In these master's programs, which commonly call for around 36 credit hours of study, students learn via classes, seminars and independent study projects. Curricula focus primarily on clinical research and management of research facilities. Students can learn about regulatory and legal issues involved in drug development, overseeing and monitoring of clinical trials and medical writing for clinical research. A thesis or final research project may be required.
Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree in a related field, but a few programs will admit students who hold undergraduate degrees in any area. Additionally, some programs are only open to applicants who are already employed in the field. Master's programs in clinical research administration are also available online.
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Master's Degree Programs in Clinical Research Administration
Some programs may offer more general course topics in the sciences and humanities. Here are some courses that may be offered:
- Clinical research and practices
- Health informatics
- Health service management
- Clinical study administration
- Drug development
Popular Career Options
Master's degree programs may prepare students to work in numerous capacities within the clinical research industry as well as in academia. Graduates may be employed by sponsors who have specific research goals in developing medical devices or pharmaceuticals, or they can qualify for the following employment positions:
- Clinical research monitor
- Clinical trials manager
- Clinical operations manager
- Clinical data manager
- Clinical project manager
Job Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), general and operations managers, including clinical operations managers, are expected to see a 7% increase in employment from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that general and operations managers earned a mean annual salary of $119,460.
Continuing Education Information
While a master's degree isn't a specific prerequisite for enrolling in doctoral degree programs, individuals wishing to work in the related area of medical science may choose to earn a doctorate in biological science.
Students interested in working in clinical research and trials can pursue a master's degree in clinical research administration. Graduates can expect positive job growth as operations managers, and may earn a doctorate if they would like.