Are the MCR online classes offered live or pre-recorded?

The classes are available asynchronously, meaning there are no mandatory "live" online lectures or discussions; all will be recorded and you can view and participate at your convenience. Some of our classes might offer “live” presentations from time-to-time. You will be notified in advance and can choose to watch live or view a recording later.

How is this program offered? I have never taken online classes … how will I know what to do?

The classes use a variety of technologies and are run through Carmen, Ohio State’s learning management system. To see a demonstration of an online course, click here. For each of the classes in which you enroll, the information will be posted in Carmen, including a syllabus. The deadline for assignments, readings, discussion posts, etc. is typically Sunday at midnight.  We recommend you login daily to ensure you’re keeping up with classes.

May I take courses before enrolling in the MCR degree program?

Yes. You may take classes as a “Graduate Non-Degree” (GND) student. This application process is separate from the MCR application. You can find more information at the Graduate Non-Degree website. You may transfer up to 7 credits of coursework (taken as a GND student) after you have applied, are accepted to, and have enrolled in a graduate program. This equates to 2 classes, as MCR classes are typically 3 credit courses. If you are interested in taking one or two courses before entering the program, please contact the program manager for a recommendation of courses in which to enroll.

Will I have an advisor? Who will that be?

When you begin the program, a faculty advisor will be assigned to you by our program director. Your advisor can “meet” with you in person (if you live in Columbus or Central Ohio), via phone, Skype, or Carmen Connect (Adobe Connect). You will work with your advisor to develop a “Plan of Study,” which will determine the specifics of your educational experience in MCR – the amount of classes you take per semester, the specific classes you take each semester, and additional requirements needed to graduate in a timely fashion. You will also begin working with your advisor early in the program to plan your MCR capstone.

Once I have completed all the required courses, is there a thesis that will be required to be written?

The MCR program is professionally-oriented; therefore, rather than a thesis, students will complete a capstone or independent study which will involve either a practicum (i.e., internship) or project in clinical/preclinical research. MCR students are also required to complete an ePortfolio, but do not have a culminating exam. All students will be required to write a report and give a presentation to their advisor at the completion of the culminating activity.

Do I have to go to Ohio State to complete the capstone/internship part of the program?

You are not required to be in Columbus for the capstone or independent study project. You may complete it online with a mentor in another location, or you can find a research organization near you. You will work with your academic advisor to plan your project.

How many students are enrolled in the online program? I'm looking for a program with a low student to teacher ratio.

Most of our classes will be limited to a maximum of 35 students to ensure instructors provide plenty of attention to each student.

Is the MCR program accredited?

The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The MCR program is not accredited, as there is currently no accreditation available for clinical research programs. However, we have developed the program to meet the competencies developed by the Consortium of Academic Programs in Clinical Research and plan to apply for accreditation as soon as the opportunity is available.

How do you gain practical research experience in this program if everything is online? I currently work full-time from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, so there isn't a lot of flexibility to intern.

Our programs require a capstone or independent study in the last semester of a student's course of study. Nearly all of our students who are working full-time will perform a culminating project in conjunction with a clinical research site, although a couple have proposed working four 10-hour days per week or taking vacation time to perform a practicum one day per week on site. Whether you choose a culminating project or a practicum as your capstone, we ask that you initiate the search to find a research site, however, we can also assist you in finding a site that fits your needs if you are new to clinical research.

Are textbooks required or are reading materials all online?  

Most of our courses utilize online readings; however, we do require text books for some courses. Whenever possible, we use free eBooks from the Ohio State library. When required, most of our students purchase text books online.

Is there a program orientation? 

Yes! We hold an online orientation and will send you information in advance regarding how to participate. Participation in orientation is required; however, if you're unable to attend, we record the session for later viewing.

May I switch specializations once I begin the program and/or complete two specializations?

Yes, you may switch specializations, preferably by the end of the first semester of the program. It is also possible to complete two specializations. You should work with your advisor before you decide to switch and/or if you have questions regarding the completion of two specializations.

How much collaborative involvement (group assignments) is required?

Many courses in the MCR program have collaborative projects, however, there is rarely more than one per semester. The students communicate via email, phone, Skype, Adobe Connect, or Google Hangout -- they all seem to find a method that works well for them. Most courses also have discussion boards where students provide responses via either text or voice, but students post to those at their own convenience and they are not required to "attend" at a specific time.

What is the average amount of time spent on coursework per week?

The rule of thumb for coursework time commitment among all accredited universities is, for each credit earned, the student will put in 2.5 hours of work per week over 15 weeks. Our courses are 3 credits which translates to 7.5 hours per week of work (viewing lectures, reading, posting to discussion boards, doing assignments, taking quizzes, etc.). In the 24-month program plan, a student takes 2 classes per semester, so that's technically 15 hours per week. We say "technically" because some students are more efficient and can do the work in less time, while other students will require the full 15 hours to complete the coursework. Most of our working professionals say 2 classes per term is manageable but keeps them very busy.


Application and Admissions

I’m an Ohio State graduate/I have taken classes at Ohio State. Do I need to send an official transcript?

Applicants who have attended Ohio State are not required to furnish Ohio State transcripts. However, you must submit transcripts of any courses completed elsewhere, even if these classes are listed on the Ohio State transcript as transfer credit.

I was previously enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program at Ohio State. How do I apply to the MCR program?

You apply online using the "recent" student application or "Intra University Transfer" application. You can submit the following materials online, as well:

  1. an updated CV or resume,
  2. a statement of purpose and goals, and
  3. one letter of recommendation.
Do I need to send official transcripts with my application, or may I send a copy of each transcript (i.e., an unofficial transcript)?

Graduate Admissions requires official transcripts (as of August 2016) to be sent when applying for a graduate program. Applicants may request that official transcripts be emailed to or mailed to:  

Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 182646
Columbus, OH 43218-2646

What is the best way to submit letters of recommendation?

It is sometimes difficult to locate faculty or for faculty find time to write and submit their letters of recommendation. For this reason, we offer several options to submit recommendation letters:

  1. Online: This is our preferred method and most recommenders use the online system. In the application system, you may specify the names and email addresses of your recommenders. The system will send an e-mail to each recommender (AFTER the applicant submits the online application) that will allow him/her to answer a set of questions online and upload their letter of recommendation (preferably on letterhead).
  2. Mail: Some recommenders prefer to mail their letters. In that case, you may send the recommender the pdf version of the form, they can fill it out online, and send it with their letter. Alternately, you may print the form for your recommender and they can fill it out the hard copy. The form and letter may be returned by email to, or if they would prefer to mail the letter, they can send it to:

    MCR Program
    760 Kinnear Rd., Room 211
    Columbus, OH 43212



How do tuition and fees for an online program differ from an on-campus program?

At Ohio State, all students enrolled in a completely online program will pay the in-state tuition and fee rates, minus the site-based fees (such as the Student Activity Fee, Recreational Fee, Student Union Facility Fee, COTA Bus Service Fee). Non-Ohio residents will pay an additional $5 non-resident fee each semester. You can view a breakdown of tuition and fees, as well as other expenses for the MCR and MS Pharmacology programs here.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, students enrolled in the MCR program may apply for financial aid. Please visit the University’s Student Financial Aid website at for more information.

Are there any funding or scholarship opportunities available for the MCR program?

Currently, we do not offer funding (scholarships, fellowships, or teaching/research associateships) for our students. However, you may qualify for federal aid in the form of loans or grants. Be sure to complete the FAFSA. The Ohio State Student Service Center (SSC) can answer questions related to federal aid:

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