Master of Science in Orthopaedic Regulatory and Clinical Affairs (ORCA)


The OrthoWorx Center for Excellence in Orthopaedics at Grace College proudly offers the nation’s only graduate program designed specifically by and for orthopaedic regulatory and clinical affairs professionals. Students can earn a M.S. in Orthopaedic Regulatory and Clinical Affairs in this accelerated four semester program.

As the “Orthopaedic Capital of the World,” Warsaw, Indiana contains one of the most concentrated clusters of economic activity in the orthopaedic industry than anywhere else in the United States. Today, the Warsaw region is headquarters to nearly one-third of the $38 billion global orthopaedic industry, which represents one of the most significant components of Indiana’s economy.

Grace College and OrthoWorx, with support from the Lilly Endowment, have partnered to provide this graduate program, which is targeted to professionals who desire a thorough knowledge of the laws and regulations mandated by the federal government, especially the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as they apply to the development, testing, approval, manufacturing and commercialization of orthopaedic products. This degree also aligns with RAPS the leader in the regulation of healthcare and related products, including establishing standards in the regulatory professions.

Prospective students could include:

  • New and existing Regulatory and Clinical Affairs (RCA) employees who desire career enhancement or advancement.
  • New managers to RCA.
  • Recent college graduates and other individuals who desire to enter into orthopaedic regulatory and clinical affairs.

Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In some cases, candidates who can successfully complete a bachelor’s degree while enrolled in the ORCA program may also be considered.

Degree Information

All courses are 3 credit hours and will be taught in a 5-week format with class sessions being held one evening per week for 4 hours. For the 2017-2018 school year, the weekly class will meet every Tuesday evening.


Courses in this major:

Semester 1, Spring 2018

Session A: RCA 5120 Introduction to Orthopaedic Regulatory and Clinical Affairs

This course will expose students to the foundational information which will be expanded upon in later courses. Students will become familiar with important aspects of regulatory science, including anatomy, terminology, regulatory bodies, medical device categories, and the industry in general. January 9-February 6

Session B: RCA 6200 Medical Device Concept and Prototype

In this course, students will begin their study of the regulatory lifecycle for medical devices, covering predicate/comparator devices, document controls, standards, intellectual property and patent issues, and sample products. February 13-March 13

Session C: RCA 6300 Design Controls

In this course, students will learn application and specific standards of the preclinical section of the lifecycle, along with design controls, risk management, validation and verification of various processes. March 20- April 24

Semester 2, Summer 2018

Session A: RCA 6350  Quality Systems

This course will familiarize the student with the basic principles of a quality system as defined by the U.S. FDA. Other systems outside the U.S. will be briefly described. May 1-May 29

Session B: RCA 6400 Supply Chain Management

This course will give students a broad understanding of manufacturer and vendor requirements set forth by regulatory bodies, including change assessment and international registration impact assessment, and how they affect the medical device lifecycle. June 5-July 10

Session C: RCA 6020 Clinical Evidence

This course will help students gain an understanding of the role clinical evidence has in market access and product adoption, and learn management techniques for designing a clinical study. July 17-August 14

Semester 3, Fall 2018

Session A: RCA 5720 U.S. Regulation and Compliance

These courses will provide students with an in depth understanding of the FDA and U.S. regulatory requirements for medical devices, including classification of devices, pathways to market, submissions, registrations, FDA inspections, etc. August 21- September 18

Session B: RCA 5740 E.U. Regulation and Compliance

Building upon knowledge from the U.S. compliance courses, this course will expose students to the similarities and differences between U.S. and E.U. regulations and requirements in order to increase accuracy and efficiency of submissions. September 25-October 30

Session C: RCA 5750 Global Regulation and Compliance

This course will provide students with a cursory overview of medical device regulations on a global scale, highlighting major countries and regions such as Canada, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, Latin America, and Asia/Pacific. November 6-December 11

Semester 4, Spring 2019

Session A: RCA 6500 Marketing and Commercial Use for Medical Devices

Topics covered in this course will provide an in depth understanding of standards and requirements for labeling and advertising medical devices in the U.S. and abroad, as well as reimbursement and Health Care Professional (HCP) interactions. January 8-February 5

Session B: RCA 6600 Post-Market Surveillance

Students will, in this course, develop knowledge about the requirements for post-market surveillance and reporting requirements, as well as skills to assess various outcomes in the post-market sector, such as recalls, design enhancements, CAPAs, audits, and inspections. February 12- March 12

Session C: RCA 6900 Capstone in Orthopaedic Regulatory and Clinical Affairs

The capstone experience will require students to utilize the knowledge gained from each class about the industry and regulatory lifecycle to create a mock submission for a medical device. March 19-April 16