Molecular Pathology

The study of DNA and detection of mutations that cause diseases

High School Preparation

A high school diploma or GED will be required for a career in molecular pathology since a bachelor's degree is required.  The minimum suggested high school curriculum includes

  • mathematics through algebra
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • biology
  • English composition

Education Required

Molecular pathology professionals must earn bachelors' degrees and complete and accredited education program or gain suitable training on-the-job.  The accredited educational program may be included in the bachelors' degree requirements or may be a certificate program following college graduations.  Preparation for an accredited program or for training should include

  • college mathematics through algebra
  • chemistry including inorganic and organic
  • general biology
  • English composition
  • basic computer skills

Additional recommended courses would include biochemistry, statistics, cell biology, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and molecular biology.

The curriculum of the professional phase of course work, either within the bachelor's degree or during certificate program will include

  • Genetics
  • Diagnostic molecular technology
  • Molecular biology
  • DNA isolation, separation and analysis

To support the roles of molecular pathology professionals as supervisors and managers in laboratories, molecular pathology curriculums will also include laboratory management, e.g., financial management of the laboratory; hiring and training of personnel; quality assurance activities; regulations affecting laboratories.


Molecular pathology professionals who have completed accredited educational programs or gained acceptable training are eligible for national certification examinations.  These exams allow molecular pathology professionals to demonstrate their knowledge off molecular theory, procedures, and techniques.  Employers prefer to hire certified individuals.  Some states may require licensing of molecular pathology professionals.