Frequently Asked Questions

MS in Clinical Research

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the vision for the Clinical Research program?
Each graduate will receive a broad understanding of clinical research as well as have leadership capabilities that will enable them to be an active participant on any integrated team of health care and clinical research professionals.

2. What is Clinical Research?
Clinical Research is defined in many complex ways in various websites and books. From our perspective, it can be defined simply as any research that is conducted with the intent of improving medical care received by patients. This includes the research studies testing new drugs in human participants before the drugs are approved for marketing, but many more areas too. These include studies in pharmacoepidemiology , pharmacovigilance, and pharmaeconomics.

3. What types of positions are available in the area of clinical research?
There are many types of opportunities available in this industry. Positions are available with major pharmaceutical corporations, government regulatory agencies (e.g. FDA, USDA), contract research organizations (CROs), biotechnology, device companies, and academic institutions. Positions may involve data management, data analysis and trial design, managing and monitoring clinical trials, quality assurance, project management, and compliance with government regulations to list a few.

4. What are the long-term opportunities for a career in clinical research?
Entry-level positions in clinical research involve direct contact with individual research investigators, and may require national or international travel. As a person gains experience in this industry and/or progresses through the master's degree program, positions of increasing responsibility are available. These positions include: project leader, manager, director, or higher positions of responsibility.

5. What is the long-term outlook for the clinical research industry?
As the demand for new and improved therapies escalates, the need for rigorous and safe evaluation of potential new products and techniques also increases. Persons trained in clinical research methods are a necessary and valuable component of any system whose goal is to produce or evaluate new methods, diagnostics and therapies for the future. The long-term success of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and healthcare industries is dependent upon their abilities to introduce and maintain the use of new products. Beyond the evaluation of new products, economic and/or societal evaluations of ongoing and future therapeutic strategies are becoming a likely and necessary element of future clinical research studies.

6. Is licensure or certification necessary for employment in the clinical research arena?
Licensure in one of the health professions is not a requirement to work in the clinical research industry, but it may open up additional opportunities for a particular individual. Certification in a subspecialty practice or technique may be advantageous for a particular role in the clinical research industry. There is, however, no substitute for the breadth and depth of the educational foundation obtained in a bachelor's or master's degree in clinical research.

7. Are there many bachelor's or master's degree programs available in the area of clinical research?
Actually, the number of educational institutions that offer such degrees is relatively small. Some institutions offer very restrictive and competitive programs available only to persons with advanced degrees.