What is Medical Laboratory Sciences?

Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) is a profession that combines the challenges of medicine, the basic sciences, and clinical sciences into a highly satisfying and valued career. Medical laboratory scientists function as detectives, investigating and determining the causes of disease. They utilize the latest biomedical instruments and molecular techniques to perform both routine and complex testing.

Learn more about Careers in Laboratory Sciences.

Who Benefits from Medical Laboratory Sciences?

As vital members of the health care team, medical laboratory scientists (sometimes called medical technologists) find great satisfaction in making a direct impact on medical care. Today's medical laboratory science graduates work in diverse settings including hospital laboratories, physician offices, clinics, commercial and research laboratories, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, as well as government and public health facilities.

Did you know...

U.S. News and World Report ranked Clinical Laboratory Technicians #1 in Best Health Care Support Jobs and #21 in 100 Best Jobs.

What Will I Learn?

The primary goal of the GW MLS Program is to produce highly competent and professional medical laboratory scientists who will be able to enter the health care field and be prepared to comprehend and utilize future scientific and technological advances in medical laboratory science.

Click here to learn more about the online Medical Laboratory Sciences programs.


The GW MLS Program mission will be achieved by:

  • Providing the student with exceptional courses in medical laboratory science including theoretical and clinical education
  • Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills to become future leaders in laboratory science
  • Facilitating the development of professional and ethical behavior
  • Developing the essential skills to respond to future changes in the health care system and technical advances in laboratory science

Program Offerings

We offer one undergraduate MLS Program, a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS), five post-baccalaureate certificates, and seven graduate program, the Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS):

Post-Baccalaureate Categorical Certificates

MSHS Programs

Dual-Degree Programs

Why GW?

Our online, flexible undergraduate programs are designed to provide students with broad-based knowledge in medical and basic sciences that allow them to pursue their individual goals. The BSHS degree and post-baccalaureate certificate programs, for example, offer a unique blend of online course work combined with instruction in clinical laboratories. Our online MSHS in MLS program is designed to equip certified laboratory professionals with the knowledge and skills to assume leadership positions in the laboaratory, as managers, educators, clinicians, and researchers.

Click here to learn more about the online Medical Laboratory Sciences programs.

National Certification Examinations

Graduates of several of the programs within the Biomedical Laboratory Sciences department are eligible to take national examinations for certification, such as those offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The programs that lead to exam eligibility are:

State Licensure

While the completion of GW's MLS program will make graduates eligible to register for the ASCP Board of Certification Exam, this does not automatically guarantee a graduate will also meet their state’s requirements for state licensure (if applicable). Since each state may have different requirements for licensure as an MLS, each student is encouraged to contact their state’s regulating agency and review these requirements prior to beginning any degree program.

  • California and New York: students seeking state licensure in California and New York may need to complete additional clinical hours to comply with their state’s current MLS Licensure requirements.


GW's program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS): http://www.naacls.org/

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119

GW MLS Program Outcomes

  • The MLS program at GW had a 100% first time pass rate on the MLS ASCP Board of Certification Exam in 2014 and currently has a 100% first time pass rate to date in 2015.
  • In the previous three consecutive years, 100% of students who entered into Phase II of the MLS program have graduated.
  • At least 95% of the MLS graduates obtain jobs in the field within 6 months of graduation.

New Students

Congratulations on your admission to the Medical Laboratory Sciences program.

Visit our Department page for your New Student Resources


If you would like to be added to the Department's alumni mailing list, please send an email to Biomed_LabSci@gwu.edu(link sends e-mail) with your name, program, and email address.

For more Alumni information, visit our Department's Alumni page


Want to learn more?

Visit our Department's FAQ page