This curriculum is effective as of July 2018.

Route 1: 

This is the standard curriculum for the Master’s in Clinical Laboratory Science – Molecular Diagnostic Science program (MDS).  Students complete four semesters of coursework including a clinical rotation that lasts for one semester in the fall of the second year of the program.

Term Course # Course Title Credits Format
1st Summer Session II CLSC 705L Clinical Laboratory Methods 2 Online instruction plus one week of on-campus laboratory.
 Fall 1 CLSC 710 Principles of Molecular Diagnostics 3 Course is entirely on-line.
CLSC 730 Research Methods 3 Course is entirely on-line.
Spring 1 CLSC 720 Molecular Diagnostic Science  Applications 3 Course is entirely on-line.
CLSC 720L Molecular Diagnostic Science  Applications  Lab 3 Online instruction for entire semester. On-campus laboratory course during last week of semester.
CLSC 735 Method Evaluation 3 Course is entirely on-line.
2nd Summer Session II CLSC 650 Clinical Laboratory Administration. 3 Course is entirely on-line.
Fall 2 CLSC 770 Educational Methods and Applications 3 Course is entirely on-line.
CLSC 740L Molecular Diagnostic Science Clinical Rotation 7 Clinical rotation in full service clinical molecular diagnostic laboratory. Rotations are Mon- Friday, 8 hours/day.

Route 2:

This curriculum option is available to applicants who meet all the eligibility requirements for the MDS program and

  1. Hold ASCP – BOC (or equivalent) certification at the technologist level or higher (e.g. MLS, CG, SH) OR have 2 years full-time** experience working in the U.S. or Canada in an accredited*** clinical laboratory within the last four years, AND
  2. Are currently working in a CLIA certified molecular diagnostic laboratory.

**Full-time experience is defined as a minimum of thirty-five (35) hours per week.
***CLIA, CAP, AABB, Joint Commission accreditation, JCI accreditation, or accreditation under ISO 15189.

The curriculum plan is the same as the curriculum described in Route 1; however the requirement for the clinical rotation in a molecular laboratory may be satisfied by demonstrating competency in a specific set of molecular tests in molecular oncology, molecular genetics, and molecular infectious disease and by completing a Capstone project in the applicant’s current work setting.  The student is responsible for obtaining the documentation of core competencies (see Competency Plan).  The Capstone project must be completed when the student is enrolled in CLSC 740L (fall semester of the second year). The student’s core competencies may be documented in the first year of the program or during the fall semester of the second year of the program.  All required competencies must all be documented by the end of the fall semester in order to receive credit for CLSC 740L.   An affiliation agreement must be established with the applicant’s institution before the student is enrolled in the MDS program.

To apply for Route 2, the prospective student should

  • Review the Competency Checklist to assess whether or not the specific types of testing (test menu) needed to complete the Competency Checklist are available at the student’s institution.
  • Develop a plan that describes in detail the testing to be performed, the platform or methodology to be used, and how the student will obtain and document competencies on the Competency Checklist.
    The student’s proposed plan to meet the rotation objectives and competency should include the following:

    • Test menus from each molecular laboratory section within the institution to include the test methodology or molecular platform used for each test.
    • A proposed schedule for training for all academic semesters included in the rotation.
  • Meet with the Laboratory Director and the immediate Supervisor and obtain their signed approval of the plan.
  • Submit the plan with the signed approval of the Laboratory Director and the immediate Supervisor to the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science in addition to the application to the MDS program.
  • Provide the Laboratory Director’s contact information so that the Division of CLS can initiate an affiliation agreement.

Route 3: 

This curriculum option is available to applicants who meet all the eligibility requirements for the MDS program and

  1. Hold ASCP – BOC (or equivalent) certification at the technologist level or higher (e.g. MLS, CG, SH) OR have 2 years full-time** experience working in the U.S. or Canada in an accredited*** clinical laboratory within the last four years, AND
  2. Are currently working in a CLIA certified laboratory that performs molecular testing, but are currently employed in a different area of the clinical laboratory (e.g. microbiology, chemistry).

**Full-time experience is defined as a minimum of thirty-five (35) hours per week.
***CLIA, CAP, AABB, Joint Commission accreditation, JCI accreditation, or accreditation under ISO 15189.

This curriculum option requires three years for completion because the students must learn molecular testing in their current work setting.   The student is responsible for arranging the instructional time and obtaining the documentation of core competencies (see Competency Plan).

The requirement for the clinical rotation in a molecular laboratory may be satisfied by demonstrating competency in a specific set of molecular tests in molecular oncology, molecular genetics, and molecular infectious disease and by completing a Capstone project.  Students will be required to gain and demonstrate laboratory skills with verification of molecular competencies. The instruction and competency verification can be acquired over three semesters while the individual continues to work in the clinical laboratory. Instead of enrolling in CLSC 740L for the clinical rotation, the student will complete requirements via enrollment in CLSC 741L, CLSC 742L, and CLSC743L. The Capstone project must be completed when the student is enrolled in CLSC 743L.  All required competencies must all be documented in order to receive credit for CLSC 743L.  An affiliation agreement must be established with the applicant’s institution before the student is enrolled in the MDS program.

To apply for Route 3, the prospective student should

  • Review the Competency Checklist to assess whether or not the specific types of testing (test menu) needed to complete the Competency Checklist are available at the student’s institution.
  • Develop a plan that describes in detail the testing to be performed, the platform or methodology to be used, and how the student will obtain and document competencies on the Competency Checklist.
    The student’s proposed plan to meet the rotation objectives and competency should include the following:

    • Test menus from each molecular laboratory section within the institution to include the test methodology or molecular platform used for each test.
    • A proposed schedule for training for all academic semesters included in the rotation.
  • Meet with the Laboratory Director and the immediate Supervisor and obtain their signed approval of the plan.
  • Submit the plan with the signed approval of the Laboratory Director and the immediate Supervisor to the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science in addition to the application to the MDS program.
  • Meet with the CLS Program Director to plan the schedule of classes.
  • Provide the Laboratory Director’s contact information so that the Division of CLS can initiate an affiliation agreement.

 

Course Formats

All online courses are instructor-led with readings from textbooks and biomedical journals. On-line content may include taped lectures and PowerPoint© slides. Email, listservs, and chat-rooms allow students to interact regularly with faculty and other students and participate in the virtual classroom. MDS students complete the program as a cohort.

All courses have fixed dates for completing assignments and taking examinations. Classes follow the University’s academic calendar and use Sakai.

Two courses, CLSC 705L and CLSC 720L, include week-long hands-on laboratory experiences conducted on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.

MDS students must complete the clinical rotation (CLSC 740L) at a site affiliated with the program.  The Division of CLS faculty is responsible for assigning students to clinical practice sites.