• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration

Program Highlights: 

  • GW grads have a 93.93% overall pass-rate for the ASCP MLS board of certification exam vs. 79.60% for the national average   
  • 100% 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  
  • Financial Aid Eligible 
  • Combines online didactic courses and in-person student labs for those who reside near the Washington, D.C. metro area* 

BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences

The George Washington University's (GW) online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) in Medical Laboratory Sciences is ideal for students who are looking to begin a satisfying and valued career as an MLS. Gain the knowledge and hands-on skills to become board certified in laboratory science and make a positive, direct impact on medical care. This BSHS program teaches you the latest biomedical instruments and molecular techniques that will help you face the challenges in finding and understanding disease causation.

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

Who is the Ideal Student for this Program?

Medical laboratory scientists are typically extremely detail-oriented. They are self-sufficient, precise and thorough in their work. They can handle the pressure of being vital members of the health care team and have excellent critical-thinking and communication skills to interpret lab results.

All didactic 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. All laboratory courses are conducted in-person at the GW VSTC campus in Ashburn, VA. There is also a clinical rotation component of this program.

Medical Laboratory Sciences Career Outlook

The 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 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, with a median salary of $51,770 per year.

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:

Boston, Mass., 562 job postings, $74,030 mean salary

Washington, D.C., 525 job postings, $66,840 mean salary

Request More Information

Request information, or call (844) 386-7323 to speak with an admissions advisor.

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

Prospective students do not need the MLT certification for the BSHS MLS "blended" program. Please call (844) 386-7323 to speak with an advisor for additional details.

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 states 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. 

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) 
5600 N River Road, Suite 720   
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. Completed coursework: All required courses must be completed with a C grade (C- grades and lower do not transfer) or better at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning: 3 credits English Composition, 3 credits College Algebra, Statistics (or higher), 8 credits Biology (lecture and lab), 4 credits Microbiology (lecture and lab), 8 credits Chemistry (lecture and lab), 3 credits Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry. *Please be prepared to provide unofficial transcripts to determine program admissibility.
  3. A written personal statement: Please include a 250-500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at The George Washington University, and your academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.
  4. Completed Application
  5. Resume/CV
  6. Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required. The application fee is waived for active-duty U.S. military and veterans, current GW students, degree-holding GW alumni, graduates of Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), and current McNair Program Scholars.
  7. 1 Letter of Recommendation
  8. Official transcripts from every college and university attended. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Please find the list of member organizations here: https://www.naces.org/members
  9. International Students: Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are also required to submit official test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) Academics or the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration: TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246. PTE: overall score of 68 IELTS: overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0 International applicants may be considered for admission without submitting the above scores if: You are a citizen of a country where English is the official language, You hold a bachelor’s degree from a country where English is the official language and language of instruction, You hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency.
  10. Prospective students do not need the MLT certification for the BSHS MLS Blended Program, which is the hybrid online and in-person program available from GW for students who live near the Washington, D.C. metro area. Please call (844) 386-7323 to speak with an advisor for additional details.
  11. Successful completion of a criminal background check and a drug screen through Certiphi Screening, a third-party vendor, are required of all admitted clinical students in their first semester. Students are responsible for fees associated with these screens.
  12. Review the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policies in the Health Sciences Programs Bulletin: https://smhs.gwu.edu/academics/health-sciences/student-services/bulletin.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.


  • MLS 3000Laboratory Math 3 Credits

    This course provides an overview and practice of the basic mathematical techniques used in the clinical laboratory including exponential and logarithms, measurement systems, solutions and concentrations, proportionality, graphing, statistics and quality control, and method evaluation. Practical applications of the data analysis will be emphasized.

  • MLS 3001Ethics for Laboratory Medicine 3 Credits

    This course provides an overview of ethical and professional conduct of medical laboratory professionals. Reflection and discussion of ethical and professional dilemmas encountered by medical laboratory professionals will be emphasized.

  • MLS 4116Clinical Bacteriology I3 Credits

    Principles of clinical microbiology with emphasis on pathogenic characteristics, isolation, and identification of bacteria related to human disease. The course focuses on the theoretical approach to the current diagnostic techniques and identification systems used in clinical practice. Various topics, including disease causation and laboratory identification of medically significant bacteria will be discussed.

  • MLS 4117Clinical Bacteriology II3 Credits

    This course presents the etiology of infectious diseases in different body sites with an emphasis on the epidemiology, pathogenic mechanisms, and laboratory identification of suspected etiologic agents. Various topics, specimen collection and handling, diagnosis and treatment of medically significant bacteria will be discussed.

  • MLS 4119Parasitology, Mycology, and Virology2 Credits

    This course covers the principles and procedures involved in the diagnosis of parasitic, fungal, and viral infections. Various topics, including disease causation, specimen collection and handling, laboratory identification and treatment of medically significant fungi, parasites and viruses will be discussed.

  • MLS 4130Hematology I3 Credits

    This course features a study of the blood and blood-forming tissues with emphasis on hematologic techniques and cell identification. Anemias and non-malignant leukocyte disorders are also presented.

  • MLS 4131Hematology II3 Credits

    This course features a study of the blood and blood-forming tissues with emphasis on white blood cell disorders. An introduction to the hemostatic system and associated coagulation disorders are also presented.

  • MLS 4136Clinical Experience I 2 Credits

    Clinical practicum in which students apply medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic MLS 4145 and MLS 4146. Prerequisite: MLS 4145 and MLS 4146.

  • MLS 4137Clinical Experience II 2 Credits

    Clinical practicum in which students apply medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic MLS 4116, MLS 4117, and MLS 4119. Prerequisites: MLS 4116, MLS 4117, and MLS 4119.

  • MLS 4138Clinical Experience III2 Credits

    Clinical practicum in which students apply medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic MLS 4130, MLS 4131, and the urinalysis and body fluids section of 4146. Prerequisites: MLS 4130, MLS 4131, and MLS 4146.

  • MLS 4139Clinical Experience IV 2 Credits

    Clinical practicum in which students apply medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic MLS 4150. Prerequisites: MLS 4150.

  • MLS 4141Immunology and Serology3 Credits

    Principles of the immune system’s components, functions, interactions with microorganisms, and the clinical applications of immunologic assays to human health and disease.

  • MLS 4145Clinical Biochemistry I3 Credits

    This course studies the methodologies employed in the chemical analysis of human blood and body fluids. This includes an examination of the fundamentals of measurement and the principles of instrumentation as they relate to the assay of each analyte studied. In addition, the laboratory results are correlated with the clinical significance and pathophysiology which may generate changes in the analyte. Throughout the course, the quality assurance measures required to ensure reliability and validity of the laboratory results will also be emphasized.

  • MLS 4146Clinical Biochemistry II3 Credits

    This second course in clinical biochemistry continues the study of the measurement and interpretation of chemical constituents in human blood and body fluids. The laboratory results of each analyte are correlated with the clinical significance and pathophysiology which may generate changes in the analyte. Throughout the course, the quality assurance measures required to ensure reliability and validity of the laboratory results will also be emphasized.

  • MLS 4150Immunohematology3 Credits

    The major blood group systems that affect the practice of transfusion medicine and examines the processing and distribution of blood products supplied by transfusion services.

  • MLS 4151Molecular Diagnostics3 Credits

    Introduction to the molecular techniques used to diagnose human disease; technology, theory, and methodology of specific molecular protocols that can be used within a clinical laboratory setting to aid in disease diagnostics including those of genetic, oncogenic, and infections origin.

  • MLS 4158Laboratory Management and Operations3 Credits

    Introduction to critical concepts of lab management, including leadership theory, management principles, human resource management, financial management, quality management, and laboratory operations.

  • MLS 4159Capstone Seminar1 Credit

    Comprehensive review of medical laboratory science, which prepares students to sit for the board of certification examination. Integration of knowledge gained in didactic and practicum courses within the various laboratory disciplines, including hematology, microbiology, chemistry, and immunohematology.

  • HSCI 2101Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Illness3 Credits
  • HSCI 2102Pathophysiology3 Credits
  • HSCI 2105Current Issues in Bioethics3 Credits
  • HSCI 2107Health Care in Literature 3 Credits
  • HSCI 4106Intro to Epidemiology for Health Sciences2 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. Please call at (844) 386-7323 for more information.

  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $615
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1,845

What's it like to earn this degree online?

  • Study on your schedule
    The flexible anytime, anywhere approach to online learning at GW means that you can study and work on assignments when and where it’s convenient for you. Balance your personal and professional commitments. At GW online, you can advance your career without stopping it.
  • Personalized learning
    Many of our online programs have a student-instructor ratio that’s lower than on-campus classes, making it easier to interact with fellow students and get personalized attention from your instructors. Plus, you have access to one-on-one tutoring to help ensure your success.
  • The prestige of a GW degree
    Now you can earn a GW degree without relocating your life, giving you access to the distinguished connections and opportunities we provide. When you earn a degree from an online program at GW, you earn a degree from the George Washington University. Entrusted with its rights, privileges, and honors, you’ll join the ever-expanding GW alumni community who make the world a better place.
  • Connect to campus from anywhere
    GW is your link to leading authorities in policy and health care in Washington, D.C. You’ll be able to research, collaborate, and discuss with classmates and instructors using online learning management systems. Engage with all the resources GW offers, including tutors, the writing center, career services, and libraries—all online.
  • A dedicated advisor from day one
    Each GW online student is assigned an academic advisor who will support your journey to graduation. You’ll get help finding resources, guidance on scheduling classes, answers to your questions, and more. As an online learner at GW, you’re never alone.
  • Round-the-clock tech support
    A late-night software malfunction won’t keep you from getting your assignment in on time. GW provides 24/7 technical support for our online students, ensuring you have complete access to what you need, when you need it.

Want to learn more?