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

Program Highlights:

  • Financial Aid Eligible
  • 100% online coursework, no visits to campus required
  • Complete your degree in 24 months 
  • Qualify to sit for the ASCP Technologist in Molecular Biology (MB) exam* 

Master of Science in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences

The George Washington University's (GW) online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences examines the latest nucleic acid-based technologies to provide you with the skills and practical experience to solve complex issues in molecular diagnostics.

GWs comprehensive online program is one of few that pairs molecular biology and biotechnology coursework with a real-world clinical rotation experience. This combination not only prepares you to work in a molecular diagnostic lab, but also gets you one step closer to becoming certified in molecular biology by qualifying you to register for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Technologist in Molecular Biology (MB) exam.*

When you complete the Master's in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences program, you'll have the skills needed to excel in the field of molecular diagnostics so you can pursue a career in a variety of healthcare organizations like clinical molecular laboratories, public health laboratories, and biotechnology companies.

Program Outcomes
The online MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences program leverages distinguished faculty, innovative curriculum, and real-world experience. Youll gain the comprehensive skills you need to succeed in clinical research, so when you graduate, you'll be able to:

  • Research, evaluate, implement, and monitor methods of collection, transport, and handling of various specimen types for molecular analysis
  • Research and develop principles and apply molecular-based testing to influence patient/client outcomes
  • Research, develop and implement preventive and corrective maintenance programs for equipment and assays, as well as troubleshoot and evaluate appropriate actions for problem resolution
  • Design, conduct and disseminate correlations in molecular science
  • Apply knowledge of molecular and genetic theory and principles as they relate to disease diagnosis
  • Maintain a safe work environment; adhere to all safety regulations and display responsible conduct in research

Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program?
The MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences program is designed for individuals who hold national certification or wish to become certified in Molecular Biology.

Career Outlook
GWs online MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences is one of the few programs that provide students with both traditional coursework in molecular biology and biotechnology, as well as the hands-on clinical rotation experience required to prepare for ASCP Board Certification in Molecular Biology. Upon completion, graduates will be ready to pursue board certification in Molecular Biology and begin an exciting career in a diagnostic molecular laboratory, research institution, public health laboratory, biotechnology firm, a pharmaceutical company, or government agency.

Career Outlook

  • Biotechnology or Government Research Associate
  • Molecular Laboratory Scientist
  • MLT/MLS Teaching positions
  • Public Health Laboratory Scientist

Establish Your Future in Medical Diagnostic Science
To learn more about the online Master of Science in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences, 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.

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

** Best Health Care Support Jobs of 2019. USNews.Com, Accessed on 3/20/19. https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-health-care-support-jobs.

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

    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 credits 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). *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 MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Science consists of 35 credit hours, including 26 hours of MLS coursework to develop a foundational understanding of molecular biology and biotechnology and to apply this knowledge through an internship or mentored research project, 3 credit hours of quantitative data analysis, 3 credits of leadership concepts in a clinical setting, and 3 credit hours in ethical implications and research.

  • Elective3 Credits

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

  • HSCI 6263 Biostatistics for Clinical and 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.

  • 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 6166Molecular Diagnostics Practicum*3 Credits

    During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying molecular techniques to diagnose various human diseases. * May be substituted with an elective for students with current clinical molecular laboratory experience.

  • MLS 6216Microbial 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 Biotechnology2 Credits

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

  • MLS 6218 Genetics 3 Credits

    This course will cover hereditary and molecular genetics, with an emphasis on genomics and human diseases.

  • MLS 6219Molecular Biology3 Credits

    This course will emphasize the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, repair, transcription, translation and gene regulation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  • MLS 6242 Molecular Pathology3 Credits

    Investigation of human disease processes with an emphasis on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of disease. The goal of this class is to advance students’ understanding of how molecular, cellular and genetic approaches are used to investigate human diseases.

  • MLS 6244 Research 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 6245 Current Topics in MLS 3 Credits

    Exploration of findings within the medical laboratory science field. Current topics will be integrated into the development of a required project proposal for the capstone research project that the student will complete in the following semester.

  • MLS 6246Capstone Project 3 Credits

    Students apply the knowledge gained throughout the program to complete an independent, mentored project. A proposal for the capstone project will have been developed by the student as a component of the Current Topics in MLS course (MLS 6245) during the previous semester.

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?