The online Master of Laboratory Animal Science program is designed for individuals who may be currently working within the field of laboratory animal science, those seeking career advancement or those looking for opportunities in research laboratories but who do not want to relocate to attend a traditional master’s program.

The program currently has a total of 31 credits in 5 semesters over 2 years.

Important Note: Starting with The Class of 2022 and from summer of 2021, The Anesthesia & Surgery course will change to a 3 credit hours course with a new course number. This will change the total program credit hours to 32 credits.

The optional Clinical Reproductive Biology (CRB) track is available and requires 2 additional courses presented in semesters five (spring) and six (summer) for an additional six credit hours.

Course Sequence

 Course NumberCourse NameCredit Hours
Semester One
 MLAS 513 Comparative Anatomy & Physiology 4
 MLAS 514 Applied Biostatistics & Research Design 3
Semester Two
 MLAS 504 Diseases of Lab Animals I 3
 MLAS 502 Laboratory Animal Husbandry, Care & Ethics 3
 MLAS 503 Journal Club 1
Semester Three
 MLAS 506 Anesthesia & Surgery 2
 MLAS 508 Internship 2
Semester Four
 MLAS 511 Facility Management 3
 MLAS 505 Diseases of Lab Animals II 3
Semester Five
 MLAS 509 Biotechnology & Diagnostic Techniques 3
 MLAS 512 Graduate Seminar 2
 MLAS 515

Laboratory Animal Behavior and Behavioral Management

1
 MLAS 516

Cryopreservation

1

CRB Track Course Sequence

 Course NumberCourse NameCredit Hours
 RCS 705 In Vitro Fertilization 3
 RCS 701 Introduction IVF, Laboratory Tech and Skills Development 3

 

Course Descriptions

Comparative Anatomy & Physiology

(4 Credits)

This course will cover anatomy and physiology of laboratory animals including study of body systems such as skeletal, muscular, circulatory, digestive, nervous, respiratory, reproductive and special sense organs and principles of diseases.

Applied Biostatistics & Research Design

(3 Credits)

This course will cover the fundamentals of research design, including the use of literature search, the formulation of testable hypotheses, selection of the appropriate methodology and statistics to evaluate these hypotheses and the generation and interpretation of experimental outcomes. Students will learn to critique published studies, as well as to create and evaluate their own studies and protocols.

Laboratory Animal Husbandry, Care & Ethics

(3 Credits)

This course will discuss husbandry practices, proper nutrition and enrichment requirements for different species; environmental parameters, such as proper housing, temperatures, humidity and lighting. Humane handling, restraint and overall well-being of laboratory animals will also be covered.

Journal Club

(1 Credit)

This course will review the selected publications in related fields such as animal models in research, new technologies, etc.

Diseases of Laboratory Animals I & II

(3 & 3 Credits)

These courses will cover the biology, husbandry, diseases, pathology, treatments and main research uses of main laboratory animal species. 

Anesthesia & Surgery

(2 Credits)

This course will review techniques and procedures used in surgery and anesthesia, including instruments and equipment preparation and identification, handling of instruments and supplies during surgery, anesthesia induction and monitoring, post-surgical care, clean up and surgical record keeping. (Please see above Important Note regarding credit hour changes starting summer of 2021)

Internship

(2 Credits)

During this course, students will have hands-on experience on various aspects and techniques and on multiple laboratory animal species. This course is for one week (40 hours) on the EVMS campus in Norfolk, VA.

Facility Management

(3 Credits)

This course provides both technical and Non-technical skills necessary for the successful laboratory animal facility managers such as; understanding of facility equipment, personnel management and scheduling, supply procurement, space allocation, animal production management, communication with researchers and senior management, conflict resolution, hiring and firing, critical thinking, problem solving, negotiation, finance/budgeting and vendor management skills.

Biotechnology & Diagnostic Techniques

(3 Credits)

This course will cover various topics such as molecular analysis and detection systems including ELISA, PCR and real time PCR, basics of cell culture, laboratory blood, urine processing and basics of imaging techniques such as ultrasound, etc.  

Graduate Seminar

(2 Credits)

During this course students will be assigned to one topic of interest which will be presented to the whole group. Students will review the recent publications in their assigned topic and with recommendation and suggestions of their selected expert mentors, will prepare and present their presentation. 

Laboratory Animal Behavior and Behavioral Management

(1 Credit)

This course will provide students with behavioral biology of species commonly used in laboratories. The course will also cover behavioral management, including enrichment and positive reinforcement training and will introduce students to some behavioral tests utilized to model human behavior. 

Cryopreservation

(1 Credit)

Cell freezing is now a well-established laboratory activity in both clinical and research facilities. This course is designed to teach technically complex process of cryopreservation by explaining the procedure of cryopreservation (freezing) of cells.

In Vitro Fertilization

(3 Credits, Spring Semester)

In vitro fertilization has given its name to the field of reproductive medicine. This course presents a historic overview of the field of IVF and all current techniques and regulatory issues including: how to collect, recover, assess, prepare, fertilize and maintain gametes and embryos, the basic protocols for IVF, ICSI, GIFT, ZIFT, TET and ET, the types of culture media and culture systems used in IVF, how to design and maintain a quality IVF laboratory, the principles and application of Quality Assurance (QC, proficiency testing), laboratory safety (security, fire, electrical, patient issues, staff issues), the operation and maintenance of common lab equipment, record keeping, personnel issues and standards of good practice, how to trouble-shoot problems that may arise in the IVF lab and finally topical subjects, such as derivation of embryo stem cells from blastocysts and cloning. Assigned asynchronous discussions with faculty and students connect the students with current topics allowing them to present their own experiences and to review the current literature for changes in the field.

Introduction IVF, Laboratory Tech and Skills Development

(3 Credits, Summer Semester)

Laboratory science and technology are at the foundation of the Clinical Embryology Laboratory, and ART success rates are largely dependent on the quality of the laboratory environment and the knowledge and skill of laboratory personnel. This course covers the basic laboratory skills and techniques used in the IVF and Andrology laboratories. This hybrid course includes an online didactic for the first 2 months starting in May, and a 6 day residential hands-on training and skills evaluation during the third week in July.