FAQs: Master of Science: Clinical Research and Product Development

Website links for the MS CLR Program:

  1. When is the application deadline? – The majority of your application must be in place by April 1st each year. Sometimes there may be a delay in our receipt of transcripts or an outstanding reference, but as long as most of the application is in place by the deadline, your application can be considered.
  2. Is the GRE or MAT required? – Like many MS programs, we have eliminated the need for these tests which can be a hurdle for working adults looking for an advanced degree.
  3. Are students admitted more than once per year? – We only admit students once per year for a Fall semester start.
  4. When will I receive notification of my acceptance? – Applications are reviewed after the end of the spring semester and notifications will take place by the end of May.
  5. What experience do I need in order to apply? – We ask that applicants for the full MS program (36 hours) have at least 2 years of experience in the clinical research industry. Those without that experience should consider our Certificate in Clinical Research Operations (18 hours).
  6. How long will the program take? – You have up to 5 years to complete your program. We have suggested Full and Part-time located on our website but courses can be taken in any order.
  7. Are classes taught in the Summer? – At this time, classes are only taught in the Fall and Spring semesters and classes are only taught once per year.
  8. How much is Tuition? – The following link provides Total In-state and Out-of-State tuition rates- Distance Education/Online Tuition & Fees 2017-2018:  https://www.uncw.edu/studentaccounts/fallspring-20172018.html#GRDE

  9. Are there any on campus requirements? – There are no scheduled on campus requirements. There are uses of WebEx video conferences for Capstone Project defenses and students may use this technology to view live or recorded presentations that take place on campus for both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
  10. Is the program lab based? – Clinical Research encompasses the development of drugs, devices and biologics through the discovery and approval processes. Our program does not include any laboratory requirements.
  11. What are the typical students enrolled in the program? – Our typical student is currently working full time at either a clinical research site enrolling patients in clinical studies, or they work for Contract Research Organizations (CROs). They have difficulties advancing within their organization and thus seek an advanced degree.
  12. Do you offer Scholarships? – The CLR program does not currently have scholarships available but there are other resources through the Graduate School. You may also apply for Financial Aid through the University.
  13. Can I transfer graduate credits from another university? – The Graduate School only allows up to 6 hours of relevant credit to be transferred into the program.
  14. Is there a thesis requirement? – The program requires a Capstone Project that is relevant to Clinical Research and can be started after all Core Courses have been completed and the student has completed at least 27 credit hours. The project is split over at least 2 semesters.
  15. What is the minimum GPA from an undergraduate program? – The Graduate School requires an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 for full admission. A GPA of less than 3.0 is sometimes accepted ‘provisionally’ if the applicant has significant Clinical Research Industry experience.
  16. What type of undergraduate degrees are acceptable? – An undergraduate degree in the life sciences are preferred but any undergraduate degree can will be considered in light of the experience the applicant has in the Clinical Research Industry.
  17. Should medical professionals apply to the program? – Medical professionals such as physicians who seek additional knowledge in clinical research, are better suited for programs like those offered by the Duke University School of Medicine.
  18. Are foreign students able to apply? – The review of transcripts from foreign universities is handled by the Graduate School and questions should be directed to them.
  19. What should my statement of interest include? – The Statement of Interest will provide you with an opportunity to express your interest in the program and why you are applying. A summary of your clinical research experience will help the selection committee in the review of your application.

FAQ: Certificate in Clinical Research Operations

  1. Who should apply for the Certificate Program? – The certificate program is available for those students who want to enter the Clinical Research Industry, but lack the experience to apply for the full MS program.
  2. How many credit hours are needed for completion of the Certificate? – A total of 18 hours are needed to complete the requirements of the Certificate Program.
  3. Can the 18 credit hours be transferred into the full MS program? – Yes, the 18 hours can be transferred when applying for the full MS program. However, all admission requirements such as the two year of experience must be met for admission into the full MS program.
  4. Are the classes the same for both programs? – The certificate students take CLR 505 Getting Started in Clinical Research and CLR 506 Clinical Research Operations and Regulations. All other courses are the same as those in the full MS program.