The Science Behind the Medicine
It’s all about options—and the options for Medical Laboratory Scientists—also known as clinical laboratory scientists or medical technologists—are pretty much limitless. Whether you’re seeking a career as a medical technologist, laboratory scientist, or teaching technologist; whether you’d like to work in a blood donation center, hospital, forensic lab, pharmaceutical lab, veterinary hospital, or in a research facility; your BS in Medical Laboratory Science from Michigan Tech will prepare you for the career of your design or for Medical School.
Medical Laboratory Scientists seek to improve and extend life by acting as diagnostic specialists. They serve as key members of the medical team, detecting disease and other conditions by performing critical chemical, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological analyses on blood, tissues, and bodily fluids.
An Established Program
Medical Laboratory Scientists are in demand, and Michigan Tech graduates are often at the front of the line. That’s because here, you learn by doing. You have the opportunity to work in cutting-edge labs and tackle high-level research projects alongside professors who are among the best in their field. You’ll also benefit from small class sizes (the average is about 30 students), personal advising, and one-on-one faculty interaction.
About the Program
- BS graduates receive a pragmatic, qualitative education with a strong understanding of hematology, immunology, molecular biology, clinical chemistry, medical terminology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and more.
- Employable to the extreme. There is a critical shortage of Medical Laboratory Science personnel nationally, which means plenty of opportunities in a field that grows more robust by the day.
- Learn now, be a success later. Graduates from the Medical Laboratory Science program go on to attain high-level positions and become leaders in their field; most credit the superior practicum placements and hands-on lab experiences they had as students at Michigan Tech.
- Get involved outside the classroom. Students at Michigan Tech get involved with any number of professional organizations—Society of Medical Laboratory Scientists; Microbiology Club; Phi Sigma, the National Biology Honorary; and more.
Program Mission Statement and Learning Goals
We equip students with the knowledge, skills, and integrity needed to successfully enter the profession of Medical Laboratory Science and other health-related professional programs.
All graduates of the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Degree Program will:
|Goal 1||apply major concepts of human biology pertinent to MLS.|
|Goal 2||perform laboratory skills used by clinical scientists working in a diagnostic laboratory.|
|Goal 3||categorize laboratory testing and problem-solving as preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical.|
|Goal 4||process and communicate pertinent clinical information.|
|Goal 5||comprehend MLS professional issues.|
Essential Functions and Technical Performance Standards
Essential Functions/Technical Performance Standards represent the non-academic requirements of the program. Students must be able to meet and master program essential functions, or request reasonable accommodations to successfully complete these essential functions, in order to participate in the medical laboratory science/clinical practicum programs. All applicants are expected to:
1. Manual Dexterity:
Possess the gross/fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination to safely perform diagnostic procedures which includes performing phlebotomy, using chemicals, specimens, microbiology cultures, laboratory instruments and equipment, and computers
2. Visual Acuity:
- Differentiate different colors and shades, characterize clarity and viscosity of medical specimens, reagents, and chemical reaction end products
- Examine microscopic specimens and be able to differentiate color, shading, and structural differences
- Read text, numbers, and graphs in print, on computer monitors, and hand-writing
- Judge distance, depth, and 2 or 3 dimensional structures
3. Physical, Mental and Emotional Health:
- Function for an 8 hour work day under stressful conditions
- Be able to recognize emergency situations and react in an appropriate manner
- Move around the hospital and laboratory freely and safely
- Follow verbal directions with normal or corrected hearing
- Be able to bend, stoop and stand; lift 20 pounds; maintain prolonged sitting or standing positions; perform repetitive tasks
- Maintain concentration with distractions
- Be able to work independently, with flexibility and be adaptable to change
- Be willing to work with sharp objects, hazardous chemicals and infectious/biohazardous material
- Recognize situations that may be potentially hazardous
- Conduct work with honesty, compassion, ethical behavior and responsible actions
- Work as a team in regards to learning, tasks, problem solving and patient care
5. Intellectual and Creative Thinking:
- Perform complex interpretive testing, possess troubleshooting skills, and exercise sound judgment
- Recognize and correct deviations in testing
- Prioritize work, be productive, and accurate within realistic time allowances
The primary language for all verbal and written communication is English
- Understand and follow verbal, non-verbal and written instructions
- Effectively communicate verbally and in writing
- Clearly present oral presentations to diverse audiences
- Comprehend technical materials: text, numbers, math, graphs, textbooks, journals, instructions, internet, manuals, etc.
- Prepare papers, reports and posters both independently and in group projects
- Take written, oral, computer and laboratory practical exams at the postsecondary level within established time frames
- Interact and communicate effectively and confidentially with laboratory peers, hospital staff, administration, and patients (it should be noted that patients will be of varying ages, and physical and mental states)
- Use computer software, instructional technology, and the Internet for purposes of communication and education
- Technical Performance Standards/Essential Functions for MTIMPM Hospital-Based Clinical Practicum Programs 8/12/13
- ASCLS Essential Functions 2012-2016
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Our undergraduate degree programs emphasize hands-on research at all levels. Our faculty members are advancing basic and applied research in biology, and students are welcomed into their research groups.
Contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to learn more. Specific positions in each lab depend on availability and funding.
Learn more about undergraduate research.
There are a five specialty concentrations available with the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science.
Medical Laboratory 3+1
If you want to take the fastest route to becoming a medical lab scientist, the Medical Laboratory Science 3+1 concentration is for you. You will spend three years on campus learning fundamental information in preparation for a fourth-year clinical practicum, completed at an accredited teaching hospital affiliated with Michigan Tech. The practicum consists of academic studies combined with extensive hands-on experience in a clinical laboratory.
After successful completion of University course work and hospital training, and the receipt of your BS in Medical Laboratory Science, you will be qualified to take an examination for national certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Medical Laboratory Science 4+1
The Medical Laboratory Science 4+1 concentration is similar to the Medical Laboratory Science 3+1 option, but with an added year for additional study and specialization. You will spend four years on campus—taking three years of fundamental course work plus an additional year of specialty course work—in preparation for a fifth-year clinical practicum, completed at an accredited teaching hospital. The practicum consists of academic studies combined with extensive hands-on experience in a clinical laboratory.
After earning your BS and successfully completing hospital training, you will be qualified to take an examination for national certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Medical Laboratory Science 4+1 Cytotechnology
The Medical Laboratory Science 4+1 Cytotechnology concentration is similar to the Medical Laboratory Science 3+1 Cytotechnology option, but with an added year for additional study and specialization. You will spend four years on campus—taking three years of fundamental course work plus an additional year of specialty course work—in preparation for a fifth-year clinical practicum, completed at an accredited teaching hospital. The practicum consists of academic studies combined with extensive hands-on experience in microscopy, diagnosis of malignancies, and other cell abnormalities.
After earning your BS and successfully completing and hospital training, you will be qualified to take an examination for national certification as a Cytotechnologist.
Medical Laboratory Science 4+1 Histotechnology
If you want to use your degree to become a histologic technician or histotechnologist, the Medical Laboratory Science 4+1 Histotechnology concentration is the right option for you. You’ll spend four years on campus taking fundamental course work, then have the option to complete a fifth-year histotechnology clinical practicum at an accredited teaching hospital. The practicum is encouraged but not required, and consists of academic studies combined with extensive hands-on experience focusing on tissue preparation.
After successful completion of University course work and training in a medical histology laboratory (for those who choose to complete a practicum), you will receive a BS in Medical Laboratory Science and be qualified to take an examination for national certification as a Histotechnologist.
With a current critical shortage of Medical Laboratory Scientists nationally, career opportunities in the field are plentiful. Michigan Tech’s unique program concentrations and multitude of options for degree specialization mean that you can prepare for the position of your dreams.
What could I do with a Medical Laboratory Science degree?
Our graduates find work in unique and specialized positions.
Medical laboratory specialist
Clinical laboratory scientist
Blood donation center technologist
Forensic laboratory scientist
Laboratory information system technologist
Medical laboratory research and development scientist
Technical sales, marketing, or service representative
Veterinary medical technologist
Pharmaceutical laboratory technologist
Go on to Graduate School
Go on to Med School
- MLS Clinical Practicum Coordinator