Frequently Asked Questions

  • When can I start classes?
    The George Washington University (GW) operates on trimesters, meaning our courses start three times throughout the year.
    • Fall term: August
    • Spring term: January
    • Summer term: May
  • How much time do online classes take?

    Online classes are designed to take the same amount of time as on-campus classes. They are taught by GW campus faculty members and have comparable assignments to campus programs that can be completed off-site. Each 3-credit hour course is expected to take between 18-20 hours for coursework per week. As an off-campus student, you also save time that on-campus students spend commuting.

  • Do online programs have a campus residency requirement?

    No, you are not required to visit campus during the course of your studies.

  • Are classes held at a specific time?

    No, you do not need to attend class at a specific time. Our online courses are designed to be asynchronous, giving flexibility to your accessibility. Assignments will have specified due dates that must be adhered to. Students are expected to attend weekly class sessions and participate in weekly class collaborations.

  • Are there any support resources available to me during the program?

    Yes, an academic advisor will work with you throughout the admissions process, scheduling classes and the course of your studies. GW also offers our online students 24/7 technical support.

  • Can I get financial aid?

    Students in the Master’s programs may be eligible for financial aid. Students seeking graduate certificates are not eligible for federal financial aid. Contact a GW admissions advisor (844) 386-7323

  • Is GW accredited?

    Yes, GW is regionally accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

  • How do I start the application process?

    Click here to begin the application process.

Medical Laboratory Sciences Program Frequently Asked Questions

Students admitted into the GW MLS programs must complete the required courses on a part-time, lock-step basis. The lock-step design ensures courses are taken in a specific order while assisting students in managing their course workload by setting course load standards per enrollment session.

GW has designed these programs for working professionals with program plans that are thoughtfully created to provide not only the best experience for the student but also the shortest time to completion possible. Unfortunately, this lock-step format does not allow for changes or modifications to the program plan.

Additionally, it is important to note that any leave of absences can disrupt the student’s future enrollment due to the scheduling and availability of subsequent courses required to complete the program. Leave of absences can lead to an additional forced break while also prolonging completion of the program.

MLS General Questions

  • How is my overall GPA calculated during the admissions process?

    If you have attended multiple institutions, your final GPA and credits earned are factored together to determine your overall GPA.

  • Are all of the courses in this program online?

    All of the didactic courses in the MLS programs are taught online. These programs also include at least one practicum course (the number of practica vary depending on the program). The practicum courses are completed in an approved hospital or diagnostic laboratory and will include some online components. Students in the Blended BSHS program will complete in-person lab courses each semester at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, VA.

  • How do I take exams if the courses are taught online?

    To maintain the academic integrity of the program, the GW MLS program requires that students use a web-based remote proctoring system called Remote Proctor NOW in every MLS-designated course throughout the program. Additional information on this system from Software Secure, Inc. can be found at this address: http://www.softwaresecure.com/product/remote-proctor-now/.

  • How do I move through the program?

    For the BSHS and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in MLS, students must successfully complete Phase I (didactic courses) before becoming eligible to enter Phase II (clinical rotations). In order to successfully complete Phase I, students must complete all MLS courses with grades of C or higher and have a 2.5 MLS GPA. Students must also complete the Clinical Rotation Request form and submit any other required documents as indicated in the CRR.

    For the Categorical Certificates and the clinical MSHS programs, students must complete the core clinical MLS courses to become eligible to enter their program’s rotation. Certificate students must also complete courses with grades of C- or higher and maintain a 2.5 MLS GPA; MSHS students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

    Students who fail to meet the minimum GPA requirements may be placed on academic probation, suspension, or face possible dismissal. The Regulations section of the GW Bulletin includes detailed information on academic standing. Details on the academic grievance and appeals process are included in this section as well.

Practicum Questions

  • Will I be assigned to a clinical site by GW?

    Local students who live in the Washington DC Metro Area can be placed in one of our affiliate hospital labs in the area. Students who live outside of the Washington DC Metro Area are required to secure a satisfactory clinical site at the time of admission.

  • I have identified a clinical site. What is the next step?
    Once a clinical site is identified, the GW clinical coordinator will determine if the site performs all of the mandatory testing required. If the facility is missing tests in any area, the student may need to find an additional site to complete the requirements for the rotations. Once a site or sites are identified and approved; an affiliation agreement with each site is initiated. The student cannot begin the clinical rotations until there is an affiliation agreement in place.
  • Can I automatically be placed in a clinical site that I already know is affiliated with GW?

    GW establishes an affiliation agreement with all facilities prior to the clinical practicum rotations. However, GW does not have the authority to automatically place students into these sites, since many of these affiliations are temporary and are only generated for an individual student. GW has local primary affiliates, which are the only sites that GW can use to place students for rotations. Students securing their own clinical sites must acquire permission from the clinical site to attend the rotations.

  • Have you worked with any clinical sites previously in my geographic area?

    We have many clinical affiliates nationwide; please contact the GW MLS clinical coordinators (mlsclinicals@gwu.edu) for state-specific questions.

  • I am a local to the Washington, DC Metro area. Can I secure my own clinical site?

    Yes, you may secure your own site. This site must be an accredited lab that includes all specific lab areas required to complete your practica.

  • I live outside of the Washington, DC Metro Area. Can I relocate to DC to attend clinical rotations?

    Due to a high volume of applications and the limited number of local clinical spots, we are typically unable to place non-local students in one of our primary local affiliates. Keep in mind that, it is also important for students to develop a professional relationship with a clinical site in their own geographic area to create future employment opportunities.

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