The discovery of the ability to induce somatic cells to a pluripotent state through the overexpression of specific transcription factors has the potential to transform the ways in which pharmaceutical agents and cellular transplantation therapies are developed. Proper utilization of the technology to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) requires that researchers select the appropriate reprogramming method for generating iPSCs so that the resulting iPSCs can be transitioned towards clinical applications effectively. This article reviews all of the currently available reprogramming techniques with a focus on critiquing them on the basis of their utility in translational medicine. J. Cell. Biochem. 113: 3061-3068, 2012. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.