BSHS in Medical Laboratory Science

The online BSHS with a major in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) is a degree completion program that requires successful completion of 120 credit hours, divided into four degree components:

  • General Education (41 credit hours)
  • Electives (19 credit hours)
  • MLS Major Courses (45 credit hours)
  • Health Sciences Distance Education (15 credit hours)

Students must complete at least 60 credit hours of GW coursework to meet the academic residency requirements for the online program.

Admitted students complete required courses either on a part-time or full-time basis. Courses in the major (Phase I) are designed to broaden the student's foundation in the sciences in preparation for the clinical phase of the program (Phase II). All courses are taught online, with the exception of the four months of clinical practica.

The clinical practica (Phase II) are usually taken on a full-time basis. Students are typically in a clinical laboratory eight hours per day (daytime hours), five days per week.  Admitted students must be able to fulfill the necessary time requirement for the practica.

Transferable Coursework (60 credit hours)

For an assessment on the transferability of your previous coursework, please contact the program office. Coursework will be evaluated for transfer using the following criteria:

  • College-level
  • Academic in nature
  • Completed at a regionally accredited institution
  • Earned with a C or better (C- grades do not transfer)

General Education (41 credit hours)

  • English Composition (3 credits)
  • Biology (lecture and ‘hands-on’ lab) (8 credits)
  • Microbiology (lecture and ‘hands-on’ lab) (4 credits)
  • Chemistry (lecture and ‘hands-on’ lab) (8 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry (3 credits)
  • College Algebra, Statistics, or higher (3 credits)
  • Humanities and/or Social Sciences (12 credits)*

Military Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs) may receive transfer credit for General Microbiology and some Chemistry coursework. Military MLTs may need additional Biology and Chemistry coursework, depending on their academic preparation.

*Applicants may complete outstanding coursework through additional Health Sciences Distance Education courses.

Electives (19 credit hours)

Academic credit may be awarded for ACE-recognized military courses, as appropriate.

Coursework at GW (60 credit hours; 3 credits each, unless noted)

No previous transfer credit or work experience may be considered for these required classes.

Phase I Courses

MLS 4114: Clinical Microbiology I (2 credits)

Principles of clinical microbiology with emphasis on pathogenic characteristics, isolation, and identification of bacteria and viruses related to human disease. The course focuses on the theoretical approach to the current diagnostic techniques and identification systems used in clinical practice. Various topics, including disease causation, specimen collection and handling, laboratory identification and treatment of medically significant bacteria and viruses will be discussed.

 
MLS 4115: Clinical Parasitology & Mycology (1 credit)

This course covers the principles and procedures involved in the diagnosis of parasitic and fungal infections. Various topics, including disease causation, specimen collection and handling, laboratory identification and treatment of medically significant fungi and parasites will be discussed.

 
MLS 4118: Laboratory Operations (1 credit)

Basic concepts applicable to all areas of the clinical laboratory. Quality assurance and quality control, laboratory safety, including federal regulations, and related topics.

 
MLS 4120: Urinalysis & Body Fluids (1 credit)

Evaluation of urine and other body fluids for the presence of disease; clinical correlations.

 
MLS 4124: Clinical Microbiology II (2 credits)

Principles of clinical microbiology, with emphasis on pathogenic characteristics, isolation and identification of organisms related to human disease.

 
MLS 4128: Hematology I (2 credits)

Principles of laboratory detection, clinical correlation, and pathophysiology of human blood cell diseases and disorders of hemostasis.

 
MLS 4129: Hematology II (2 credits)

Principles of laboratory detection, clinical correlation, and pathophysiology of human blood cell diseases and disorders of hemostasis.

 
MLS 4140: Clinical Laboratory Management

Basic concepts of laboratory management, including organizational principles, financial management of resources, decision-making and problem-solving skills, human resource management.

 
MLS 4141: Immunology & Serology

Principles of the immune system’s components, functions, interactions with microorganisms, and the clinical applications of immunologic assays to human health and disease.

 
MLS 4145: Clinical Biochemistry I

This course studies the methodologies employed in the chemical analysis of human blood and body fluids. This includes an examination of the fundamentals of measurement and the principles of instrumentation as they relate to the assay of each analyte studied. In addition, the laboratory results are correlated with the clinical significance and pathophysiology which may generate changes in the analyte. Throughout the course, the quality assurance measures required to ensure reliability and validity of the laboratory results will also be emphasized.

 
MLS 4150: Immunohematology

This course explores the major blood group systems that impact the practice of transfusion medicine and examines the processing and distribution of blood products supplied by transfusion services. Major topics covered in this one-semester course include: 1- donor selection and the collection, preparation, and storage of blood products, 2 - the prevention of transfusion reactions through identification of unsuspected antibodies and compatibility testing, and 3- the recognition of transfusion-associated conditions and diseases. In addition, quality assurance and compliance measures in blood banking are reviewed.

 
MLS 4151: Molecular Diagnostics

The advances in scientific technology have expanded the interest and applicability of nucleic acid based analysis within clinical diagnostic laboratories and routine screening procedures. The Molecular Diagnostics course is an introduction to the molecular techniques used to diagnose human diseases. The course will emphasize the technology, theory, and methodology of specific molecular protocols that can be utilized within a clinical laboratory setting to aid in disease diagnosis, including those of genetic, oncogenic, and infectious origin.

 
MLS 4155: Clinical Biochemistry II (2 credits)

This second course in clinical biochemistry continues the study of the measurement and interpretation of chemical constituents in human blood and body fluids. The laboratory results of each analyte are correlated with the clinical significance and pathophysiology, which may generate changes in the analyte. Throughout the course, the quality assurance measures required to ensure reliability and validity of the laboratory results will also be emphasized.

 

Health Sciences Distance Education (part of Phase I)

HSCI 2102: Pathophysiology

Biomedical and scientific framework for the understanding of human disease mechanisms and biologic processes. Overview of infectious, immunologic, cardiovascular, genetic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neoplastic, reproductive, renal, hematologic, neurologic, and musculoskeletal diseases.

 
HSCI 2105: Current Issues in Bioethics

Basic issues, approaches, and requirements of ethically acceptable decision-making with patients, including patient confidentiality, conflicts of interest, allocation of scarce resources, occupational risks in health care, and professional responsibility for overall quality of care.

 
HSCI 2112W: Writing in the Health Sciences

Introduction to the health sciences literature. Emphasis is on construction, evaluation and organization of written communication of health sciences information.

 
HSCI 4112W: Research and Writing in the Health Sciences

Students will analyze discipline-specific texts, dissect and analyze a research proposal, create and critique abstracts, and write scientific literature reviews. Prerequisite: HSCI 2112W.

 
HSCI Elective

(chosen with advisor)

 

Phase II Courses 

Clinical rotations are completed at an approved clinical site and vary in length, lasting between 1 to 4 weeks each, for a total of 4 months. Local students using a GW affiliated site should expect to complete these practicum courses in fall or spring semesters.

MLS 4160: Blood Bank Practicum

The Blood Bank Clinical Practicum is a 3-week, required clinical rotation for students in the BSHS in MLS or the post-baccalaureate MLS or Blood Banking certificate programs. During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Immunohematology course (MLS 4150).

 
MLS 4161: Clinical Biochemistry Practicum (4 credits)

The Clinical Biochemistry Practicum is a 4-week, required clinical rotation for students in the BSHS in MLS or the post-baccalaureate MLS and Clinical Chemistry certificate programs. During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Clinical Biochemistry I (MLS 4145) and Clinical Biochemistry II (MLS 4155) courses.

 
MLS 4162: Clinical Hematology and Hemostasis Practicum

The Hematology and Hemostasis Practicum is a 3-week, required rotation for students in the BSHS in MLS or the post-baccalaureate MLS or Hematology certificate programs. During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Hematology I (MLS 4128) and Hematology II (MLS 4129) courses.

 
MLS 4163: Clinical Immunology and Serology Practicum (1 credit)

The Clinical Immunology and Serology Practicum is a one week, required clinical rotation for students in the BSHS in MLS or the post-baccalaureate MLS and Blood Bank certificate programs. During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Immunology and Serology course (MLS 4141).

 
MLS 4164: Clinical Microbiology Practicum (4 credits)

The Clinical Microbiology Practicum is a 4-week, required clinical rotation for students in the BSHS in MLS or the post-baccalaureate MLS and Clinical Microbiology certificate programs. During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Clinical Microbiology I (MLS 4114), Clinical Microbiology II (MLS 4124) and Molecular Diagnostics courses (MLS 4151).

 
MLS 4165: Urinalysis and Body Fluids Practicum (1 credit)

The Urinalysis and Body Fluids Practicum is a one week, required clinical rotation for students in the BSHS in MLS or post-baccalaureate MLS certificate program. During this practicum course, the student will actively engage in applying the medical knowledge and clinical skills gained in the didactic Urinalysis and Body Fluids course (MLS 4120).

 

MLS 4159: Capstone Seminar (1 credit)

Integrative application of content from the didactic and practicum courses within the various laboratory disciplines, including Laboratory Operations, Hematology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Immunology, Immunohematology, Urinalysis and Body Fluids, Molecular Diagnostics and Laboratory Management.