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. Module lectures are recorded or are YouTube or Ted-Talk lectures from experts in the field, and you can view and participate at your convenience. Some of our classes might offer occasional “live” presentations. 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 Carmen (Canvas), Ohio State’s learning management system. For each of the classes in which you enroll, the information will be posted in Carmen, including a syllabus and course calendar with due dates. Assignments are typically due by Sunday at midnight and students are encouraged to use time management when taking multiple courses. We recommend you login daily to ensure you’re keeping up with classes.

How do I communicate with Course Faculty Instructors?

Each syllabus will have contact information for the course instructor who will be responsive to your e-mail inquiries. You should always check your Ohio State Email as it is the primary method that Ohio State and your instructors will contact you. Some students prefer to forward their Ohio State email to a personal email to ensure receipt of important communications. Instructors will issue announcements for course modules or to communicate with a class via Carmen which will cc your email. Students should set their Carmen preferences to emails. To help build a course community, we encourage you to also include a headshot with your Carmen profile.

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 ten 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 three classes, as MCR classes are typically three credit courses. If you are interested in taking one or two courses before entering the program, please visit the college’s Graduate Non-Degree webpage for more information.

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

The MCR program does not require a formal thesis; however, students will complete a culminating project, including a written report and final project presentation. MCR students are also required to complete an ePortfolio constituting the graduate program examination.

Do I have to go to Ohio State to complete any part of the program?

You are not required to be in Columbus for courses.

How many students are enrolled in the online program?

Most of our classes have a 1:30 student ratio. If a course is larger, two instructors teach the course or it is split into two sections. Instructors are available to meet with students individually and are highly responsive and involved in the online courses.

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). Our program has been developed to meet the competency standards adopted by the Consortium of Academic Programs in Clinical Research and plan to apply for accreditation by 2021.

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 follow and observe clinical research professionals.

Our programs require a culminating project 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 an interest area they have in clinical research, often for local quality improvement. An occasional student may find an opportunity to do observational experiences and use alternative work hours or vacation time to do so (for instance one day per week for several weeks. Whether you choose a culminating project or an observational field experience, or a combination, it is the student’s responsibility to identify potential opportunities.

Are textbooks required or are reading materials all online? 

Most of our courses utilize textbooks and online readings. Whenever possible, we use free eBooks via a log-in to the Ohio State Library. If a textbook is required, they can be purchased online.

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 a dual specialization. You should work with your advisor before you decide to switch and/or if you have questions regarding the completion of a dual specialization. We aware that many courses are only offered one time per year.

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 course. The students communicate via email, phone, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams -- 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. As professionals, those working with collaborative projects or responsive discussion assignments should be good “citizens” of the course and follow required course calendar timelines.

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 three credits which translates to 7.5 hours per week of work (viewing lectures, reading, posting to discussion boards, doing assignments, taking quizzes, etc.). As a Part-Time graduate student taking two classes per semester, that translates to 15 hours per week. 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 two classes per term is manageable and keeps them very busy. We discourage full-time coursework for those who are also working.

Can I pursue this degree program at the same time as another graduate or professional degree program at Ohio State?

Students who enroll in two graduate degree-granting programs concurrently are called Dual Degree students. Please review this information on the Graduate School website to learn more about the Dual Degree designation.

Dual Degree students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. There may be little overlap between the two sets of coursework, which can result in students being required to fully complete the degree requirements for both programs in order to graduate. This can extend time to graduation. Due to the rigorous nature of some of our graduate clinical programs, prospective students interested in a Dual Degree option with the College of Nursing are advised to closely examine the curriculum requirements of our programs before applying. For degree programs with clinical components, it is important to recognize that adjustments to the standard curriculum plan may not be possible.

To learn more about the process for applying as a Dual Degree student, please visit the Graduate School’s website. After you have reviewed this information, please contact the director of the program in which you are interested for further discussion. The director’s name and contact information can be found by visiting the homepage of the program on the college’s website. This discussion should occur before you begin applying in order to gain a better understanding of program requirements. Applicants interested in applying to a College of Nursing graduate program as a Dual Degree student must follow the application process listed on the program admission webpage and adhere to all deadlines. Please email if you have any questions about how to apply.

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Emily Rice
Emily Rice, graduate

“I learned how to interact with patients from an ethics and safety perspective, as well as how to make sure that research is compliant with domestic and international regulations. You can learn a lot while working in the field, but you won’t learn it to the extent that the MCR program will teach you.”