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Frequently Asked Questions

Are interviews part of the admission process?

Yes, successful applicants will be invited to interview in person for admission to the program. The interview will be conducted by the Recruitment and Admissions Committee at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, NY. In special circumstances, the Recruitment and Admissions Committee may conduct interviews by telephone if in-person interviews are not possible.

What is the Wadsworth Center?

The New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center is a science-based community committed to protecting and improving human health through laboratory analysis, investigation and research, as well as hosting laboratory certification and educational programs.

As New York’s public health reference laboratory, the Wadsworth Center also responds to public health threats, develops advanced methods to detect microbial agents and genetic disorders, and measures and analyzes chemicals in the environment.

Wadsworth Center is one of ten regional laboratories designated by the CDC for biomonitoring of chemical threat agents, toxicants and their metabolites, and one of ten states in the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program for surveillance, improved laboratory capacity, prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases.

Does the Wadsworth Center arrange for student housing?

Students are responsible for their own housing while in Albany; see Housing Information on the Student Resources page for helpful information and suggestions.

What is the deadline to apply for admission to the program?

All application materials, including test scores and credentials (if required), must be received by the Admissions Office no later than February 22, 2018 (regular admissions) or April 27, 2018 (rolling admissions).

How do I apply for admission?

For the most updated application and information, please visit the Admissions section of our website or contact the school’s Program Administrator, Ms. Jodi Glass, at: or (518) 402-4133.


What happens after I submit my application?

All applications will be reviewed by the Recruitment and Admissions Committee. The most qualified candidates will be invited to interview at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, NY. In special circumstances, interviews may be conducted by video conference or telephone. Written notification of admission decisions and formal offers of acceptance to the program will be made as early as in April.

Who may apply?

Applicants to the Wadsworth Center Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences program must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant biological, chemical or physical science and have a 3.0 grade point average to be considered a strong candidate for admission. If your degree was awarded by an educational institution outside the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. To prove that the foreign degree is equivalent, a foreign education credentials evaluation must be done by a qualified agency approved by the Wadsworth Center.

Where do the courses and rotations take place?

The courses, laboratory rotations and capstone projects will take place at one of three Wadsworth Center Laboratory facilities; either our downtown Albany facility located in the Empire State Plaza (ESP); the David Axelrod Institute (DAI) facility, located on New Scotland Avenue across from Albany Medical Center; or the Griffin Laboratory, located 12 miles from downtown Albany in the town of Slingerlands.

When do classes start?

Classes begin in August (Fall semester), January (Spring semester), and May (Summer semester) each year. 

Who are the faculty members?

Faculty members are scientists at the Wadsworth Center who have extensive experience in their respective fields and many with experience in laboratory management. Most of the scientists have had experience mentoring students ranging from the undergraduate through postdoctoral level. 

How many students do you anticipate in each class?

A maximum of five students per academic year.

What is the tuition policy?

Students of the Wadsworth Center Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences program are not charged tuition. The Dr. John W. Fenton II Fellowship and a limited number of $10,000 stipends may be awarded in the second year of study based on academic merit and availability of funding. A change in the student’s academic or disciplinary standing in any semester may jeopardize the student’s scholarship.

Is the coursework flexible?

No. The courses are sequential and have been carefully structured to build upon each other. Students complete four terms of coursework, laboratory rotations during the first summer session, and complete their capstone during the final two terms. Laboratory rotations provide students with the opportunity to experience different laboratory environments and experimental approaches, to assist with choosing a laboratory for their capstone project. There is not an option for part-time study. 

What resources are available at the Wadsworth Center?

The Herbert W. Dickerman Library is Wadsworth Center’s biomedical research library, and is available to all Wadsworth Center and Health Department staff, and to MLS program faculty and students. The library offers reference services, interlibrary loan, database searching, and use of the collection of approximately 50,000 books and reports, over 800 scientific and public health journals in print and over 2,500 electronic journals. Through the Library’s homepage, users have access to research databases, electronic journals, catalogs of the Dickerman and other libraries, and various internet resources.

Investigators of the Wadsworth Center and their students have access to several central resources called Scientific Core Research Facilities. The Core Facilities have specialized equipment, provide expertise, and help investigators successfully carry out their experiments. The major Core Facilities include the Applied Genomic Technologies Core, Imaging Cores, the Immunology Core, and the Electron Microscopy Core. 

What are the curriculum and degree requirements?

The Wadsworth Center Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences program is designed to develop advanced technical skills, analytical thinking and comprehensive knowledge of the fundamentals of laboratory sciences. The program has a two-year – 50 credit curriculum over five terms. All didactic courses, as well as laboratory rotations, seminar/special topics and a final capstone project, are degree program requirements. Elective courses are not offered.

How does the Wadsworth Center Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences program differ from other Master's programs?

Students of the Wadsworth Center Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences program have the unique opportunity for hands-on, practical experience and training from over 30 laboratories. Upon completion of the degree, Wadsworth Center graduates will possess basic knowledge and skills at the bench and in laboratory operations, such as best practices, quality assurance, financial operations, and human resource management of the laboratory to enable cost-effective, high-quality, value-added laboratory services. The program offers a comprehensive overview of laboratory sciences with specific emphasis on public health. It is not intended to prepare individuals to meet New York State Education Department examination and/or licensure requirements.