Become a Laboratory Scientist
The George Washington University’s (GW) online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Medical Laboratory Science is perfect if you’re looking to advance your career and become board certified as a laboratory scientist. This certificate program is designed to teach you how to analyze blood, urine, tissue, and other body specimens to detect, diagnose, and treat disease. You’ll learn the latest molecular techniques to investigate and determine the causes of disease.
To learn more about our programs, you can register for our upcoming events here.
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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 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans*
* The U.S. News & World Report – 2023 Rankings
- 93% Five year pass rate for GW grads in the ASCP MLS board of certification exam
- 100% online coursework, no visits to campus required
- Accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS)
- Qualify to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) MLS exam
- The certificate can be completed in 5 semesters
- Applicants with clinical laboratory experience may be eligible to waive individual clinical practicum requirements
Ranked #63 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report 2022
The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) requires the completion of 48 credit hours, divided into two components: MLS Courses (32 credit hours) and Clinical Practicum Courses (16 credit hours). Clinical practicum waivers are available for qualified students.
|GW MLS Placement Rates:**||GW ASCP Pass Rates:***||ASCP National Overall Pass Rate:|
*Students graduating that began the second half of the program.
** Students who found employment (in the field or in a closely related field) and/or continued their education within one year of graduation.
*** Students who passed within the first year of graduation.
†Not a final result; rate calculation currently in progress
This certificate teaches you what you need to qualify to sit for the ASCP Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) exam.** When you complete this certificate program and your hands-on practicum, you’ll be able to:
- Apply 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
- 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?
Medical laboratory scientists have a knack for scientific concepts and troubleshooting. Working both alone and as part of a team, they are persistent in thoroughly investigating abnormal test results. They can work various shifts throughout the day or be on call in case of emergency. They have a passion for improving patient care from behind the scenes.
This certificate program is best for those who have successfully completed a baccalaureate 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. There will also be a clinical rotation requirement in your geographical area to complete this program. Clinical practicum waivers are available for qualified students.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions through laboratory procedures, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes. Overall employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is expected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, with a median salary of $54,180 per year.1
Some potential roles may include:
- Lab Manager: $70,349 median salary2
- Certified Medical Technologist: $50,129 median salary2
- Medical Lab Technologist: $52,450 median salary2
Medical laboratory scientists can work in a variety of laboratory settings:
- Hospitals or clinics
- Forensic labs
- Veterinary clinics
- Industrial research labs
- Molecular biotechnology labs
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
To apply for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Medical Laboratory Science, you’ll need:
- Completed application
- Cumulative and Science GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Personal statement
- One letter of recommendation
Meet the Program Director
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.
Cliff Cymrot, DHSc, MHA, MLS(ASCP)CM, MT(AAB), MT(AMT)
- Read Full Bio
Dr. Cliff Cymrot is the current program director for Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) and has over 10 years of experience in combined teaching and clinical laboratory practice. In addition to his program director duties, Dr. Cymrot teaches a range of courses within the MLS program, both online and face-to-face, such as Hematology lecture and lab, Bacteriology lab, Immunohematology lab, and Molecular Diagnostics.
Prior to his arrival at George Washington University (GW), Dr. Cymrot worked as a medical laboratory technician at a medium-sized, 200-bed hospital in upstate NY. In 2008, Dr. Cymrot worked for Advance Magazine for Laboratory Professionals providing storylines for the comic strip “Lab out Loud” that he worked on with his brother-in-law. He has also been a contributor for several chapters in the Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology by Mahon, Lehman, and Manuselis.
He is also a member of the DC chapter for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB). He also holds certifications in ASCP, AMT, and AAB in medical laboratory science.
In 2010, he earned his B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Cincinnati. He was then promoted to medical technologist and soon after began working as an adjunct instructor for SUNY Orange teaching Microbiology for Health Professionals, Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, and Certification Preparation. In 2014 he earned a master’s degree in Health Administration.
After graduation, he received an offer to facilitate an online graduate level course in health systems management at the University of Cincinnati. In 2015 he was offered a position at GW to teach all of the laboratory courses in the newly created BSHS in MLS blended/hybrid program. After three years he was offered the Program Director position for the undergraduate courses in the MLS program here at GW. In 2022 he then went on to complete his doctorate in health sciences at GW. Dr. Cymrot is actively involved in the MLS profession and loves teaching and promoting MLS.
- “Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” Bls.gov, 9 Apr. 2021, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm. Accessed 5 May 2021.
- Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
*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. States requiring licensure may require extended duration of practicum experiences, additional academic courses (outside the student’s program of study), etc. These additional requirements may require you to take a course or courses outside of GW. Each student is encouraged to contact their state’s regulating agency and review these requirements prior to beginning any degree program.
In particular, New York and California have additional requirements for state licensure. Both NY and CA require extended times for practicum rotations. Please also 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 (e.g., Technologist in Microbiology, Technologist in Blood Banking, etc.). We recommend that students who live in New York or California plan to relocate to New York or California do research to determine the NY and CA licensure requirements.
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
5600 N River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119