Admissions to the BS Medical Laboratory Science Clinical Year & Medical Laboratory Science Certificate Program

Deadline: October 1, 2019 to start in the Fall 2020 semester

This clinical application is required for:

  • students applying to enter the senior (clinical) year of the Bachelor of Science - Medical Laboratory Science (BS-MLS) program - OR - 
  • individuals applying for admission to the certificate in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program. 

Completion of this year is required to complete a BS-MLS or MLS certificate to become a medical laboratory scientist and to be eligible for the MLS national certification exam. 

The clinical year starts only in the fall, lasting for three full-time semesters. Students may apply to complete the clinical year part time or with a co-op option, both of which require additional time to complete. Applications are reviewed once a year in the fall semester for admission to start in the following year's fall semester. 

Admissions Requirements 

The BS in Medical Laboratory Science program is open to all students who meet the program's admission requirements established by the College of Allied Health Sciences. Except for students offered Direct Admission*, admission to the clinical year is not guaranteed: it is competitive and requires separate application. Priority is given to students in University of Cincinnati's (UC) BS-MLS or AS pre-MLS programs. All prerequisite courses (or approved substitutions) must be successfully completed prior to beginning the clinical year.

* Students who confirmed a Direct Admission offer as high school applicants who maintain the minimum qualifications throughout their MLS program are automatically admitted to the clinical year. 

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. The program consists of medical laboratory science courses and clinical rotations. All prerequisite courses (or approved substitutions) must be successfully completed prior to beginning the clinical year.

A 2.8 cumulative GPA and 2.8 math/science GPA are recommended for admission into the clinical/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.

To ensure your materials are received by deadline, we recommend that you allow adequate time to complete all components of the application. Review of applications begins immediately after the posted deadline. Use the checklist below to ensure you have completed all of the application components following the suggested minimal time frames:

Timeline for Application Components 
Application component Time frame 

Identify 3 references and allow time for them to submit their references forms in the online application. 

Allow min. one month

Statement of general health (does not require a physical but your health care provider may require one before signing the form)

Allow enough time for health care visit if your provider requires one (min. one month)

Send transcripts (this may be unnecessary for UC students, see transcript directions below)

Allow min. two weeks **

** Allow more time for transcripts from non- US institutions which require evaluation.

Complete online application which consists of several short online forms and attachments to upload. 

Allow min. one week

Send unofficial grade report for fall grades (For non-UC students taking fall courses)

As soon as all fall grades post

References 

Reference forms should be completed by three different people who know you well enough to answer the questions on the form but who aren't related to you. It is customary to contact your reference at least one month in advance of them submitting the form. Please see our FAQ's below  for guidelines on procuring references. At least two references should be completed by science and/or laboratory instructors. The other reference form may be completed by a supervisor, manager, employer or co-worker; this may be for paid or volunteer work. Deductions are taken for references received that do not meet these criteria.

You must indicate your consent for your three references to complete the reference form and to waive your right of access to the information.

You may want to send a courtesy reminder one week in advance if you have not received notice from them that they have submitted their reference.

Transcript Information for current or previous UC applicants

The Medical Laboratory Science program can access your official record of UC courses. This record includes any courses taken at other colleges/universities if you sent them to UC as official transcripts. 

If you are unsure whether UC received transcripts of external courses, check your credit evaluation report (in the My Academics area in Catalyst), which shows all external courses that you've sent to UC. If a course(s) is not listed, you will need to request an official transcript from the school(s) attended using the directions for transcripts for applicants without UC credit.

If you are a previous UC student who has attended other institutions after leaving UC, you will need to send official transcripts from the institution(s) attended.

Any applicant accepted into clinicals must sent official transcripts prior to the start of clinicals for any courses taken outside of UC, to verify any grades sent unofficially or not shown on previous transcripts.

Send all official transcripts to the Medical Laboratory Sciences program, not UC Admissions:

University of Cincinnati
Medical Laboratory Science program
PO Box 670394
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394
Attention: MLS On-Campus Clinical Admissions

Transcript Information for Applicants without credit at UC

For applicants who have not attended UC: Official copies of transcripts are required from ALL colleges/universities outside of the University of Cincinnati that you have ATTENDED. Please send official transcripts which include courses from your most recently completed term. Also, transcripts should show any courses you are enrolled in during the semester of the application deadline. 

Any applicant accepted into clinicals must sent official transcripts prior to the start of clinicals for any courses taken outside of UC, to verify any grades sent unofficially or not shown on previous transcripts.

Send all Official Transcripts to the Medical Laboratory Sciences program, not UC Admissions:

University of Cincinnati
Medical Laboratory Science program
PO Box 670394
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394
Attention: MLS On-Campus Clinical Admissions

Transcripts for Applicants with International Transcripts

All non-US transcripts require an accompanying course-by-course evaluation by a member of the National Association of Credit Evaluators (naces.org), such as World Education Services (wes.org). The evaluation must include the number of credit hours taken and a cumulative GPA. Have the evaluator send both the original official transcripts and the course-by-course evaluation.

Additionally, if you have taken courses at UC or at other US institutions, please follow the Transcript directions for each respective category.

Send all Official Transcripts to the Medical Laboratory Science program, not UC Admissions:

University of Cincinnati
Medical Laboratory Science program
PO Box 670394
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394
Attention: MLS On-Campus Clinical Admissions

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the MLS Clinical Year and Application

Students in the BS-MLS must complete the clinical-year program to complete their BS-MLS degree. Other students who are completing a bachelor's degree or who have earned a bachelor's degree and have successfully completed certain science pre-requisite courses may apply to the Certificate program to complete the clinical-year program which enables them to gain technical skills for job entry and to become eligible to sit for the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) MLS national board exam. Admission to the clinical year is not guaranteed: it is competitive and requires separate application (except for students who confirmed their Direct Admission as a high-school applicant and maintained the minimum qualifications throughout their MLS program who are automatically admitted to the clinical year. 

During clinicals, students gain technical proficiency and professional experience by working in clinical laboratories. Locations and schedules vary depending on the corresponding content the student is learning. Students will also take MLS clinical-year courses delivered in different formats: online, demonstration, traditional classroom lecture, collaborative learning and in laboratory settings. Students will spend certain days during the semesters in the laboratory under the supervision and guidance of Medical Laboratory Scientists. These experiences are required as part of courses and are not paid.

No. Clinicals start only in the fall semester. Students must apply by the posted deadline that occurs in the fall semester the year before students start clinicals.

Full-time:
Three full-time semesters starting in the fall. Students complete clinicals and graduate at the end of the summer semester. Students may petition to complete clinicals part-time or through a co-op option, both of which require additional time to complete clinicals.

Part-time:
Five or six semesters. Program staff will provide individual guidance on scheduling and clinical placement to ensure that all required courses and clinical requirements are completed.

Attending part-time can be a good option for students with other significant obligations, such as full- time work or family/care-giving.

The application has a question asking you to select any options you are willing to do for clinicals: full- time, part-time or Co-op. Once students have confirmed their acceptance to clinicals, we ask them to finalize their decision about attending. Once a student starts a part-time or Co-op option, they cannot change to the full-time option, so we support students making the best decision for their circumstances. The availability of part-time positions is dependent on availability of space. Students interested in this option should discuss this with the program during the application process.

Students doing co-op take an alternating schedule for two years, taking clinical courses and requirements in one semester followed by one semester of paid work. Program staff will provide individual guidance on scheduling and clinical placement to ensure that all required courses and clinical requirements are completed.

The primary benefit is getting paid to work during the working semesters. MLS differs from some other majors where Co-op might significantly increase your chances of employment after graduation: the job outlook for the MLS profession is growing much faster than average (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) and most of our clinical students find jobs near the end of their clinical year or shortly after graduation. The main downside of doing Co-op is the added time to degree; however, some students see this offset by the opportunity to earn money to pay for college.

The application has a question asking you to select any options you are willing to do for clinicals: full- time, part-time or Co-op. Once students have confirmed their acceptance to clinicals, we ask them to finalize their decision about attending. Once a student starts a part-time or Co-op option, they cannot change to the full-time option, so we support students making the best decision for their circumstances. 

Clinical-year courses are offered on a cohort-schedule and are not offered every semester. Changes in tracks are sometimes permitted. Several factors have to be considered which include academic performance, student laboratory space and clinical laboratory space. Additionally, courses are taught only once per year, so students switching tracks may need to wait until the course is offered again.

The MLS program currently has approximately 24 clinical spaces and spaces in the student laboratory. We do not accept more students than we are able to place in the clinical laboratory and the number of available host institutions varies slightly each year. Each year's applicant pool varies and there is no way to predict the upcoming applicant pool, so we encourage everyone interested in the program to apply: you cannot be admitted unless you apply.

As the profession gains visibility, competition has increased to get into MLS programs nationwide, not just in our program. Each year's applicant pool varies and there is no way to predict the upcoming applicant pool, so we encourage everyone interested in the program to apply: you cannot be admitted unless you apply.

Yes, when we evaluate applicants, priority is given to UC students majoring in MLS. Other students are admitted on a space-available basis. The next group given priority is students at other universities having affiliate agreements with the UC MLS program, followed by all other applicants, including those applying to the certificate program. We usually admit several certificate students each year. 

All applicants are evaluated on their GPAs, cumulative (overall) and Math/Science. (See Q&A on how GPAs are calculated.) Students are additionally evaluated on their references, and if invited to interview, on their overall impression. 

We factor grades taken from every course taken - this may include courses that are not applying to your current program. For the math/science GPA, we do treat repeated courses as if grade replaced/forgiven, whether or not they are official grade replacements: we take the higher of two grades for exact courses only. Students should indicate in the related application question if they have taken any course more than once to alert us to use the higher of the two grades. In the event that personal circumstances affected a student's performance in a course(s), we ask that the student explain these circumstances on the clinical application. (See Q&A for statistics of recently admitted students.)

Students may be interviewed individually or in small groups. Students invited to participate in a group project interview will be assigned a topic to investigate and present on as part of a small team while under observation by an admission panel consisting of MLS faculty and staff. Students participating in an interview may also given a written questionnaire to submit for evaluation.

In the last application round for clinical students starting in the 2018-19 year, we received approximately 30 applications. Some of these were incomplete and several non-UC students withdrew their application. The average GPAs of admitted students were 3.34 cumulative (overall) and 3.18 Math/Science. Each year's applicant pool varies and there is no way to predict the upcoming applicant pool, so we encourage everyone interested in the program to apply: you cannot be admitted unless you apply.

Yes. We recommend students work with an advisor to determine any strategies possible to strengthen their GPA, possible by repeating courses where lower grades were earned.

The MLS program has implemented an annual progression review for all UC MLS and pre-MLS majors to help students, advisors and the program determine how students are progressing toward successful entry into the clinical year and to identify at-risk students who should work with their academic advisor on strategies to improve their academic standings. 

Students denied to clinicals have several options, including re-applying the following year or changing to another major to complete their degree and graduate. Students should work with their advisor on an academic plan to determine courses to take in the interim (possible grade replacements to strengthen reapplication or courses toward another program). Given the competitive nature of clinical admissions, we strongly recommend students work closely with an advisor as soon as they begin contemplating the major and throughout their time in the program, to assess the strength of their clinical application and to always identify a viable alternate program. 

  • Apply with the strongest grades possible. The yearly progression requirement for students in the BS-MLS or pre-MLS programs will require students to work closely with their advisor to track GPAs and discuss the feasibility of repeating courses where lower grades were earned.
  • Avoid foreclosure (facing a dead-end because your only plan was getting into UC MLS clinicals) by having an alternate plan to graduate and achieve your career goals. Work with your advisor to explore related occupations - not all lab work requires an MLS degree or board certification.
  • Apply to more than one program. Search for MLS program types by state on the NAACLS website in the Programs section: https://www.naacls.org

You will have several things that will be submitted to the program separately (references, the application and forms, transcripts if needed). We recommend starting one month in advance to allow time for requesting transcripts if needed, identifying references and obtaining the health form.  

Each section of the application has been broken down into a separate form to allow for quicker submission and to allow you to complete the application in more than one sitting if needed. Once a form is started, it must be completed and submitted in one sitting - you cannot save and resume work on it.  

Completing the online application forms should take on average less than an hour. Start by first completing any Word file required to accompany the web form, since these will take the most time to complete. 

We ask for three references, at least two of which should be from science or lab instructors. Another good reference is someone who has worked with you, either in paid or volunteer work, ideally as your supervisor although this is not required. References cannot be family members, even if they are instructors, work colleagues or medical professionals.

We are looking for someone who can speak to your academic performance in a lab, scientific or medical course. Certificate students who may been out of school for a while may need to rely on work references, ideally from someone who can speak to your abilities related to MLS. 

If your advisor can speak to your abilities from 1) teaching you in a science or lab course or 2) working with you as a supervisor: Yes. If not, we recommend you find a science/lab instructor or work reference, because we deduct points on your application evaluation for references that don't comply with instructions, meaning, if you are a current student, you should be able to obtain references from faculty. 

Applicants who have been out of school for several years and feel unable to find a suitable instructor should use work supervisors and let us know that you are doing so and why.

Rather than simply asking "Will you serve as a reference for me?" or worse, sending the directions just assuming the person will serve, it is best to briefly explain what the reference is for and then asking if the person feels they know you well enough that they could serve as a reference for you. This allows them the opportunity to decline or to admit if they could not honestly provide a strong reference. Also mention that they will be completing a short form for you, not writing a letter - this requires less work than is typically involved in serving as an academic reference and increases the chances that they will agree to complete your form.

Once they agree, you will complete the reference form in the application where you list your three references. Then you will email your references the URL for the application so that they can access the online reference form. Allow enough time for your reference to handle your request - a month is standard to respect their busy schedules. Follow-up with them one week before the due date you agreed upon to see if they need any additional information from you (this also reminds them to complete the reference form if they haven't already done so). For more information, search for one of the many guides on the internet on "etiquette of requesting references/recommendations."

We suggest that you ask them to let you know with a brief email after they have submitted it. If you don't receive one, you can always follow-up with them to inquire.

You should also remind your reference to watch for a Submitted or Error message when they submit their reference form. If they receive an error message, they should try submitting again, looking for any missing field which is usually the cause of the error. By design, the form is not very particular on format - phone numbers, capitalization, etc. So tell your reference to check for a blank field. 

No, applicants do not need to complete the general UC application.

No, we do not charge an application fee.

Non-UC students must request official transcripts be sent from the Registrar of schools they have attended. Please refer to detailed instructions about transcripts. In short, all students who are not currently attending UC must send official transcripts from their institution's Registrar's office. UC students need transcripts for courses taken at other universities if they were not previously sent to UC.

In most cases, no. We have access your official record of UC courses which includes any courses taken at other colleges/universities that were previously sent to UC as official transcripts.

When you send transcripts to UC, you will receive directions to access your online Credit Evaluation Report which lists courses UC has received through official transcripts and how those courses equate to UC courses. Sometimes courses are pending evaluation (UC is still determining how they equate to UC courses), and if so, students should check their CER later to see when all courses have been evaluated.

Current UC students can check their transfer credits in the My Academics area in Catalyst, which shows all external courses that you've sent to UC. If a course(s) is not listed, you will need to request an official transcript from the school(s) attended using the directions for transcripts for applicants without UC credit.

Given the number of applications we receive, we want to receive official transcripts by the posted deadline to allow adequate time to evaluate our applicants. The application deadline occurs before most fall semester grades have posted. Many students are taking science and other significant courses in the fall semester, so we want to include those grades for the most thorough evaluation of applicants.

We accept unofficial fall semester grades to expedite course evaluation and to save applicants the cost of sending additional transcripts. Once students are accepted into clinicals, we require complete official transcripts to verify any grades sent unofficially.

Grades can be obtained from the student's online grade report and can be copied/pasted into an email OR saved as a PDF. Send your grade report to the email address or fax number listed in the application packet.

As soon as fall grades post, applicants must send an unofficial copy of their grade report showing current cumulative/overall GPA statistics. Email those to MLS-Campus-Based@uc.edu 

For UC applicants, this only applies if they took courses at another institution during the fall semester of application.

No, because we want to begin review of students' applications as soon as possible. Please send official transcripts so that we receive them before the application deadline. Ideally these should show any courses you are taking in the fall term preceding the deadline.

Yes. Check the Transfer student requirements on UC's International Undergraduate Admissions website. TOEFL scores are good for 2 years.

Ms. Mel Woods, MLS Program Manager, at MLS-Campus-Based@uc.edu

Online Application for BS-MLS Clinical Year and MLS Certificate Program