HLS Healthcare and Clinical Research

What is a clinical trial?   
Randomized clinical trials are how new medical treatments are evaluated for safety and effectiveness. Any medical treatment that receives FDA approval first has to go through multiple stages of rigorous clinical testing. This is the case for COVID-19 vaccines, and for treatments for different forms of cancer and a wide range of other conditions and diseases. 
Typically, a clinical trial involves giving either an experimental treatment or a placebo (non-treatment) to volunteers, who might be healthy or might be patients with a particular disease. The participants are then monitored for negative reactions and data are collected to measure effects of the treatment. 

Where are clinical trials jobs found?  
At any given time, there is an extensive list of clinical trials being conducted in Connecticut, at Yale New-Haven Hospital and its affiliated hospitals, Hartford Hospital, UConn Health, and other medical centers. There are also private companies that manage and run clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies.  

What are job titles in this field? 
Some of the common job titles for early-career employees are: Clinical Research Assistant, Clinical Research Coordinator, and Regulatory Assistant. With experience, employees can move to positions such as: Research Associate, Clinical Trials Team Manager, Quality Assurance Specialist, Data Coordinator, Clinical Data Project Manager, and Associate Director and Director positions in each of these areas. 

What are the job responsibilities in clinical trials professions?  
Running and managing clinical trials is very complex. Clinical trials have strict protocols and must follow a wide range of ethical and regulatory guidelines to protect the research participants’ privacy and rights and to monitor their health. Clinical trials projects include a team of employees, working on different aspects of the project. Some of the professional roles include: 

  • Recruiting, screening, and scheduling participants for studies; conducting interviews and surveys; collecting data. Depending on the study, these may take place in a medical setting or may involve extensive community outreach. 
  • Data management, including data coding, data safeguarding and storage 
  • Data analysis: Statistical analyses and interpretation of results 
  • Monitoring regulatory issues (following research protocols, monitoring patient safety, protecting privacy) 
  • Design of research protocols 
  • Regulatory approvals and reporting

Who is this a good program for? 
Clinical trials management is a great career for people who: 

  • Are interested in healthcare and want to help contribute to effective treatments for disease 
  • Are interested in being involved in the research process 
  • Have very strong organizational skills 
  • Have a very high attention for detail 
  • Are comfortable working with data and numbers 
  • Have good interpersonal and communication skills 

In addition to the HLS major requirements, the Healthcare & Clinical Research concentration includes a four-course sequence followed by a one-semester, 150-hour  clinical research internship. 

The course sequence can be completed in a fall semester and the following spring semester, and the internship must be taken after completion of the four courses. 

  • HLS 240 and HLS 317: Fall semesters only 
  • HLS 427 and HLS 437: Spring semesters only 
  • HLS 497 (Internship):  Following fall semester 

We recommend that students take the four courses in their junior year, followed by the internship in the fall of senior year. However, for graduating seniors, the internship can be completed over the summer (15 hours/week for 10 weeks). 

Note: This program has a minimum GPA of 2.70. Students must have a 2.70 GPA in order to go on internship.  

The HLS major requirements were updated for Fall 2022. All HLS: Healthcare & Clinical Research majors starting at SCSU in Fall 2022 or later will follow the new requirements.

For students enrolled at SCSU before Fall 2022: 
Students enrolled before Fall 2022 can choose to follow their current requirements or request to switch their catalog year to the most current one.

Submit Request

Switching to the Fall 2022 catalog allows you to make the following optional substitutions: 

Instead of: You can take:
MAT 107.       Any other LEP T1QR course (MAT 103, MAT 104, MAT 108)
BIO 200 BIO 100
BIO 201

Any other HLS course, or any of the following: BIO 201, ECO 320, HSC 450, JRN 332, MGT 385, PCH 202, REC 231, SPA 201, SWK 200 

RSP 440 HLS 440


If you are in a pre-2022 catalog:   
Some of the courses you see on your degree evaluation are no longer offered, or aren’t available to HLS majors. The following course substitutions are required: 

If you see: Take this instead: 
HMS 411 PCH 265
RSP 330 HLS 330 or PHI 325
RSP 415 HLS 415
RSP 440 HLS 440