Take part in rapidly growing industry that saves lives on a daily basis. Earn an Online Master’s in Clinical Research.

Medical research is in the midst of a boom. Take, for instance, the recent report from Research America, which showed that the medical industry invested $115.9 billion in medical research and development in 2016. Even more, investments grew by a staggering 20 percent between 2013 and 2016.

So who are the people behind the scenes, making all of this innovative research happen? Enter clinical research professionals.

What is an Online Master’s in Clinical Research degree?

Clinical Research Associates and Managers are the backbone of the medical research process. They are responsible for linking together the multi-faceted process of clinical research – everything from ordering tests and handling equipment to establishing methodologies and procedures.

An advanced degree in Clinical Research can land you in a wide variety of settings, both in and out of a laboratory. Graduates typically end up in one of three sectors: biomedical sciences, community health research, or health services research. Regardless, you’ll be on the front lines of orchestrating ground-breaking new science.

How much can you earn with an Online Master’s in Clinical Research degree?

For such a well-funded and high-achieving industry, it just makes sense that professionals in the field would make a lucrative salary. According to Payscale.com, Clinical Research Associates make on average $62,931 per year. However, their earning potential could reach closer to $92,800 depending on experience and location.

In the last number of years, agencies reported over 10,000 unfilled clinical research associate positions with contract research organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics backs that number up, estimating that in the next six years, the demand for Clinical Laboratory Technologists will increase by 14 percent.

What is required for an Online Master’s in Clinical Research degree?

The requirements for getting accepted into an Online MS in Clinical Research vary depending on the program you choose. But here’s what might look the same: a completed application, resume or CV, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.   

Programs vary on whether they require previous clinical research experience or completion of the GRE. Some prefer you to have a BS or BA in a related field; others offer solutions to quickly complete prerequisites.

Once you’re admitted you’ll likely be required to complete 30 to 36 credit hours. Most programs include a core curriculum of clinical research basics and then allow you to specialize in electives or an industry-specific track.

What are the best Online Master’s in Clinical Research degrees?

The data team at Online School Report has narrowed down the top five Online Master’s in Clinical Research degrees in the nation. The methodology for this ranking distills the crucial elements of each program – net cost, reputation, earning potential post-graduation, and student satisfaction.

Below you’ll find a summative description of each program, along with a few pros and cons of the degree. Last but not least, you’ll see the OSR Score, as well as the scores for each category above.

Put on your laboratory goggles and find an internet connection. Your online degree awaits!

  1. Arizona State University-Tempe

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $26,118/$42,698
    Acceptance64
    Earnings Potential85
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention97
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation98
    Pros
    • Part-time learning track is available
    • Fulbright Senior Scholar faculty members
    • College of Nursing & Health Innovation ranks in the top 11% nationally
    Cons
    • Six months of previous clinical research required
    • Bachelor’s must include previous anatomy and physiology classes
    • Online tuition for non-residents is billed per credit hour with no cap
    100%OSR Score

    Offered through the ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation, this online MS in Clinical Research Management requires 33 credit hours. The curriculum entails 11 total classes spaced in 7.5-week terms. Your final class will be a six-credit capstone clinical research project.

  2. Ohio State University-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $26,125/$45,229
    Acceptance92
    Earnings Potential51
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention79
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation99
    Pros
    • Full-time (12 months) or part-time (24 months) schedule available
    • Each student gets a faculty advisor
    • In-state tuition rates for all students regardless of residence
    Cons
    • GRE is required if GPA is lower than 3.0
    • No internship experience in the curriculum
    • $60 non-refundable application fee
    98%OSR Score

    The online Master of Applied Clinical and Preclinical Research at Ohio State University is divided into two specializations: Clinical Research Management and Regulatory Affairs. Both tracks require 36 credit hours. This 100 percent online program offers classes asynchronously.

  3. George Washington University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $69,368/$69,368
    Acceptance78
    Earnings Potential55
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention78
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Faculty are biomedical research experts
    • Program developed out of Clinical and Translational Research award
    • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Practice available
    Cons
    • $80 non-refundable application fee
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 required
    • Only six transfer credits accepted
    96%OSR Score

    George Washington University offers an online MS in Clinical and Translational Research. This research-based program requires a total of 36 credit hours. Students choose an area of expertise in either biomedical sciences, clinical research, community health research, or health services research.

  4. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,918/$35,983
    Acceptance84
    Earnings Potential58
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention86
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Operations available
    • Students have a generous five years to complete the degree
    • Faculty have extensive industry experience
    Cons
    • Admits students only once per year (each Fall)
    • Two years of clinical research experience is preferred
    • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout
    95%OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is a rigorous 36-credit-hour program. The online coursework covers everything from clinical research to project management. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of Nursing #7 among other online programs.

  5. Eastern Michigan University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $23,565/$40,746
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential64
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention93
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation87
    Pros
    • Students choose between a thesis or final project
    • Over 25 elective course options
    • EMU maintains partnerships with local and regional hospitals
    Cons
    • Previous employment in clinical research is preferred  
    • Hybrid format requires students to be local
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 required for admission
    88%OSR Score

    Students complete anywhere between 34 and 35 credits for the MS in Clinical Research Administration program at Eastern Michigan University. The courses are offered in a hybrid format – some face-to-face and others online. Students choose between two tracks: Clinical Trial Management or Regulatory Affairs.