How To Get A Clinical Research Masters Degree | Schools, Requirements

A master’s degree in clinical research is what you need if you desire to advance your career in healthcare. Healthcare is the world’s fastest-growing industry and one that has undergone significant change. So, with a master’s degree in clinical research, you gain a competitive edge on the job market and become an asset to a variety of medical institutions.

So, in this article, we discuss all of what you require and how to get a clinical research master’s degree.  Enjoy your read!

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research is a very part of medical research and the healthcare industry. As a segment of a program like this, students will develop their research skills in the recording and explanation of data, while learning how to interact with patients and offer clinical trials.

What is a Master in Clinical Research?

A Master’s in Clinical Research will prepare you with the skills to organize and monitor clinical studies – as well as manage data and work within the rules of regulatory agencies. Whether your area of interest is pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or biotechnology, you’ll definitely find a program with your name on it.

What education is needed to become a clinical researcher?

Clinical researchers need to hold at least a master’s degree in science or medicine in order to work in the field, with some positions requiring a PhD and relevant specialist experience. Hospitals, hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories and government offices are among the employers.

Can you get a masters in 2 years?

On average, it takes 1.5 to 2 years for full-time students to complete a master’s degree. However, there are several variables that can increase or minimize the precise period of time from admission to graduation.

How many months does it take to get a masters degree?

Students take about 18 to 24 months on average to complete a master’s degree. Some programs are tailored so that in a little over a year a full-time student will finish. Some students, on the other hand, tend to go at a slower pace and want to take several years to finish their studies

What can I do with a masters in clinical research?

Clinical research data opportunities include data analyst, data manager, data coordinator, data associate, clinical investigator or clinical researcher, Research pharmacist, clinical laboratory technologist or technician, data analyst, Medical laboratory scientist, data associate, Health laboratory researcher, Medical/scientific writer, etc.

Is clinical research a good career?

Clinical research is a rewarding career. It is the duty of clinical science to decide how safe and effective medications, devices and diagnostic products are, and as such, it is a challenging task with plenty of responsibility.

Why do a Masters in Clinical Research?

A master’s degree will help students to learn the medical research skills required as part of their career. Improvement in this field and access to career chances may be gained with this degree.

Clinical research is a very specialized part of medical research, with particular careers that may benefit from a master’s degree. The research skills acquired may be implemented in other fields with supplemental degrees or certifications.

Those who have an interest in medical research and advancement may decide to seek a position as a clinical laboratory technician or research associate. However, these positions may be in government, academic or private institutions.

The field of clinical research is swiftly growing and offers a range of employment opportunities in a variety of locations.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Clinical Research?

The time it takes to achieve a master’s in clinical research depends on several factors. Students can finish an on-campus program in around two years, with an average of two to three courses per term. Programs usually need 36-40 course credits overall, though this number varies between programs on the semester system versus the quarter system.

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To facilitate program length, think of increasing your number of courses each term. Part-time students typically take longer to finish their degrees due to reduced course loads. Also, online students can take more time to finish their degrees because of the personal accountability required to stay on track.

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How Much Will It Cost To Get A Master’s In Clinical Research?

The expense of your clinical research master’s degree depends mostly on the school’s tuition rates and your location. An in-state master’s degree costs on average of about $30,000 – $45,000, which changes to between $7,500 – $12,000 a term.

Students can require to pay almost twice for out-of-state tuition, averaging a total of $60,000 – $90,000 and $15,000 – $25,000 a term. Some completely online programs ignore out-of-state fees to increase admission. Review each school’s financial offers for further details.

The first expense to consider is the tuition for the masters in clinical research. Housing remains the next most important financial burden. On-campus living requires the most expenses but offers easy access to school resources such as libraries, laboratories, and class meetings.

Living off-campus or in a less-populated area may save money by enabling you to share accommodations with other students or family members. You can take advantage of part- or full-time employment possibilities, although overall transportation expenses may increase. Online education offers the most cost efficiency with respect to housing and transportation since students can decide where they live.

However, students should not ignore possible concealed costs. Does your degree need technological or research tools? How many books will you buy each term? These small financial difficulties add up along the way to a master’s degree.

How Much Money Do People Make With A Clinical Research Degree?

Clinical research is currently an area of great increase – and well-trained clinical research specialists are in high demand. Medical technology and information have led to an increase in potential new drugs, devices, and biologics. But they won’t be able to reach the public without thorough testing – hence, the high need for clinical researchers.

The US Bureau of Labor services cites the current job growth outlook at 13% – that’s much faster than average. And as a medical scientist, the BLS reports an average salary of $82,090. That number will differ depending on your geographical location and work experience, but you’ll be assured a very respectable salary.

What Can You Do With A Degree In Clinical Research?

Getting a Master’s in Clinical research will set you up for a wide range of financially gratifying career paths. Graduates go on to work at public and private medical equipment companies, contract research organizations, and hospital systems. Or you can decide to seek a doctoral degree.

You’ll be faced with a variety of options. And, with increased work experience, you’ll be able to progress to a supervisory, specialist, or management positions. You can also change between industry and research sites, depending on the amount you want to travel and how much you enjoy communicating with patients.

Job titles you might be eligible for include:

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  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Medical Writer
  • Product Safety Specialist
  • Clinical Trial Auditor

How to Choose a Master’s Program in Clinical Research

Many factors influence your choice to enter a master’s program and the type of program you prefer. Consider first how much time you can invest in seeking your degree. Basically, an on-campus degree in clinical research takes about two years to finish, needing 36-40 credit hours of core classes, specific coursework, and a capstone research project. 

Online and hybrid programs need related educational standards. The number of courses you take directly influences how fast you finish the degree. Part-time students may require one to two extra years to finish the master’s program. Those interested in expediting the masters can register in extra classes each term.

You must also consider how the clinical research master’s degree will impact your future career. Browse course lists at potential schools and see if they offer specific classes relevant to your career aspirations. If you plan to become an epidemiologist, for example, look for classes on epidemiology and biostatistical analysis.

Students must also factor in costs. While tuition fees vary between institutions, in-state tuition rates generally remain much lower than out-of-state costs. See if any schools in your state offer your desired degree specialization. Some online programs waive out-of-state tuition fees to increase enrollment. Check each school for details.

Programmatic Accreditation for Master’s Programs in Clinical Research

Whichever school you decide, accreditation of your preferred master’s program is essential. Accreditation indicates the quality of your education to future employers and colleagues. Without accreditation, employers will be uncertain of your qualifications and the breadth of your skills. Should you decide to advance your education with professional certifications or a Ph.D., you must have a master’s from an accredited institution.

The U.S. Department of Education approves six regional accrediting bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, to control the quality of education nationwide.

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The Accreditation Council for Clinical Research and Education specially accredits clinical research studies worldwide by keeping rules of training and technological discovery. Check each potential school for accreditation, or search for the school straight through the database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.

Master’s in Clinical Research Program Admissions

Once you choose your school of choice, you must be ready to collect application materials. As with the bachelor’s degree, all master’s programs need similar application information, including details of the applicant and their motives for applying. You must also put together school transcripts and recommendation letters before you submit your application.

These materials describe your educational history and should show your personal dedication to clinical research. Consider applying to three to four programs to raise your odds of acceptance. Basically, applicants start their university search and apply the year before starting a program.

The following lists show the common essentials and admissions materials required to complete your application. Note that online programs may need more detailed information.


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  • Bachelor’s Degree: All accredited master’s program needs a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. While no requirements are needed to enter a master’s of a clinical research program, consider choosing courses related to the field if your bachelors come from a separate field of study.
  • Professional Experience: No professional experience is needed to enter a clinical research program, though many schools strongly support prior work or volunteer experience in research or the medical profession.
  • Minimum GPA: The typical undergraduate performance required for a master’s degree is a 3.0 GPA. If your prior educational record is less impressive, consider taking courses in clinical research or other similar courses at a local university or community college to show your dedication.

Admission Materials

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  • Application: All schools expect applicants to present an informative application describing the applicant’s address and contact information, as well as their motives for applying. You can swiftly complete the necessary information, but the personal statement concerning your motives for applying may take a few weeks to compose and edit.
  • Transcripts: A transcript is a road map to your prior education, showing courses completed at your undergraduate or continuing education institution, and giving GPA calculations. Contact your former institution(s) directly for transcripts. Fees may apply.
  • Recommendation Letters: Written by former teachers, instructors, or employers, the letter of reference fills in the human story behind your transcript. Most schools need two to three letters of support. Be sure to give your recommenders at least one month to compose and present their statements.
  • Test Scores: Unlike other master’s degrees, programs in clinical research rarely need GRE or GMAT scores.
  • Application Fee: All schools expect students to submit an application fee to cover the cost of examining application materials. This fee ranges from $60-$120. In a few cases, this fee can be suspended due to financial difficulty. Check your school’s financial assistance office for details.

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Schools That Offer Masters in Clinical Research

The list below outlines some of the Best Master’s Degrees in Clinical Research. A reputable accreditation organization accredits each program listed. 

The World scholarships forum evaluates each program based on factors such as affordability, career prospects, course quality, and student satisfaction.

Here are the schools that offer masters in clinical research:

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  • Arizona State University
  • The University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Ohio State University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Boston University
  • St. Cloud State University
  • University of Vermont Medical Center

#1 – Arizona State University

Master of Science in Clinical Research Management

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University’s Master in Clinical Research Management holds the top spot amongst Grad School Hub’s Clinical Research master’s programs. Its transdisciplinary curriculum learns ethics and regulations, fiscal phases of clinical trials, and global operational trends.

Essential core courses include Clinical Research Monitoring, Fundamentals of Regulatory Affairs; and Scientific and Research Review Boards. In addition, every student must finish a capstone Clinical Research Management project.

Apart from its educational quality, ASU’s Clinical Research Management program ranks extremely in versatility and convenience. Students do not require to relocate to enroll in this top-ranked program, as it is administered completely online. With interactive multimedia tools, part-time choices, and adjustable start dates, ASU students can get a top-notch Clinical Research Management degree in their own time and terms.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,372 out-of-state; $10,792 in-state


#2 – University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development

Wilmington, NC

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington offers a completely online Clinical Research and Product Development master’s program. The core curriculum highlights clinical research concerning biopharmaceutical and biotechnology development.

Course qualifications include Advanced Scientific Writing & Interpreting Medical Literature and Regulatory Affairs & Project Management. Students seeking a Clinical Research Management concentration may choose courses such as Transcultural Healthcare and Current Problems in Gerontology.

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Students focusing on Regulatory Affairs and Compliance may choose courses such as Advanced Biochemistry and Innovative Product Development and Strategic Planning. Every student must finish either a related master’s project or thesis. The full-time program is composed of 36 credit hours and four semesters of coursework.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,065 out-of-state; $7,000 in-state


#3 – Ohio State University

Master of Applied Clinical & Preclinical Research

Columbus, OH

Ohio State’s Master of Applied Clinical & Preclinical Research is offered completely online. Classes are recorded for students to listen to lectures and partake in discussions at their leisure. The MACPR curriculum covers both theoretical and practical phases of research ethics, processes, operations, regulations, and statistics. Students can decide to specialize in Clinical Research Management or Regulatory Affairs.

Core courses cover Data Analysis and Interpretation, Fundamentals of Pharmacology, and Responsible Conduct of Research. OSU’s MS degree can be achieved within two years depending on student course load. The program ends with a capstone project or practicum.

Graduate Tuition: $29,696 out-of-state; $10,592 in-state


#4 – Eastern Michigan University

Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration

Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University’s Clinical Research Administration master’s program is created for employed or credentialed medical professionals. Students may prefer to focus on Clinical Trial Management, Regulatory Affairs, or a combination of the two. Needed courses cover Clinical Study Administration I and II, Ethical Issues in Clinical Research, and a Graduate Seminar in Drug Development. Optional course offerings incorporate Industrial Chemistry, Molecular Genetics, and Neurochemistry.

Students are also required to achieve a specific preceptorship and an independent study. Students can decide to synthesize what they have studied through either a thesis or special project. The five-semester program can generally be achieved in two years.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $29,200 out-of-state; $12,019 in-state


#5 – Boston University

Master of Science in Medical Sciences, concentration in Clinical Research

Boston, MA

Boston University gives a Clinical Research concentration in its Master of Science in Medical Sciences program. The MAMS program can be achieved in one or two years and is usually composed of two semesters of, both, two semesters of coursework and thesis research. The Clinical Research concentration’s key curriculum elements involve human research regulations, study design, and trial management.

Boston University’s three-concentration course qualifications include Designing Clinical Research Studies, Regulatory and Compliance Issues, and Seminar in Clinical Research. Optional course choices comprise Good Clinical Practices or Ethical Issues in Clinical Research. Every student must write a thesis on a clinical research topic.

Graduate Tuition: $52,082


#6 – St. Cloud State University

Master of Science in Applied Clinical Research

St. Cloud, MN

St. Cloud State University’s Master of Science in Applied Clinical Research is the only clinical research program in the United States that is concentrated on teaching and studying medical devices. The program uses real-world samples to teach students how to conduct ethical and effective research, how medical devices change the body, and how new tools are produced and introduced.

SCSU’s MS degree offers many choices to suit students’ needs, including full- or part-time programs, online classes, graduate assistantships, and graduate certificates. Students who work outside of class have the opportunity of taking night classes on Wednesday nights or Saturday mornings. Along with a needed industry internship, the full-time program needs around two years to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,462 out-of-state; $8,228 in-state


#7 – University of Vermont Medical Center

Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science

The University of Vermont Medical Center is the biggest hospital system in the state and has a basic facility on the UVM campus. The university’s Clinical and Translational Science program grants concentrations on Investigation or Research Management.

Research Management aspirants must hold a Bachelor’s degree, while Investigation concentration aspirants should hold a Doctoral-level degree. All applicants must attend preparatory interviews.

Essential core courses address the administration, analysis, design, and reporting of clinical and translational research. The Investigation concentration needs supervised research and a thesis, while the Research Management concentration needs an internship and seminar participation. Students in both parties must pass a comprehensive exam.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $41,356 out-of-state; $17,740 in-state


FAQs On How To Get A Clinical Research Masters Degree

Getting a Master’s in Clinical research will set you up for a wide range of financially rewarding career paths:
1. Clinical Research Coordinator.
2. Medical Writer.
3. Clinical Trial Auditor.
4. Product Safety Specialist.

M.Sc. in Clinical Research is a 2-year postgraduate course in medicine. Clinical Research is the investigation aimed at determining the safety and efficacy of new medical products including drugs, vaccines, devices, diagnostic agents, and treatment regimens intended for maintaining and regaining human health.

Not only is clinical research a fulfilling career, but it’s also a challenging one. Clinical research is responsible for ascertaining how safe and effective drugs, devices and diagnostic products are, and as such it’s a demanding role with plenty of responsibility riding on it.

Apply for an entry-level CRC or CTA position. You require to have at least two years of experience as a clinical research coordinator (CRC) or a clinical trial assistant (CTA) before you can apply for a job as a clinical research associate (CRA). Apply for these entry-level jobs to start.


A master’s degree will help students to learn the medical research skills required as part of their career. Improvement in this field and access to career chances could also be gained with this degree.

So, we have painstakingly answered every possible question you may be asking ranging from, the cost of the study to become a clinical researcher to the admission requirements, salary and schools that offer a masters degree in clinical research programs.


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