Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health Laboratory Sciences

Available entirely online!

With today's ever-present threats of emerging infectious diseases, pandemics, food and water-borne illnesses, natural disasters, and biological/chemical attacks, the Petri Dish demand for appropriately-trained personnel in public health laboratories, environmental testing facilities, and private medical laboratories has been on the rise.

In response to the increasing demand for appropriately-trained personnel, the University of Massachusetts Lowell's College of Health Sciences is pleased to offer the first online graduate certificate program in Public Health Laboratory Sciences. This four-course, graduate-level certificate program provides healthcare practitioners or individuals holding a bachelor's degree in life sciences, nursing or environmental health with a deeper understanding of the medical sciences behind laboratory testing.

Students have the option of taking this certificate program entirely online, or as a mix of online and on campus courses. The certificate program consists of four courses: two required core courses and two elective courses that students select from a list depending on their particular areas of interest.

Audience

Practitioners and students with backgrounds in life sciences, clinical lab sciences, medicine, nursing, public health, or environmental health will benefit from the topics covered in this certificate program. This graduate certificate also serves as an excellent foundation for those interested in continuing their graduate studies. Students who take the certificate program also have the option of applying these courses towards UMass Lowell's on-campus Master's Degree in Clinical Lab Sciences.

Program Requirement:

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in life sciences or related area.

Required Courses:

  1. 36.541 Introduction to Public Health and the Public Health Laboratory (3cr)
  2. 36.613 Infectious Disease (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!

Electives - Choose 2:

  1. 32.504 Health Data Analysis (3cr)
  2. 19.508 Principles and Practices of Biological Safety (3cr)
  3. 19.516 Laboratory Environmental Health and Safety (3cr)
  4. 36.580 Clinical Applications of Molecular Genetics (3cr)

Additional electives that are only available on campus may also be used towards this certificate (e.g. 36.640, 19.506, 19.503, and 19.619). For additional information on these on-campus elective courses, please contact the UMass Lowell Department of Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences at 978-934-4520.

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.

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.

36.613 Infectious Disease

This course is designed for graduate students in the health sciences focusing on the pathophysiology of infectious disease. Major infectious organisms will be discussed as biological models and presented in the way they affect major systems of the body. Emphasis will be placed on journal readings describing significant episodes of emerging infections and current technology in diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. 3 credits.

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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.

The Benefits of Learning Online with UMass Lowell

The University has built a solid reputation by offering one of the largest selections of online programs available through a traditional university. Courses are taught by full-time faculty who are experts in their fields, and by adjunct faculty who, as practicing professionals, bring real-world experience to the online class discussions.

At UMass Lowell, we are committed to providing you with high-quality, affordable online programs that make earning your degree or certificate more convenient than ever before. Our students have access to online course technical support 24X7, and our academic advisors and program coordinators are happy to help you with your questions.

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