The Diagnostic Molecular Scientist is a professional who is qualified by academic
and applied education to provide service in the molecular diagnosis of acquired, inherited
and infectious diseases. The goal of molecular diagnostics is to enhance the value
of clinical laboratory services by providing advanced techniques and applying genetic
information to the testing of patient specimens. This type of laboratory science has
presented lab professionals with new challenges that include unique kinds of testing,
unusual ethical issues, and advanced molecular techniques. There is a shortage of
qualified individuals available to work in this type of lab.
Current Molecular Pathology Scope of Practice
- Infectious disease
- Carrier screening
- Human identity testing
- Animal science
Current Molecular Pathology Fields of Practice
- Hospital molecular diagnostics laboratory
- Reference laboratory
- Biotechnology laboratory/sales/application
- Research and development
- Public health departments
- Crop science laboratory
Current Molecular Pathology Technology
- DNA and RNA isolation
- Real Time PCR
- Next generation sequencing
Our program is designed for students who want a strong clinical background in human
genetic testing. The 12-month lock-step program starts in the summer and includes
35 credit hours of didactic (classroom, laboratory and research) experience and 7
credit hours of clinical experience (the clinical preceptorship). The clinical experiences
are structured to provide skill and practice in diagnostic techniques, quality assurance,
and interpreting and reporting patient results.
Our training lab facility is filled with state-of-the-art equipment so you can be
trained on some of the most complex gene-testing instruments available. The laboratory
space is divided into a preanalytical room (for DNA and RNA isolation) and a postanalytical
room (for PCR, DNA sequencing and viral assays). The techniques you will learn are
the very same as those used by forensic labs, research and industry.
If you love working in the lab, are good at hands-on puzzle solving, 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
Upon successful completion of the one year program, graduates are eligible to sit
for the ASCP national certification exam in Molecular Biology, MB (ASCP).
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 MB (ASCP) certificate. Our students consistently
score above the national average on external certification exams; the average first
time pass rate from 2012-2014 was 98%.
Program outcomes (shown as an average over the last three years: 2012-2014)
MB(ASCP)Certification pass rate
*Placement rate is defined as the percent of graduates that found employment in the
field or a closely related field within one year of graduation.
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:
- The student must have adequate gross mobility in order to maneuver in a timely and safe fashion throughout
- 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.
- 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 in order to communicate effectively in
writing for coursework and clinical/fieldwork/preceptorship to ensure patient/client
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 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 in order
to ensure patient safety. (National Patient Safety Goals)
4. Verbal Communication Skills: The student must be able to orally communicate professionally to persons on the telephone
or other health care workers listening specifically to the student in person to ensure
patient safety. (National Patient Safety Goals)
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 an ELISA assay), read numbers and words either on a video display
screen, computer printout, or legible handwriting, and interpret lines and points
on graphs and charts to ensure patient safety.
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 in a short period of time; have the ability to learn
to perform duties and assignments in a timely manner while under stress in a variety
of settings; exhibit the maturity to accept feedback and demonstrate professional
conduct in the classroom, laboratory, and at the preceptorship site.
7. Social Behavior Skills: Demonstrate respect for individual, social, and cultural differences in fellow students,
faculty, staff, patients, clients, and patients'/clients' families during clinical/fieldwork/
preceptorship/ and academic interactions. Demonstrate flexibility and the ability
to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in academic and clinical/fieldwork/preceptorship
situations. Conduct oneself in an ethical and legal manner, demonstrating honesty,
integrity, and professionalism in all interactions and situations.
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 Info@naacls.org / www.naacls.org
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is accredited by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, doctoral,
and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane,
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation
of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The commission should be contacted
only if there is evidence that appears to support the institution's significant non-
compliance with a requirement standard.
A member of the Texas Tech University System, TTUHSC has been accredited by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as a separate institution
from Texas Tech University since 2004. TTUHSC received its reaffirmation of accreditation
from SACSCOC in 2009. The next reaffirmation is scheduled for 2019.