Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science

MLS students looking into microscope

Medical laboratory scientists are allied health professionals who contribute to patient care by performing diagnostic laboratory tests that assist in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. We use advanced biomedical instrumentation and technology to perform laboratory testing on blood and body fluids in the areas of hematology, immunology, microbiology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, and molecular biology. We are competent in collecting, processing and analyzing biological specimens; performing lab procedures; evaluating/interpreting results and relating lab findings to common diseases/conditions. Additionally, we monitor test quality, integrate data, problem solve, conduct research, develop new test methods and consult with other members of the healthcare team.

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.

Medical Laboratory Scientists work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, public/government health agencies and laboratories for forensics, research and development and reference and pharmaceutical testing. The MLS will work both independently and with a team. The profession is constantly evolving due to rapid advances in healthcare, science and technology. Regardless of the setting, the work is challenging, fast paced and collegial. 

MLS graduates are well qualified for entry into professional healthcare programs, such as medical or physician’s assistant, and graduate programs.

Most jobs for medical laboratory scientists require a bachelor's degree and certification. To be eligible to sit for a board of certification exam, most credentialing organizations require completion of a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Advanced certification is available in each laboratory area for those who choose to pursue a higher level of training, education and experience.

Demand for medical laboratory scientists is high throughout the nation, with new jobs outpacing the number of new MLS graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:

  • MLS job outlook is "faster than average" at 13%, double the average growth rate for all occupations.
  • The median annual salary for medical laboratory scientists was $52,330 in May 2018.

Being a student at the University of Cincinnati means that you get to enjoy the perks of a top research university with a unique urban campus with a diverse and vibrant student life experience.

The student life experience is enriched by the University of Cincinnati’s  over 600 student organizations. There is truly something for everyone here.

In the College of Allied Health Sciences, each major has at least one academic student organization. These organization’s allow students to get more engaged with the profession, attend conferences and get involved in the community.

Medical Laboratory Science majors are able to join the following academic student organizations.  

Admissions Information for....

High School Students

Please visit UC Admissions for information about applying to the university as a high school student (also applies if you have yet to attend a college or university). 

Highly qualified incoming first-year students may be offered direct admission to the clinical year along with their offer of UC admission to the MLS program. If you do not qualify for dual admission, you can be offered admission to the clinical year by participating in the annual progression check.  All MLS majors, including those directly admitted to their clinical year, and pre-MLS majors, are required to submit an annual progression check each year before entering the clinical year.

Transfer Students

If you have earned a high school diploma or GED and have attended a college or university other than the University of Cincinnati since earning your high school credentials are consdiered transfer students.

Please visit UC Admissions for information about applying to the university as a transfer student. 

Transition Students

If you are currently enrolled in undergraduate programs in other University of Cincinnati colleges (including UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont), but want to change your program (transition) to the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS), then you are considered a transition student.

Please visit Academic Advising for more information on applying to one of our programs as a transition student

Clinical Year Students

The clinical year is required to complete the BS-MLS and starts 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. All prerequisite courses must be completed before starting the clinical year. Admission to the clinical year is competitive and requires separate application. The deadline to apply is October 1 preceding the intended starting fall semester. 

Please visit the Clinical Year Application page for more information. 

The University of Cincinnati has a vareity of scholarship opportunitites: 

You can also visit UC's Financial Aid Office for additional questions about tuititon, loans, and other opportunities. 

The curriculum for the BS MLS program includes foundational science courses and specific medical lab coursework. It is similar to most bachelor programs in healthcare fields and is excellent preparation if you want to continue into professional healthcare or graduate programs. 

The final (clinical) year includes advanced MLS courses and required rotations at partnering clinical laboratories. It is taken in sequence, starts only in the fall and lasts three semesters if taken full-time. Upon graduation you’ll be prepared to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification (ASCP BOC) exam in Medical Laboratory Science.

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

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*
 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

UC Medical laboratory science**

91%

94%

90%

National average

81%

80%

80%

Medical laboratory sciences graduation rate and placement rate **
 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

Graduation rate***

79%

86%

86%

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

Accreditation

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 Kelsey Huelse

Kelsey Huelse

Admissions Counselor, College of Allied Health Sciences

513-558-0260