Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs

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Developed with industry professionals.

   100% Online

   12 Months*

The George Washington University (GW) online Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs is designed to teach working professionals the relevant, critical skills and knowledge they need to become regulatory affairs leaders in drug development.

Developed in collaboration with regulatory affairs professionals in federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes for Health, this program integrates global regulatory strategy for drug development across the curriculum to equip you as a business leader in regulatory strategy locally and abroad.

*The total number of credits and duration of the program depend on the number of transferred credits

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Accreditation and Rankings

  • GW is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • #62 Best National University*
  • #13 Best Online Bachelor's Programs*
  • #7 Best Online Programs for Veterans*

* The U.S. News & World Report – 2024 Rankings

Best Online Programs for Bachelor's 2024 by U.S. News & World Report
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Program Highlights

  • 100% online, no visits to campus required
  • The program requires 12 total credits and can be finished in 1 year
  • Developed by regulatory affairs professionals working in governmental agencies such as the FDA and NIH
  • All credits can be transferred into the Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Regulatory Affairs program



The online Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs program is designed to meet FDA and NIH standards. The curriculum will provide the skills to advance your knowledge in clinical research, product testing, global health, public health policy, and drug development.

Upon completion of the online certificate program, you’ll have the opportunity to transfer all 12 credits to GW’s online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Regulatory Affairs program.



Program Outcomes

As a graduate of the certificate program, you’ll be fully prepared to:

  • Understand the framework necessary to develop an integrated understanding of regulatory affairs in areas such as drug development
  • Demonstrate knowledge of drug development and evaluation of global regulatory strategies that support biological product development
  • Examine the regulation of medical devices through an epidemiological lens, as advised by the FDA and NIH
  • Understand topics such as protocol development, study design, post-marketing surveillance, evaluation, and assessment of regulatory submissions


Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program?

The online Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs program is ideal for health care professionals who are either just entering the field of regulatory affairs or who wish to increase their knowledge and skills to advance to a leadership position. Students will explore the intricacies of drug development and prepare to meet FDA and NIH standards.

Career Outlook

Students of the online Graduate Certificate program in Regulatory Affairs will learn to evaluate potential new products’ scientific and economic value in the global market, championing effective deliveries of health care products locally and abroad.

By combining interdisciplinary practices of law, science, and business in regulatory affairs, the graduate certificate program prepares students for a variety of careers in regulatory affairs. Typical roles for regulatory affairs professionals include:

Regulatory Affairs Specialist: $70,333 median salary1
Regulatory affairs specialists develop strategies for global and local regulations for widely consumed products. They work directly with businesses and consumers to ensure the quality of products and food and drug development safety.

Regulatory Compliance Officer: $60,522 median salary2
Regulatory compliance officers ensure companies follow regulation laws for product and drug development. These professionals are essential for quality assurance and the safety of products.

Quality Manager: $82,752 median salary3
Quality managers work to detect problems or hazards within products developed by a company. These professionals are essential for food and drug development and protect consumers from faulty products.


Admission Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • Completed application
  • 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Resume/CV
  • A written personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation


Tuition Details

The Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs program at GW consists of 12 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

Robin McGarry


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.

Robin J. McGarry, M.D.

Read Full Bio

Dr. McGarry is the Program Director of the Leadership and Strategy in Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research Administration. Dr. McGarry has taught Clinical Research for Regulatory Affairs in the CRL Regulatory Affairs Program for 3 years. Dr. McGarry is a board-certified internist and nephrologist with over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including over 15 years as a clinical and regulatory consultant. She has held positions in both large and small pharmaceutical companies including Immunomedics, Inc., Astellas Pharma, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Zambon Corp., Ciba-Geigy Corp. (now Novartis), and ICI Pharmaceuticals (now Astra-Zeneca).  These positions included senior leadership/functional and line management of global pharmacovigilance organizations, medical affairs and clinical development groups, and matrix management of multidisciplinary groups for product development teams and various special projects.  Throughout her career, she has collaborated closely with regulatory affairs groups, contributing to regulatory strategic approaches, based on her experience across various pharmaceutical functions and in-depth knowledge of global health authority regulations and requirements. Her teaching experience in the pharmaceutical industry includes developing and conducting workshops and lectures for various clinical development, medical, pharmacovigilance, and regulatory topics. Dr. McGarry holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Georgetown University and an M.D. from UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School (now Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ). She completed her internal medicine residency at UMDNJ-University Hospital and Affiliated Hospitals, including Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the East Orange, NJ Veterans Administration Medical Center and a clinical nephrology fellowship at New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston MA.



  1. (25 January 2022) Regulatory Affairs Specialist Salary. Retrieved February 15, 2022
  2. (31 January 2022) Regulatory Compliance Officer Salary. Retrieved February 15, 2022
  3. (30 January 2022) Quality Manager Salary. Retrieved February 15, 2022


Curriculum Details   


The graduate certificate in Regulatory Affairs program (100% online) requires successful completion of 12 credit hours. You’ll explore topics such as the development of drugs and biologics, devices and diagnostics, clinical research in regulatory affairs, and regulatory compliance.

You can complete this graduate certificate in as little as 1 year and transfer all semester credits earned this program to the MSHS in Leadership and Strategy in Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research Administration program.

Required Courses (6 credits)

RCR 6201 Introduction to Global Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research (3)

Foundation of regulatory affairs and clinical research in therapeutic development in U.S., EU and Japan. Roles in developing products, navigating the regulatory review and approval process, and maintaining products on the market.

RAFF 6205 Regulatory Affairs Compliance (3)

Analysis and evaluation of regulatory affairs compliance strategies and guidelines. Pre and post marketing compliance of medical products, oversight, labeling, advertising and use. Prerequisite: RCR 6201.

Select One Course (3 credits)

RCR 6202  Regulatory Strategy in the Development of Therapeutics (3)

Overview of therapeutic development through the analyses of the critical elements of the product lifecycle, assessment of non-clinical and clinical data, and integration of strategic business needs and post-marketing efforts in planning regulatory strategy. Prerequisite: RCR 6201.

RAFF 6203 Regulatory Device Diagnostics (3)

Development and evaluation of the regulatory affairs strategies that support device and diagnostics development. Research science, study design, master file, risk/benefit analyses, product specifications and milestone identification, IDE, 510K, PMA. Prerequisites: RCR 6201.

Select One Course (3 credits)

RAFF 6204 Clinical Research for Regulatory Affairs (3)

The planning and conduct of clinical trials. Topics include protocol development, study design, post-marketing surveillance, and evaluation and assessment of regulatory submissions. Strategies for achieving clinical development goals. Prerequisite: RCR 6201.

RCR 6206 International Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research (3)

This course explores international regulatory requirements for the development and approval of new pharmaceutical products around the world. Prerequisite: RCR 6201.

RAFF 6207 Advertising and Promotion of Regulated Medical Products (3)

Exploration of FDA-regulated advertising and promotion of pharmaceutical drugs. Focus on pre- and post-market issues for prescription drugs and management of risks and compliance surrounding medical and commercial communications. Prerequisites: RCR 6201 and RCR 6202.


Key Dates


Summer 2024

Fall 2024

Spring 2025

Application Deadline

March 20, 2024


July 20, 2024


December 1, 2024


Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to the graduate certificate in Regulatory Affairs program (100% online), you must have:

Bachelor’s degree
3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
Previous work experience. Health care experience preferred.
A written personal statement: Applicants must include a 250–500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at GW, 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.
Completed application
Application fee: A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required. The application fee is waived for active-duty U.S. military, current GW students, degree-holding GW alumni, current McNair Program Scholars, and graduates of minority-serving institutions (MSI).
Two letters of recommendation
Official transcripts from every college and university attended. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Please find the list of member organizations here:

International Students

International students should check with individual programs regarding eligibility for visa sponsorship. Generally, online and hybrid programs are not eligible for student visa sponsorship from GW. This would include transfer students from any other institution with an existing visa.

Official transcripts from institutions outside the U.S. must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grades, U.S. degree equivalency, grade-point averages (GPA), and date of degree conferral. For a list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services, please visit NACES.

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are also required to submit official test scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) Academics or the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS). To be considered for admission, there are required scores that you will need to meet. Score requirements may differ by school and program so check the admissions requirements for your program.

Supporting Documents and Official Transcript

Documents and Official Transcripts not submitted online should be mailed to:

Mail: George Washington University
ATTN: Transcript Processing Center
1415 W 22nd St.
Suite 220
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Alternatively, official electronic transcripts can be sent to:

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