Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Certifications and Schools

The development of drugs and medical devices depends heavily on the expertise of clinical research associates (CRAs). Earning certification in this field requires passing a series of exams, and you'll need to meet education and experience requirements in order to sit for these exams. Find out what your educational options are in the clinical research field. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Clinical research associates play a key part in producing the medical advances that extend and improve human life. Before a new drug, treatment or medical device is available to the general public, it must be tested for both safety and effectiveness. These research associates plan, perform, manage and monitor the testing procedures that make these advances possible.

Certification Certification available from the Society of Clinical Research Associates.
Degree An Associate of Applied Science degree in clinical research as an addendum to other degrees.
Responsibilities Clinical research associates plan, monitor, audit and evaluate results from research studies including both safety and efficacy data,

Sources: Society of Clinical Research Association.

What Type of Certification Can I Obtain as a Clinical Research Associate?

The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) issues the Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) credential to eligible applicants from a wide variety of disciplines who are conducting clinical research for the development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. To earn the credential, you will be tested over a broad spectrum of internationally recognized research standards. The basis for your certification examination will derive from the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use.

Your certification exams will cover research ethics, laws and regulations, trial lengths and parameters, sponsorship, financial disclosure and research trial safety for clinicians and trial subjects. The guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) will also provide test material covering quality assurance testing, randomization procedures and adverse effect reporting.

How Will I Become Eligible For Certification?

In order to be eligible, you need to be a current member of SoCRA working under approved GCP guidelines. A combination of professional experience and academic study will be required to apply for certification. You will need two full years of clinical research experience, a degree in clinical research (associate's, bachelor's or graduate), or a combination of a graduate certificate with a minimum number of professional research hours.

What Degree or Certificate Programs Are Available?

You may pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in clinical research as an addendum to other degrees, such as a nursing or doctoral degree. You may also choose to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in clinical research.

If you are already a licensed professional, you may choose a graduate certificate program that will provide transferable career skills and enhance your professional development. Your program may involve a collection of lecture courses and laboratory practice. You may conduct supervised and autonomous research projects involving selecting research subjects, monitoring and keeping records, managing unanticipated problems or safety concerns, conducting audits and inspections, as well as interpreting data and providing statistical analysis.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Brightwood College

    Brightwood College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brightwood College:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • California: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista
    • Indiana: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista, Indianapolis
    • Nevada: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista, Indianapolis, Las Vegas
    • Ohio: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Dayton
    • Pennsylvania: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Dayton, Broomall, Harrisburg
    • Tennessee: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Dayton, Broomall, Harrisburg, Nashville
    • Texas: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, Salida, San Diego, Vista, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Dayton, Broomall, Harrisburg, Nashville, Arlington, Beaumont, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Friendswood, Houston, Laredo, San Antonio
  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Westmoreland County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Youngwood
  • Wenatchee Valley College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Wenatchee
  • University of Maine at Presque Isle

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Presque Isle
  • University of Maine at Augusta

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Augusta
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Fairbanks
  • Pearl River Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • Texas County Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Houston