Best Master's In Clinical Research Degrees

Updated January 13, 2023

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A ranking of the best master's in clinical research degrees. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

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Top List of Universities Offering MS in Clinical Research

Take medical discoveries from the lab to the rest of the world with a master’s in clinical research.

If you love science and are looking for a dynamic, in-demand profession, then clinical research may be a good fit for you. There’s a huge demand for professionals with expertise in the process of developing, conducting, and monitoring clinical trials - the process that transforms scientific discoveries into usable treatments.

A master’s in clinical research will equip you with the skills to coordinate and monitor clinical studies - as well as manage data and work within the protocols of regulatory agencies.

Whether your interest is in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or biotechnology, you’ll find a program with your name on it.

What kind of clinical research degree should you get?

Most clinical research programs set students up to work in a broad range of environments - from industry to government agencies. But there are also programs that emphasize specific areas like the translational process, or even the business side of clinical research management.

And increasingly, leading-edge areas of study are not confined to traditional residential programs. If you find yourself in a situation where taking time off work to complete a degree is not feasible, consider your online options. There are plenty of accredited, highly-ranked universities that have developed outstanding online programs for working professionals.

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How much money do people make with a clinical research degree?

Clinical research is currently an area of tremendous growth - and well-trained clinical research professionals are in high demand. Medical technology and information have led to a boom in potential new drugs, devices, and biologics. But they won’t be able to reach the public without extensive testing - hence, the high demand for clinical researchers.

The US Bureau of Labor services cites the current job growth outlook at 13 percent - that’s much faster than average. And as a medical scientist, the BLS reports a median salary of $82,090. That number will vary depending on your geographical location and work experience, but you’ll be guaranteed a very respectable salary.

What can you do with a degree in clinical research?

Obtaining a master’s in clinical research will set you up for a wide range of financially rewarding career paths. Graduates go on to work at public and private medical device companies, contract research organizations, and hospital systems. Or you can choose to pursue a doctoral degree.

You’ll be faced with a variety of choices. And, with accrued work experience, you’ll be able to progress to supervisory, specialist, or management positions. You can also switch between industry and research sites, depending on the amount you want to travel and how much you enjoy interacting with patients.

Job titles you might qualify for include:

  • Clinical research coordinator
  • Medical writer
  • Clinical trial auditor
  • Product safety specialist

What are the requirements for a degree in clinical research?

If you’ve done any research already, you’ll have found that admission requirements vary widely from school to school - and even depending on the program emphasis. You will need, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution - preferably in a science.

Some highly competitive programs may also require advanced education in the health professions as well as significant work experience. And most programs require standardized test scores like the GRE.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

Boston University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of science in clinical research program at Boston University is one of the school's 170 master's degrees. Students can increase their earning potential and advance their careers with this degree. The program offers flexible enrollment options that appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with other responsibilities.

The master's curriculum builds comprehensive knowledge, highlighting theoretical and practical approaches to clinical research. Students strengthen their knowledge through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which also build valuable professional connections. Learners specialize their education by choosing electives and concentrations.

Boston University at a Glance:

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 19%

Graduate Tuition In State: $54,720

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $54,720

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 55%

Average Tuition
In-state
$54,720
Out-of-state
$54,720
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
19%
Students Enrolled
33,720
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

University of Virginia-Main Campus

  • Charlottesville, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking increased professional responsibilities can earn their master of science in clinical research at the University of Virginia-Main Campus. The public institution, located in Charlottesville, offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. Enrollees complete a challenging, graduate-level curriculum that builds an advanced understanding of clinical research.

Master's degree-seekers benefit from college resources and support services. Academic advisors help with course selections, while financial aid counselors recommend grants and scholarships to pay for a master's degree. Learners can also take advantage of tutoring centers, library services, and service learning opportunities.

University of Virginia-Main Campus at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 72

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 24%

Graduation Rate: 95%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $16,578

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,770

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $56,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,970
Out-of-state
$47,833
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
24%
Students Enrolled
25,012
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

University of California, San Diego

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The master's in clinical research program at the University of California, San Diego offers an affordable, rigorous option for graduate learners. Students gain advanced knowledge and skills in the program. Graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options that make it easier for enrollees to fit classes into their schedule.

Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of clinical research through the program's challenging curriculum. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help degree candidates expand their professional networks. Concentrations and electives let learners specialize their education around particular fields.

University of California, San Diego at a Glance:

Location: La Jolla, California

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 31%

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,442

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,544

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 63%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $17,498

Average Price After Aid: $14,864

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
38,736
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

Eastern Michigan University

  • Ypsilanti, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners can earn their master's in clinical research administration from Eastern Michigan University, which offers 123 master's programs. The program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. At the school, programs offer flexible enrollment options that appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with other responsibilities.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and practical knowledge to build a comprehensive understanding of clinical research. Students gain real-world experience during internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Concentrations and electives let learners specialize their education around particular fields.

Eastern Michigan University at a Glance:

Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 74%

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,912

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $33,600

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 96%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,183

Average Price After Aid: $16,078

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,658
Out-of-state
$13,658
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
17,784
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

University of St. Thomas

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in clinical translation management at the University of St. Thomas, one of the school's 26 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The  program encourages career growth through its experiential learning components. Flexible enrollment options, including online classes, help busy enrollees balance coursework with their other responsibilities.

The curriculum blends theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of clinical translation management. Students often complete internships and other experiential learning opportunities to build career-ready skills. Candidates may also be able to choose a concentration, building specialized skills in a specific area.

University of St. Thomas at a Glance:

Location: Houston, Texas

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 87%

Graduate Tuition In State: $20,934

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $20,934

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 96%

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,800
Out-of-state
$30,800
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
3,448
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus

  • Madison, NJ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking career advancement benefit from the master of health science program at Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus. The private university offers programs on its Madison, New Jersey, campus and online. Master's degree-seekers complete a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes advanced clinical research knowledge and skills.

College resources and support services help master's candidates participate fully in campus life and meet graduation requirements. For example, financial aid counselors connect students with grant and scholarship opportunities. Students can also participate in tutoring sessions, counseling programs, and networking events.

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 33

Total Online Master's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: 94%

Graduation Rate: 63%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $22,186

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,186

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $42,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$43,654
Out-of-state
$43,654
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
3,366
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

University of North Texas

  • Denton, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in clinical research management program at the University of North Texas, one of the school's 85 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. Students can advance their training and increase their career opportunities with this degree. Flexible enrollment options appeal to working professionals who need to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

The curriculum uses theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of clinical research management. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage learners to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Degree-seekers can specialize their education by choosing electives and concentrations.

University of North Texas at a Glance:

Location: Denton, Texas

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 74%

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,900

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,496

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 82%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $9,441

Average Price After Aid: $14,020

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,295
Out-of-state
$18,423
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
39,336
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

St. Cloud State University

  • St. Cloud, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students interested in advancing their career can earn their master's in applied clinical research at St. Cloud State University. The Minnesota public institution offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. The master's in applied clinical research program builds on undergraduate knowledge. Applicants without a clinical research background may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling.

College resources and support services help master's candidates get the most out of graduate school. Academic advisors help with course selections, while financial aid counselors recommend grants and scholarships to pay for a master's degree. Learners can also attend networking events and make use of library services.

St. Cloud State University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 60

Total Online Master's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 90%

Graduation Rate: 48%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,460

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,334

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,000

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,394
Out-of-state
$15,686
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
13,049
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

University of Louisville

  • Louisville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Louisville offers a master's in clinical investigation sciences for students seeking career advancement. From its Louisville campus, the public university meets the needs of diverse degree-seekers by offering flexible enrollment options. Enrollees gain an advanced understanding of topics while strengthening their skills.

Whether they study online or on campus, master's candidates can access a generous selection of college resources and support services. Academic advisors help with course selections, while financial aid counselors recommend grants and scholarships to pay for a master's degree. Students can also take advantage of networking and training events hosted by the university.

University of Louisville at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 78

Total Online Master's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 69%

Graduation Rate: 59%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $13,000

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,114

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,732
Out-of-state
$27,758
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
21,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Master’s In Clinical Research Degrees

Augusta University

  • Augusta, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Augusta University offers a master of clinical and translational science for students seeking career advancement. The Georgia public institution offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. Master's candidates complete a challenging, graduate-level curriculum that builds an advanced understanding of clinical and translational science.

College resources and support services help enrollees get the most out of graduate school. For example, academic advisors recommend course selections and connect students with tutoring services. Master's degree-seekers can also attend networking events and access library services.

Augusta University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 28

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 76%

Graduation Rate: 40%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,504

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,772

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $52,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,892
Out-of-state
$22,270
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
8,650
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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