Online Graduate Certificate - Microbiology (in Medical Lab Science)

An online graduate certificate in microbiology equips students with the knowledge and practical experience to work in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, physician offices, research labs, pharmaceutical firms, government, and public offices. This type of certificate also allows students to sit for the microbiology exams offered by national certifying agencies.

While most of the online certificates covered in this guide are available online, some of them require students to attend a clinical laboratory. The curriculum for these programs typically includes courses in clinical bacteriology, mycology and parasitology, molecular diagnostics, and immunology and serology. The credits earned in these certificate programs can also be applied towards a master’s degree.

Along with certificates in microbiology, this article also lists related certificates such as those in biohazardous threat agents and emerging infectious diseases. These related curricula cover clinical microbiology, hematology, and molecular pathology.

Check out online certificate programs in microbiology (and related topics) as well as three exceptional faculty members teaching these certificate programs.

Featured Online Graduate Certificates in Microbiology and Related Fields

George Washington University

George Washington University offers an online post-baccalaureate certificate in microbiology for medical laboratory science (MLS). While the program is available online, it also requires students to attend a clinical laboratory. The certificate provides students with broad-based knowledge in medical and basic sciences so that they can pursue a career of their choice.

The 20-credit certificate program is divided into two phases: the theoretical and practical aspects of medical laboratory science. The first phase helps students build a strong foundation in the sciences and the second phase requires students to attend a clinical laboratory for eight hours a day. The program includes courses in immunology and serology, clinical bacteriology, parasitology and mycology, lab management and operations, molecular diagnostics, and clinical microbiology practicum. Students also develop fundamental skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving to become future leaders in laboratory science.

Graduates can pursue opportunities in different types of healthcare settings such as hospital laboratories, physician offices, clinics, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, and commercial and research laboratories, as well as government and public health facilities. Graduates of this program are also prepared to take the technologist in microbiology examination.

To apply, students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, minimum cumulative and science GPA of 2.5, among other requirements.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
  • Format: Hybrid
  • Tuition: $595 per credit
  • Program length: 12 months

Georgetown University (Related Program)

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology of Georgetown University offers an online graduate certificate in biohazardous threat agents and emerging infectious diseases. The fully online program has both a full-time and part-time option. All students have access to the Georgetown library and other campus resources.

The 12-credit program focuses on emerging infectious diseases and biohazardous threat agents. The curriculum involves classes in microbiology of biological threat agents and emer ging infectious diseases, community resilience, bioterrorism, homeland security, and preparedness and response to CBRNE threats.

Students gain a better understanding of biological threat agents, which can be utilized as biological weapons. They also examine the use of biological and other weapons and discuss techniques to combat these weapons. Graduates receive an official Georgetown certificate and transcript and can transfer their credits into master’s and doctorate programs offered by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. ​

Admission requirements include sending official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and proof of a minimum 3.0 GPA.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $2,065 per credit
  • Program length: Six to 12 months

University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Related Program)

UMass Lowell offers an online graduate certificate in clinical pathology, a specialty that involves the diagnosis of disease and analysis of blood and urine using chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, and molecular pathology. ​The program is ideal for medical professionals, medical laboratory personnel, nurses, and working professionals in the pharmaceutical industry.

The curriculum includes four courses: one core and three electives. The core course focuses on clinical pathophysiology. The elective courses include healthcare information systems, health informatics, and healthcare management. Students learn about the pathophysiologic basis of common diseases and disease processes, as well as the management problems in healthcare institutions and how such bodies are governed.

Graduates can take up roles such as cytogenetic technologists, cytotechnologists, histotechnologists and histologic technicians, and medical and clinical laboratory technicians. The credits earned in this certificate can be applied towards an on-campus master’s degree in clinical laboratory science.

The program requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 3.0, among other documents.

  • Location: Lowell, MA
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $17,485 for the full program
  • Program length: 12 months

Washington State University (Related Program)

Washington State University offers an online graduate certificate in molecular biosciences, with all online courses taught and developed by the school’s renowned faculty. The program helps students develop a broad understanding of science.

The 11- to 12-credit program comprises classes in molecular biology, cell biology, biometry, bioinformatics, bioethics, and general biochemistry. The courses studied in this program can be valuable to students if they choose to pursue a master’s degree in science.

To apply, students must have a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, or a related discipline, as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0, among other requirements.

  • Location: Pullman, WA
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $582 per credit
  • Program length: 6 to 12 months

Professors to Know in Microbiology and MLS

Dr. John F. Alderete teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in epidemiology and molecular biosciences at the Washington State University. His research focuses on mechanisms of pathogenesis for the sexually transmitted infection caused by T. vaginalis, which has been published in top-notch journals, such as BMC Microbiol, Cancer Causes & Control, and Parasitology. He won the Premio Encuentro Award, Distinguished Scientist Award, and William A. Hinton Award, among others. Dr. Alderete completed his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Kansas and bachelor’s degree in biology and mathematics at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Dr. Richard Calderone has been working at Georgetown University since 1974. He is currently chairman of the microbiology and immunology department at the Georgetown University Medical Center. As an expert in microbiology and biomedical science policy, Dr. Calderone’s research explores two of the most common fungal pathogens of immunocompromised patients: candida albicans and Aspergillus Fumigatus. He has written about mitochondrial proteomics and fungal identification for several prominent journals, such as the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, Mitochondrion, and PLOS One. Dr. Calderone completed his doctorate from West Virginia University.

Dr. Marcia Firmani serves as the director of the medical laboratory sciences (MLS) program at George Washington University, where she also teaches courses in clinical microbiology, tropical medicine, immunology, and molecular diagnostics. Her teaching and research career spans ten years and currently focuses on comparing fitness among clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis, identifying and comparing Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain types, and identifying and characterizing Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence factors.

Dr. Firmani has published her research in influential peer-reviewed journals such as Infection and Immunity and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. She also has authored several chapters in textbooks focused on infectious diseases. Dr. Firmani completed her doctorate in microbiology from the University of California, her master’s in public health and tropical medicine from Tulane University, and her bachelor’s in medical technology from Marist College.