What is MLS?
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.
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.
Learn About BSHS Programs in MLS at GW
The George Washington University’s (GW) Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) prepares students to begin a satisfying and valued career in MLS. Gain the knowledge and hands-on skills to become board certified in laboratory science and make a positive, direct impact on medical care.
Click to expand the accordions below for more information about each program.
- Hybrid (Blended)
The blended program has online and on campus requirement. Students need to reside in or relocate to the D.C. area, have completed an associate’s degree or a minimum of 24 credits, and are not Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certified through ASCP, AMT, or AAB. This program provides 100% of didactic (lecture) courses online, in-person labs at the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, VA, and practicum at an approved diagnostic laboratory.
- Fully Online
- A 100% online program is available for students who have Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certification through ASCP, AMT, or AAB, and have completed an accredited MLT program. This program provides 100% of didactic (lecture) coursework online with practicum experience in the student’s local area.
- All didactic (lecture) courses are conducted online in a flexible, asynchronous format. To succeed in this program, students should be self-disciplined, self-directed, and comfortable scheduling their own coursework.
Accreditation and Rankings
- 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
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- #66 Best National University*
- #19 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs*
* U.S. News & World Report‘s 2021 Best Colleges Rankings
- GW grads have a 93.03% overall five year pass rate for the ASCP MLS board of certification exam vs. 78.60% for the national average
- 99.72% of students who enter Phase II of the MLS program graduate
- Greater than 95% of graduates are employed in the field within three months of program completion
- Available fully online for MLT-certified professionals or “blended” online and in-person for professionals who are not MLT-certified
GW MLS Graduation Rates
GW MLS ASCP Pass Rates (updated for 2019) GW MLS Placement Rates (updated for 2019) 2015: 100% First time pass rate: 91.42% 2015: 100% 2016: 100% 2016: 100% 2017: 100% Overall pass rate: 94.28% 2017: 100% 2018: 100% 2018: 100% 2019: 98.6% National pass rate: 75.14% 2019: 100%
*Students who found employment (in the field or in a closely related field) and/or continued their education within one year of graduation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that an increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, like cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures. Overall employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is expected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations, with a median salary of $52,330 per year.1
According to Burning Glass, from May 2017 to May 2018, these high-demand, high-paying metro areas were seeking medical laboratory technicians with a bachelor’s degree:
- New York, N.Y., 1,417 job postings, $70,590 mean salary
- Boston, Mass., 562 job postings, $74,030 mean salary
- Washington, D.C., 525 job postings, $66,840 mean salary2
When you complete this program, you’ll be able to sit for the ASCP Board of Certification exam, Route 1, and understand how to:
- Apply the principles of traditional and molecular laboratory procedures to perform diagnostic analyses
- Correlate laboratory data and quality control data to assess patient test results
- Apply knowledge of laboratory science principles as they relate to human disease diagnosis
- Maintain a safe work environment
- Comply with laboratory safety regulations and regulatory policies
- Apply ethical decision-making to issues related to clinical laboratory practice
While the completion of this program will make graduates eligible to register for an 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, each student is encouraged to contact their state’s regulating agency and review these requirements prior to beginning any degree program.
- New York Residents – We advise applicants who are considering New York state licensure to review license requirements before accepting admission to the program.
Meet the Program Director
Cliff Cymrot, MLS(ASCP), MT(AAB), MT(AMT), MHA
Cliff Cymrot is the current program director for Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) and has over 10 years of experience in combined teaching and clinical laboratory practice. In addition to his program director duties, Cymrot teaches a range of courses within the MLS program, both online and face-to-face, such as Hematology lecture and lab, Bacteriology lab, Immunohematology lab, and Molecular Diagnostics lab.
Prior to his arrival at George Washington University (GW), Cymrot worked as a medical laboratory technician at a medium-sized, 200-bed hospital in upstate NY. In 2008, Cymrot worked for Advance Magazine for Laboratory Professionals providing storylines for the comic strip “Lab out Loud” that he worked on with his brother-in-law. He has also been a contributor for several chapters in the Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology by Mahon, Lehman, and Manuselis.
He is also a member of the DC chapter for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB). He also holds certifications in ASCP, AMT, and AAB in medical laboratory science.
In 2010, he earned his B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Cincinnati. He was then promoted to medical technologist and soon after began working as an adjunct instructor for SUNY Orange teaching Microbiology for Health Professionals, Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, and Certification Preparation. In 2014 he earned a master’s degree in Health Administration.
After graduation, he received an offer to facilitate an online graduate level course in health systems management at the University of Cincinnati. In 2015 he was offered a position at GW to teach all of the laboratory courses in the newly created BSHS in MLS blended/hybrid program. After three years he was offered the Program Director position for the undergraduate courses in the MLS program here at GW. He is currently working towards his doctorate in health sciences. Cymrot is actively involved in the MLS profession and loves teaching and promoting MLS.