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Clinical Trial Administration Master's Degree Programs

Clinical trial administrators create and supervise clinical trials for various medical treatments. Review the benefits to earning a degree in this field and check the prerequisites for admission. Get info on coursework and program specializations related to clinical trial administration.

What Kind of Clinical Trial Administration Master's Degrees Can I Earn?

If you're looking for a master's degree in clinical trial administration, common options you can consider are a Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences or a Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration. Online programs that award these degrees are rare, and you'll still have to complete work experience and seminars in order to earn your degree.

Whether you complete courses online or on campus, you'll have to acquire hands-on experience with nonprofit organizations, private companies or government agencies involved in bringing new medical products into the market. Specifically, you'll focus on the testing requirements for regulatory approval.

Degree Options Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration; online options are rare
Skills Gained Development and testing of new medical technology, management of data, supervision of medical teams, understanding of regulations in the field, clinical testing design
Program Prerequisistes Bachelor's degree, preferably in the medical sciences field
Area Specializations Clinical research, administration, health informatics, nutritional sciences, public health
Common Courses Healthcare financing and law, nutrition, toxicology, research ethics, microbiology
Mean Salary (2018) $166,960 (for health services managers in scientific R&D industry)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 17% growth (for health services managers in scientific R&D industry)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why Should I Earn This Degree?

You should earn your master's degree if you already have a scientific background and are looking to supervise the development and testing of new medical technology. Completion of a master's degree program will qualify you for positions that involve testing new medical products, managing scientific data and supervising teams of medical scientists who seek regulatory approval.

Graduate programs also provide those with backgrounds in pharmaceutical science, biotechnology, medicine and biomedicine an advanced understanding of regulatory issues that could arise. You'll also learn how to address these issues in design and testing. This advanced understanding covers the theoretical, management and technical perspectives of clinical trial administration.

What Do I Need to Enroll?

You'll need to earn a bachelor's degree before you enroll in a Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences or Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration. While many programs don't call for a specific undergraduate major, a degree in health professions is the most appropriate.

What Kind of Specializations Can I Pursue?

Master's degree programs can provide a wide variety of knowledge, depending upon the specialization you choose. It's important that you choose a specialization specific to the type of medical technology you plan on working with. For example, you can specialize in clinical research or administration if you plan on supervising clinical trials.

A health informatics specialization can support a career in biomedical technology. You can study nutritional sciences if you plan on working with dietary supplements. You can also earn a specialization in public health sciences, if you plan to work on clinical trials related to vaccines or epidemiology.

What Can I Learn?

Overall, a master's degree program will provide a basic overview of the latest regulatory and scientific practices used in clinical trials. Coursework and internships will also allow you to acquire hands-on experience demonstrating these practices in a laboratory or data management environment.

Coursework in a clinical research administration or clinical laboratory sciences program covers research ethics, biostatistics and physiological conclusions drawn from laboratory data. Your study will also cover subjects that facilitate an understanding beyond that of medicine and clinical trials. These subjects include healthcare financing, organic chemistry, organizational behavior, grant writing and healthcare law. Courses specific to clinical research will address:

  • Gene expression
  • Nutrition
  • Toxicology
  • Neurochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology