Research Administration, M.R.A.

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The Master of Research Administration will provide the professional skills and management techniques to prepare individuals to practice as a highly trained and ethical research administrator.

Graduates of the program will be able to: integrate the history and values of the profession into a professional identity; apply organizational development theories in leadership and human resource management; demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with the legal, ethical and regulatory framework that governs research; apply sound financial management concepts in proposal development and funded sponsored projects; negotiate and monitor sponsored contracts and subcontracts; write and evaluate grant proposals; apply the law in regards to intellectual property, technology transfer and commercialization; identify new areas for collaborative grant opportunities and respond to financial and non-financial audits of research grants and contracts.

Admission Requirements

The Research Administration M.R.A. is a highly competitive program that admits only thirty (30) students a year. The per-credit hour tuition and fee information for in-state and out-of-state students may be found here. Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be considered for Admission. Applications are only accepted for fall admission. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to this program, because once the program reaches capacity admissions will be closed for that academic year.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript from each college/university attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation should be from professors or professional research administrators who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate coursework and his or her work ethic.
  • Résumé: The most current, professional resume should be provided.
  • Statement of goals: The goal statement is a key component of the admission review process and serves as an example of the applicant’s ability to express him or herself in writing. The goal statement must be single-spaced, one-inch margins, and no longer than two pages (500-800 words). Applicant must address each item listed below when completing the goal statement:
    • Reason for pursuing graduate study in research administration, including future goals and plans.
    • Topics or areas of special interest in research administration.
    • Expectations of the graduate program.
    • What the applicant will bring to the program that would make him or her a special candidate for admission to this limited access program.

Note: Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Students are expected to be computer literate upon entry to the program or are expected to obtain these skills immediately upon admission to the program. This program is completely online, so computer skills and computer internet access are necessary to take the courses.  A limited number of students who do not meet these requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis. These students must demonstrate proven research administration sector leadership experience, present strong recommendations from either academic or professional advisers and provide a clear statement of educational goals. More specific information on provisional admissions may be obtained from the department. Provisional admissions are limited and competitive. Students who are interested in these spots should contact the department as early as possible for consideration.

Applicants meeting the minimum admission requirements are not guaranteed admission to this program.

Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Program of Study: 36 Total Credit Hours

The Master of Research Administration (MRA) program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The program will be offered in a cohort model with students taking two courses per semester, three semesters per year, completing the degree program in two years. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the coursework to graduate. The final course will include a evaluation project as a culminating activity for graduate students.

Required Courses—27 Credit Hours

  • PAD 6742:  Introduction to Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6748:  Governance & Regulatory Issues for Sponsored Programs (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6743:  Leadership and Organization Models (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6744:  Financial Management in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6745:  Contracting for Sponsored Programs (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6746:  Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6747:  Audits in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6741:  Research Integrity for Research Administrators (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6327:  Public Program Evaluation Techniques (3 credit hours)

Additional Program Requirements—9 Credit Hours

  • PAD 5850   Grant and Contact Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6417   Human Resource Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6335   Strategic Planning and Management (3 credit hours)

Students must achieve a grade of “B-” (80%) or better in every course listed under required courses. Students must maintain a program of study and graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher and can only graduate with a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Due to restrictive state regulations, UCF is not permitted to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. More information is available here.

For additional information contact:

Jo Smith, Ph.D., C.R.A. Director
College of Health and Public Affairs

Nasrin Lakhani, M.N.M., Academic Coordinator
College of Health and Public Affairs

Career Opportunities

  • Associate or Assistant Vice President of Research
  • Business Incubator Manager
  • Clinical Research Administrator
  • Contracts and Grants Manager
  • Contracts Negotiator
  • Director of Export Controls
  • Director of Research Operations
  • Grant Specialist
  • IACUC Coordinator
  • IRB Manager or Administrator
  • Licensing Analyst
  • Program Manager or Coordinator
  • Proposal Manager or Writer
  • Research & Ethics Integrity Officer
  • Research Compliance Officer
  • Research Coordinator
  • Research Development Director
  • Senior Licensing Associate
  • Sponsored Research Director
  • Technology Manager
  • Technology Transfer Officer