The National Institutes of Health-sponsored workshop "Translational Models for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine" was held to describe the utility of various translational models for engineered tissues and regenerative medicine therapies targeting intervertebral disc, cartilage, meniscus, ligament, tendon, muscle, and bone. Participants included leaders in the various topics, as well as National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration. The Food and Drug Administration representatives provided perspectives and needs for studies supported by animal models. Researchers described animal models for specific tissues and addressed the following questions: (1) What are the unmet musculoskeletal clinical needs that may be addressed by tissue engineering and regenerative medicine? (2) Are there appropriate models available? (3) Are there needs to develop standardized animal models? (4) What are the translational pathways that lead to clinical trials and therapeutic development? The workshop provided an effective and succinct summary of the status of various animal models in musculoskeletal regenerative medicine. Although many models are available and serve well to answer a variety of questions, the general consensus was that there is a substantial need for improved and standardized animal models for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine of the musculoskeletal system, and that animal models, especially large animal models, are critical to the preclinical step of translating research from bench to bedside.