Best Clinical Research Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Clinical Research programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Clinical research is the process of investigating the safety and efficacy of new medical treatments. Clinical research is essential to the development of new medicines and medical devices. Clinical research is conducted in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories.

Clinical research is a growing field, as more and more companies are seeking to develop new medical treatments. Clinical research is conducted in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories.

Clinical research degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in clinical research, including clinical research coordinator, clinical research associate, and clinical research manager. Students in clinical research degree programs learn about the different aspects of clinical research, including study design, data collection, and data analysis.

How to Choose the Right Clinical Research Program

When it comes to choosing the right clinical research bachelor’s degree program, there are many factors to consider. Cost, location, and time to degree are all important factors to keep in mind. Additionally, students should research the specializations offered at each program to find the best fit for their interests and career goals.

The cost of a clinical research degree varies depending on the institution. When considering costs, students need to research tuition, fees, and associated expenses such as housing, commuting, and parking. Public schools offer a lower tuition rate for in-state residents. Location can also affect the ability to gain internship opportunities and network for jobs after graduation. Finally, the time to degree may make an expensive program less costly if students can transfer in college credits.

In addition to these factors, prospective clinical research students also need to consider the specializations available at each program. Students interested in pharmaceutical research, for example, may only wish to consider programs that offer a track in pharmaceutical research. Students can also research the graduation requirements to learn how many general science classes they must take versus the specialized courses in their track.

Best Bachelor’s in Clinical Research Programs

The best programs for Clinical Research ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Washington University in St Louis
Saint Louis, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research Management from Washington University in St. Louis is designed for students who want to pursue a career in clinical research. The program provides a foundation in principles and applications from the basic sciences, and then covers in greater depth the processes necessary in the management of studies that develop drugs, devices, and treatment protocols for patient care. This customized undergraduate program focuses on the scientific methods of clinical research, good clinical practice, research ethics, and the regulatory guidelines that protect human subjects.

Rank 2
George Washington University
Washington, DC

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree from George Washington University is an online program that prepares students for a career in clinical research. The program focuses on teaching students how to manage and implement clinical trials, as well as how to create elements of a clinical development plan. Students will also learn how to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and how to address ethical and cultural considerations in clinical trials.

Rank 3
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA

The Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree from Louisiana State University is flexible and can be completed online within 20 months. Students in the program take courses in subjects such as advanced hematology, advanced immunohematology, advanced clinical chemistry, advanced pathogenic microbiology, and molecular diagnostics. The program also requires students to complete a clinical project in one of the areas of study.

Rank 4
Ohio University
Lancaster, OH

The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Healthcare Studies (BSIHS) degree from Ohio University is a completion degree for students who have already earned an associate degree in a related field. The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the healthcare system and advance in their careers. The curriculum includes courses in public health, sports medicine, nutrition, leadership and critical thinking, communication, interprofessional education and practice in healthcare, and more.

Rank 5
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research from University of North Carolina Wilmington provides students with a broad understanding of the science, regulatory, and business aspects of developing new therapies. The program is delivered mostly online, but does require an in-person internship at a clinical research site. Enrollment is competitive, with only 60 students accepted each year.

The program is designed to prepare students for careers in clinical research, with a focus on pre-approval human clinical trials and post-marketing safety studies.

Rank 6
Kent State University at Kent
Burton, OH

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree from Kent State University at Kent is a flexible program that prepares students for a career in public health or for further study at the graduate level. The program offers a broad overview of public health, with a focus on the five core disciplines of biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. The program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Rank 7
Campbell University
Buies Creek, NC

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Clinical Research from Campbell University focuses on developing students who have fundamental skills and knowledge in all areas related to clinical research, from the basics of anatomy and physiology to scientific research, product development, and clinical trials. In addition, the program emphasizes scientific concepts and research design, ethical and participant safety considerations, leadership and professionalism, and communication and teamwork.

Rank 8
National University
La Jolla, CA

The Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science from National University provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to conduct research and use clinical trials to improve overall human health. The program can be completed online or on campus, and includes the academic prerequisites for a California Department of Health trainee application to the Laboratory Field Services Branch of the California Department of Health for a trainee License.

Rank 9
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Lubbock, TX

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. This is a 2+2 degree program that trains students in clinical laboratory skills and techniques. There are three areas of focus to choose from: Standard, Pre-Med, and Pre-Physician Assistant. The program is accredited and students who graduate are eligible to sit for the Medical Laboratory Scientist national certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification.

Rank 10
North Carolina Central University
Durham, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research Sciences from North Carolina Central University is a program designed to prepare students for careers in clinical research. The curriculum is focused on giving students the tools they need to succeed in clinical management and clinical trials. The program includes coursework in areas such as health, biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and statistics. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship in a clinical research setting.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Clinical Research Program

Students in a clinical research program learn how to design, monitor and assess clinical trials. They also develop an understanding of the ethical and regulatory issues involved in clinical research. The program typically takes four years to complete and culminates in a bachelor’s degree.

Most clinical research programs require students to complete coursework in biology, chemistry, statistics and research methods. Students also learn about the principles of clinical pharmacology and medical ethics. In addition to coursework, students in a clinical research program may be required to complete an internship.

Clinical research programs prepare students for careers in the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies and research institutions. Graduates of the program typically work as clinical research associates or clinical research coordinators.

Common Clinical Research Courses

A degree in clinical research will open the door to a number of different career paths. The courses you take as part of your degree program will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in this field. The following are some of the classes you can expect to take as a clinical research major.

Foundations of Clinical Research

This course covers the principles and practices of clinical research with an emphasis on the role of the research coordinator. Topics include the scientific method, research design, research ethics, regulatory affairs, and the protection of human subjects. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the scientific method to the design of a clinical research study, understand the role of the research coordinator in the conduct of a clinical research study, and identify the regulations governing the protection of human subjects in research.

Good Clinical Practices

This course covers the principles and practices of good clinical research. Topics include the history and evolution of clinical research, the role of the sponsor and the investigator, the informed consent process, the protection of human subjects, and the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH). Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of good clinical research to the design, conduct, and reporting of clinical trials.

Clinical Trials Design

This course covers the design of clinical trials, with an emphasis on the practical aspects of clinical trial design and analysis. Topics include the scientific basis for clinical trials, the ethical and regulatory aspects of clinical research, the role of clinical trials in the drug development process, and the design of phase I-IV clinical trials. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of clinical trial design to the development of new drugs and therapies.


This course covers the basic concepts of statistics with emphasis on their application to the biomedical sciences. Topics include probability, random variables, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression, and analysis of variance. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the basic concepts of statistics to the analysis of biomedical data.

Sociology of Health and Illness

This course covers the sociological study of health and illness from a variety of perspectives. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors in the etiology, treatment, and prevention of illness; the social construction of illness; and the experience of being ill. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the social factors that influence health and illness and apply this knowledge to the design and implementation of clinical research.

Career Options for Clinical Research Graduates

Graduates of clinical research programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. They may also work in fields such as government, academia, and non-profit organizations.

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical research coordinators (CRCs) work on research studies that aim to improve patient care and treatment. CRCs typically work in hospitals, clinics, or research centers and are responsible for a study from start to finish, which can include everything from recruiting patients and conducting initial screenings to collecting data and coordinating with the research team. CRCs must have excellent organizational skills and be able to keep track of many moving parts, as well as be comfortable working with patients and their families.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are advanced practice nurses who focus on a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, or cardiology. CNSs typically work in hospitals, but they can also work in clinics, private practices, and other healthcare settings. In addition to providing direct patient care, CNSs may also be responsible for patient education, staff training, and quality improvement initiatives.

Clinical Trial Manager

Clinical trial managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a clinical trial, from start to finish. They work with a team of clinical research associates (CRAs) to ensure that the trial is conducted according to the protocol—the document that outlines all the procedures that need to be followed. This includes making sure that the right patients are enrolled, that they receive the right treatments and doses, and that they’re being monitored properly. Clinical trial managers also work with the sponsor—the company or organization funding the trial—to make sure they’re happy with the way the trial is going, and they often report to the principal investigator (PI), who is in charge of the overall trial.

Medical Writer

Medical writers create content for a variety of medical audiences, including patients, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. They might write articles for medical journals, create patient education materials, or develop content for doctors’ offices or hospitals. In all cases, medical writers must be able to translate complex medical information into clear, accurate, and easy-to-understand language.

Medical Science Liaison

Medical science liaisons (MSLs) are the field-based representatives of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. They work with healthcare professionals (HCPs) to provide them with accurate and objective information about their products, as well as to answer any questions they may have. MSLs also keep up with the latest research in their therapeutic area and share that information with HCPs, as well as with the internal teams at their companies.

Insights From a Clinical Research Graduate

Boston Rosales is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Harvard University. He has a bachelor’s degree in clinical research from Simmons College. Boston has over 3 years of experience in clinical research.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Clinical Research degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Boston Rosales: I made the most of my degree program by taking advantage of the opportunities that were available to me. I interned at a few different research sites, which gave me the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of clinical research. I also took advantage of the networking opportunities that were available to me. I met a lot of people in the industry and was able to learn about different job opportunities.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in a Clinical Research career?

Boston Rosales: I would say that a person who is detail-oriented, organized, and able to work independently would be successful in a clinical research career. Additionally, a person who is able to build relationships easily, handle sensitive information discreetly, and is passionate about helping others would also be successful.

ClimbtheLadder: What misconception(s) do people have about a Clinical Research degree, and what would you tell them?

Boston Rosales: I think the biggest misconception is that you need to have a medical degree to work in clinical research. While it is helpful, you don’t need to be a doctor to work in this field. As long as you have a bachelor’s degree and are passionate about helping others, you can be successful in clinical research.


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