5 Best Online Master’s in Clinical Research

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?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. George Washington University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $29,790(in state) / $29,790(out of state)
    • Faculty are biomedical research experts
    • Program developed out of Clinical and Translational Research award
    • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Practice available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate41%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department15
    Popularity at School26.20%
    100%
    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.

  2. Eastern Michigan University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $17,088(in state) / $30,432(out of state)
    • Students choose between a thesis or final project
    • Over 25 elective course options
    • EMU maintains partnerships with local and regional hospitals

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.80%
    Admission Rate45%
    Programs offered online4

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School14.40%
    68%
    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.

  3. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,626(in state) / $17,834(out of state)
    • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Operations available
    • Students have a generous five years to complete the degree
    • Faculty have extensive industry experience

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.80%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School13.90%
    65%
    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.

  4. Ohio State University-Main Campus

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,560(in state) / $33,032(out of state)
    • 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

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.40%
    Admission Rate48%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School8.80%
    64%
    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.

  5. Arizona State University-Tempe

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,240(in state) / $24,320(out of state)
    • Part-time learning track is available
    • Fulbright Senior Scholar faculty members
    • College of Nursing & Health Innovation ranks in the top 11% nationally

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.00%
    Admission Rate84%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School< 1%
    51%
    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.