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 University of Cincinnati has established academic success criteria for first-year applicants to bachelor's degree programs. All students are encouraged to apply. Please visit High School Student Admissions for more information about first-year student admission requirements.
Highly qualified candidates may be offered direct admission to the clinical cohort concurrent with freshman acceptance to the university. Students not meeting qualification for direct admission can be offered admission to their clinical cohort be participating in the annual progression check. All MLS majors, including those directly admitted to their clinical cohort, and pre-MLS majors are required to submit an annual progression check.For information about the admission requirements for the Medical Laboratory Sciences clinical curriculum, please visit Secondary Admissions.
Students who succeed in this field have a love and aptitude for science and strong analytical abilities.
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.
If you are student who wishes to transfer from a college or university outside of the University of Cincinnati system, please visit Transfer Admissions for more information.
If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Cincinnati (including UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont), but want to change your major to one in the College of Allied Health Sciences, please visit Transition Students for more information.