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Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science

Work hands-on at the molecular level.

The George Washington University’s (GW) online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science gives you the knowledge and hands-on experience to work with DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids to detect, diagnose, and monitor disease and select optimal therapies.

You’ll learn 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.

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Quick Facts


total credits


Cost per credit hour

18 months

average duration

Accreditation and Rankings

  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • #66 Best National University*
  • #19 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs*
  • MSHS in Health Care Quality program outcomes

U.S. News & World Report‘s 2021 Best Colleges Rankings

Program Highlights


Launch your laboratory career with seven courses dedicated to the exciting, up-and-coming field of molecular diagnostic testing.

You’ll focus on topics such as laboratory management and operations, molecular biology, human genetics, and applied molecular testing, and complete the certificate with a practicum diagnosing diseases in a real-world clinical setting.

Finish this program ready to help people get well through effective testing and diagnostics.

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Program Outcomes

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

Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program?

To handle the online portion of the degree, you must be organized and independent. Students who excel at science-based coursework and are excited by molecular testing’s potential for medical science are a good fit for this program.

Career Outlook

Given the rise of commercialized, at-home DNA testing kits and recently proven medical capabilities, particularly in cancer diagnosis and treatment, the need for diagnostic molecular scientists who can ethically and properly manage the challenges of molecular testing and the data it provides is great.

When you graduate with the online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science from GW, you’ll be prepared to work as a technologist in a diagnostic molecular laboratory, public health laboratory, research institution, law enforcement agency, the molecular section of hospital laboratories, reference laboratory, biotechnology firm, or, pharmaceutical company.

Medical technologists with molecular biology skills earn a median salary of $55,740 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $73,000.1

Admission Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

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Tuition Details

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science program at GW consists of 24 credit hours and costs $615 per credit hour. 

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. Please call at (844) 386-7323 for more information.

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Meet the Program Director

Marcia Firmani
Director of the Program in Medical Laboratory Sciences, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine

Dr. Marcia Firmani is the current Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) program director and has more than 10 years of experience in teaching and research. In addition to her program director duties, Dr. Firmani teaches several courses within the MLS program, such as Clinical Microbiology I and Molecular Diagnostics.

Prior to her arrival at the George Washington University, Dr. Firmani was a principal investigator at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), where she conducted and managed several research projects involving biothreat agent characterization. Dr. Firmani also held two previous faculty appointments.

From 2002–2007 she was an assistant professor in the CLS department at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans, where she taught lecture and laboratory courses in Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics and Genetics. While at LSU, Dr. Firmani also directed a research lab where she performed basic and applied research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and MRSA and mentored master’s student thesis projects.

From 2007 – 2010, Dr. Firmani was an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM) where she taught various undergraduate CLS courses and graduate-level Biomedical Sciences courses, such as Medical Microbiology, Applied Microbiology, Molecular Diagnostics, and Molecular Pathology. At UWM, Dr. Firmani also directed a research laboratory where she conducted NIH-funded research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mentored both undergraduate and graduate student research projects.

Dr. Firmani has taught numerous continuing education courses in CLS, including a DVD for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) on emerging infections. Dr. Firmani has authored several chapters focusing on infectious diseases in textbooks and has also published her research in peer-reviewed journals, such as Infection and Immunity and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you explore an online program at the George Washington University, our dedicated staff is here to support you. If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 844-386-7323.

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  1. Payscale (2020 January 20). Medical Technologist with Molecular Biology Skills. Retrieved on February 19, 2020, from

* 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.

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