Online Master's Programs in Clinical Management and Leadership

A master’s degree in clinical management and leadership provides students with leadership skills and strategic insights to help them navigate issues in modern healthcare. Graduates from this type of program can be well-equipped to pursue mid-level and upper-level positions in healthcare management.

Most online clinical management and leadership programs can be completed part-time so that students can continue working while enrolled. Along with a thorough understanding of clinical laboratory science, students also learn how to manage teams, deliver quality healthcare insights at various levels, collaborate across departments, and improve organizational systems and communication. Overall, clinical managers and leaders are instrumental in shaping the delivery of quality healthcare.

The following guide profiles accredited online master’s programs in clinical management and leadership and three standout faculty members who teach them.

Arizona State University
Johns Hopkins University (AAP)
University of West Florida

George Washington University

The GW clinical operations and healthcare management online programs prepare students for leadership roles in health sciences and are ideal for working professionals.

There are various degree tracks for those interested in leading lab science at GW, including an online master of science in the health sciences (MSHS) focusing on clinical operations and healthcare management.

The 36-credit MSHS in clinical operations and healthcare management includes courses such as human resource development; leadership and change in clinical management; strategic communications; population health for healthcare innovators; finance for healthcare operations; informatics for operational leadership and healthcare quality; healthcare systems operations; and applications in clinical operations and health care management.

Students learn to evaluate healthcare operations, conduct effective data analyses for strategic and operational development, conduct effective data analyses, improve organizational performance by successfully implementing change management, and apply expert leadership skills in various professional settings.

Graduates will be ready for roles such as clinical laboratory operations supervisor, clinical programs lead, clinical manager or supervisors, director of clinical operations, and vice president of operations. Overall, the program is ideal for professionals from clinical disciplines wishing to develop their leadership and management skills.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $990 per credit

Arizona State University

ASU’s online master of science in clinical research management is ideal for nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals seeking leadership roles. The program ranks as one of the best in the nation. To apply, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a bachelor’s or master’s degree, including courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.

The 33-credit program provides students with a good understanding of commercial and fiscal practices of clinical research; the management of clinical drug, biological, and medical device trials; and research’s ethical and regulatory aspects. The curriculum also explores clinical research monitoring and scientific and research review boards. At the end of the program, students must complete a six-semester-hour capstone project on clinical research management.

Graduates can find positions as clinical data managers, clinical research coordinators, clinical nurse specialists, clinical laboratory technicians, and social science research assistants.

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $857 per credit

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

The MCPHS offers an online master’s program in clinical management with ample flexibility for working professionals. The program’s admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, a GPA of 3.0, and management experience in a healthcare-related field.

The 36-credit program provides students with skills and know-how to manage and lead hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The curriculum sheds light on healthcare administration’s financial, legal, ethical, and economic aspects. Students delve into topics such as organizational dynamics; practice management and leadership; population health and risk; and quality improvement in healthcare.

At the end of the program, graduates may be prepared to make complex decisions and lead clinically-focused organizations. They also know how to manage healthcare delivery and have a deeper understanding of health policy and practice.

  • Location: Manchester, NH
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,060 per credit

Rush University

Rush University’s online master of science in clinical laboratory management gives students practical abilities to manage a clinical laboratory. Students can opt for the specialist in blood bank technology certificate program along with this degree. The program is offered fully online, on a part-time or full-time basis.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US college, a GPA of 3.0, and two years of work experience in an accredited laboratory. They must also be a certified medical laboratory scientist (MLS), a clinical laboratory scientist (CLS), or a medical technologist (MT).

The program comprises 39 credits without the specialist in blood bank certificate and 45 credits with the specialist in blood bank certificate. As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as principles of laboratory management; clinical immunohematology and transfusion; blood procurement and blood product manufacturing; evidence-based research and applied statistics; quality systems and regulatory issues; method comparison & process validation; health care informatics; and issues and practices in human resource management.

Upon completing the program, students can also take the diplomate in laboratory management exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification. Graduates of the program have gone into jobs in biotechnology, clinical diagnostics, clinical pathology, educational institutes, and office labs.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $944 per credit

Ohio State University

Ohio State University offers an online master of clinical research (MCR) program with two interdisciplinary specialization options: clinical research management and regulatory affairs. This fully online program prepares students to excel as regulatory specialists, administrators, and other roles on clinical research teams. Graduates will be prepared for careers such as clinical research associates, clinical research coordinators, clinical research trainers, project and data managers, institutional review board specialists, regulatory compliance officers, research quality analysts, and several other positions in the clinical research enterprise.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Application requirements include a completed application, all college transcripts, a current resume, a statement of purpose and goals, three recommendation letters, and an English proficiency test for international applicants only.

The 36-credit curriculum consists of courses such as responsible conduct of research; fundamentals of medical product development and regulation; clinical research design and methods; clinical research study and site management; principles of quality management for medical product development; data analysis and interpretation in clinical and preclinical research; and fundamentals of pharmacology.

  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $722.50 per credit

Rutgers University (Related Programs)

The Rutgers School of Health Professions offers an online master of science in clinical laboratory science and a master of science in healthcare management.

The 36-credit clinical laboratory science program focuses on evaluating and communicating health-related information. Applicants must be certified medical laboratory professionals, have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

The program prepares students to take up leadership roles in clinical laboratories. It explores topics such as molecular diagnostics; healthcare regulations and laboratory management; advanced clinical chemistry; and advanced clinical microbiology. Medical laboratory professionals who wish to advance their skills and knowledge should opt for this program.

The 36-credit healthcare management program helps health professionals develop leadership, management, and strategy skills. The program has four specialized tracks: management and leadership; health informatics; behavioral health; and gerontology. It also includes some compulsory core courses such as healthcare policy; technical writing; and healthcare finance systems.

The healthcare management and leadership track includes courses such as human resources management; quality management in health care; legal aspects of healthcare administration; foundations of health leadership; and research methods for the health sciences. This track is ideal for aspiring healthcare supervisors and managers looking to hone their management and administrative skills.

Notably, Rutgers also offers a master of science in clinical research management program, which is offered in a hybrid format.

  • Location: Newark, NJ
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $950 per credit; MS in clinical research management ($1,009 per credit)

Drexel University

Drexel University offers an online master’s in clinical research organization and management degree program ideal for experienced professionals seeking credentials and clinical management skills. This program can be completed online and has no on-campus residency requirements. The faculty of the program includes distinguished researchers, lawyers, scientists, and administrators with extensive experience in clinical research.

The program is organized into seven areas of clinical research: compliance and safety surveillance; new product research and development; ethics and law; biostatistics and data management; regulatory affairs; new therapeutic product business and strategic planning; and clinical research management.

This 36-credit curriculum includes courses such as innovative product development; regulatory, scientific, and social issues affecting biotech research; principles and practice of pharmacovigilance; quality assurance audits; pharmaceutical law; international regulatory affairs; epidemiology; clinical project management; and clinical outsourcing.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution, a cumulative GPA of 3.0, at least two years of relevant professional experience, a completed application, official transcripts from all universities or colleges, two professional letters of recommendation, a current resume, an essay, and TOEFL scores for international students.

Notably, Drexel University also offers an MS in clinical research for health professionals, a certificate of study in clinical research, and a quantitative principles for clinical research certificate.

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,255 per credit

Maryville University

Maryville University’s online master of arts in management and leadership degree program features eight unique concentrations in health administration, cybersecurity, information technology, human resource management, project management, marketing, business data analytics, and software development.

Students can also take a customized general track besides the concentration option. Comprising 36 to 39 credits, the program includes courses such as organizational behavior and development; interpersonal management skills; information technology management; project management; human resources management; accounting for managers; and management policies.

Graduates of the program will be ready for positions such as administrative services managers, computer and information systems managers, management consultants, medical or health services managers, industrial production managers, compensation and benefits managers, and advertising or marketing managers.

  • Location: St. Louis, MO
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $714 per credit

Strayer University

Strayer University offers an online master of health services administration program with a concentration in clinical care management. Students in this program will be able to apply ethical and legal thinking for addressing health services conditions, utilize information systems for evaluating health care data, and hone leadership, change management, conflict resolution, and communication skills.

To get accepted into the program, applicants must have a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 2.5, official copies of transcripts from all other colleges or universities attended, a valid, current and legible government-issued photo identification, and a completed application.

The curriculum comprises 12 courses which include healthcare operations management; long-term care management; physician’s practice management; management in healthcare; healthcare policy, law, and ethics; and health information systems.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Clarkson University

Clarkson University’s David D. Reh School of Business offers a master of science program in clinical leadership in healthcare management, which is ideal for professionals looking to take up clinically-related leadership roles. The clinical leadership courses in the program provide clinicians, physicians, nurse managers, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals with a detailed understanding of the complex business environment in which they will ultimately practice. Delivery methods include hybrid, online, and onsite options.

This 36-credit program includes eleven required courses and one elective course. Some of the courses in the curriculum include healthcare operations; financial and managerial accounting for decision-making; health systems management; introduction to health systems; healthcare finance; managerial epidemiology; and healthcare economics, among others.

  • Location: Potsdam, NY
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,209 per credit

Professors to Know in the Online Master’s in Clinical Management and Leadership Programs

Dr. Joseph Bocchino is an associate professor of clinical research and leadership at George Washington University. He teaches clinical and translational research courses, health sciences, and healthcare quality.

Before joining George Washington University, he worked as an executive in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and hospitality industries. Dr. Bocchino has held several board positions within the private and public sectors. He has written about strategic planning and integrating executive coaching and simulation to promote interprofessional education. Dr. Bocchino received his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, his master’s in business administration (MBA) from Xavier University, and his doctorate of education from George Washington University.

Dr. Maribeth Flaws is the chairperson and an associate professor in the medical laboratory science department at Rush University. She teaches courses in clinical microbiology, immunology, and molecular diagnostics. Her research explores various aspects of biological sciences. She has been a member of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and received the Rush University excellence in education award in 2015.

Dr. Flaws completed her doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her bachelor’s in chemistry and biology from Mundelein College.

Dr. Carolynn Thomas Jones is an associate professor of clinical nursing and a director of the master of clinical research graduate program at Ohio State University.

Having more than thirty years of experience working in clinical research roles, Dr. Jones has published widely on topics related to clinical research management, education, and clinical research nurse role delineation; and core competence in clinical research. Her research interests are in the areas of invasive fungal infections, innovative training and teaching in clinical research, educational assessment research, and nursing quality indicators in clinical research. Her research has been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of Clinical and Translational Sciences, the Journal of Nursing Education, and the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions.

Dr. Jones completed her DNP in clinical research from the UAB School of Nursing, an MSPH in epidemiology from the UAB School of Public Health, and a BSN in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Farheen Gani
Farheen Gani Writer

Farheen Gani has immense knowledge about medical technology schools, having researched topics such as medical billing and coding, health information management, nursing informatics, and biotechnology degree programs since 2018. She is a freelance writer, marketer, and researcher. She writes about healthcare, technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).