Medical Laboratory Science Degree Offered at PCOM Georgia
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Medical Laboratory Science Degree Offered at PCOM Georgia

November 3, 2021

Note: Photos were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and campus mask mandates.

A new master’s degree program based at PCOM Georgia has begun accepting students. The Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science is designed for students who aspire to work as medical technologists, and for those who are working in the field and want to add to their credentials. Students with full-time jobs may earn the degree while still working. The program, which has two tracks, will begin in the fall of 2022.

PCOM Georgia's Master's in Medical Laboratory Science program can be completed online or in-person.What is a medical laboratory scientist?

Medical laboratory scientists perform a range of diagnostic tests—reporting results to the healthcare providers who order them. Their role on the healthcare team is essential, as the tests they perform aid in the majority of diagnoses and help in treatment decisions about many conditions and diseases.

According to Karen Giddens, MLS, program director, medical laboratory scientists, unlike phlebotomists who collect samples, also perform analysis on the samples they gather.

She said, “COVID-19 has put our profession in the spotlight due to the vast amount of testing and development required over the past two years.” She noted that the profession has experienced a shortage in the workforce.

The master’s degree coursework covers five major disciplines including clinical hematology and coagulation, clinical chemistry, immunohematology (the study of RBC antigens and antibodies associated with blood transfusions), medical microbiology, and urinalysis and body fluids.

Pre-professional track

The two-year, hybrid pre-professional program is designed for students who have a Bachelor of Science degree in biology or chemistry with appropriate prerequisite courses. As part of the program, students complete monthly campus-based labs on weekends and participate in five clinical rotations. Upon completion of the coursework, students are eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology certification exam.

Post-professional track

The three semester, online post-professional program is for students who hold a Bachelor of Science degree in medical or clinical laboratory science and are certified as medical technologists or medical laboratory scientists. If necessary, the program can be taken over the course of two years. Clinical internships are not required.

PCOM Georgia Medical Laboratory Science program director Karen Giddens, MLSAbout the program director

Giddens resides in Moultrie, Georgia and holds a master’s degree in education technology with a concentration and graduate certification in online education from Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. In addition, she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and medical technology from Auburn University, Montgomery, Alabama. She also attended the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, where she earned graduate credit in forensic science, along with a graduate certificate in forensic serology and DNA.

Giddens has worked in numerous positions in the field, some of which include serving as the laboratory director of the Southern Interventional Pain Center, a large, three-clinic operation with centers in Georgia and Florida. In addition, she has worked as an adjunct professor at North Florida Community College, Madison, Florida, as a medical technologist at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Moultrie, Georgia, as a medical laboratory science program director and assistant professor at Thomas University, Thomasville, Georgia, and as a division chair of math and science at Thomas University.

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About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit

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Jamesia Harrison, MS
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