Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health Laboratory Sciences

Note: The University is no longer accepting applications to this program.

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.


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. MLSC.5410 Introduction to Public Health and the Public Health Laboratory (3cr)
  2. MLSC.6130 Infectious Disease (3cr)

Electives - Choose 2:

  1. PUBH.5040 Health Data Analysis (3cr)
  2. PUBH.5080 Principles and Practices of Biological Safety (3cr)
  3. PUBH.5160 Laboratory Environmental Health and Safety (3cr)
  4. MLSC.5800 Clinical Applications of Molecular Genetics (3cr)

Additional electives that are only available on campus may also be used towards this certificate (e.g. MLSC.6400, PUBH.5061, PUBH.5030, and PUBH.6191). For additional information on these on-campus elective courses, please contact the UMass Lowell Department of Biomedical & 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

    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.

    MS in Clinical Lab Sciences

    The course starts with tissue sampling methods and basic DNA dynamics. Genetic technologies such as RFLP analysis, PCR, gene profiling and expression analysis, gene chips, FISH, and epigenetic analysis are covered. More advanced genetic techniques include Next Generation Sequencing of genomes and exomes, as well as metabolomics, and transcriptome analysis. CRISPR-cas9 is described in fine detail, and its potential use in all areas of gene editing is presented. Somatic vs. germline gene therapy techniques are compared in efficacy to CRISPR. In utero treatments by CRISPR and SLENDR are analyzed. Other topics include chromosome analysis, cancer genetics and cytogenetics, stem cells, cloning, and optogenetics. The genomic level of analysis is pervasive in the course. 3 credits.

    CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    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.

    HSCI 2110 and MLSC 3310 or 36.

    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.

    An elementary statistics course

    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. Requires working knowledge of Microbiology, and permission of Instructor.
    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.

Apply Into the Program

Apply online or download an application at

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 SIS 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 1 to speak with an advisor. See links at the bottom of this page for technical assistance with your online course.

Completing a Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate certificate courses must be completed within a five year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and with no more than one course with a grade below B. Once all the courses for a graduate certificate have been completed, students must complete and submit the "Graduate Certificate Clearance Form" which may be downloaded from the UMass Lowell Solution Center website. Please submit your completed form to: UMass Lowell Registrar's Office at 220 Pawtucket, Lowell, MA 01854-5129. Forms may also be scanned and emailed to

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.