Costing less than $7,000 a year, the most affordable online clinical research program is the MS program available through the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Students can take courses on the campus. The university designed this program to meet the needs of its busy professional students and features courses that meet late in the day in the middle of the week. Online students will take the same 36 credits of classes that traditional students do, but they will still have the option to take any electives they want. Students spend less to complete this program than they would to take a single year of classes from other schools.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Clinical Research Online
Ranking Low-cost Online Writing Clinical Research
Clinical research programs often require that students do their own research and work in the field, but the most affordable online Master’s in Clinical Research programs offer an alternative for those students. Not only can they do research in their own towns and cities as well as online, but they can also find fieldwork opportunities in their own cities too.
Graduate school can easily cost $25,000 to $30,000 or even more. Online programs charge lower tuition rates to help students save money. Online clinical research programs can also save students money on transportation and other costs. The programs prepare students for working on doctoral degrees and gives them practical experience that they can use to find a good job.
Most Affordable Master’s in Clinical Research Online
|1||University of Texas Rio Grande Valley||Brownsville, TX|
|2||University of North Carolina Wilmington||Wilmington, NC|
|3||St. Cloud State University||St. Cloud, MN|
|4||Ohio State University||Columbus, OH|
|5||Arizona State University||Phoenix, AZ|
|6||Campbell University||Buies Creek, NC|
|7||The University of Tennessee – Health Sciences Center||Memphis, TN|
|8||Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||Boston, MA|
|9||George Washington University||Washington, DC|
|10||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA|
To find the most affordable options for those who want to major in clinical research at the graduate level, we turned to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and its College Navigator for help. The NCES maintains a large database with the most recent data and information about all colleges in the United States. We searched for all clinical research graduate programs online and found that 13 colleges offer programs of this type. As most colleges charge residents and online students the same amount, we identified the 10 schools with the lowest tuition rates. Our list ranks those programs with the more expensive schools listed at the top and the most affordable programs on the bottom.
Accredited Online College Programs
Extra Information for Students
We know that students often have more questions than we can answer with school descriptions. That’s why we included this section that answers some of the questions they might have.
What are the Top Fields of Study or Disciplines?
Though not all master’s in clinical research online programs offer concentrations, most offer concentrations in data science, clinical investigation and biostatistics. Even programs that do not offer concentrations will require that students take courses in these disciplines. Biostatistics refers to the applications and methods that professionals use to look at biology and health sciences subjects. They use statistics to determine how diseases spread and the impact that diseases can have on the general public.
Those studying clinical investigation learn how to investigate diseases and medical conditions. They learn more about the symptoms of those diseases, how the symptoms can vary between different groups of people and how to track an outbreak to one specific person or group. Data science focuses on analyzing the data and using evidence to make decisions.
What Jobs are Available with a Clinical Research Graduate Degree?
Many of the positions available to those with an online master’s in clinical research are in management. Students can find work as clinical associates, clinical coordinators or clinical managers. An associate is someone who helps run a clinical trial. They typically have fewer duties than others have though. Associates might set up the lab before each experiment or trial begins and keep track of findings during the trial.
Coordinators are the ones responsible for coordinating all aspects of the trial. They need to find patients willing to participate, manage and maintain all the data collected and ensure that the findings are valid. Coordinators and managers handle many of the same duties. Managers are generally responsible for more of the daily operations of the trial, while coordinators work with the data and information gathered.
How Much Do They Make?
The average salary for a research associate is around $56,000 a year. Research coordinators make closer to $59,000 a year. Those working as clinical research managers is research facilities can earn as much as $90,000 a year as a new manager. The salary range varies based on where these professionals work and the amount of experience they have. Employers often look for job seekers who have more experience, which online students can gain as an undergrad and in graduate school. Some of the professionals working in clinical research earn more than $100,000 and even $200,000 a year.
Where Do They Work?
Earning a clinical research master’s online can qualify a student to work for a public or private research organization. Many pharmaceutical companies hire managers and coordinators to work on upcoming medical trials. They test new prescription drugs to determine how well those medications work and if there are any potentially dangerous side effects associated with each drug. Clinical research professionals can also work government agencies or departments and in hospitals and other medical facilities.
Other Jobs in This Field
One of the more popular concentrations in online clinical research master’s programs is clinical investigation. Those with strong investigation skills and experience may find positions working for either the state or federal government. Government agencies have a high need for doctors and those with research skills willing to investigate the spread of infectious diseases. They will track symptoms to identify any new diseases and to determine any connections that might exist between two or more conditions. These research experts can work on studies to find treatments for those conditions too.
Those with an interest in epidemiology may find these jobs appealing. They study the ways in which diseases affect the human body and how injuries impact the body. Their research allows them to find solutions to some of the more common conditions affecting people today. Some clinical research graduate degree holders also work in forensics. They might work for a law enforcement agency or government department, but they can also work for private labs. Forensic techs investigate crimes and find evidence of criminal activity based on medical evidence left behind at the scene.
Working in Product Development
One of the fastest growing fields within clinical research is product development. Many online clinical research master’s college programs allow students to study product development and management, but some programs now offer product development as a full degree program. These programs focus on the medical devices that patients use every day. Those devices can include the respirators and other types of equipment that hospitals and other medical facilities use as well as the devices that patients use at home.
Those working in product development typically work in either research or development. The research phase involves looking for common problems and finding solutions to those problems. The advent of 3D printing led to many companies hiring professionals to look for ways in which to print affordable devices for low income patients. Those working in development are the ones responsible for actually coming up with designs for new products. Each new product will go through a series of clinical trials too. Workers check to see how well those products work, keep track of any errors or issues that occur and write up their findings for others to read.
Future Outlook for the Health Sciences Industry
The outlook for those working in the health sciences industry is quite high. This industry will grow at a faster rate in the future than almost any other. One reason for its rapid growth is because of the sheer number of people around the world growing older. Those individuals will need devices and products that can assist them with their daily needs, but they will also need medications to treat the medical conditions that they have.
Another reason for this growth is because of the spread of diseases. As more people use antibiotics to treat the common cold and other conditions, certain diseases become antibiotic resistant, which means that those medications will no longer work on those conditions. Research institutes and facilities will need professionals who can investigate the spread of those diseases and develop effective treatments.
Scholarships for Clinical Research
Students sometimes think that scholarships are only for traditional students and not for online students. Many websites now offer scholarship searches that allow students to enter basic information such as what they want to study and their class level to find all available scholarships. Scholarship requirements can range from filling out a simple application to providing the scholarship body with a college transcript and a resume. Health sciences and clinical research majors can earn enough in scholarships to completely pay their way through college. Though some scholarships award students just $250 to $500, others provide students with thousands of dollars that they can use to cover any of their costs.
Other Funding Options
Funding a cheap clinical research master’s degree may require the use of one or more loans too. The federal government offers unsubsidized loans for graduate students. Those students can borrow a little more than $20,000 a year and borrow the same amount each year they remain a full-time students. Government loans are typically not available for part-time students, but those students can apply for alternative student loans. Banks and other financial institutions offer alternative and private student loans to those in graduate school. Students will need to submit a full application and allow the bank to run a credit check. Some may need to apply with a co-signer.
Online graduate students can also look for grants. Grants come from the federal government and the state government. Other grants come from research institutions that want to fund the next generation of researchers. These grants can range in size from just a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000.
Total Student Costs
Our list of the most affordable clinical research master’s programs includes schools that charge tuition rates of less than $10,000 a year, but some of the other programs charge higher costs. Students often think that tuition is the only expense they face, which isn’t always true. Online programs can charge a technology fee per class or per semester that allows students to use technology offered by the school. Some students will need to pay out of pocket to access certain online databases that the university does not offer access to or to use online resources not available through that school. They may need to pay for new software or programs to use in their classes too. Online students need to factor in their total living costs also, including the cost of food, rent and clothing. Though online master’s in clinical research do cost less than traditional programs do, students should still weigh all costs associated with the program before enrolling.
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Clinical Research Online Programs.
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