Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Microbiology for Medical Laboratory Science


The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Microbiology for Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) requires completion of 19 credit hours. Completion of the certificate qualifies the graduate to take the Technologist in Microbiology examination offered by national certifying agencies.


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 clinical practicum.

The clinical practicum (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 practicum.

Course Offerings

Coursework at GW (19 credit hours; 3 credits each, unless noted)

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

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 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 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 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 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 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).

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 the practicum course in a fall or spring semester.