• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    2.5 years

Program Highlights

  • Qualify to take the ASCP Molecular Biology (MB) Board of Certification examination* 
  • Graduate in as few as 28 months by transferring up to 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution

BSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Science

Launch your laboratory career in the exciting up-and-coming field of molecular diagnostic testing. The George Washington University's (GW) online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) in Molecular Diagnostic Science gives you the knowledge and hands-on experience working with DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids to detect, diagnose and monitor disease and select optimal therapies. 

You'll learn the specific clinical laboratory techniques to detect and identify biomarkers at the nucleic acid levels in major areas of medicine including genetic disorders, infectious diseases, cancer, pharmacogenetics, and identity testing. 

Through a series of online coursework, hands-on labs, and clinical rotations, you will graduate from this robust, NAACLS-accredited program ready for a career in helping people get well through effective testing and diagnostics. 

Graduate Ready To: 

  • Take the Molecular Biology (MB) Board of Certification examination offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 
  • Explain the methods of collection, transport, and handling of various specimen types for molecular analysis 
  • Apply molecular-based testing for laboratory utilization and clinical decisions for patient/client outcomes 
  • Implement preventive and corrective maintenance programs for equipment and assays 
  • Troubleshoot and evaluate appropriate actions for problem resolution 
  • Apply knowledge of molecular and genetic theory and principles as they relate to human disease diagnosis 
  • Analyze molecular data and patient results to determine test validity and quality 
  • Apply ethical decision-making to issues related to molecular laboratory practice 

Who is the Ideal Student for this Program? 

Typically offered at the master's level, the online BSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences is a robust program for undergrads who recognize the impact and opportunity that molecular testing has in the future of health care solutions. 

Students who excel at science-based coursework and are passionate about the potential for molecular testing in medical science are a good fit for this program. 

To complete the online portion of the degree, you must be organized and independent. A fully online option is available to professionals who are ASCP or AMT MLT certified. 

Careers in Molecular Diagnostic Testing 

Given the rise of commercialized, at-home DNA testing kits and recently proven medical capabilities particularly in cancer diagnosis and treatment, the need for professionals who can ethically and properly manage the challenges of molecular testing and the data it provides is great. 

When you graduate with the BSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Science from GW, you're prepared to work as a laboratory scientist in a diagnostic molecular laboratory, public health laboratory, research institution, law enforcement agency, the molecular section of hospital laboratories, reference laboratory, biotechnology firm, or pharmaceutical company. 

Medical technologists with molecular biology skills earn between $42,364 and $71,695 a year.1 

Request More Information 

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

* 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.

1. Payscale.com. Medical Technologist with Molecular Biology Skills Hourly Pay. Retrieved September 10, 2019 from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Technologist/Hourly_Rate/bed0654f/Molecular-Biology.

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

    Completion of the following prerequisite coursework from a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or above: 3 credits of English composition, 8 credits of biology (lecture and lab), 4 credits of microbiology (lecture and lab), 8 credits of chemistry (lecture and lab), 3 credits of organic chemistry or biochemistry, 3 credits of college mathematics (algebra, statistics, or higher), 3 credits in humanities, 6 credits in social sciences. A minimum of 22 credits in elective coursework. Elective coursework should include courses in pathophysiology or anatomy and physiology, ethics or values, or global/cross-cultural perspectives. Applicants missing any above will be required to apply as HS non-degree student and complete pre-requisites with a C or better before applying and being admitted to the program.

  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 must be a licensed MLT for the fully online track. However, prospective students do not need the MLT license for the blended track with the lab requirement. Please call (844) 386-7323 to speak with an advisor for additional details.
  11. Students who live outside of the Washington DC Metro Area are required to secure a satisfactory clinical site at the time of admission.
  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.


  • HSCI 1106Introduction to Biotechnology for Health Sciences3 Credits

    Concepts in biotechnology with special emphasis on issues and advances in medicine and health care. Restricted to Students in SMHS.

  • HSCI 2112WWriting in the Health Sciences3 Credits

    Introduction to the health sciences literature. Emphasis is on construction, evaluation and organization of written communication of health sciences information.

  • HSCI 3117Biostatistics3 Credits

    Biostatistics for health science professionals. Concepts and methods, including confidence intervals, ANOVA, multiple and logistic regression, and non-parametric analyses. Scientific literature is used to provide a comprehensive context in which analytical evidence is employed to support practices in the health sciences.

  • HSCI 4106Epidemiology3 Credits

    An introduction to epidemiological methods and their applications in the prevention and control of illness, community and clinical interventions, and health services.

  • HSCI 4112WResearch and Writing for Health Science3 Credits

    Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement.

  • MLS 3000Laboratory Math3 Credits

    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 data analysis. An equivalent college-level mathematics course or permission of the program director may be substituted for the prerequisite. Restricted to students in the medical laboratory science program.

  • MLS 3001Ethics in Laboratory Medicine3 Credits

    Ethical and professional conduct of and dilemmas encountered by medical laboratory professionals. Proctor fee. 

  • 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 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. Proctor fee.

  • MLS 4170Introduction to Molecular Biology3 Credits

    Foundational course in molecular biology; DNA replication, DNA repair, transcription, translation and gene regulation.

  • MLS 4171Human Genetics3 Credits

    Foundational course in molecular biology; DNA replication, DNA repair, transcription, translation and gene regulation.

  • MLS 4172Molecular Diagnostics Capstone3 Credits

    Culmination course for the BSHS in molecular diagnostic sciences program. Provides an overview of molecular diagnostics using a case-based approach. Students must have earned a minimum grade of C in all prerequisite courses in order to enroll in this course. Program director approval may be substituted for prerequisite courses. Proctor fee. 

  • MLS 4217Molecular Techniques3 Credits

    Course Description: Theory and processes of current molecular techniques used to diagnose human disease.

  • MLS 4242Applications of Molecular Testing3 Credits

    This course will cover the application of molecular testing to diagnose various human diseases and disorders. Proctor fee.

  • MLS 4251Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (Hybrid Track Requirement Only)1 Credit

    An introduction to the theory of and laboratory techniques in molecular biology with an emphasis on molecular and serological techniques, including DNA extraction and quantitation, restriction enzyme digestion, polymerase chain reaction, agarose gel electrophoresis, flow cytometry, and ELISA. Only required for students in the "blended" program.

  • MLS 4252Applications of Molecular Testing Laboratory (Hybrid Track Requirement Only)2 Credits

    Molecular-based testing to determine human disease causation. 

  • MLS 4266Molecular Diagnostics Practicum6 Credits

    Application of molecular techniques in a clinical setting to facilitate the diagnosis of human diseases. Students must have earned a minimum grade of C in all prerequisite courses. Instructor permission may be substituted for prerequisites.

  • 9 Credits

    Nine credits in elective coursework selected in consultation with the program advisor.

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?