BSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences

Close-up graphic of gloved hands using a dropper with DNA strands in the foreground and background

BSHS Programs in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences at GW

The 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. This program provides theoretical knowledge and practical skills for positions in diagnostic clinical laboratories, public health laboratories, biotechnology companies, government and law enforcement agencies, and research institutes.

To learn more about our programs, you can register for our upcoming events here


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Hybrid or 100% Online

24 months


Average Duration

28 months

(Fully Online)

Average Duration


Accreditation and Rankings

  • GWU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • #62 Best National University*
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor's Programs*
  • #8 for Best Online Programs for Veterans*

* The U.S. News & World Report – 2023 Rankings


A female researcher is shown with a notebook

Program Highlights

  • Qualify to take the ASCP Molecular Biology (MB) Board of Certification Exam*
  • Graduate in as few as 24 - 28 months by transferring up to 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Program includes clinical rotations to provide hands-on experience specific to molecular diagnostics. Applicants may be eligible to waive individual clinical practicum requirements.
  • Ranked 15th in the nation for Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • Earn up to $90,000 a year



Hybrid (Blended)

Students must earn a total of 120 college credit hours to receive the BSHS degree. They may transfer in up to 60 college credit hours from another institution, which are applied toward the general education and advanced standing requirements. They then must earn at least 60 college credit hours at GW to meet the academic residency requirement, of which 48 credit hours are required courses for the major.

Fully Online

Students must earn a total of 120 college credit hours to receive the BSHS degree. They may transfer in up to 60 college credit hours from another institution, which are applied toward the general education and advanced standing requirements. They then must earn at least 60 college credit hours at GW to meet the academic residency requirement, of which 48 credit hours are required courses for the major.



Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, learners will be able to:

  • 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, as well as 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?

Molecular testing uses sensitive and specific laboratory techniques to detect and identify biomarkers at the nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) level. Molecular diagnostic tests are increasingly used in many major areas of medicine including genetic disorders, infectious diseases, cancer, pharmacogenetics and identity testing.  A great example of a molecular-based test is the PCR test used to detect the SARS-CoV2 virus in COVID-19 patients; this test, along with the laboratory scientists trained to perform the test, played a major role in identifying COVID-19 cases during the pandemic. The number of molecular-based laboratory tests is expected to increase dramatically as more information is uncovered about the human genome and disease.

State Licensure Information

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 state’s regulating agency and review these requirements prior to beginning any degree program. State’s requiring licensure may require extended duration of practicum experiences. Also, some states, such as New York, do not provide licensure for categorical certification (e.g., Technologist in Molecular Biology).


Career Outlook

  • When you graduate from this program, you’re prepared to work as a laboratory scientist in:
    • diagnostic molecular laboratories
    • public health laboratories
    • research institutions
    • law enforcement agencies
    • reference laboratories
    • biotechnology firms
    • pharmaceutical companies
  • Molecular diagnostic scientists earn between $69,618 and $88,718 a year, based on experience, location and certification.


Admission Requirements

To be accepted into this program, you must have:

  • Completed application
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 and science GPA of 2.5. (For GAA applicants, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and science GPA of 2.5 are required)
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • One letter of recommendation (letter of recommendation is waived for GAA applicants)
  • Applicants must have at least 45 credits from a regionally accredited college or university in specified courses



Tuition Details

The BSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences program at GW consists of 60 credit hours. Please find the cost per credit hour and total estimated program costs here

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. 



Meet the Program Director

Graciela Lopez Gamboa


GW’s experienced faculty provide you with the rich, practical knowledge and support needed for you to succeed in the program and in your career.

Graciela Lopez Gamboa, M.D., MSHS

Read Full Bio

Dr. Graciela Lopez is the current program director for the Molecular Diagnostic Science programs. She started her career in 2006 as a physician in Bolivia, later moving to the US where she continued to work in the medical clinical setting for over 10 years.  During this time she became interested both in clinical laboratory sciences as well as being part of academics, and in 2018 she graduated from the MSHS in Molecular Diagnostics program form George Washington University. The following year she began working with the Biomedical Laboratory Department (BLS) as adjunct faculty and since 2022 she has been in a fulltime faculty member. Nowadays, aside from her program director responsibilities she teaches online courses in the different programs available through our department plus she also teaches the in-person Molecular Diagnostics lab for our hybrid students.

Dr. Lopez is passionate about healthcare education and bringing awareness to healthcare careers, especially those within the clinical laboratory setting. She has been involved in developing the Medical Laboratory Technician/Phlebotomy Assistant pathway for the Health Science Academy at Alexandria City Highschool and was the first instructor for that program.  She also participated as a mentor for HOSA- Future Health Professionals. 

She is currently working on completing the Master Teacher Leadership program through GW University with the goal to continue to improve the courses and programs she is involved with.

She looks forward to working on academic and lab-based research alongside her BLS colleagues, as well as with the students that come through our programs. 

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