BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences

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 more about Careers in Laboratory Sciences.

Learn About BSHS Programs in MLS at GW

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) in MLS is a robust program for undergrads that prepares them for a rewarding career in a health care profession that has a significant impact on patient care. Students who excel at science-based coursework and are passionate about the potential for disease diagnosis in medical science are a good fit for this program.  

Graduates of the BSHS in MLS are prepared to begin a satisfying and valued career in this growing and critical profession.  

Click to expand the accordions below for more information about each track.

Hybrid (Blended)
  • This track includes online and on campus requirements. Students need to reside in or temporarily relocate to the D.C. area for one semester and have completed an associate’s degree or a minimum of 45 transferrable credits. 100% of lecture courses are online and two in-person labs are completed at the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, VA. Students will also complete varying practicum experiences over a 16 week period at an approved diagnostic laboratory.
  • This track is ideal for those who are not Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certified through ASCP, AMT, or AAB. 
  • Completion time: 2.5 years average duration


Fully Online
  • Available for students who have Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certification through ASCP, AMT, or AAB or have completed an accredited MLT program within the past 6 months.
  • This track provides 100% of lecture coursework online. Students will also complete varying practicum experiences over a 16 week period at an approved diagnostic laboratory.
  • Completion time: 2.5 years average duration




Accreditation and Rankings

  • GW's program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS):
    • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
      5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
      Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
  • #62 Best National University*
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor's Programs*
  • #8 for Best Online Programs for Veterans*

*U.S. News & World Report's 2022 Rankings

Program Highlights

  • 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

Career Outlook

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

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

Program Outcomes

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
GW MLS Graduation Rates:* GW MLS Placement Rates:**
GW ASCP Pass Rates:***
ASCP National Overall Pass Rate:
2019: 98.6% 100%
2020: 100% 100% 93% 74.57%
2021: 100% 100% 91% 69.14%
2022: 99% 100% 89.47% † 68.71% 

*Students graduating that began the second half of the program.

**Students who found employment (in the field or in a closely related field) and/or continued their education within one year of graduation.

***Students who passed within the first year of graduation

†Not a final result; rate calculation currently in progress


Meet the Program Director

Cliff Cymrot, DHSc, MHA, MLS(ASCP)CM, MT(AAB), MT(AMT)

Dr. 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, Dr. 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.

Prior to his arrival at George Washington University (GW), Dr. Cymrot worked as a medical laboratory technician at a medium-sized, 200-bed hospital in upstate NY. In 2008, Dr. 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. In 2022 he then went on to complete his doctorate in health sciences at GW. Dr. Cymrot is actively involved in the MLS profession and loves teaching and promoting MLS.


State Licensure Information

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. State’s requiring licensure may require extended duration of practicum experiences, additional academic courses (outside the student’s program of study), etc. These additional requirements may require you to take a course or courses outside of GW. 

In particular, New York and California have additional requirements for state licensure.  Both NY and CA require extended times for practicum rotations. Please also be aware that the BSHS in MLS program may not meet the student lab requirements for NY state licensure.  We recommend that students who live in New York or California or plan to relocate to New York or California do research to determine the NY and CA licensure requirements.