Why This Matters

  • PERSONALIZED MEDICINE REQUIRES MORE CLINICAL TRIALS

    A push toward precision medicine is driving an increase in the number of smaller trials being held in the U.S., requiring more researchers to implement and manage them.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 24,700 MORE RESEARCHERS BY 2029

    Technological advances and the need to provide care for an aging population means that the role of the clinical researcher will increase by 7% over the next decade, faster than most professions.

  • EARN $28,423 MORE PER YEAR WITH A MASTER’S

    The average base pay for a clinical researcher is $75,063, roughly $28K more than that of a bachelor-level clinical research assistant, who earns a median salary of $46,640.

Our Research

Our chosen programs lead to a master’s of science degree in Clinical Research, Clinical Nursing Research, Biomedical Laboratory Management — or another similar title that leads to certification as a clinical researcher. The programs range from 30 to 74 credits, and generally take between one and two years of full-time study.

All programs have full accreditation from an agency designed to ensure that curriculum is up-to-date and relevant, and professors have real-world knowledge along with superior credentials. These agencies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council on Education for Public Health, and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 63 hours to write this article
  • 66 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 113 education programs we compared

The Top 20 Master’s in Clinical Research Degree Programs

Best Master's in Clinical Research Degree Programs
01
Boston University

intelligent score 98.1

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master of Science in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

Department School of Medicine

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,777 per credit

accreditation New England Commission of Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 617-353-2300

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master of Science in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

01
University of North Carolina Wilmington

intelligent score 96.66

Award Best Product Development Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Product Development Focus

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs MS in Clinical Research & Product Development

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department School of Nursing

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State:$589.88 per credit; Out-of-State:$2,318.50 per credit

accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 910-962-3208

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs MS in Clinical Research & Product Development

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
UCSD Master of Advanced Studies

intelligent score 96.42

Award Best in the West

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the West

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 40 credits

Department School of Medicine

Estimated Cost per Credit $800 per credit

accreditation Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 858-534-9164

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 40 credits

01
University of St. Thomas

intelligent score 95.91

Award Best Catholic University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

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Urbanicity:

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No

Award Best Catholic University

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Master in Clinical Translation Management

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Cameron School of Business

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,163 per credit

accreditation Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 713-525-2100

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Master in Clinical Translation Management

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
St. Cloud State University

intelligent score 92.5

Award Best Public University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public University

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs MS in Applied Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 34-46 credits

Department College of Science and Engineering

Estimated Cost per Credit $826.43 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 320-308-2167

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs MS in Applied Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 34-46 credits

01
Eastern Michigan University

intelligent score 91.17

Award Best in the Midwest

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Midwest

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master's in Clinical Nursing Research

Required Credits to Graduate 35 credits

Department School of Nursing

Estimated Cost per Credit $787.50 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 734-487-3060

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master's in Clinical Nursing Research

Required Credits to Graduate 35 credits

01
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth

intelligent score 90.48

Award Most Affordable

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Affordable

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs MS in Clinical Research Management

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

Department Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State:$148 per credit; Out-of-State:$638 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 817-735-2649

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs MS in Clinical Research Management

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

01
University of Vermont

intelligent score 89.32

Award Best Translational Science Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Translational Science Program

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs MS in Clinical and Translational Science

Required Credits to Graduate 31 credits

Department Larner College of Medicine

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State:$683 per credit; Out-of-State:$1,720 per credit

accreditation New England Commission of Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 802-656-2699

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs MS in Clinical and Translational Science

Required Credits to Graduate 31 credits

01
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

intelligent score 89.19

Award Best On-Campus Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best On-Campus Program

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department Gillings School of Global Public Health

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $903.00 per credit, Out-of-State: $1,735.00 per credit

accreditation Council on Education for Public Health

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 919-966-7430

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Virginia

intelligent score 86.58

Award Best Public Research University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public Research University

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master of Science in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 31 credits

Department School of Medicine

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $470 per credit; Out-of-State: $954 per credit

accreditation Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 434-924-5571

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus

Programs Master of Science in Clinical Research

Required Credits to Graduate 31 credits

01
Best Medical College
Augusta University
01
Best Chemistry Focus
Fairleigh Dickinson University
01
Best Mid-Sized University
University of Louisville
01
Best Nursing Leadership Focus
Regis College
01
Best Master of Science Degree
Rutgers University
01
Best Biomedical Lab Management Focus
Hunter College
01
Best Small University
Thomas Jefferson University
01
Best Epidemiology Focus
Loyola University Chicago
01
Best Medical Product Development Focus
San Jose State University
01
Best Patient-Oriented Focus
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

What You Should Know About This Degree

Becoming a clinical researcher is a common career step for those already working as clinical research assistants. The addition of a master’s degree gives you the ability to design, coordinate, and manage trials, as well as work with a team to analyze results and answer the research question posed by the trial.

The need for trained professionals in all areas of healthcare is expanding rapidly as the population in the U.S. ages, requiring more medical intervention and the increased use of drugs to improve quality of life and manage chronic conditions. The advent of personalized medicine leads to greatly increased, although smaller in scope, medical trials.

There is no one national credential required to be a clinical researcher. The Association of Clinical Research Professionals offers several credentials, including Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC), Principal Investigator (CPI), and ACRP Certified Professional (ACRP-CP) for those involved in all aspects of clinical studies. Each of these requires the applicant to pass a standardized exam.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching clinical research programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Requirements for these master’s programs in clinical research vary depending on the focus of the program. All of them require you to have a valid bachelor’s degree, preferably in an area of science or mathematics. A few require you to be working as an RN. Undergraduate coursework in cell biology and statistics is desirable, as is a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Online programs usually offer one of two delivery methods. Courses may be held synchronously, which means you will attend live classes online at a given time; or asynchronously, which means that courses are pre-recorded and you attend at a time that is convenient for you. The latter option is a good choice if you are continuing to work or have other responsibilities while attending graduate school.

As you research possible programs, be aware of the varying focus of each one. Some master’s programs are geared toward working nurses or other healthcare professionals, while others focus on the business side, training researchers to work with bio-pharmaceutical companies and others involved in the drug industry. Your coursework will vary based on the focus.

When looking for financial support for your education, don’t stop after you’ve applied for school-based assistance. You may be able to find scholarships, loans, or grants through your employer or professional organizations to which you belong.