Last Updated: September 02, 2021
Clinical Science Degree Programs
Clinical science is a branch of medical science that ensures the effectiveness and safety of medicines and medical products. It then determines the treatment pattern and regimen of these products. Students of clinical science programs are trained to create new medicines and medical products through extensive research and determine their usefulness and safety for the end-user.
This is an interdisciplinary field that involves subjects like chemistry, biology, experimental science and can be said to be essentially rooted in the principles of medicine. Candidates who take up a degree in clinical science will have to work extensively in laboratories where they will be collecting and analyzing bodily fluids, cells, and even blood.
Benefits of Learning Clinical Science
Since this field of study is rooted in the health sector, candidates who take up a course in this field will find that there will never be a shortage of career opportunities. From getting a job after graduation to doing extensive research in the subject, the students of clinical science have multiple options spread across for them to choose from.
People who work in the career demarcation of clinical laboratory technologists and technicians after studying a course in this field of study are supposed to receive a median salary of $54,180 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook for careers in this sector is also estimated to grow 7 percent between the years 2019 to 2029 which is higher than the national average for most other professions.
Apart from the professions that candidates can do within the sector, they will also be able to enter the field of research where their services will be valued better. They will be able to be a professor in the subject or remain a medical scientist depending on their level of education and experience in the field.
Specializations under Clinical Sciences
The most common specializations offered under clinical sciences are-
- Drug Development
- Global Health
- Health Informatics
- Behavioral Science
- Patient Management
Diploma in Clinical Sciences
Many universities offer short duration (average of one year) diploma programs in clinical science. These are often restricted to specializations in one particular field. Usually, BS or MS students with a degree in clinical science are preferred for these programs. However, some universities have opened doors to professionals who do not possess a clinical science degree but have the required number of hours as clinical laboratory scientists.
Undergraduate Programs in Clinical Science
A Bachelor of Science in Clinical Science is a program designed for undergraduate students looking for an advanced study program in medicine, science, medical business, dentistry, and clinical research. This program is mostly offered as a four-year graduation plan. It offers undergraduate students a patient-centric education and experience in testing specimens within legal and ethical limits to understand a variety of illnesses. Students are trained in chemical and biological principles and their available interpretation through laboratory findings.
In the first three years, students are trained in microbiology, organic chemistry, pre-calculus, biology, general chemistry, immunology, genetics, and statistics. Earning a good score through these years makes them eligible to join the final or clinical year of study before graduating. The aggregated tuition fee for a semester can range between $6,000 to $50,000.
Admission Requirements for BS in Clinical Science
The eligibility requirements for doing a BS in Clinical Science can vary from institution to institution and also from the specialization the candidate wishes to eventually take. Despite this uncertainty, there are a few basic requirements all colleges/universities will state. These requirements are-
- GPA of 2.5 or above
- SAT Score
- Letters of Recommendation
Graduate Programs in Clinical Science
A Master of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science is best suited for those looking at career options like laboratory scientists, researchers, teachers, and also those who wish to be part of the management of a clinical science institution. Some universities also offer specialized master's programs in clinical sciences for those interested in specializing in blood banking. With a variety of modules to choose from, graduates need to make informed decisions in selecting their field of specialization in clinical science.
The subjects that are covered for the course include biostatistics, epidemiology, therapy, etc. The course will be of a duration of 2 years in all with a credit requirement ranging between 36-40 depending on the university the candidate is applying to.
Accreditation Requirement for MS in Clinical Science
Getting into a college with the necessary accreditation is more important for aspiring candidates than finding their choice of specialization. The kind of accreditation the college has will help people understand the level of skills the candidate must have learned during the duration of the course. There are six regional accreditations that institutions can have. But the most popular accreditation that universities like the University of California, Berkeley have is that of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System.
Admission Requirements for MS in Clinical Sciences
Though the eligibility requirements for a master’s program in clinical science can vary from institution to institution, there are a few basic requirements that all universities have. These requirements are similar to that of the general requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the same subject. The requirements include-
- Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Science
- GPA above 3
- Pre-Requisite Course Credits
- Letters of Recommendation
Ph.D. in Clinical Science
Candidates who wish to enter the field of research will be able to extensively do so in this field due to the evolving nature of the same. Doctoral students can choose an area of research in health services, health information technology, or clinical investigations according to their specialization in undergrad. They are mentored by able professors to understand the evolving environment of healthcare and to relate findings of biostatistics.
A Ph.D. program is best suited for those who wish to pursue a career in extensive clinical research, in setting up a clinical research-based business, or for those interested in teaching. Candidates will be required to submit a thesis after the completion of the necessary coursework. They will also be expected to be part of seminars, presentations, and the like during the 4-5 year duration of the course.
There is a growing demand for clinical scientists, with career opportunities in this industry rising at 13% per annum, thus making clinical science studies a lucrative education option.
Content Taught in Clinical Sciences
Irrespective of the level of study the candidate is doing in clinical science, they will be dealing with certain core concepts under the subject. Due to the vastness of the field, most universities offer deeper courses as different specializations from which candidates will be able to choose what they want to work on.
The students pursuing a degree in Clinical Research will be enriched in topics like:
- Performing research on humans and animals within well-defined legal and ethical limits
- Interpreting findings and applying them logically
- Identifying and measuring outcomes
- Conducting researches
- Publishing research reports
A clinical science degree understands the challenges of the industry and hence trains its students in leadership skills as well. This is because professionals armed with a degree in clinical science are often expected to work as team managers and develop clinical research strategies.
Holding a master's in clinical research opens up a plethora of interesting career options. Students can carve a niche for themselves as drug developers, as scientists involved in medical treatment experiments, as contract researchers for medical organizations, and even as clinical data managers to name a few. A master’s degree in the subject will let them take their career up a notch due to the research content involved in the curriculum.
Studies have shown that a senior clinical research associate earns a median annual salary of $80,000, while a clinical laboratory scientist earns around $65,000. A master’s degree will ensure the graduate earns at least 5% more than his only-graduate counterpart. Students graduating with a degree in clinical science can carve careers for themselves in research, the healthcare sector, and the biomedical industry. Many are offered research-based jobs in clinical laboratories, hospitals, and even in the armed forces.