Student in molecular genetics lab

Master of Science in Clinical Molecular Genetics

There has been profound growth in the molecular diagnostics market in healthcare.  Molecular tests are utilized with increasing frequency in areas of medicine including genetic disorders, infectious diseases, detection and monitoring of cancer, pharmacogenomics, and identity testing.  The future of healthcare will rely on genomic medicine for diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring the course of disease, and selecting optimal treatment strategies.

Diagnostic molecular scientists require specialized training and the demand for these professionals is great. NMU is one of eight universities nationwide that offers an accredited program in Diagnostic Molecular Science at the baccalaureate level.  The accredited program by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), coupled with the fact that Molecular Diagnostics is the fastest growing area of the clinical laboratory, provides the framework and opportunity to expand our program to the master’s level.

The proposed MS program will be offered through online coursework with a one week on-campus laboratory experience.  There will be two tracks.  The professional, project-based, track will appeal to working professionals; molecular assay development and validation projects can be completed at their place of employment under the tutelage of NMU faculty.  A research, thesis-based, track will be appropriate for those seeking research positions in industry including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, government, and academe.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the program will:

  • Select, interpret, and implement molecular-based clinical assays
  • Communicate the appropriate clinical use and significance of molecular-based tests to other health care professionals and the public
  • Establish and validate novel molecular methods for clinical use
  • Interpret, implement, and comply with laws, regulations and accrediting standards of governmental and non-governmental agencies
  • Apply principles of management to biomedical laboratories
  • Be eligible for national certification in Molecular Biology from the American Society for Clinical Pathology with six months of experience in a clinical molecular genetics laboratory.