Top 10 Master’s Degrees in Clinical Research

The following Top 10 Master's in Clinical Research programs offer both online and residence-based options in 2020. With continually evolving discoveries in the field of biotechnology, there is a high demand for an experienced and innovative workforce in clinical research. An advanced degree in clinical research is your doorway to vital work in testing pharmaceuticals and medical devices. You'l be at the center of helping to develop life-changing new treatments in health care while applying your thorough knowledge of complex federal regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Job prospects for individuals new to this career are booming, as seasoned professionals in the field work their way up to higher levels of clinical translation management. You may start out earning just $53,873 per year as a clinical research coordinator or lab technician, and students only have to wait a short time later to work as a research assistant for $65,000 a year, according to and If you're already health care professional, the potential for advancement is even greater with a Master's degree. Clinical Data Managers earn approximately $72,047 per year, and Clinical Nurse Specialists earn $87,265.

The programs below offer a wide variety of options, depending on your undergraduate background and current vocation. Many of the programs act as a new pathway for individuals who already have a medical degree and want to switch their career course to clinical research. Some programs are open to all academic backgrounds — providing a one year program that will allow graduates a positive trajectory into a huge field with open-ended room for expansion. All the programs have a curriculum that focuses heavily on understanding how to design a study, what it means to run a trial on a drug or product, the regulations associated with the biotechnology industry, and the ethical concerns of working with human subjects. If you're ready to take the next step toward this exciting field, TMHA's Top 10 Master's Degrees in Clinical Research will help you find a program that meets your unique needs and goals.

Ranking the Top 10 Master's Degrees in Clinical Research

Each ranking published by Top Master's in Healthcare require a lot of research, fact checking, and interest in the world of higher education and medical industries. The editors of TMHC utilize credible data resources from academic journals, government databases, job recruitment organizations, and, especially, degree alumni reviews. TMHC rankings are scored specifically on degree outcomes, alumni reviews, degree affordability, acceptance rates, MCAT and GRE scores, and degree completion rates.

To be considered for ranking by TMHC, degrees must be accredited by the National Science Foundation and, thus, provide appropriate doctorate certifications within the healthcare field and have institutional affiliations with scholarly peer-reviewed publications. For more information about how TMHC scores individual medical degrees, please visit our About Us page.

Here are the Top 10 Master's Degrees in Clinical Research for 2020!

#10. University of St. Thomas Houston

Houston, TX

Master in Clinical Translation Management

The University of St. Thomas Houston is located in walking distance from the Texas Medical Center.

The University of St. Thomas Houston's Master in Clinical Translation Management degree is a 30 credit program that is closely tied to the renowned Houston Methodist Research Institute. Students in this program will gain advanced knowledge in the clinical, marketing, financial and ethical aspects of the biotechnology field. Most classes in the program are online, with as few as 12 classes that students must be physically present at the Houston campus to attend. Courses include topics such as Idea to Clinic, Healthcare Economics, and Business Ethics.

The program admits once per year for the Fall term. Students are admitted in cohort groups. Application materials include a resume, letters of recommendation, interviews, transcripts, and either GRE or MCAT scores. USTH is a Catholic University who welcomes students of all faiths. As a Texas higher education institution, residents of the state who are non-US citizens may complete to the Texas State Financial Aid application to apply for state-based grants and financial assistance.

Graduate Tuition: $ 21,517

Score: 86.5

#9. The University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science

Students in the MS in Clinical and Translational Science program at U of V may choose to concentrate either in Research Management or Investigation.

The Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science at The University of Vermont is geared toward current professionals who already possess a doctoral degree or are practicing physicians. The MS in Clinical and Translational Science acts as a catalyst for current professionals into a career in clinical investigation or research management. The MSCTS program consists of 31 credits, where 19 credits are used toward core coursework, and six credits are used for electives and research, each. Graduate students will also attend weekly seminars in clinical and translational science. Candidates for this degree will pass a comprehensive exam and complete a thesis.

To apply for admission, applicants must possess a doctorate and have a strong background in science and math for at least two to four semesters. Applications are due by October 1 for admission into the spring term, and March 1 for entry into the fall term. All applicants will be interviewed by the program's faculty.

Graduate Tuition: $ 17, 816

Score: 88.3

#8. University of North Texas

Fort Worth, TX

Master of Science in Clinical Research Management

New students in the MS in Clinical Research Management program can apply to the Elena and Thomas Yorio Scholarship.

At the University of North Texas, graduate students in the Master of Science in Clinical Research Management program prepare for careers in the fields of biomedical science and clinical research. With classes such as Biostatistics, Principles of Biochemistry, and Introduction to Industry Practice, students gain a strong understanding of regulatory requirements and ethical issues in clinical research. This program offers the experience of a six-month-long internship practicum. The practicum can be completed on-site or off campus in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton region and must be approved by the program director. The program is a total of 49 credits and is usually completed within 18 months.

Entrance into the program requires that applicants must have six credits of general chemistry, 12 credits of biology, six credits of both organic chemistry and physics, two three-credit English classes and at least one class in statistics. Applications are due by March 15 for entrance into the summer term. Transcripts, two letters of recommendation, MCAT scores, and a resume are also required application materials.

Graduate Tuition: $ 10,424

Score: 88.4

#7. Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI

Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration

Highly competitive assistantships are available to graduate students.

The Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration at Eastern Michigan University is a 34-35 credit hour program that caters to current medical professionals who wish to develop their careers in the field of drug and device development. Students in the program will take classes in Introduction to Drug Development, Industrial and Environmental Chemistry, and Neurochemistry. The program has strong ties to large corporations in the Eastern Michigan region such as the Henry Ford Hospital, Trialynx, Inc. and the University of Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. Candidates for the degree must complete either a thesis or a research project.

Applications to the program are due May 15 for the following fall term. Qualified applicants have undergraduate degrees in a broad spectrum of areas related to the social sciences, biology, math or engineering. Admissions application materials include two letters of recommendation, a personal statement regarding long-term career goals, and transcripts from all previous institutions and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Graduate Tuition: $ 14,268

Score: 90.6

#6. University of North Carolina Wilmington

Wilmington, NC

Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development

Full-time graduate students may be eligible for fellowship funding.

The 36-credit Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development is completed entirely online. At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, graduate students may fulfill the requirements for this degree at their convenience. Students in the program may choose from two areas of concentration: Clinical Research or Product Development. All students fulfill five core courses in classes such as Advanced Scientific Writing and Interpreting Medical Literature, Clinical Research Monitoring and Ethics, and Clinical Research Trial Design and Data Management. Students then take 12 credit hours in their concentration and six credit hours of electives. All candidates for the degree complete a six credit hour thesis or project.

To gain entrance into the program, applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, a statistics course in their undergrad work, and either GRE or MAT scores. Some applicants may also receive a request for an interview with the faculty. Additional application materials include a written narrative of under two pages, a Demographic Form, a CV or resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition: $ 16,218

Score: 92.0

#5. Arizona State University — Tempe

Tempe, AZ

Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development


The Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development at Arizona State University — Tempe is offered completely online. The 33 credit program is designed for current clinical researchers or health care professionals. The program has an award-winning partnership with the Mayo Clinic. Students will take 15 core courses that delve into monitoring clinical research, ethical conduct in clinical research, and how clinical research operates in various settings. To graduate, students complete a six-credit clinical research project.

Qualified applicants to the program must submit evidence of at least six months of experience in clinical research. Previous coursework should include anatomy, physiology, and a strong familiarity with medical terminology. Other application materials include official transcripts from all previous institutions, a resume or CV page, along with three letters of recommendation

Graduate Tuition: $ 16,218

Score: 92.0

ASU-Tempe's College of Nursing and Health Innovation is ranked in the top 11 percent by U.S. News and World Report.

#4. Boston University

Boston, MA

Master of Science in Medical Science with a concentration in Clinical Research

The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University is a 194,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility.


Graduate students at Boston University's Master of Science in Medical Science with a concentration in Clinical Research have access to BUSM's many robust research programs. BUSM has over 600 research projects with funding of $180 million each year. Students in the MAMS program will have the opportunity to work with the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, as well as the biocontainment laboratory with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. These laboratories work to develop drugs, vaccines, and treatments for life-threatening infectious diseases.

Students in the program will take 32 credits total, and may select a one or two year track to graduate. Coursework focuses heavily on biochemistry, the cellular organization of tissues, medical pharmacology, and cell biology. Applicants to the program should have a strong background in advanced biology; along with general and organic chemistry. MCAT or GRE scores are required, along with three letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a resume or CV. Students admitted to the program start in the fall semester.

Graduate Tuition: $ 13,007

Score: 94.1

#3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Master of Science in Clinical Research: Health Services

Addressing global health issues is central to UNC's MSCR program.


The two-year, 36 credit Master of Science in Clinical Research program at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill prepares its graduates for careers in a clinical and translational investigation of research projects. This program is intended for students who are currently medical or nursing residents, fellows or junior faculty at UNC or Duke University. The MSCR program works with the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Institute, giving its students advanced, hands-on education and training. Coursework in the program includes clinical measurement and evaluation, epidemiological and clinical measures, quantitative methods for health care professionals, and study design.

All candidates for the MSCR degree will submit a masters paper that reflects original research and subsequent data analysis. Students are paired with a faculty mentor through the program and the Master's paper. Candidates for the degree must pass a written examination and are also expected to apply for grant funding to further their research. Applications to the program are due by March 12 for the following fall. Application materials include three letters of recommendation, GRE or MCAT scores, and three letters of recommendation. Qualified applicants will have completed training in clinical research.

Graduate Tuition: $ 10,077

Score: 97.3

#2. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

The Master of Applied Clinical Research and Preclinical Research at OSU belongs to the Consortium of Academic Programs in Clinical Research.

Master of Applied Clinical Research and Preclinical Research


Ohio State University's Master of Applied Clinical Research and Preclinical Research is offered completely online. At 36-credit hours, students in the MACPR program can complete the course work in one year at full-time enrollment, or two years at part-time enrollment. Students take 18-21 credits of core coursework and 12 credits in their specific area of specialization. Students may select a specialization in Clinical Research Management or Regulatory Affairs. A three-credit practicum or project is required to complete the degree.

Overall, the program is interdisciplinary and merges pharmacological practicum with and technical research methods. Core courses include Fundamentals of Pharmacology; Fundamentals of Medical Product Development and Regulation; and Data Analysis and Interpretation in Clinical and Preclinical Research. Applicants should submit their materials by May 1 for entrance into the program in the fall. Required materials include letters of recommendation, a CV or resume, a statement of purpose and goals, and transcripts from all previous institutions.

Graduate Tuition: $ 17,971

Score: 97.8

#1. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Master of Science in Clinical Research

The low cost of living in the Charlottesville, Virginia is a benefit to students in the UVA School of Medicine.


The Master of Science in Clinical Research at the University of Virginia prepares its graduates for careers in clinical investigation and health services research. At 31 credits, students take courses in Introduction to Biostatistics, Fundamentals of Epidemiology, and Human Subject Research. The program is in partnership with the Novicoff Program in Research in Quality and Patient Safety Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities. Candidates for the degree will complete a final research project advised by a faculty member and their research adviser. Most students graduate from UV's Master's program within one year, or two semesters.

To apply, the MS-CR program requires GRE/MCAT scores, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all previous institutions, and a statement explaining why they wish to pursue graduate study. A Bachelor's degree in any area is acceptable, with many students coming into the program from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. The UVA School of Medicine offers many scholarships to graduate students.

Graduate Tuition: $ 15, 945

Score: 100.00

Find A Degree is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.