In the first year of the program, students develop and refine a research project that will ultimately become their thesis project during the second year of the program. Students are given benchmarks for completing this process through Works in Progress sessions in which students present their project ideas and receive feedback from faculty & classmates. Additionally, each student has regular individual meetings with the Program Director to ensure research in on track. The program helps each student to craft an individualized team of mentors to allow the research to be successful.

During the second year of the master’s degree, students work on a thesis project for 75-80% of their time. Students may complete this year of the degree at Harvard Medical School or at their home institutions, provided that the project requires them to be away from Harvard.