Best Online Master’s in Clinical Research Programs of 2024

Clinical researchers are in high demand. Discover the best programs to earn your master’s in clinical research online.
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Doug Wintemute
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Doug Wintemute is a writer who focuses on higher learning and entertainment. Since 2014, he has contributed to content and editorial work for award-winning publications. He completed his BA and MA in English at York University, graduating summa cum l...
Updated on March 21, 2024
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Rebecca Munday joins our team after serving as editor-in-chief for The George-Anne Inkwell at Georgia Southern University. She's never met a type of writing she didn't enjoy, and is especially passionate about making healthcare understandable for all...
Learn more about our editorial process 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.

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A master's in clinical research hones in-demand skills in research methods and clinical investigation. You can work in medical research, epidemiology, or clinical management. And earning your master's in clinical research online offers flexibility so you can work while in grad school.

Learn more about the top-ranked clinical research programs and your career options.

Popular Online Clinical Research Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Clinical Research Program?

Clinical research programs build strong critical thinking, math, and statistical skills. The program usually includes 30-45 credits and up to two years of training, combining theoretical and practical studies. A master's in clinical research program can offer specializations for many interests.

While most clinical research master's programs award a master of science degree, some alternatives may be available, such as a master of advanced studies or a master of science in health science. Though they differ in name, these programs usually feature similar course offerings and career pathways.

The biggest differences between programs are the available concentrations. Programs may offer specializations in epidemiology, trial management, community health, and clinical investigation. Concentrations allow learners to focus on one area and can better prepare them for careers or further training in that subdiscipline.

In an online master's in clinical research program, laboratory work plays a large role, with students completing practical assignments on campus or via online labs. These programs also feature heavy practicum components, familiarizing learners with professional environments and research topics.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Clinical Research Program?

  • Minus

    Epidemiology Research

    This course teaches students professional approaches and methods for answering health research and epidemiological questions. Learners look at ways of evaluating measurements, symptoms, diagnostic and treatment maneuvers, and the protocols for appraising and writing research.
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    Patient-Oriented Research

    In this course, students learn how to create and administer research with the patient in mind, including observing the rules and regulations for human experimentation, data management, and ethics.
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    Clinical Trial Design

    Students in this course design clinical trials and explore the governing bodies and regulations for clinical trials. They learn to identify the most effective questions, stage the appropriate trials, obtain and store findings, and analyze the results.
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    Bioethics courses explore the challenges of medical records and experiments. Coursework may examine patient rights and how different factors, such as cultures and belief systems, can lead to patient challenges and conflicts.
  • Minus

    Biostatistics and Data Management

    This course examines the methods and applications of biostatistics and the strategies and technologies for data management. Students may learn to use different statistical software and modeling techniques.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Clinical Research Program?

The admission requirements for an online master's in clinical research program depend on the specific program. However, most students need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Though most programs accept applicants from various disciplines, some schools may require candidates to have specific health-related prerequisites.

The list below highlights some of the most common application requirements for graduate admissions.

While mostly used by undergraduate students, you apply through a college application system. Additional requirements may include having the appropriate technology for online learners and completing an interview in rare cases.

Test Scores

Many graduate-level programs use entrance exams, such as the GMAT or GRE, to make admission decisions. In clinical research, most programs do not require test scores. However, you may need to submit test scores if your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement.

Letters of Recommendation

Most college applications require three letters of recommendation, which provide insight from a former employer or teacher on a prospective student. These letters can offer a glimpse into your work and study habits or suggest how the candidate might fare in a graduate program.

Resume and Work Experience

College applications may require resumes and cover letters so schools can get information about an applicant's professional history. While few clinical research programs require professional experience for admission, those who do have it may receive preference.


Writing a grad school essay provides the school with information on your academic history, educational interests, and career goals. You may be asked how your research interests align with the school and faculty.

Official Transcripts

Transcripts provide schools with useful information, including all the grade and credit details from the applicant's post-secondary journey. Schools use transcripts to identify if the prospective student has the appropriate prerequisites and if they qualify for transfer credits.

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How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Clinical Research Program?

What factors should you consider when researching online master's in clinical research programs? You can find a program that matches your budget, career goals, and schedule by considering cost, program focus, and format.


Comparing costs can help you choose a program. The total cost of an online degree includes tuition, fees, textbooks, and other expenses. While the median cost of tuition for a health-related master's program is $9,310, the total cost reaches $23,100, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Comparing the cost of online vs. on-campus programs can help you save money.

Program Format

Program format influences how and when a learner studies. Prospective students must think about how they learn most effectively and what schedule works best for their other obligations. They should compare asynchronous vs. synchronous study and part-time and full-time schedules to find the most suitable format.


Whether they choose an online or on-campus program, students should consider location. Online learners must know if their program features on-campus requirements and if they're close enough to complete them. Other location-related considerations might include in-state or out-of-state tuition rates.


All schools must be accredited to offer students financial aid and employment opportunities in their field. For programmatic accreditation, prospective students can seek recognition from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accreditation Council for Clinical Research and Education to ensure their healthcare education meets quality standards.

Student Support

Student services can improve the educational experience for students. Consider the school's online student services during the selection process, including tutoring, mentorship programs, career services, alumni networking opportunities, and practicums and internships.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Master's in Clinical Research Programs

Is a master's in clinical research worth it?

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A master's in clinical research can be worth it if you're interested in clinical research or clinical management careers. This specialized master's degree emphasizes research and clinical leadership, which can lead to careers in medical science, public health, and research. These fields report strong demand.

What can I do with a master's in clinical research?

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With a master's in clinical research, graduates have several pathways available to them. An epidemiologist career may be the most direct route, but other career options include medical science, microbiology, and community health.

Depending on the role and employer, some professions may require additional training. Graduates can also choose to continue their schooling, such as pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical research or a related medical field. A doctorate can lead to teaching roles in colleges and universities and advanced medical scientist and microbiologist positions.

Are clinical research majors in demand?

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Yes. Clinical research majors are in very high demand, particularly in the epidemiology and public health fields. The impact of COVID-19 has helped drive demand for more professionals in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 30% job growth for epidemiologists between 2022 and 2032, much faster than average.

Both community health workers and medical scientists are also in high demand. The BLS projects 4,400 new jobs for community health workers and 11,600 new jobs for medical scientists between 2022 and 2032, with COVID-19 influencing the demand in both cases.

How much money can I make with a master's in clinical research?

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The salaries for graduates with a master's in clinical research vary by location, profession, credentials, and experience. The median annual wage for epidemiologists, for example, was $78,520, according to the BLS. With experience, epidemiologists can make significantly more, as the top 10% of earners in the field make more than $123,430.

Industry also influences wages, with those in scientific research earning the highest epidemiologist median annual wages of $103,650 as of May 2022. Hospital professionals earn the next highest at $95,240, and epidemiologists at colleges and universities earn the lowest median annual wages at $80,180.

How much does a master's in clinical research cost?

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Master's programs in health-related fields cost a median tuition of $9,310 per year. Total costs, when factoring in additional expenses, reached $23,100 per year. Most programs require at least two years. 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.

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