Masters degrees in Clinical Laboratory Science + Medical Technology + Technologist: A program that prepares individuals to conduct and supervise complex medical tests, clinical trials, and research experiments; manage clinical laboratories; and consult with physicians and clinical researchers on diagnoses, disease causation and spread, and research outcomes. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of hematology; clinical chemistry; microbiology; immunology; immunohematology; physiological relationships to test results; laboratory procedures and quality assurance controls; test and research design and implementation; analytic techniques; laboratory management and personnel supervision; data development and reporting; medical informatics; and professional standards and regulations.
Top Online Masters Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science Programs
At the graduate level, chemical principles, hemostasis and special procedures and general biology are some of the common subjects for core online masters degree clinical laboratory science classes. And elective courses in areas including research in science Mediterranean world and management of human resources are offered.
Programs offer specializations in areas including:
- Biomedical Sciences
- Pre-Medical Technology
- Medical/Clinical Laboratory Science
- Clinical Research Administration
- Chemistry For Clinical Laboratory Science
The following types of programs are available at schools across the nation:
- Online Master of Health Science in Clinical Laboratory Science
- Online Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science
Clinical laboratory scientists play a crucial support role in science and medicine. A laboratory sciences career can take you to the front lines of research and diagnostic testing in areas like genetics, pathology, hematology, and microbiology.
A master’s degree is the key to advancing your lab sciences career. Move from entry-level testing roles to research design, interpretation, and supervision. Graduate laboratory sciences programs also offer the opportunity to develop specialized scientific knowledge and update your technological expertise. Most programs are designed as post-professional degrees, with the option for working students to earn a master’s degree online.
A range of resources to get you started on the path to a master’s degree in laboratory sciences. This guide takes you through the steps of planning a graduate degree in laboratory sciences, with links to online resources along the way.
Guide to Master’s Degrees in Laboratory Sciences
Clinical laboratory sciences brings together technical training in lab skills and a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, and medical knowledge.
The “Laboratory” side of the discipline incorporates hands-on practice in:
- The use of advanced scientific equipment
- Specimen preparation and microscopic analysis
- Research data management, or informatics
- Safety and quality assurance
The “Sciences” foundation encompasses:
Molecular Biology, a broad branch of biology dealing with the molecular components essential to life: genes, proteins, nucleic acids, etc.
Biochemistry, the study of chemical processes as they impact the human body and other living organisms. This field intersects molecular biology, studying the function of proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, enzymes, etc.
Physiology, the study of the physical, mechanics, and biochemical processes involved in an organism’s proper function.
Neuroscience, the study of the nervous system and its impact on cognition, perception, cell development, and physiology.
Genetics, the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics via genes.
A laboratory sciences master’s degree cultivates a working knowledge of these key scientific disciplines with the purpose of improving your research and diagnostic capability as a lab technician or scientist.
Professional and Academic Master’s Degrees
Graduate laboratory sciences programs define their curriculum at various points along the academic-professional spectrum. No matter which program you choose, the curriculum includes some form of scientific education and lab training. Differences arise in the structure and requirements of the academic and professional master’s degrees.
Master of Science
The MS in laboratory sciences is modeled after the academic science master’s degree. The course curriculum cultivates a broad foundation in the field, developing competency in several key fields. The program culminates in a scholarly research project designed to advance knowledge in a specific area. A Master of Science qualifies you to head directly into professional practice or toward an academic career, via the PhD in clinical laboratory science.
Professional Master’s Degrees
Professional master’s degrees are generally designed for mid-career scientists and medical technologists who want to upgrade their laboratory expertise and advance their careers. The curriculum focuses on a specialized practice area and typically involves an internship or applied lab project.
Examples of professional degrees include:
- Master in Molecular Diagnostic Science (MMDS)
- Masters in Health Systems (MHS)
- Master of Health Science
- Master of Clinical Laboratory Science (MCLS)
A professional graduate degree can help you move from entry-level work into specialized practice areas or supervisory roles. Programs accommodate professionals through flexible scheduling and the option to earn a master’s degree online.
Whether you choose an academic or professional master’s degree, you’ll have the opportunity to follow your interests into a specialized niche of laboratory sciences. Consider these options for focused study:
- Hematology is the study of blood, including blood-producing organs and diseases.
- Microbiology is the study of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their impact on the human body.
- Immunology is the study of the immune system, focusing on natural defense mechanisms and disorders such as auto-immune diseases.
- Virology is the study of viruses and viral diseases.
- Histology is the microscopic study of the tissues of an organism–human, animal, or plant.
Clinical lab methods:
- Serology refers to blood tests designed to measure and characterize the antibodies, antigens, and other immunological substances present in the body.
- DNA Science refers to DNA research and testing methods such as DNA extraction, transcription, sequencing, and typing or profiling. Specialized DNA research tools include recombinant DNA technology and DNA ligation.
- Stem Cell Research refers to cutting-edge research in the use of these undifferentiated cells for the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions.
- Flow Cytometry is a technique or sorting and classifying cells and microscopic particles using fluorescent markers. It is widely used in molecular and cell biology research as well as the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as cancer.
Most programs allow you to specialize further within these areas by developing your own academic research or applied project topic.
A master’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences prepares you to work in a laboratory in the vast world of scientific, medical, and commercial research and development. Opportunities are available at:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Physician’s private practices
- Pathology labs
- Public health organizations
- Government agencies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Biotech research firms
- Law enforcement forensics labs
- Commercial R&D
Work in medical diagnostics, commercial product development and quality assurance, or scientific research. A graduate laboratory sciences degree can be your ticket to supervisory roles such as lab manager or director, or to specialized research positions. Some graduates use the master’s degree as a stepping stone to a university research and teaching career (via the PhD), or a medical career (via the MD or physician assistant training). Sample job titles with a master’s degree in laboratory sciences include:
- Clinical Laboratory Scientist at a hospital, clinic, or commercial R&D lab
- Clinical Laboratory Supervisor or Director
- Clinical Laboratory Specialist (histotechnologist, cytogenetic technologist, pathologist, diagnostic molecular scientist, etc.)
- Quality Assurance Specialist at a hospital, pharmaceutical lab, or commercial R&D
- Technical Sales Representative
- Clinical Research Associate (CRA) at a clinical trials service
- Medical Laboratory Technologist or Research Technologist
- Laboratory Information Systems Specialist
- Infection control officer at a hospital
- Laboratory Science Educator