 Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine 3.0 units
    • ALS 495FA Research Thesis Capstone 6.0 units
    • ALS 495SP Research Thesis Capstone (6.0 units)

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

    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

    Thesis Requirements

    • Complete Medical harm reduction course
    • Complete training on regulatory and compliance-related issues (HIPAA, emergency response protocols, codes, etc.)
    • Pairing with a project and supervising preceptor based on a clinical topic that involves data collection and culminates in publishable findings (thesis should involve one or two similar projects during the 2nd year of MS studies)
    • Students must dedicate a minimum of 18-20 hours per week to complete their project(s) over 2 semesters
    • Students must submit a written thesis and give two presentations (one presentation/semester). The project and supervising preceptor should be present during presentations either in person or through remote access.

    Examples of hospital site placements

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

    Clearance Requirements

    1. Clear Background Check. Background Check is processed after applicants have successfully passed the interview.
    2. Proof of Immunization/Test Records – One photocopy of each along with originals: Refer to chart below for specific immunization requirements.
    3. Health Screening (to be scheduled after invited to training): A mandatory health assessment must be completed on-site. Information on how to schedule to be provided by site-specific program manager during clearance process.
    4. Proof of CPR Certification. American Heart Association (AHA) – BLS Healthcare Provider (not Heartsaver or Red Cross). For physical cards: Sign CPR card and provide single page copy of front and back of card. For eCards: Provide single page printout
    5. Proof of Health Insurance: Current enrollment in a plan that meets the definition of “minimum essential coverage” as defined by the Affordable Care Act. You must maintain continuous coverage while in the program, and are expected to provide evidence of renewal of such coverage on an annual basis, or upon request.
    6. Program Forms: Bring all completed and signed administrative program forms to clearance appointment. All forms will be provided in clearance appointment confirmation email.

    Proof of Immunization/Test Records

    Required: One photocopy of each ALONG with originals


    Health Record
    MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
    Proof of positive/reactive titer (documented by a verifiable lab or physician); Proof of two (2) shots over lifetime; Proof of in-progress vaccination
    Hepatitis B
    Proof of three (3) shots over lifetime AND proof of positive/reactive titer test (documented by a verifiable lab or physician); If negative: proof of in-progress vaccination AND proof of positive/reactive titer test after series is complete
    TB Test (Tuberculosis)
    2 Negative TB skin tests completed (1st within the past year and 2nd within 3 months of start); Positive TB skin test from any date AND a subsequent clear chest X-ray from this past year; Negative Quantiferon blood test within the past year
    Proof of vaccination within past 10 years; Note: Must say TDAP. Dtap, Td, DT vaccinations will not be accepted
    Varicella (Chicken Pox)
    Proof of positive/reactive titer (documented by a verifiable lab or physician); Proof of two (2) shots over lifetime
    Seasonal Flu Vaccine
    Proof of vaccination; Declination (required to wear a mask at all times while on-site)/div>
  • The natural science management concentration is designed for students who enrolled in Translational or Clinical Research Thesis Capstone project and who plan to look for employment in research laboratories and to direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

    Course Offerings in the Natural Science Management Concentration


    • ALS 495FA Research Thesis Capstone 6.0 units
    • ALS 495SP Research Thesis Capstone 6.0 units
    • Students must dedicate a minimum of 18 hours/week to work on their thesis.
    • ALS 359 Introduction to Bioscience Industries 3.0 units
    • ALS 424 Business Operations 3.0 units
    • ALS 451 Organizational Behavior 3.0 units
  • 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


    ALS 400 Team Master’s Project 6 or 12 units