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

Program Highlights

  • Financial Aid Eligible
  • Qualify to take the ASCP Molecular Biology (MB) and the Microbiology (M) Board of Certification examinations*  
  • Finish both degrees fully online if you are an MLT-certified professional 

Dual Degree: BSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Science, MSHS in Clinical Microbiology 

Get ahead faster than you expected and complete your bachelor's and master's degrees together in one dual health sciences program. The George Washington University (GW) offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) in Molecular Diagnostic Science and a Master of Science in Health Science (MSHS) in Clinical Microbiology all in one convenient program. 

GW's dual-degree program delivers a strong foundation in learning 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. 

You'll build on that knowledge so you can create healthier communities. In the master's program, you learn to identify and investigate human infectious diseases and conduct research that helps prevent the spread of infections. 
Through online coursework, followed by hands-on lab work and clinical rotations at accredited clinical laboratories, you'll learn what it takes to be at the forefront of detecting disease in its early stages.* 

Plus you'll have both the clinical rotations and coursework you need to sit for the ASCP Board of Certification Exams in Molecular Biology as well as Microbiology. 

Graduate Ready To: 

  • Perform molecular-based testing for laboratory utilization and clinical decisions for patient/client outcomes 
  • Apply knowledge of molecular, genetic and infectious disease theory and principles as they relate to human disease diagnosis 
  • Analyze data and patient results 
  • Apply ethical decision-making related to research and laboratory practices 
  • Utilize proven methods for communicating test results accurately and professionally 
  • Collect and store data in accordance with laboratory best practices 

Who Is the Ideal Student for this Program? 

Attention to detail is a must because methods, data, and quality control will be at the center of what you do. Our dual health sciences degrees are for undergraduate students serious about building their careers quickly. 

If you're passionate about bringing new standards of excellence to the field and making an impact on health care with molecular testing and clinical microbiology, this program could be a good fit for you.  

Career Information 

Build your career in a variety of settings including diagnostic microbiology labs, public health laboratories, research institutions, law enforcement agencies, molecular sections of hospital laboratories, reference laboratories, biotechnology firms, and pharmaceutical companies. 

Qualify to sit for both the Molecular Biology (MB) and Microbiology (M) Board of Certification examinations offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), moving you ahead of your competition. Medical technologists with molecular biology skills earn between $43,364 and $71,695 a year.1 

With your MSHS in Clinical Microbiology in hand, you can consider career titles such as:

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

Request More Information 

To learn more about this program, 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 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 (2019, September 10). Medical Technologist with Molecular Biology Skills Hourly Pay found at https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Technologist/Hourly_Rate/bed0654f/Molecular-Biology. 

* Professionals who are ASCP or AMT MLT certified are eligible to take the fully online program with no practicum requirements. 

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. Completed coursework

    Completion of prerequisite coursework (listed below). 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. • English Composition (3 credits) • Biology (lecture and ‘hands-on’ lab) (8 credits) • Microbiology (lecture and ‘hands-on’ lab) (4 credits) • Chemistry (lecture and ‘hands-on’ lab) (8 credits) • Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry (3 credits) • College Mathematics (algebra, statistics, or higher - 3 credits) 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

    A 250-500 word essay describing the reasons for undertaking study at The George Washington University, academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to the program of interest. Should include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

  4. Completed Application
  5. Resume/CV Applicants must attach a current resume or CV. Active-duty military do not need to submit a resume but should attach current orders.
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Students who live outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area are required to secure a satisfactory clinical site at the time of admission.
  11. 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.

Key Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date
August 7
August 31


  • The BSHS, fully-online track requires four elective courses, totaling 12 credit hours.
  • The BSHS, hybrid track requires three elective courses, totaling 9 credit hours.
  • The hybrid program requires the completion of both MLS 4251 and 4252. These two courses are not required for the fully-online track.

  • HSCI 1106 - Core BSHS Introduction 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 2112W - Core BSHS Writing in the Health Sciences3 Credits

    Writing in the Health Sciences

  • HSCI 3106 - Core BSHS Microbiology for Health Sciences3 Credits

    Principles of microbiology with emphasis on microorganisms that impact health and cause human disease. Topics include an overview of microbiology and aspects of medical microbiology, identification and control of pathogens, disease transmission, host resistance, and immunity. 

  • HSCI 3117 - Core BSHS Epidemiology3 Credits

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

  • HSCI 4112W - Core BSHSResearch and Writing in Health Sciences3 Credits

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

  • HSCI 6263 - Core MSHS Biostatistics Translational Research3 Credits

    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 ch.

  • HSCI 6264 - Core MSHS Epidemiology Translational Research3 Credits

    Basic concepts and methods of epidemiology and their application in measuring, studying and improving the health of populations applied to applications for translational research.

  • MLS 3000 - Core BSHS Laboratory 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 3001 - Core BSHS Ethics in Laboratory Medicine3 Credits

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

  • MLS 4164 - Core MSHS  Clinical Microbiology Practicum4 Credits

    Students apply medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in MLS 4123 (Clinical Microbiology I), MLS 4124 (Clinical Microbiology II), and MLS 4151 (Molecular Diagnostics). Proctor fee.

  • MLS 4170 - Core BSHS Introduction to Molecular Biology3 Credits

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

  • MLS 4171 - Core BSHS Human Genetics3 Credits

    Hereditary and molecular genetics as it applies to humans.

  • MLS 4172 - Core BSHS Molecular 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 4217 - Core BSHS Molecular Techniques3 Credits

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

  • MLS 4242 - Core BSHS Applications of Molecular Testing3 Credits

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

  • MLS 4251 - Hybrid BSHS Only Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory1 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. 

  • MLS 4252 - Hybrid BSHS Only Applications of Molecular Testing Laboratory2 Credits

    Molecular-based testing to determine human disease causation. 

  • MLS 4266 - Core BSHS Molecular 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.

  • MLS 6115 - Core MSHS Advanced Clinical Parasitology and Mycology1 Credit

    A systematic approach to the biology and epidemiology of human parasitic and fungal diseases. The symptomology, pathology, diagnostic procedures, and treatment of the various parasites and fungi that infect humans. Other topics include disease causation and specimen collection/handling.

  • MLS 6123 - Core MSHS  Advanced Clinical Microbiology I3 Credits

    Pathogenic characteristics, isolation techniques, specimen collection and handling, laboratory identification, and treatment of medically significant bacteria and viruses; current diagnostic techniques used in clinical practice. Laboratory fee.

  • MLS 6124 - Core MSHS Advanced Clinical Microbiology II2 Credits

    The etiology of infectious diseases in different body sites using a case study approach. The epidemiology, pathogenic mechanisms, and laboratory identification of suspected etiologic agents. Commonly encountered clinical species are discussed using case studies that include clinical history, signs and symptoms, and laboratory test results of diseases produced by the etiologic agents.

  • MLS 6141 - Core BSHS Advanced Immunology and Serology3 Credits

    Principles of the immune system and the clinical applications of immunology related to the diagnosis of human diseases. Components of the immune system and the functions of each. The various immune-related diseases and how immunologic assays are used in the clinical setting to diagnose and monitor various disease states.

  • MLS 6151 - Core MSHS Advanced Molecular Diagnostics3 Credits

    An overview of molecular biology and genetic concepts as well as the molecular techniques used to diagnose human diseases. The technology, theory, and methodology of molecular protocols utilized within a clinical and research laboratory setting.

  • MLS 6158 - Core BSHS Laboratory 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 6216 - Core MSHS Microbial Pathogenesis3 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 - Core MSHS Medical Biotechnology2 Credits

    A comprehensive overview of current molecular technologies and how they are used in modern medicine.

  • MLS 6244 - Core MSHS Research Ethics and Integrity3 Credits

    This course addresses traditional and modern topics in research ethics and scientific integrity. The purpose of this course is to emphasize ethical theory and principles of bioethics while planning and conduction scientific studies. Through lectures, reading assignments, case studies and discussion sessions, the following topics are covered: ethical theory and principles, scientific and academic integrity, informed consent in research; Intuitional Review Boards and the use of human subjects in research. IACUC and the use of animals in research, Institutional Biosafety Committees and the use of recombinant DNA in research; conflicts of interest and commitment; authorship and publication; the peer-review process; collaboration and mentoring; methodology, data reporting and data management; ownership of data and intellectual property; whistleblowing and dispute resolution; and privacy and confidentiality. Students learn to conduct unbiased peer-review, conduct research and report on an independent examination of a case of research misconduct or other ethical issue, and participate in oral scientific and ethical discussions.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition for the BSHS undergraduate courses is $615 per credit hour. MSHS graduate course tuition is $980 per credit hour. 

  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $734
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2,202

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?