About the Program

The Molecular Diagnostic Science track in the Master’s of Clinical Laboratory Science degree (MDS graduate program) provides professional education at the graduate level for laboratory scientists in the area of molecular diagnosis for acquired, inherited, and infectious diseases. Our program is North Carolina’s first master’s degree program in molecular diagnostics.

The MDS graduate 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 graduate 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. 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 graduate 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.


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.The pass rates in the first year after graduation for the past three classes are:

  • MDS Class of 2016: 100% Pass rate (National pass rate was 85%).
  • MDS Class of 2017: 100% Pass rate (National pass rate was 73%).
  • MDS Class of 2018: 100% Pass rate (National pass rate was 78%).

How successful were our graduates in getting jobs?

  • 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.
  • For the MDS Class of 2018, 67% of the graduates were employed at time of graduation. Information was not available for 33% of the graduates.

What about graduation and attrition rates?

For the MDS Classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019 an average of 100% of the students who entered the final year of the program completed the program and received their Master’s degree.

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