Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Practice

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The Fast Path to Becoming a Clinical Research Investigator

The George Washington University’s (GW) online graduate certificate in Clinical Research Practice quickly prepares you for evidence-based practice in the role of a Principal or co-investigator in clinical research.

In earning the certificate, you learn how the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Data Safety and Monitoring Board, protocol development, implementations, standard operating procedures, guidelines, regulations, and ethical considerations inform clinical research practice so you can collaborate with sponsored research programs.


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Total Credits



12 months

Average Duration



Accreditation and Rankings

  • GWU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • #62 Best National University*


* The U.S. News & World Report – 2023 Rankings



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Program Highlights

  • 100% online, no visits to campus required
  • The program requires 15 total credits and can be finished in 12 months
  • All 15 credits can be transferred into the MSHS in Clinical and Translational Research program



The graduate certificate in Clinical Research Practice requires successful completion of 15 credit hours including three credit hours of Elective Courses, selected in consultation with the program director, from existing online graduate courses in Medical Laboratory Sciences or Health Sciences.



Program Outcomes

In as little as 1 year, students complete 15 credit hours and learn to:

  • Oversee clinical research at the study site level
  • Ensure compliance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
  • Use biostats and epidemiology to inform clinical practice in a research study site
  • Improve the practice’s potential for serving as a clinical study site


Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program?

The certificate is designed for practicing MDs, PAs, PTs, and OTs, as well as students of these disciplines and allied health professionals who want to be research partners in sponsored projects. It ensures you know how to conduct clinical trials according to applicable laws, regulations, and the institutional policy that governs the research.

Career Outlook

Graduates can work in a variety of settings as an investigator or co-investigator across a wide range of health care and research organizations, including:

  • Academic medical centers and research institutions
  • Biomedical organizations
  • Biotech companies
  • Consumer products companies
  • Contract research organizations
  • Defense companies
  • Diagnostics companies
  • Generics companies
  • Government agencies like FDA and NIH
  • Hospitals, medical centers, and other health care settings
  • Medical device companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Private research laboratories


Admission Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • Completed application
  • 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement: Please include a 250–500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at the George Washington University, your academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications including collegiate, professional, and community activities relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.
  • Two letters of recommendation


Tuition Details

The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Practice program at GW consists of 15 credit hours. Please find the cost per credit hour and total estimated program costs here

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. 



Meet the Program Director

GW’s experienced faculty provide you with the rich, practical knowledge and support needed for you to succeed in the program and in your career.

Samar Nasser
Associate Professor, Clinical Research & Leadership
Director, Clinical and Translational Research

Read Full Bio

Dr. Nasser is an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at The George Washington University. For about 10 years, Dr. Nasser practiced as a physician assistant (PA) in the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Clinic, and assistant medical director of the Recruitment and Clinical Measures Core on a National Institutes of Health Center Grant in Detroit, MI.

During her tenure as a PA, she cared for patients in the out-patient and in-patient settings, as well as those participants in several clinical research trials. While functioning as a PA, she attended the University of Michigan, School of Public Health and obtained her Master’s of Public Health Degree with a specialization in Epidemiology. She then pursued a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in 2011 with a concentration in Physiology, as she also has a passion to teach others and a deep appreciation for how the human body maintains homeostasis and understanding human physiologic functions as they relate to preventative health measures, public health, and the translational research field.

Dr. Nasser has co-authored numerous journal articles and several book chapters focusing on cardiovascular disease/hypertension and ethnic disparities. Her expertise is focused upon evaluating the factors impacting racial disparities, specifically cardiovascular, and translating evidence-based methods to curb these effects.

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