10 Best Master’s Degrees in Clinical Research

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Updated September 27, 2022

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Best Master's in Clinical Research - Grad School Hub

Discovery and innovation within the medical field wouldn't be possible without the researchers behind them. Grad School Hub's 10 Best Master's Degrees in Clinical Research equip students to examine, evaluate, and develop human medical resources.

Through Clinical Research degrees, students build skills in the business, ethical, regulatory, and scientific aspects of biomedical research. This research may relate to medical devices, biotechnology, or pharmaceuticals. Clinical researchers may take on any part of the research process, from designing studies and conducting ethical research to analyzing results and preparing products for the market. They generally work full-time in research centers such as hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical or medical device companies, or research organizations.

Clinical Research degree holders may choose to pursue careers as site managers, clinical trial leaders, or post-market surveillance and outreach researchers. According to the most recent report published by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median pay for medical scientists was $82,090 annually or $39,46 hourly. The medical research field is experiencing a 13 percent growth rate, which is faster than average. Master's degree holders looking to further their scientific skills may also choose to pursue a Ph.D.

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Best Master’s Degrees in Clinical Research

  1. Arizona State University

    Tempe, AZ



    Arizona State University's MS in Clinical Research Management takes the top spot among Grad School Hub's Clinical Research master's programs. Its transdisciplinary curriculum studies ethics and regulations, fiscal aspects of clinical trials, and global operational trends. Required core courses include Clinical Research Monitoring, Fundamentals of Regulatory Affairs; and Scientific and Research Review Boards. In addition, all student must complete a capstone Clinical Research Management project. Beyond its educational quality, ASU's Clinical Research Management program ranks highly in flexibility and convenience. Students do not need to relocate to enroll in this top-ranked program, as it is offered entirely online. With interactive multimedia tools, part-time options, and flexible start dates, ASU students can earn a top-notch Clinical Research Management degree in their own time and terms.

  2. University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    Wilmington, NC



    The University of North Carolina at Wilmington offers an entirely online Clinical Research and Product Development master's program. The core curriculum emphasizes clinical research concerning biopharmaceutical and biotechnology development. Course requirements include Advanced Scientific Writing & Interpreting Medical Literature and Regulatory Affairs & Project Management. Students pursuing a Clinical Research Management concentration may take courses such as Transcultural Healthcare and Current Issues in Gerontology. Students concentrating in Regulatory Affairs and Compliance may take courses such as Advanced Biochemistry and Innovative Product Development and Strategic Planning. All students must complete either a relevant master's project or thesis. The full-time program is comprised of 36 credit hours and four semesters of coursework.

  3. Ohio State University

    Columbus, OH



    Ohio State's Master of Applied Clinical & Preclinical Research is offered entirely online. Classes are recorded for students to listen to lectures and participate in discussions at their convenience. The MACPR curriculum covers both theoretical and practical aspects of research ethics, methods, operations, regulations, and statistics. Students can choose to specialize in Clinical Research Management or Regulatory Affairs. Core courses include Data Analysis and Interpretation, Fundamentals of Pharmacology, and Responsible Conduct of Research. OSU's MS degree can be obtained within two years depending on student course load. The program concludes with a capstone project or practicum.

  4. Eastern Michigan University

    Ypsilanti, MI



    Eastern Michigan University's Clinical Research Administration master's program is designed for employed or credentialed medical professionals. Students may choose to focus on Clinical Trial Management, Regulatory Affairs, or a combination of the two. Required courses include Clinical Study Administration I and II, Ethical Issues in Clinical Research, and a Graduate Seminar in Drug Development. Elective course offerings include Industrial Chemistry, Molecular Genetics, and Neurochemistry. Students are also expected to complete a specific preceptorship and an independent study. Students can choose to synthesize what they have learned through either a thesis or special project. The five-semester program can generally be completed in two years.

  5. Boston University

    Boston, MA



    Boston University offers a Clinical Research concentration within its Master of Science in Medical Sciences program. The MAMS program can be completed in one or two years and is generally comprised of two semesters of, both, two semesters of coursework and thesis research. The Clinical Research concentration's key curriculum elements include human research regulations, study design, and trial management. BU's three-concentration course requirements include Designing Clinical Research Studies, Regulatory and Compliance Issues, and Seminar in Clinical Research. Elective course options include Good Clinical Practices or Ethical Issues in Clinical Research. All students must write a thesis on a clinical research topic.

  6. St. Cloud State University

    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 focused on teaching and studying medical devices. The program uses real-world examples to educate students on how to conduct ethical and effective research, how medical devices affect the body, and how new tools are developed and introduced. SCSU's MS degree offers various options 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 option of taking night classes on Wednesday nights or Saturday mornings. Along with a required industry internship, the full-time program takes around two years to complete.

  7. University of Vermont Medical Center

    Burlington, VM



    The University of Vermont Medical Center is the largest hospital complex in the state and has a primary facility on the UVM campus. The university's Clinical and Translational Science program offers concentrations in Investigation or Research Management. Research Management applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree, while Investigation concentration applicants should hold a Doctoral-level degree. All applicants must attend preliminary interviews. Required core courses address the administration, analysis, design, and reporting of clinical and translational research. The Investigation concentration requires supervised research and a thesis, while the Research Management concentration requires an internship and seminar participation. Students in both concentrations must pass a comprehensive exam.

  8. The University of St. Thomas

    Houston, TX



    The University of St. Thomas' Master in Clinical Translation Management is a primarily online program, with fewer than 12 face-to-face class days. Designed in collaboration with the Houston Methodist Research Institute, the program has a foundation in science and business concepts and helps students apply them to the biotech industry. The university's curriculum has four focus areas: Clinical Translation Process, Marketing & Management for Clinical Translation, Financial Management for Clinical Translation, and Ethical and Regulatory Issues in Clinical Translation. Courses include Business Ethics, Idea to Clinic, and New Venture Design. Students must also complete a practicum and two-part capstone in Entrepreneurial Principles and Strategic Management.

  9. University of Virginia

    Charlottesville, VA



    Thomas Jefferson founded the historic University of Virginia in 1819. Along with its rich history, UVA is known for its secret societies and its student-run honor system. The university's Clinical Research master's program is intended for experienced health professionals seeking to develop their analytic and quantitative research skills. The interdisciplinary curriculum blends biostatistics, clinical trial design, epidemiology, health services research, and medical informatics. Courses include Comparative Effectiveness & Outcomes, Theory & Quant Epidemiology, and Supervised Clinical Research. In addition, students complete a final mentored independent research project. Part-time program options are available based on each student's situation.

  10. University of North Texas

    Denton, TX



    The University of North Texas' master's degree in Clinical Research Management looks at biomedical sciences broadly through courses such as Biostatistics and Introductory Biochemistry. Additional courses equip students with clinical research skills in administration, ethics, medical writing, and regulations. Students begin their education during the summer semesters and take an average of 18 months to complete their degree. Summer sophomore students are required to complete a clinical internship practicum and subsequent report on the experience. Internships are generally unpaid and take place either on-campus or in clinical research centers throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

Our Methodology, Explained

Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.

Top 10 Best Master’s Degrees in Clinical Research

#1 Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
#2 University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington, NC
#3 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
#4 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
#5 Boston University Boston, MA
#6 St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, MN
#7 University of Vermont Medical Center Burlington, VM
#8 The University of St. Thomas Houston, TX
#9 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
#10 University of North Texas Denton, TX

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