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

Program Highlights:

  • Financial Aid Eligible
  • 100% online coursework; complete your degree in 24 months  
  • Accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) 
  • Prepare to sit for the ASCP Technologist in Microbiology (M) exam* 
  • One of a few graduate degrees in the country that provides clinical microbiology and laboratory science coursework with a hands-on microbiology practicum 

Master of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Microbiology

The George Washington University's (GW) online Master of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Microbiology prepares you to identify and investigate human infectious diseases. You'll also be eligible to register for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board Technologist in Microbiology (M) exam the preeminent global certification for medical laboratory professionals.*

GWs flexible online program combines clinical microbiology and laboratory science coursework with a hands-on microbiology practicum. In addition to infectious disease diagnosis, you will develop the knowledge and practical skills to conduct research that helps prevent the spread of infections to create healthier communities.

Program Outcomes
The online Masters in Clinical Microbiology program leverages distinguished faculty, innovative curriculum, and real-world experience. Upon completion, you'll gain the comprehensive skills needed to succeed as a clinical microbiologist and be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of theory and principles related to infectious disease diagnosis
  • Utilize proven methods for communicating test results accurately and professionally
  • Collect and store data in accordance with laboratory best practices
  • Comply with laboratory safety regulations
  • Evaluate patient data by referring to a solid body of knowledge of infectious agents and laboratory science

Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program?
The MSHS in Clinical Microbiology program is ideal for individuals who are interested in becoming board certified in Microbiology and is one of a few graduate degrees in the country that provides clinical microbiology and laboratory science coursework with a hands-on microbiology practicum. Program curriculum provides eligibility for the ASCP Board of Certification Technologist in Microbiology (M) Exam, a gold standard in global certification for medical laboratory professionals.

Career Outlook
There is a growing need for professionals in clinical microbiology. With U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting the number of available jobs expected to increase 13 percent (approximately 42,700 jobs) by 2026, students can build their career in a variety of settings, including diagnostic microbiology laboratories, research institutions, public health laboratories, biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies or governmental agencies. Careers in clinical microbiology include:

  • Clinical Laboratory Supervisor
  • Clinical Research Manager
  • Microbiology Technologist
  • MLT/MLS Instructor
  • Public Health Microbiologist

New York Residents - We advise applicants who are considering New York state licensure to review license requirements before accepting admission to the program.

Discover Your Future in Clinical Microbiology
To learn more about the online Masters in Clinical Microbiology, contact an Admissions Advisor today at (844) 386-7323.

* 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 states 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.

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Bachelor’s degree in a basic or medical science (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology) from a regionally accredited institution.

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Completed coursework

    Completed course work should include 4 credits College Algebra, 3 credits English, 30 credits Biology, Chemistry or Medical Sciences, 4 credits General or Inorganic Chemistry 1 (including lab), 4 credits General or Inorganic Chemistry 2 (Including lab), 4 credits General Biology 1 (including lab), 4 credits General Biology 2 (including lab), 4 credits Microbiology (including lab). *Please be prepared to provide unofficial transcripts to determine program admissibility.

  4. A written personal statement

    Statement of Purpose (Applicants must include a 250-500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at GW, 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.)

  5. Completed Application
  6. Resume/CV
  7. 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.
  8. 2 Letters of Recommendation
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  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 GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policies: https://smhs.gwu.edu/academics/health-sciences/academics/admissions/background-checks-and-drug-screenings
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.


The online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Clinical Microbiology is a 35 credit hour program that provides students with clinical microbiology and laboratory science coursework as well as a hands-on microbiology practicum.

Three credit hours of Elective Courses are selected in consultation with the program director, from existing online graduate courses in Medical Laboratory Sciences or Health Sciences.

  • HSCI 6263 Biostatistics for Clinical & Translational Research3 Credits

    One learns a foundation in the basic concepts and methods of biostatistics applied to translational research. Topics include distributions, populations and sample selection, variables, interaction and confounding, hypothesis formulation, correlation, t-tests, ANOVA, regression, and chi-square analysis.

  • HSCI 6264Epidemiology for Clinical and Translational Research 3 Credits

    This course is designed to be a foundation of basic concepts and methods of epidemiology and their application in measuring, students utilize this course to study and improve the health of populations and learn of its applications for translational research.

  • MLS 6116Advanced Clinical Bacteriology I 3 Credits

    This course covers the pathogenic characteristics, isolation techniques, specimen collection and handling, laboratory identification, and treatment of medically significant bacteria and viruses with an emphasis on current diagnostic techniques used in clinical practice.

  • MLS 6117Advanced Clinical Bacteriology II 2 Credits

    This course presents the etiology of infectious diseases in different body sites using a case-study‐based approach. It emphasizes the epidemiology, pathogenic mechanisms, and laboratory identification of suspected etiologic agents. Commonly encountered clinical species will be discussed using case studies that include clinical history, signs and symptoms, and laboratory test results of diseases produced by the etiologic agents.

  • MLS 6119Advanced Parasitology, Mycology, and Virology2 Credits

    This course is designed to provide the student with a systematic approach to the biology and epidemiology of human parasitic, fungal and viral diseases. The course will cover the symptomology, pathology, diagnostic procedures and treatment of the various parasites, fungi and viruses that infect humans. Other topics including disease causation and specimen collection/handling will be discussed.

  • MLS 6141 Advanced Immunology and Serology 3 Credits

    This course covers the principles of the immune system and the clinical applications of immunology related to the diagnosis of human diseases. The first half of the course will focus on the components of the immune system and the various functions of each. The second half of the course covers the various immune-related diseases and also addresses how immunologic assays are used in the clinical setting to diagnose and monitor various disease states.

  • MLS 6151 Advanced Molecular Diagnostics 3 Credits

    The advances in scientific technology have expanded the interest and applicability of nucleic acid based analysis within clinical diagnostic laboratories and routine screening procedures. This course provides an overview of molecular biology and genetic concepts as well as the molecular techniques used to diagnose human diseases. The course will emphasize the technology, theory, and methodology of specific molecular protocols that can be utilized within a clinical and research laboratory setting to aid in disease diagnosis, including those of genetic, oncogenic, and infectious origin.

  • MLS 6158 Advanced Laboratory Management and Operations 3 Credits

    The laboratory environment is constantly responding to diverging trends in healthcare. This course provides students with a problem-based approach to the principles of laboratory management and will focus on managerial concepts that will provide opportunities to apply theoretical management models to real-life situations in the clinical laboratory.

  • MLS 6216 Microbial Pathogenesis 3 Credits

    A comprehensive overview of the molecular basis of diseases caused by microbial pathogens with a focus on model microbial systems to illustrate mechanisms of the human infectious disease process.

  • MLS 6217 Medical Biotechnology 2 Credits

    This course provides a comprehensive overview of current molecular technologies and how they are used in modern medicine.

  • MLS 6244Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity 3 Credits

    Traditional and modern topics in research ethics and scientific integrity. Students will learn to conduct unbiased peer-review, conduct research, and report on an independent case examinations, research misconduct or other ethical issues, and participate in oral scientific and ethical discussions.

  • MLS 6251Advanced Clinical Microbiology Practicum2 Credits

    During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Advanced Clinical Bacteriology I, Advanced Clinical Bacteriology II, and Advanced Parasitology, Mycology and Virology courses.

  • Elective3 Credits

    Course selected, in consultation with program director, from existing online graduate courses in Medical Laboratory Sciences or Health Sciences.

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: $980
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2,940

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?