Certificate in Medical Laboratory Science

Students in Medical Lab

Medical laboratory scientists are allied health professionals who participate in patient care by performing laboratory procedures that assist in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The certificate is designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree in a science discipline or who will complete one prior to starting the program who are interested in becoming a medical laboratory scientist. The program consists of medical laboratory science courses and clinical rotations required for NAACLS-accredited* Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) programs.

Graduates of our NAACLS* accredited MLS program possess a high level of technical proficiency and are well-prepared for entry into the profession and for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) for the Medical Laboratory, MLS (ASCP) credential which many employers require to work as an MLS. 

Medical laboratory scientists can obtain employment in a variety of settings. These include hospital laboratories, independent laboratories, clinics and physicians' offices, research and development laboratories, public/government health agencies, forensics laboratories and pharmaceutical companies.

Graduates are able to choose from several entry-level technologist positions. Advanced certification is available in each laboratory area for those who choose to pursue a higher level of training. Graduate training in one of the laboratory disciplines allows career advancement in the field or work in research positions.

Regardless of the setting, medical laboratory scientists consistently work in a challenging, fast paced and collegial environment. Additionally, graduates of the Medical Laboratory Science program are well qualified for entry into medical or physician's assistant schools due to the rigorous coursework in the program which includes key anatomic, pathogenic and physiologic concepts covered in such programs.

Demand for medical laboratory scientists is high throughout the nation: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports "faster than average" job outlook.

Additionally, the average salary for medical laboratory scientists is $57,383 according to the American Society for Clinical Pathology's wage survey published in 2017.

National marketability is enhanced by certification from one of several national certification agencies. Specialty certification is also available after enhanced education, training and experience.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Please click on the following link for information about program costs: Gainful Employment.

The MLS Certificate program is open to students who are completing a bachelor's degree or who have earned a bachelor's degree in a science discipline who are interested in becoming a medical laboratory scientist. All prerequisite courses (or approved substitutions) must be successfully completed prior to beginning the clinical year.

Pre-requisite courses include Immunology and Microbiology; these courses typically have pre-requisite courses in Biology and Chemistry. Certificate applicants should have academic coursework in sciences similar to our BS-MLS program (view the BS-MLS curriculum here). 

A 2.8 cumulative GPA and a 2.8 math/science GPA are recommended for admission into the certificate program; however, GPAs of admitted students have been higher during the last several years. Students with lower averages may apply and will be considered for admission on a competitive basis. Students cannot be admitted without applying.

Please visit Medical Laboratory Science certificate program admissions for more information. 


Certificate students complete the clinical (fourth) year of the Bachelor of Science - Medical Laboratory Science (BS - MLS) curriculum. The clinical year starts only in the fall, lasting for three full-time semesters or as a part time or co-op option, both of which require two years to complete. Students apply in the fall preceding the intended starting fall semester.

Students take courses delivered in different formats: online, demonstration, traditional classroom lecture, collaborative learning and in laboratory settings. They gain technical proficiency and professional experience from clinical rotations in laboratories and blood banks. Locations and schedules vary depending on the corresponding content.

Review the program outline to access program curriculum(s) and more.

For more information about admissions procedures  please visit the Medical Laboratory Science Certificate Application page. 

Graduates of the University of Cincinnati (UC) medical laboratory science program consistently perform higher than the national average on the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Board of Certification Exam in medical laboratory science

Medical laboratory science board certification pass rate*




UC Medical laboratory science**




National average




Medical laboratory sciences graduation rate and placement rate **




Graduation rate***




Placement rate 97% 97% 97%

*First attempts at ASCP BOC exam within one year of graduation.

**Includes on campus BS, online BS and on campus certificate tracks.

***As calculated by NAACLS guidelines based on students graduating that began the second half of the program


The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS): 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018; Phone 773-714-8880; Fax 773-714-8886; info@naacls.org; www.naacls.org.

Headshot of Mel Woods

Mel Woods

Program Manager, Medical Laboratory Science

3202 Eden Avenue | Cincinnati, OH 45267