TTUHSC School of Allied Health Sciences

Molecular Pathology

Erica Hendrix, Program DirectorThe knowledge gained from the completion of the Human Genome Project has been unprecedented and is leading to rapid advances in technologies used in both discovery and diagnostics.  Molecular Pathology, through state of the art genomic and proteomic analysis, is paving the way for provision of quality healthcare.

The MP program offers a Master of Science degree in Molecular Pathology that provides students with the theoretical knowledge and technical skills to work in a molecular diagnostics laboratory.   The molecular laboratory facility is accredited by the College of American Pathology and is comprised of state-of-the-art equipment so that students can be trained on some of the most complex molecular testing instruments available. The laboratory space is divided into a clean room (where DNA and RNA are isolated) and a dirty room (where PCR, DNA sequencing, and Real-Time PCR are performed). The techniques students learn are similar to those used by forensics laboratories.


  • Diagnosis of genetic diseases
  • Cancer genetics and monitoring
  • Carrier screening/prenatal diagnosis
  • Identification of microbiological agents and viral load
  • Forensics/Human identity testing
  • Research and development

If you enjoy working in the lab, if you're good at hands-on puzzle solving, if you are interested in something new and unique, or if you just love science, apply to the Molecular Pathology program. Take this opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this exciting new discipline!

A student admitted into the Molecular Pathology program must meet basic and essential requirements that are necessary to be able to obtain employment.

Essential Functions for this program include:

1.    Mobility:

  1. The student must have adequate gross mobility in order to maneuver in a timely and safe fashion throughout the department.
  2. The student must be able to lift his or her arms above shoulder height in order to place or remove items of ten pound or less from shelves.
  3. The student must be able to bend over at the waist or squat (waist and knees) in order to place and remove items of ten pounds or less from drawers and cabinets.

2.    Manual Dexterity: The student must have adequate fine motor skills to be able to manipulate small objects in a safe and precise manner. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to operate a computer keyboard; dial a telephone; handle cuvettes, sample cups, pipette tips, and reagent vials; pick up glass slides from table top, manipulate tools and instruments used in the clinical laboratory (including a microscope); collect specimens, and use a pen or pencil to write the English language legibly.

3.    Auditory Acuity: The student must be able to hear well enough to respond to significant sounds in a clinical lab. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to hear the telephone ring; hearing a fire alarm or other warning system; being able to hear signals generated from instrumentation that may indicate normal operating status, critical sample value, or equipment malfunction, and being able to hear and follow verbal instruction from a coworker or supervisor.

4.    Verbal Communication Skills: The student must be able to speak the English language in a manner that is understandable (this being both clear distinct words and adequate volume) to persons on the telephone or other health care workers listening specifically to the student in person.

5.    Visual Acuity to read, write, discern colors, and use a microscope: The student must have adequate eyesight such that he/she can recognize and distinguish gradients of color (such as on a urine reagent strip and special stains), read numbers and English words either on a video display screen, computer printout, or legible handwriting, and interpret lines and points on graphs and charts.

6.    Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quality Skills: The student must possess the ability to develop and exhibit organizational problem solving skills. Specifically, the student must have the ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate data; have the ability to learn to perform duties and assignments in a timely manner while under stress and in a variety of settings; exhibit the maturity to accept feedback and demonstrate professional conduct in the classroom, laboratory, and at the preceptorship site.

The TTUHSC Molecular Pathology program culminates in the Master of Science degree in Molecular Pathology. The American Society of Clinical Pathology offers a certification exam in molecular pathology resulting in an MP (ASCP) certificate. Our students consistently score above the national average on external certification exams, the 2012 first time pass rate was 93%. 

Students are required to own or have access to a laptop computer for use in the classroom. Laptops are suggested to have a minimum of 1 GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM, 60 GB hard drive and have wireless capabilities.

The Molecular Pathology Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences  (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018 /