Masters of Clinical Laboratory Science - Molecular Diagnostic Science track

About The Program

The Molecular Diagnostic Science (MDS) program provides professional education at the graduate level for laboratory scientists in the area of molecular diagnosis for acquired, inherited, and infectious diseases.

The MDS program prepares professionals who are competent in performing and interpreting molecular-based laboratory tests, explaining the appropriate use and meaning of molecular-based tests to other health care professionals, and establishing and validating new molecular methods in a clinical laboratory. Graduates are qualified to take the national certification examination in molecular biology from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

The MDS program consists of web-based courses, on-campus laboratory courses, on-campus class meetings and a structured practical experience in a molecular diagnostics laboratory. During the clinical rotation, students work on a method evaluation project and present their results at the end of the program in the Capstone course. The web-based courses allow students greater flexibility in learning but they are no less demanding than traditional classroom courses. Students interested in the MDS program should be ready to make a full time commitment to studying at the graduate level. The commitment in time and resources will enable students to enter an exciting and constantly changing field of medicine.

The MDS program is an expansion of the previous post-baccalaureate certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science (MDS-C). The Master’s Degree builds on that program, adding courses that will strengthen students’ preparation for future roles as practitioners, educators, researchers, and leaders in the molecular diagnostics industry. With the launch of the new Master’s degree program, the certificate program will not be offered.

The MCLS - MDS is a program in the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science, Department of Allied Health Sciences in the UNC-CH School of Medicine.  The UNC-CH MDS Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 North River Road, Suite 720; Rosemont, IL 60018.


How do our graduates do on national certification exams?

The certification examination for graduates of the Master’s in Clinical Laboratory Science – Molecular Diagnostic Science track is the Molecular Biology (MB) examination offered by the ASCP-Board of Certification.
  • MDS Class of Dec 2014: 100% Pass rate (National pass rate was 81%)
  • MDS Class of May 2015: 100% Pass rate (National pass rate was 83%).
  • MDS Class of May 2016: 100% Pass rate (National pass rate was 85%).

How successful were our graduates in getting jobs?

  • For the MDS Class of 2015, 100% of the graduates were employed within 6 months of graduation.
  • For the MDS Class of 2016, 100% of the graduates were employed within 6 months of graduation.
  • For the MDS Class of 2017, 100% of the graduates were employed at time of graduation.

Click on alumni spotlights to see where our graduates are working.

What about graduation and attrition rates?

For the MDS Classes of  2013, 2014, and 2015, an average of 78% of the students who entered the final year of the program completed the program and received their Master's degree. 

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