Master of Science
in Clinical Research

Clinical research professionals are the link between
the biomedical industry and the physician in testing
new drugs, devices, and procedures.

The Master of Science in Clinical Research program serves the graduate level educational needs of interested students in the field of clinical research and biotechnology. The program offers comprehensive cognitive instruction at the graduate level. It particularly enables practitioners in clinical research to have sharp critical and analytical abilities as well as more in-depth and total development of interpersonal attitudes; essential attributes which will further advance and widen professional opportunities for the graduates. The program is open to Bachelor’s degree holders and to certified healthcare professionals who want to pursue advanced studies in clinical research.

The growing influx and development of research, particularly in Bio-Tech, Bio-Pharmaceutical, Genetic, Medical Device and Pharmaceutics in Southern California has created a great demand for well educated, highly qualified individuals to take leadership positions in this field. The number of such related companies and industries has all but created a huge gap in meeting current and future needs and the impact that such rapid growth has had on the quality and level of service for the human population served has pressed everyone into looking at ways and means to effectively satisfy said demand.

At the completion of this training program, the student shall be able to demonstrate:

  • Build familiarity with basic medical terminology and recognize the meanings of medical words through knowledge of roots, prefixes and suffixes;
  • Explain key concepts in human anatomy and physiology, how the various human biologic systems function, and the homeostatic nature of these systems with reference to human disease states;
  • Perform pre-operative physical examination techniques, i.e. patient interviews and medical write-ups;
  • Identify health care problems that require appropriate evaluation and management;
  • Understand general treatment approaches and pharmacology for the major body systems;
  • Describe the basic principles of drug actions and interactions, including adverse reactions;
  • Explain techniques by which drugs are administered to treat diseases;
  • Understand regulatory requirements for medical devices and pharmaceuticals, quality control, and design controls for product development;
  • Understand the significance of research as cornerstone for medical innovation;
  • Develop critical thinking and analysis to encourage autonomous thinking necessary for medical decision making;
  • Understand key health care issues and be able to communicate with other members of the medical community with confidence, precision and force;
  • Appreciate the financial management of Clinical Research;
  • Have a good baseline understanding and practice of statistics;
  • Be able to design and conduct clinical trials;
  • Show capability in the administering of clinical trials;
  • Manage multiple projects of clinical research;
  • Appreciate and follow Good Clinical Practices;
  • Appreciate and follow current good manufacturing practice;
  • Perform audits & inspections;
  • Show proficiency in business development side of clinical trials;
  • Be familiar with and able to use clinical trial materials;
  • Communicate effectively within the Clinical research community;
  • Be able to take apart, dissect and reconstruct randomized trials;
  • Have the ability to submit grants for funding of clinical trials.

Graduates of the Master of Science in Clinical Research program will be able to:

  • Describe basic research strategies, settings, methods and goals of clinical research including all aspects of the preclinical and clinical phases of clinical trials.
  • Critique the advantages and disadvantages of various study protocol designs as related to the test product and anticipated endpoints of the clinical research process.
  • Critically appraise published clinical research and interpretation of new research in the context of existing knowledge and global trends/ issues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the interdependence of the different roles in the clinical research team including the alliance of subjects, regulatory agencies, sponsors and sites.
  • Identify ethical, legal, regulatory and financial considerations that impact clinical trials.
  • Apply the essentials of Good Clinical Practice (GCP).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the evolution of the safety and efficacy date in drug, biological, and device developments from pre-clinical testing through to registration and post-marketing surveillance impact product development.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic physiological and epidemiological causes and correlates of disease as they relate to clinical trial investigations.
  • Complete 84.5 quarter credit units of prescribed Master’s degree courses
  • Students must complete all coursework, examinations and clinical experiences with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or a letter grade of B or higher.
  • Present at Poster Session for a selected drug, medical device or research question on health care disparity and present a final paper for that poster session.
  • Complete at least 100 clock hours of community service
  • Successfully prepare and defend the thesis

The thesis at AUHS is completed over three quarters (9 quarter units/hours), which includes 699A. The thesis represents 10.0% of total course work for the Master’s degree. A committee of three representing the student’s intended area of research will be appointed by the Office of the Provost. One of the three
members must be appointed as the Chair. The thesis course work cannot be taken until all other courses are completed and the following is achieved.

  • A Committee Chair and two additional members have been duly appointed.
  • The Course work for the Master with the exception of the thesis has been completed.
  • The student must successfully defend the thesis proposal with a one week advanced notice to the public of this defense.
  • The student has been advanced to candidacy with the approval of the committee (Advancement duly certifies that all components at 1 through 3) have been completed and student is now all but thesis).

The Student will be expected to register for 699B for 3 hours and 699C for 3 units; both of which are not in-class structured classes towards the thesis work.
But altogether with 699A total 9 quarter hours toward the thesis.

Award of the Master’s Degree

  • When the committee believes the Thesis has been duly completed, the student must arrange a public oral defense of the thesis with at least a one week notice to the public. Part I of the defense shall be public and Part II of the defense shall be Private. The Committee must take a vote on the success of the thesis and if successful make a recommendation for graduation.
  • The Student will be expected to register for 699B for 3 hours and 699C for 3 units; both of which are not in-class structured classes towards the thesis work.
    But altogether with 699A total 9 quarter hours toward the thesis.
  • The degree is awarded only when the thesis committee certifies that the student has complete all course work and supporting course work and other projects. The form certifying completion must be signed and sent to the Office of the Provost eight weeks before the student wishes to graduate. At this time, the Thesis must be book bound, printed on acid free/acid neutral, 20 pound weight, 25% cotton, single-sided, and watermarked paper. The book bound version of the thesis must be sent to the Office of the Provost before the certifying form is accepted.

Why Choose the MSCR at AUHS?

The Master of Science in Clinical Research program at AUHS is designed to provide graduates with the relevant knowledge base, skills, attitudes, ethics and values to succeed in the field of clinical research. Some of the unique features of the AUHS MSCR program are:

  • Evening classes designed for the working adult
  • The faculty is comprised of current industry leaders
  • Varying course topics to broaden options for our graduates
  • Science/Medical background is not required
  • AUHS is a sponsor of the Southern California chapter of ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals)

What Can I Do With a Master of Science in Clinical Research?

Clinical research professionals are the link between the biomedical industry and the physician in testing new drugs, devices, and procedures. These health professionals oversee the administration and progress of a clinical trial on behalf of a sponsor. As a MSCR graduate, you can pursue your careers in:

  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Clinical Data
  • Clinical Management
  • Regulatory Affairs