The Online Graduate Certificate Program in Laboratory and Biological Safety

Please note: We are not currently accepting additional applicants into this program.

The graduate certificate in Laboratory and Biological Safety is one of the few academic credit programs in biosafety available in the United States today. Lab technicianBy making this certificate program available to students entirely online, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is providing an affordable, accessible way for individuals to enter the field of biological and laboratory safety. The program is designed to provide certificate candidates with the principles of identification, evaluation and control of biological and laboratory hazards. Topics include basic occupational health and safety including chemical and ergonomic hazards, biological hazard risk assessment, disinfection and sterilization, aerobiology, laboratory environmental health and safety management, laboratory design, laboratory hood requirements and many other subjects.

Audience

 Scientists responsible for biological and/or laboratory safety, occupational & environmental hygienist and those interested in embarking upon a career in biological and/or laboratory safety.

Admission Requirements

All applicants must have already completed their bachelor's degree, preferably in a life sciences discipline, from an accredited institution of higher education, and have taken at least three undergraduate-level biology courses such as Microbiology, Cell Biology, and/or Molecular Biology or Biochemistry, or have significant work experience in biosafety (permission of the program coordinator required), prior to applying into the program.

Required Courses

  1. 19.508 Principles and Practices of Biological Safety
  2. 19.516 Laboratory Environmental Health and Safety
  3. 19.525 Introduction to Occupational & Environmental Hygiene & Ergonomics

Electives (choose 1):

  1. 36.541 Introduction to Public Health and the Public Health Laboratory - Available Fall 2014!
  2. 30.550 Human Development and Pathophysiology - Available Fall 2014!
  3. 36.580 Clinical Applications of Molecular Genetics - Available Fall 2014!
  4. 32.504 Health Data Analysis

Contact Information

For program-specific questions, please contact Professor Susan Woskie, Ph.D., CIH and Graduate Biosafety Program Coordinator at (978) 934-3295 or email her at Susan_Woskie@uml.edu

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined for each certificate program.

Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Course Descriptions

19.508 Principles and Practices of Biological Safety

This course is designed to provide an overview of hazard recognition, evaluation and control of potentially hazardous biological materials. This introduction to the field will cover the potential risks of working with biological materials, the use of engineering, work practices and administrative measures for hazard control and regulations governing the area of biosafety. Requires working knowledge of Microbiology, and permission of Instructor. 3 credits. Special Notes: Requires working knowledge of Microbiology, and permission of Instructor.

19.516 Laboratory Environmental Health and Safety

This course is designed to provide an overview of hazard recognition, evaluation and control in laboratory environments. This introduction to the field will cover the potential risks of working with chemicals, radioactive materials, animals and biological materials. It will also introduce the use of engineering, workpractices and administrative measures for hazard control and regulations governing the area of laboratory safety. 3 credits.

19.525 Introduction to Occupational & Environmental Hygiene & Ergonomics

A survey course covering introductory topics in ergonomics and industrial hygiene. Ergonomics topics include work measurement, anthropometry, biomechanics, psychosocial stress and work reorganization, special emphasis is placed on the recognition and control of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Industrial hygiene topics will cover the identification, measurement, and control of chemical and physical hazards in the work environment including principles of air sampling and analysis, ventilation and other control technologies, and the use of personal protective equipment with special attention to respiratory and hearing protection. 3 credits.

30.550 Human Development and Pathophysiology

The physiological steady state of the human body and disruptions that result over the life span will be examined as well as the pathophysiological mechanism manifested in disease states. The course addresses defense, compensating, and adaptive responses to the pathophysiological processes as they apply to the various systems rather than being a survey course of diseases. 3 credits.

32.504 Health Data Analysis

This course focuses on the application of both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to the analysis of health care data. Students will learn how to a) formulate research questions and hypotheses answerable through quantitative data analysis, b) use computer software (Statistical Package for The social Sciences, SPSS) and an online Probability Calculator to analyze data, and c) interpret the meaning of statistical findings. Areas covered include graphs, measurement, normal distribution, hypothesis testing, t tests, ANOVA, correlation and regression, and chi-square. Emphasis is on using weekly SPSS assignments to analyze research questions using a sample data base from the Framingham Heart Study. Prerequisite: an elementary statistics course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: An elementary statistics course

36.541 Introduction to Public Health and the Public Health Laboratory

This course is designed to provide an overview of public health and the public heath laborabory covering topics such as the legal basis and history of public health, public health structure, communications and interactions, and epidemiology. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the public health laboratory and its core functions, its role in policy development, infectious disease, environmental issues, emergency preparedness, newborn screening, global issues, and public health research. Public health laboratory methodology, regulation and improvement, and quality assurance will also be examined. 3 credits.

36.580 Clinical Applications of Molecular Genetics

This course begins with a review of basic molecular genetics, followed by a discussion of the human genome project, including the application of its technology to the management of genetic diseases. Laboratory techniques used to analyze pre- and postnatal tissue samples is described, including RFLP-Southern blot technology, various forms of PCR, VNTR assessment, and gene expression analysis by microchip arrays. Cloning and stem cell analysis follows, including the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding these areas. Cancer genetics and cytogenesis is presented, with emphasis on molecular changes that lead to the onset of cancer. Genetic treatments for cancer are reviewed. Gene therapy is detailed, including the historical perspective, gene therapy vectors and their mode of action, and the newest methods for treating genetic disorders at the DNA level. Structural and functional genomics follows, centering around the creation of pharmaceuticals solely based on the genetic basis of diseases. This is followed by a detailed section on epigenetics and its application to diagnosis and prediction of disease phenotypes. GWAS (Genome Wide Association Studies) is detailed as it applies to diagnosis in both individuals and entire populations. The course ends with a discussion of the human proteome project, and the human transcriptome project, including goals and objectives, current progress, and the storage of data in complex bioinformatic databases. 3 credits.

Apply Into the Program

Apply Online or complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Application form (pdf).

For further details visit UMass Lowell's Graduate Admissions.

Register for Courses

Approximately 2 months prior to the start of each semester, Online and Continuing Education posts the new course schedule to the website. Once you've decided which course(s) you would like to take, returning students can register using ISIS self-service, while new students must use the Non Degree Registration Form.
Note: If you previously completed an academic program through UMass Lowell
but haven't already applied and been accepted into this program, please use the Non Degree Registration Form to register.

Questions? Contact Us!

Email our Student Support Center for assistance, or call for advising at (800) 480-3190 and press 3 to speak with an advisor. See links at the bottom of this page for technical assistance with your online course.

Certificate Completion

Once you have completed all the courses in this graduate certificate program, please complete and either mail or fax the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form to the Registrar's Office.

Note: Graduate students are assessed a First Year Student Services Fee. Visit the Student Financial Services website for details.

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