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24 June 2023

9 minutes read

Clinical Research Masters in the USA

Key Takeaway

  • Quality and Affordability: Select programs that offer a strong balance of quality education and financial feasibility
  • Career Prospects: A Master’s in Clinical Research opens doors to diverse, high-demand career paths in healthcare and research.
  • Financial Aid: Explore scholarships, grants, and work-study programs to make your education more affordable.
  • Industry Connections: Choose programs with strong industry links for better internship and job opportunities.
  • Skill Development: Gain valuable, transferable skills that apply across various sectors in healthcare and research.

Affordable Master’s in Clinical Research programs in the USA offer a realistic pathway to success for aspiring professionals.

The increasing demand for skilled clinical researchers underscores the significance of accessing quality education without incurring excessive financial burden.

By choosing an affordable program, students can embark on a journey toward becoming leading professionals in the field, equipped with the necessary knowledge and expertise.

This approach not only ensures access to comprehensive education but also fosters a rewarding and impactful career in the thriving industry of clinical research.

Clinical research is a rapidly growing industry with a significant impact on healthcare advancements and the economy. It offers a promising career path with ample opportunities for growth and contribution.

– Dr. Johnson, Clinical Research Specialist

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Types of Master’s programs in clinical research and their specializations

MSc in Clinical ResearchClinical Trials Management, Biostatistics, Pharmacovigilance, Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Regulatory AffairsFocuses on the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical trials.
MPH in Clinical ResearchEpidemiology, Global Health, Health Policy and Management, Biostatistics, Environmental HealthFocuses on the public health aspects of clinical research, including disease prevention and health promotion.
MBA in Healthcare ManagementHealthcare Administration, Pharmaceutical Marketing, Healthcare Finance, Medical Technology Management, Health InformaticsFocuses on the business and management aspects of clinical research, including drug development, marketing, and reimbursement.

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Understanding the Field of Master of Science in Clinical Research

  • There are different types of clinical research studies, including interventional and observational studies, each with its unique approach and methodology.
  • Clinical researchers play a crucial role in advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care.
  • They have daily responsibilities such as designing and conducting research, analyzing data, and ensuring the safety and ethical standards of the studies.
  • Clinical research can be challenging but also highly rewarding, as researchers have the opportunity to make a profound impact on healthcare and contribute to improving the lives of patients.

See how Successful Applications Look Like!

Access 350K+ profiles of students who got in. See what you can improve in your own application!


Exploring Top Clinical Research Programs

Explore a carefully selected list of institutions that not only provide a degree but also offer promising opportunities. From beautiful campuses in the Midwest to innovative hubs on the East Coast, discover where value and quality intersect.

Harvard University#1 (U.S. News & World Report)
Johns Hopkins University#3 (U.S. News & World Report)
University of Washington, Seattle#6 (U.S. News & World Report)
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)#8 (U.S. News & World Report)
Columbia University#9 (U.S. News & World Report)
Stanford University #11 (U.S. News & World Report)
University of Pennsylvania #15 (U.S. News & World Report)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor#19 (U.S. News & World Report)
Duke University#25 (U.S. News & World Report)
Vanderbilt University#44 (U.S. News & World Report)

MS in Clinical Research: University Profiles

Get an insider’s look at each program. We’ll talk about what makes each faculty special, the cutting-edge research facilities, and the support services that ensure every student’s success.

UniversityFacultyResearch Facilities
Johns Hopkins UniversityRenowned faculty with expertise in clinical researchCutting-edge research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment
Harvard UniversityTop-tier faculty with extensive research experienceAdvanced research facilities with access to the latest technologies
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)Leading faculty in clinical research and innovative therapiesState-of-the-art research facilities focused on translational medicine
Stanford UniversityHighly distinguished faculty from various disciplinesInterdisciplinary research facilities promoting collaboration
Duke UniversityRenowned faculty with diverse expertise in clinical researchWell-equipped research facilities supporting interdisciplinary research
Columbia UniversityTop-tier faculty with expertise in urban health issuesCutting-edge research facilities with a focus on clinical trials
University of PennsylvaniaRenowned faculty with strong industry connectionsState-of-the-art research facilities for translational medicine
University of Washington, SeattleLeading faculty in biostatistics and epidemiologyAdvanced research facilities promoting global health equity
University of Michigan, Ann ArborStrong faculty across various disciplines in clinical researchWell-equipped research facilities supporting collaborative research projects
Vanderbilt UniversityLeading faculty in clinical research methods and personalized medicineState-of-the-art research facilities with a focus on genomics
masters in clinical research in usa

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Navigating Financials and Scholarships

Tuition Fees:Varies significantly based on university, program type, and residency status. Public universities generally have lower tuition compared to private ones.
Scholarships:Numerous scholarships are available for Master’s in Clinical Research, offered by universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and private foundations.
Grants and Fellowships:Research grants and fellowships offer funding for specific research projects or academic pursuits within clinical research.
Loans and Student Aid:Federal and private student loans can help bridge the gap between program costs and available financial resources.
Work-Study Programs:Many universities offer work-study programs, allowing students to work part-time on campus or with approved employers to earn income while studying.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

– Benjamin Franklin`

Scholarship and Work-Study Programs for Clinical Research in the USA

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA)U.S. citizen or permanent resident; enrolled in an accredited research training program.Varies; can cover stipend, tuition, and health insurance.https://www.nih.gov/
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future Faculty AwardU.S. citizen or permanent resident; postdoctoral fellow at an accredited institution; commitment to teaching and improving health equity.Up to $85,000 per year for 3 years.http://www.physicianfacultyscholars.org/
American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Clinical Research Training ScholarshipU.S. citizen or permanent resident; enrolled in MD, PhD, or MPH program with research focus on neurology.$65,000 per year for 2 years, plus a $10,000 annual research-related stipend.https://www.aan.com/search/awards
Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Foundation Scholarship ProgramU.S. citizen or permanent resident; enrolled in an accredited program related to clinical research.Varies; up to $5,000 per award.https://acrpnet.org/
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine and TherapeuticsU.S. citizen or permanent resident; enrolled in the Ph.D. program in life sciences with a focus on translational research.$25,000 per year for 2 years, plus a research stipend and travel allowance.https://www.phrmafoundation.org/
University-Specific Scholarships:Varies; typically require a strong academic record, research experience, and commitment to clinical research.Varies; can cover full or partial tuition and fees.Check individual university websites for program-specific scholarships.
Federal Work-Study ProgramU.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; enrolled in at least half-time study; filed FAFSA.Varies; depend on the student’s financial need and work hours.https://studentaid.gov/welcome/
Institutional Work-Study Programs:Varies; eligibility is typically based on financial need and academic standing.Varies; depends on the program and work hours.

Did You Know ?

Over 80% of graduates from top clinical research programs secure employment within 6 months. Clinical research is a field dedicated to making medical advancements by conducting research studies.

The application process for applying to international colleges can be broken down into several points:

  1. Research and Identify Universities: Begin by researching and identifying the universities that offer Master’s in Clinical Research programs. Consider factors such as program reputation, faculty expertise, research opportunities, and location.
  2. Review Admission Requirements: Thoroughly review the admission requirements for each university. Take note of any standardized tests, such as the GRE or TOEFL/IELTS, that may be required. Also, ensure that you meet the academic and language proficiency prerequisites.
  3. Prepare Required Documents: Gather all the necessary documents for your application. This may include your academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume or curriculum vitae, and any additional documents specified by the university.
  4. Standardized Tests: If required, register and prepare for the standardized tests, such as the GRE or TOEFL/IELTS. Familiarize yourself with the test format and content, and allocate sufficient time for preparation.
  5. Craft a Compelling Statement of Purpose: Write a strong statement of purpose that highlights your passion for clinical research, your academic and professional background, and your future goals. Tailor your statement of purpose to each university, showcasing your fit with their program.
  6. Submit Application: Complete the application process for each university by submitting all the required documents and paying the application fee. Ensure that you meet the application deadlines.
  7. Follow-up: Monitor the progress of your application and follow up with the universities if necessary. Stay in touch with the admissions offices and promptly respond to any requests for additional information.
  8. Prepare for Interviews: Some universities may require an interview as part of the application process. If invited for an interview, prepare by researching common interview questions and practicing your responses.
ms in clinical research in usa

Understand the specific requirements for exams and credentials in your application for a Master’s in Clinical Research program.

Mastering the complex world of clinical research begins with completing your application. Exam requirements, which can vary between universities, play a critical role in securing your admission.

Let’s break down the key points to remember:

Standardized Tests:

  • GRE (Graduate Record Examinations): While not universally required, some universities consider GRE scores to assess your skills in quantitative and verbal reasoning. Check the specific program requirements to determine if it is needed.
  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test): Primarily for programs with a strong medical focus, the MCAT evaluates your knowledge of natural sciences, verbal reasoning, and critical thinking skills relevant to clinical research.
  • TOEFL/IELTS: For international applicants, English language proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively in an academic setting. Score requirements vary depending on the university and program.

Program-Specific Exams:

  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): If your program focuses on the business or management aspects of clinical research, the GMAT may be required to assess your quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Subject GREs: Certain programs may require subject GREs in relevant fields such as biology, chemistry, or statistics to assess your deeper understanding of these essential scientific areas.

Additional Credentials:

  • GPA: Maintaining a strong GPA in your undergraduate studies, particularly in science and math courses, is crucial for demonstrating your academic readiness for graduate-level work.

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Career Pathways after doing MS in Clinical Research

universities offering masters in clinical research in usa

Let’s dive into diverse and impactful career paths across various sectors:

  • Pharmaceuticals:
    • Clinical Research Associate (CRA): Manage clinical trials, ensuring ethical and regulatory compliance. (Median Salary: $84,740)
    • Clinical Data Manager: Oversee data collection, analysis, and reporting for clinical trials. (Median Salary: $96,290)
    • Drug Safety Associate: Monitor and report adverse events in clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance. (Median Salary: $88,090)
  • Public Health:
    • Epidemiologist: Investigate patterns and determinants of diseases to inform public health interventions. (Median Salary: $88,240)
    • Global Health Specialist: Design and implement public health programs in developing countries. (Median Salary: $73,000)
    • Health Policy Analyst: Analyze health data and policies to inform healthcare decision-making. (Median Salary: $78,560)
  • Contract Research Organizations (CROs):
    • Clinical Project Manager: Oversee all aspects of clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. (Median Salary: $108,120)
    • Medical Writer: Develop and submit regulatory documents for clinical trials and drug approvals. (Median Salary: $89,700)
    • Biostatistician: Design and analyze statistical methods for clinical research studies. (Median Salary: $96,290)
  • Academic Research:
    • Research Scientist: Conduct clinical research in universities, hospitals, or research institutes. (Median Salary: $77,330)
    • Clinical Research Instructor: Teach and mentor students in clinical research programs. (Median Salary: $72,270)
    • Grant Writer: Secure funding for clinical research projects. (Median Salary: $64,190)

Did You Know ?

Clinical Research Coordinators with a Master’s degree earn, on average, $10,380 more annually than those with a Bachelor’s degree.

These are just a few examples, and the possibilities are endless! A Master’s in Clinical Research opens doors to a rewarding and impactful career in shaping the future of healthcare.

Remember, the salary figures provided are averages and may vary depending on experience, location, and specific job title.

Benefits of Pursuing a Master’s in Clinical Research

BenefitStats and FactsImpact
High Career Demand:The demand for clinical research professionals is projected to grow 13% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Master’s degree holders in clinical research typically see higher salaries and faster career advancement compared to bachelor’s degree holders. (Indeed)
Secure career path with strong job growth and earning potential.
Make a Difference in Global Health:Clinical research contributes directly to developing new life-saving treatments and improving patient care.
Master’s graduates can contribute to research on critical health issues like cancer, heart disease, and infectious diseases.
Contribute to advancements in healthcare and directly impact human lives.
Develop Transferable Skills:Master’s programs teach valuable skills like critical thinking, data analysis, problem-solving, communication, and project management.
These skills are highly sought-after in diverse industries like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, government, and academia.
Gain valuable skills applicable to various career paths beyond clinical research.
Boost Earning Potential:Median annual salary for Clinical Research Coordinators with a Master’s degree is $79,730, compared to $69,350 for those with a Bachelor’s degree. (Indeed)
Master’s graduates in more specialized fields like regulatory affairs or biostatistics can earn even higher salaries.
Increase earning potential and gain financial stability.
Expand Network and Career Opportunities:Master’s programs connect you with renowned faculty, industry professionals, and fellow students, building a valuable network for job opportunities, collaborations, and career guidance.Access exclusive internship and career placement opportunities, and build impactful connections.
Advancement and Leadership:A master’s degree is often a prerequisite for senior management positions in clinical research.
Graduates can pursue careers as principal investigators, clinical trial managers, or directors of research.
Increase potential for career advancement and leadership roles in the field.


The journey to becoming a clinical research professional doesn’t have to be an unaffordable dream.

With the right guidance, financial planning, and a passion for the field, an affordable Master’s in Clinical Research is within your reach and can be the pathway to a rewarding and impactful career.

Embark on a rewarding journey in the field of clinical research with a Master’s degree that combines affordability with excellence.

Merge your aspirations with precision using Ambitio’s Shortlist Builder. This tool is designed to bring clarity to your decision-making process, allowing you to create a shortlist that is a true reflection of your highest aspirations.


What makes a Master’s in Clinical Research program affordable?

Affordable Master’s in Clinical Research programs prioritize offering quality education at a reasonable cost. They may have lower tuition fees compared to other programs or provide financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, or assistantships to help students manage their expenses.

Can international students receive scholarships for these programs?

Yes, many Master’s in Clinical Research programs offer scholarships specifically designed for international students. These scholarships can help offset the costs of tuition and living expenses, making the program more affordable for international students.

What career opportunities are available after completing a Master’s in Clinical Research?

Completing a Master’s in Clinical Research opens up a range of career opportunities in the field. Graduates can work as clinical research coordinators, data managers, regulatory affairs specialists, or clinical research associates in various settings such as pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies.

How important is the location of the university for studying clinical research?

The location of the university can have some impact on studying clinical research. Being near research institutions, hospitals, and industry hubs may provide more opportunities for internships, networking, and research collaborations. However, with advancements in technology and remote work possibilities, location is becoming less critical, and the quality of the program and faculty should be the primary considerations.

What are the key factors to consider when choosing a clinical research program?

When choosing a clinical research program, it is important to consider factors such as the program’s accreditation, curriculum, faculty expertise, research opportunities, industry partnerships, internship or practicum experiences, alumni network, and job placement rates. Additionally, factors like cost, location, and the program’s fit with your career goals and research interests should also be taken into account.

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