Master of Research Administration


Public Administration


The Master of Research Administration (MRA) program is designed for individuals who are interested in advancing their careers as research administrators. Due to the increased demand for public accountability and the expanding regulatory environment, there is a greater need for research administrators by universities, medical institutions, government laboratories, and independent profit and not-for-profit organizations that are involved in conducting research.

The MRA program of study is offered fully online and provides a comprehensive program to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance in their professions as research administrators.

Program Description

The MRA program provides the professional skills and management theories and techniques to prepare individuals to practice as highly trained and ethical research administrators. The completely online program builds a solid foundation in research administration and leadership that enables graduates to work in a variety of research organizations such as universities, hospitals and medical centers, industry, and research institutes and centers.

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.
  • Respond to financial and non-financial audits of research grants and contracts.

International students (F or J visa) are required to enroll in a full-time course load of nine credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. Only three of the nine credit hours may be taken in a completely online format. For a detailed listing of enrollment requirements for international students, please visit If you have any questions, please consult the International Services Center at 407-823-2337.


The MRA program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The program is offered completely online in a lock-step and cohort-based model. Students take two courses each semester and complete the degree program in two years (six semesters). In the final course, students complete an evaluation project as a culminating activity that engages them in the application of theory, research policy, regulatory frameworks, ethics, and professional standards and practices within their area of focus.

  • PAD 6742: Introduction to Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6748: Governance and Regulatory Issues for Sponsored Programs (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 5850: Grant and Contact Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6743: Leadership and Organization Models in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6744: Financial Management in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6417: Human Resource Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6745: Contracting for Sponsored Programs (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6335: Strategic Planning and Management (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)

For more information on the curriculum and program electives, visit the UCF Graduate Catalog.

Additional Program Requirements

Students must achieve a grade of “B” (3.0) or better in all required courses. Students must maintain a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Independent Learning

Independent learning is demonstrated throughout the curriculum through the process of inquiry, dialogue and service learning. Tangible projects such as strategic plans, grant proposals and case studies, along with research projects, scholarly papers, internships and presentations at professional conferences, also contribute to the self development of our students.


Students accepted into a graduate program within the School of Public Administration may apply some applicable credits toward a graduate certificate. Students must apply separately for the certificate program. View the graduate certificates offered by the School of Public Administration.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the UCF Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

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

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) 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.
  • Resume: 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 with one-inch margins and no longer than two pages (500-800 words). Applicant must address each item listed below when completing the goal statement:
    • What is your reason for pursuing this degree and how does it fit into your future goals and plans?
    • What topics or areas of special interest do you have in research administration?
    • What are your expectations of the graduate program?
    • What will you bring to the program that would make you a special candidate for admission to this limited access program?

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.

Admission to this program is limited. This program does not accept State Employee Waivers.

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 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 school. Provisional admissions are limited and competitive. Students who are interested in these spots should contact the School of Public Administration as early as possible for consideration.

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

International Students

The School of Public Administration accepts scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) only. Test scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are not used in consideration of admission to this program.

All international students must meet university minimum TOEFL requirements regardless of language in which the undergraduate program was completed.

Please note: Due to restrictive state regulations, UCF is not permitted to provide online courses or instruction to students in the following states. If you reside in one of these states, you may not be permitted to enroll in or be admitted to a UCF online program. Please contact your state’s higher education regulation authorities or the UCF Graduate Program (see contact information above) for more details.

  • Maryland
  • Minnesota


Research Administration MRAFallSpring
Domestic ApplicantsJuly 1Dec 1
International ApplicantsJan 15Nov 1


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support or loans. For more information, see the Funding section of the College of Graduate Studies website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the UCF Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


For information about UCF graduate fellowships, visit