Skip to content

Biomedical Laboratory Sciences

Further your career as a Biomedical Laboratory Scientist

The George Washington University (GW) offers a wide range of Biomedical Laboratory Science (BLS) programs, from post-baccalaureate certificates to master’s programs, to meet you where you are in your career.

Fields of Study

Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (BLS) is a rewarding and valued profession that combines the challenges of medicine and clinical science to investigate and determine the causes of disease. Working in a variety of settings, laboratory scientists utilize the latest biomedical instruments and techniques to carry out complex testing.

MLS Programs

Through online coursework, followed by hands-on training at accredited clinical laboratories, you’ll learn what it takes to be at the forefront of detecting disease in its early stages.

Become ASCP MLS Certified

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Programs

Gain the skills and knowledge to tackle complex issues in molecular diagnostics or take on leadership roles in biotechnology.

Explore Programs

Microbiology Programs

Learn to diagnose disease and develop the knowledge and practical skills to conduct research that helps prevent the spread of infections to create healthier communities.

Explore Programs

Become Board Certified

MLS(ASCP)

Become qualified to sit for the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Board of Certification exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Grads from GW Medical Laboratory programs have a 93.93% overall pass rate for the ASCP MLS board of certification exam vs. 79.60% for the national average1

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Medical Laboratory Science

Gain an aptitude for scientific concepts and solving problems when investigating abnormal test results. In as few as 20 months, become eligible to sit for the ASCP MLS and advance your career as a laboratory technologist.

MSHS in Laboratory Medicine

Prepare to sit for the ASCP Medical Laboratory Scientist board certification exam with a combined education of online coursework and hands-on practice focused around research and new technologies in the laboratory medicine field.

MB(ASCP)

You can become qualified to take the ASCP Molecular Biology (MB) Board of Certification exam through completion of any of these GW Molecular Biology programs.

MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Science

Solve complex issues in molecular diagnostics with a comprehensive, online education that will prepare you to work in a molecular diagnostic lab and to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology Technologist in Molecular Biology exam.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science

Receive the knowledge and tools needed to work in major areas of medicine, including genetic disorders, cancer, infectious diseases and more, so that you can help people get well through effective methods of testing and diagnostics.

Additional Biomedical Laboratory Programs

With an advanced degree or certificate, you can target your education and career to specific areas of interests in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences.

MSHS in Clinical Microbiology

Discover the practical skills needed to identify and conduct research on human infectious diseases to help prevent the spread of infections in communities. Your flexible online program combined with a hands-on practicum will prepare you for success.

MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology

Become an effective leader at blood banking laboratories, donor centers and more with a unique, non-clinical program based in the innovative methods that are key in transfusion medicine.

MSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences

Learn how to manage and lead in a clinical laboratory setting. Your work, guided by your innovative education and real-world experience, will focus on how to analyze, evaluate and use research data effectively in laboratory settings.

MSHS in Translational Microbiology

Receive the theory and practical skills to successfully work as part of a team at the forefront of translational infectious disease research. You’ll discover innovative methods to supervise or perform research in settings such as hospital labs or biotechnology companies.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Blood Banking for Medical Laboratory Science

Discover the ins and outs of testing, storing and transporting blood for transfusions in order to check blood for viruses, identify blood types, and separate blood into its different components. You’ll also be prepared to sit for the ASCP Technologist in Blood Banking exam.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Clinical Chemistry for Medical Laboratory Science

Become a certified technologist in clinical chemistry with hands-on skills and in-depth knowledge on the developing of laboratory procedures, studying DNA and tissues, and evaluating patient health.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Hematology for Medical Laboratory Science

Work at the forefront of blood-related disease detection and treatment when you learn how to collect and test blood as well as establish procedures necessary for processing blood samples.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Microbiology for Medical Laboratory Science

Acquire valuable hands-on skills to qualify to take the sit for the ASCP Technologist in Microbiology exam and take on the challenges of finding and understanding the causes of disease in patients.

Request more information

Whether you’re curious about a specific program or the day-to-day requirements of learning online, we’re here to answer your questions. Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch.

Careers in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences

The Science of Healthcare

Medical Technologists earn a median $26.33 per hour, with the top 10% earning more than $33.96 hourly.2

Build experience in your chosen area of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences and be prepared to work in hospital labs, physicians’ offices, clinics, biotechnology, and other diverse settings.

An Exceptional Success Rate

  • GW grads have a 93.93% overall pass rate for the ASCP MLS board of certification exam vs. 79.60% for the national average
  • More than 95% of GW graduates are employed in the field within three months of program completion
  • GW is fully accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • GW was ranked No. 70 Best National University in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report

Biomedical Laboratory Sciences Curriculum

Students admitted into the GW BLS programs must complete the required courses on a part-time, lock-step basis. The lock-step design ensures courses are taken in a specific order while assisting students in managing their course workload by setting course load standards per enrollment session.

GW has designed these programs for working professionals with program plans that are thoughtfully created to provide not only the best experience for the student but also the shortest time to completion possible. Unfortunately, this lock-step format does not allow for changes or modifications to the program plan.

Additionally, it is important to note that any leave of absences can disrupt the student’s future enrollment due to the scheduling and availability of subsequent courses required to complete the program. Leave of absences can lead to an additional forced break while also prolonging completion of the program.

If you have attended multiple institutions, your final GPA and credits earned are factored together to determine your overall GPA.

All of the didactic courses in the Biomedical Laboratory Science department programs are taught online. These programs also include at least one practicum course (the number of practica vary depending on the program). The practicum courses are completed in an approved hospital or diagnostic laboratory and will include some online components. Students in the Blended BSHS program will complete in-person lab courses each semester at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va.

For the BSHS and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in MLS, students must successfully complete Phase I (didactic courses) before becoming eligible to enter Phase II (clinical rotations). In order to successfully complete Phase I, students must complete all MLS courses with grades of C or higher and have a 2.5 MLS GPA. Students must also complete the Clinical Rotation Request form and submit any other required documents as indicated in the CRR.

For the Categorical Certificates and the clinical MSHS programs, students must complete the core clinical MLS courses to become eligible to enter their program’s rotation. Certificate students must also complete courses with grades of C- or higher and maintain a 2.5 MLS GPA; MSHS students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Students who fail to meet the minimum GPA requirements may be placed on academic probation, suspension, or face possible dismissal. The Regulations section of the GW Bulletin includes detailed information on academic standing. Details on the academic grievance and appeals process are included in this section as well.

GW students consistently outperform against the national average. In 2018 the GW first time pass rate was 89.39% and the GW overall pass rate was 93.93%. This is compared to a national pass rate of 79.60%.

Local students who live in the Washington, D.C. metro area can be placed in one of our affiliate hospital labs in the area. Students who live outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area are required to secure a satisfactory clinical site at the time of admission.

Applicants with clinical laboratory experience may be eligible to waive individual practicum requirements. Applicants will need to secure a clinical site for any individual areas where professional experience is lacking. Please call 202-729-9879 and speak with an online admissions advisor if you believe that you may qualify for the waiver.

Below is additional information regarding clinical waivers:

  • Relevant experience must have taken place in the last five years and must be on a professional level. Other rotations as a student would not count (i.e. volunteering, internships, etc.)
  • The waiver requires two signatures:
    • One from a lab manager, section supervisor, or any professional that can verify the experience.
    • One from the lab administrator, i.e., a medical director or someone in that capacity.
    • In some cases, one person can satisfy both signatures.
  • There is no guarantee that the waiver will be approved. Students are merely applying to be considered for a clinical rotation waiver.
  • Tuition must still be paid for the rotation course, and students will be required to complete all coursework associated with these rotations.
  • As a backup, students should still plan to secure a clinical site in case the waiver is not offered.

Areas where students can apply for a waiver:

  • Blood Banking
  • Hematology
  • Urinalysis Coagulation
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Microbiology

GW establishes an affiliation agreement with all facilities prior to the clinical practicum rotations. However, GW does not have the authority to automatically place students into these sites, since many of these affiliations are temporary and are only generated for an individual student. GW has local primary affiliates, which are the only sites that GW can use to place students for rotations. Students securing their own clinical sites must acquire permission from the clinical site to attend the rotations.

We have many clinical affiliates nationwide; please contact the GW MLS clinical coordinators (mlsclinicals@gwu.edu) for state-specific questions.

Once a clinical site is identified, the GW clinical coordinator will determine if the site performs all of the mandatory testing required. If the facility is missing tests in any area, the student may need to find an additional site to complete the requirements for the rotations. Once a site or sites are identified and approved; an affiliation agreement with each site is initiated. The student cannot begin the clinical rotations until there is an affiliation agreement in place.

Yes, you may secure your own site. However, if you are planning on securing your own clinical site, you cannot use any of our already affiliated local sites for your rotations. Students are not allowed to contact our local clinical sites to secure a spot for their clinical placement. All local clinical placements are done through your GW clinical coordinator. In addition, if you wish to secure your own site for your clinical rotation, that site must be an accredited lab with all specific lab areas required to complete your practica.

Due to a high volume of applications and the limited number of local clinical spots, we are typically unable to place non-local students in one of our primary local affiliates. Keep in mind that, it is also important for students to develop a professional relationship with a clinical site in their own geographic area to create possible future employment opportunities.

Sources:

  1. National MLS average first-time pass rates per the 2018 Examination Statistics for ASCP Credential document publicly available here: https://www.ascp.org/content/docs/default-source/boc-pdfs/boc_statistical_reports/exam-stats-2018.pdf?sfvrsn=4
  2. Payscale.com). Medical Technologist. Retrieved April 7, 2020, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Technologist/Hourly_Rate.