Medical Laboratory Science
What is Medical Laboratory Science?
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 analysis performed by medical laboratory scientists include chemistry, microbiology, hematology, immunology, toxicology, blood banking and molecular procedures. Laboratory scientists perform manual and automated procedures and utilize laboratory information computer systems to analyze and transmit patient data. Medical laboratory scientists are also responsible for the quality control and quality assurance procedures in the laboratory. The education of a medical laboratory scientist combines a curriculum common to most undergraduate majors in the medical field with a clinical program designed to produce individuals who possess a high level of technical proficiency.
Graduates of the NAACLS* accredited MLS program are prepared for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) for the Medical Laboratory, MLS (ASCP) credential.
The major in medical laboratory science is open to all students who meet the entrance requirements for the UC College of Allied Health Sciences. UC admits students based on academic and non-academic factors. For more information please visit the UC Admission Requirements website. In addition, all prerequisite courses (or approved substitutes) must be completed prior to beginning the clinical year. Individuals interested in the clinical portion of the program must complete an application packet that includes letters of reference and must be scheduled for an interview prior to admission. Application packets are available in the program office and should be submitted by the fall of the year prior to desired admission. Acceptance decisions are generally made during spring term.
Transcripts from all institutions attended will be evaluated for essential courses. Students lacking essential science courses will be required to complete them prior to admission to the program.
Medical laboratory scientists obtain employment in a variety of settings. These settings include hospital laboratories, independent laboratories, clinics and physicians' offices, research and development laboratories, public/government health agencies, forensics laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies. Program graduates are generally 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 will allow individuals to advance to supervisory positions and intermediate level research positions. Regardless of the setting, clinical laboratory scientists consistently work in a challenging, fast paced, and collegial environment. Additionally, graduate of the MLS program are well qualified for entry into professional and graduate programs, such as medical, physician’s assistant and other graduate programs.
Demand for medical laboratory scientists is high throughout the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the job outlook for clinical laboratory scientists is "excellent." Additionally, the median salary for medical laboratory scientists is $40,186 according to the 2003 Wage and Vacancy survey, published by ASCP. National marketability is enhanced by certification from one of a number of national certification agencies. Specialty certification is also available after enhanced education, training, and experience.
The program offers four options: traditional/non-co-op, co-op, certificate, and distance learning.Students who complete the program via any of the four options are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) for the Medical Laboratory, MLS (ASCP) credential.
- Traditional option: Students complete the first three years of undergraduate work before entering the clinical portion of the program for the senior year, which is three terms in length.
- Co-op option: Students complete the first three years of undergraduate work before entering the clinical co-op portion of the program. Co-op students complete the clinical work in six terms, three terms of coursework alternating with three terms of cooperative employment.
- Certificate option: Students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree in a related science may also enter the clinical portion of the program; these students earn a certificate in clinical laboratory science. The clinical curriculum is three terms in length and is identical to the traditional, non co-op option curriculum.
- Distance learning option: Students who have completed an associate degree in clinical or medical laboratory technology may enter the online option. The curriculum is seven terms in length.
The MLS program is accredited by: