Online Degree in Clinical Research Administration with Course Info

Apr 24, 2020

Essential Information

Online clinical research administration studies are offered via graduate certificate programs, which can be completed in one year. Master's degree programs are also available fully online and typically take two years to complete, requiring the submission of a final research project prior to graduation. Some programs require students to complete a practicum component. Applicants to these online programs have typically earned their bachelor's degrees in health science or related fields.

Some online universities also offer dual degree programs that allow students to seamlessly earn both their bachelor's degrees in health science and online master's degrees in clinical research administration. Dual degree programs can often be completed more quickly than two separate programs.

Course Topics

Clinical research administration requires business, management and medical knowledge. The curriculum emphasizes professional standards and research methods for the health care business. The interdisciplinary coursework covers a variety of topics:

  • Clinical practices
  • Drug and device development
  • The health care enterprise
  • Monitoring clinical trials
  • Regulatory issues in clinical research
  • Responsible conduct of research
  • Scientific and technical writing

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Clinical Research

Students examine the history and current practices of clinical trials. They learn about the different kinds of studies as well as key elements and team member positions involved. An overview of health and wellness concepts as well as medical terms is also included.

Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Considerations

Students learn about privacy and informed consent and examine methods for recruiting and working with human subjects. They also explore methods for complying with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


This course covers methods for designing clinical studies as well as techniques for collecting and interpreting data for them. Students learn to use computer software for statistical analysis.

Learning Methods

Students access distance learning platforms at online colleges and universities to retrieve class materials, upload assignments and participate in discussions. Although students must turn in work on time, they can work according to their own schedules and continue to work full-time while taking classes. Some online programs may allow students to participate in a practicum component in which they complete a supervised field experience in a clinical setting.

Career Information

After completing a clinical research administration master's degree or graduate certificate program online, graduates work in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries to develop new drugs and medical treatments. They may also work in government regulatory agencies that oversee the pharmaceutical industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical scientists are projected to see an 8% growth from 2018-2028. Growth will be prevalent in expanding research areas like cancer.

Clinical research administration programs can be completed fully online at the master's level or through a graduate certificate program. Students learn about the healthcare business through coursework in clinical research practices, clinical trial monitoring, regulatory issues and scientific and technical writing.

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