Frequently Asked Questions
The tuition for the MLS graduate program is established by the University and can be found on the University Cashier’s Tuition and Fees Page for Graduate Programs. Note that the charges for students in Health Affairs Programs are different from those listed on this page. You will want to refer to the “Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees” document linked on that page for accurate information. Your tuition will be charged at the applicable rate listed under “School of Medicine” for Allied Health programs. Fees are listed in a separate table on the same document. You will pay the fees listed under “Health Affairs Graduate Fees” in the Non-Degree/Distance column. Note that the tuition is charged per credit hour and the charge for fees is minimal.
No, the application fee must be paid before we can consider your application. The enrollment fee must be paid in order to hold your position in the program. Both are non-refundable. The enrollment fee is applied toward the tuition for your first course.
Students may apply to the MLS graduate program before obtaining certification; however, it is expected that each student will obtain certification before the first fall semester of the program. Students should consider the program start date when scheduling the date for their certification exam.
No, the GRE is not required for MLS applicants.
No. Your official TOEFL scores will be automatically incorporated into your online application.
Yes. When you apply, you will submit an individual Planned Course of Study. This plan must be approved by your advisor. Only plans which allow you to complete the program within five years will be approved.
The MLS Curriculum page lists the academic term during which our courses are taught. The courses generally follow the Registrar’s Calendar, though dates may vary slightly.
This varies from student to student. These are demanding graduate-level courses. Many students have said that they were not prepared for the time commitment and had to adjust their time accordingly. The average number of hours per week/per course is 10-12. For some it is more and for others less.
The program can be completed in as little as two years. Each student will submit an individual Planned Course of Study, including the planned time frame for completion of requirements. You will have up to five years to complete all the courses and receive the Master’s Degree.
Refer to the MLS Course Descriptions for information about the course content. Each course consists of a mix of readings, group assignments through a discussion forum, individual assignments and audio/visual tutorials. You do not need to be online at a certain time. However each course will include specific activities (e.g., assignments, discussion fora, exams) that must be completed by a certain time.
Exams will be administered online. Students will be required to use a webcam and proctoring software while taking the exams. (More information will be provided to enrolled students regarding the proctoring software and on-boarding process.)
The University publishes required minimum specifications for current undergraduates at https://cci.unc.edu/new-students/minimum-laptop-requirement. A computer that meets these specifications should be sufficient for the MCLS curriculum, except that you will also need to have a webcam for proctored exams. (More information will be provided to enrolled students regarding the proctoring software and on-boarding process.) Additionally, you may take the “Customizable Online Skills Test” from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health website to determine if you have adequate settings for an online course.
All courses have a faculty member who is very accessible via phone or email.
Students who hold ASCP certification at the technologist/scientist or specialist level are eligible for several other technologist/scientist certification exams through the ASCP Board of Certification, including the Molecular Biology exam (MB), via Route 1 (https://www.ascp.org/content/board-of-certification/get-credentialed; see “US Credentials”):
- ASCP certified as a technologist/scientist or specialist,
- AND a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university.
The courses in molecular diagnostic science are good preparation for the MB(ASCP) certification exam. Required MLS courses and/or electives taken, along with the student’s work experience, may serve as good preparation for other technologist/scientist or specialist examinations.
We have attempted to put all the information on this website. If you have suggestions for additional information that would be helpful on this website, please contact us.
Yes. Employees of the UNC system or UNC Health Care should review the guidelines in the tuition waiver policy to see if they are eligible. Consult with your human resources office for more information about resources and benefits that may be available to you.
Up to 6 credits of electives that are taken during enrollment in the MLS graduate program may be transferred from another college or university for the degree. Transfer courses must be approved by the student’s advisor.
Because the MLS graduate program is a distance education program, immigration regulations do not allow UNC to issue the appropriate visa eligibility documentation. International students who are already in the U.S. and plan to maintain their current visa status while completing the MDS graduate program may enroll in the program if their current visa allows them to study while in the US.