Dual Degree: BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences / MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences


Get Ahead Faster

The George Washington University (GW) offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) and a Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences (MDS) all in one convenient program.

GW’s NAACLS-accredited dual-degree program allows you to learn the foundation of medical laboratory science and gain sophisticated laboratory techniques to detect and identify biomarkers at the nucleic acid level. Through online coursework and hands-on training clinical rotations, you’ll learn to work at the forefront of detecting disease in its early stages.

This dual health sciences program is for Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) certified individuals who are ready to diagnose, establish prognoses, monitor issues, and recommend therapies during the course of a disease. Attention to detail is a must, because methods, data, and quality control will be at the center of what you do.

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.

What is Molecular Diagnostic Sciences?

Molecular testing uses sensitive and specific laboratory techniques to detect and identify biomarkers at the nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) level. Molecular diagnostic tests are increasingly used in many major areas of medicine including genetic disorders, infectious diseases, cancer, pharmacogenetics and identity testing.  A great example of a molecular-based test is the PCR test used to detect the SARS-CoV2 virus in COVID-19 patients; this test, along with the laboratory scientists trained to perform the test, played a major role in identifying COVID-19 cases during the pandemic. The number of molecular-based laboratory tests is expected to increase dramatically as more information is uncovered about the human genome and disease.

Learn About the Dual Degree Program in BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences / MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences at GW

The overall goal of the proposed program is to prepare graduates with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills for positions in diagnostic clinical molecular laboratories, public health laboratories, biotechnology companies, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and research institutes.

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

  • 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.
  • Geared for students who are not MLT certified, such as individuals with an Associate degree in biology, biotechnology or applied sciences, and want to complete a baccalaureate degree in the molecular diagnostic sciences.
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.
  • Geared for certified MLT’s who want a baccalaureate degree focusing on molecular diagnostic sciences.