• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    1 year

Program Highlights:

  • 100% online, no visits to campus required  
  • Accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) 
  • Qualify to sit for the ASCP Technologist in Microbiology (M) exam in as few as 12 months*  

The George Washington University's (GW) online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Microbiology for Medical Laboratory Science is perfect for you if you're motivated to advance your career into this highly satisfying and valued profession.

This program teaches you the knowledge and hands-on skills to become board-certified in laboratory science and make a positive, direct impact on medical care. This microbiology certificate program provides you with the latest biomedical instruments and molecular techniques to face challenges in finding and understanding the causes of disease.

This certificate can be completed in as little as one year and allows you to qualify to sit for the ASCP Technologist in Microbiology (M) exam.* When you complete this certificate program, you'll be able 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?

Microbiologists usually work quickly and carefully. They are self-sufficient, precise and thorough in their work. They can handle the pressure of being vital members of the health care team by recommending methods of testing, obtaining and transporting clinical specimens, as well as utilizing advanced technologies to confront emerging diseases. They also possess excellent critical-thinking and communication skills to interpret lab results.

This certificate program is best for those who have successfully completed a bachelor's degree, typically in a science such as biology, chemistry or microbiology, and want to pursue the laboratory science profession without completing another bachelor's degree.

Microbiology Career Outlook

Microbiologists can work in a variety of laboratory settings:

  • Hospital laboratories   
  • Commercial and reference laboratories   
  • Federal and state government laboratories   
  • State and local public health laboratories   
  • Hospital laboratories affiliated with universities and medical schools   
  • Pharmaceutical and diagnostic instrument companies  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in the aging population will lead to a greater need for using laboratory procedures to diagnose medical conditions such as cancer or type 2 diabetes. 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 at least a bachelor's degree:

  • New York, N.Y., 1,417 job postings, $70,590 mean salary   
  • Boston, Mass., 562 job postings, $74,030 mean salary   
  • Washington, D.C., 525 job postings, $66,840 mean salary

Request information, or 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.

Please be aware that the fully online post-baccalaureate certificate programs do not meet the student lab requirement for NY state licensure. Also, for those applying to the fully online post-baccalaureate categorical certificates in hematology, microbiology, blood banking and chemistry, the state of New York does not provide licensure for categorical certification (i.e., Technologist in Microbiology, Technologist in Blood Banking, etc.). We recommend that students who live in New York or plan to relocate to New York do research to determine the NY licensure requirements.  

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. A bachelor's degree

  2. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. 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), a combination of 30 semester hours of Biology and Chemistry coursework including Microbiology with 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. 1 Letter 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 Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Microbiology for Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) requires completion of 20 credit hours. Completion of the certificate qualifies the graduate to take the Technologist in Microbiology examination offered by national certifying agencies.

  • 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 II2 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 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.

  • MLS 4164Clinical Microbiology Practicum 4 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.

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?