Medical Laboratory Science—BS

Help Diagnose Ailments and Save Lives

Evaluate blood smears to detect disease. Perform crossmatches for safe blood transfusions. Identify bacterial pathogens responsible for infections. As a Medical Laboratory Scientist, you have a direct impact on patient care through the analysis of blood, tissues, and body fluids. You become an essential part of the healthcare team, as nearly 70% of a physician's diagnosis is based on laboratory results.

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. The fastest route to become a nationally certified Medical Laboratory Scientist is to complete either the 3+1 or 4+1 degree concentration at Michigan Tech, get laboratory experience at one of our affiliated clinical sites, and become eligible to sit for a national certification exam. 

Demand for Medical Lab Scientists is Soaring

There is a critical shortage of Medical Laboratory Scientists nationwide—approximately 25,000—and with 100% job placement after completing a clinical practicum, Michigan Tech alumni are at the front of the line. That's because here, you learn by doing. At Michigan Tech, you'll 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 (average 20 students), personal advising, and one-on-one faculty interaction.

What is a Clinical Practicum?

Over 80 Years of Educating Medical Laboratory Scientists

Since 1941, Michigan Tech has been educating top quality medical laboratory scientists. To accommodate our growing program and to help fill the vacancies of medical laboratory positions nationwide, the Medical Laboratory Science program at Michigan Tech became accredited in 2018 through the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). This accreditation expands the number of available clinical practicum sites available for our students in a variety of new locations throughout the Midwest.

Degree Concentrations

The Medical Laboratory Science program is all about options—and with two degree concentrations, students can choose the route that best suits them. Both concentrations offer a rigorous and engaging curriculum to prepare our students for whatever may follow—a clinical practicum, medical school, a career in industry, and more.

MLS 3+1 Concentration

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.

3+1 students must complete their clinical practicum at a NAACLS-accredited teaching hospital affiliated with Michigan Tech (gold pins) found on the Practicum Map. Please refer to the the 3+1 degree audit for more information.

MLS 4+1 Concentration

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 in preparation for an additional semester-long clinical practicum.

4+1 students may complete their clinical practicum at either a NAACLS-accredited teaching hospital (gold pins), or through one of our clinical affiliates (gray pins) found on the Practicum Map. Please refer to the 4+1 degree audit for more information.

  • 100%
    job placement after completing a clinical practicum
  • 80+
    years of medical lab science at Michigan Tech

Tomorrow Needs Talented Medical Laboratory Scientists

The BLS reports 7% growth in demand for medical lab scientists over the next decade. A bachelor of science degree in medical laboratory science prepares you for a successful career—you'll help diagnose patient ailments; improving quality of life and even saving lives.

Career Opportunities for Medical Lab Science Majors

Your future career options are unlimited with a degree in medical lab science. Career opportunities include:

  • Cytotechnologist

  • Histotechnologist

  • Pathologists' Assistant

  • Specialist in Blood Banking

  • Technologist in Blood Banking

  • Technologist in Chemistry

  • Technologist in Cytogenetics

  • Technologist in Hematology

  • Technologist in Microbiology

  • Technologist in Molecular Biology

Michigan Tech Medical Lab Science Majors Have Been Hired By

The growing list of companies that have hired Michigan Tech medical lab science graduates includes:

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital
  • Aspirus Ironwood
  • Aspirus Keweenaw
  • Aspirus Wausau
  • Corewell Health
  • Detroit Medical Center
  • Fisher Scientific
  • Marshfield Clinics
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Michigan Medicine
  • MyMichigan Health
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • UPHS Marquette
  • UPHS Portage
  • UW Health

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying medical laboratory science at Michigan's flagship technological university.

"I think of a day in my life ten years from now. Working in a hospital. That's what I want to be doing."Annalise Walsh '25
BS Medical Laboratory Science

Why Accreditation Matters

As an accredited medical laboratory science degree program, Michigan Tech assesses student learning to ensure quality for medical laboratory science education and to continuously improve curriculum and programs. The Medical Laboratory Science 4+1 Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences:

5600 N. River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
Phone: 773-714-8880


Student 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:

  • Apply major concepts of human biology pertinent to MLS.
  • Perform laboratory skills used by clinical scientists working in a diagnostic laboratory.
  • Categorize laboratory testing and problem-solving as preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical.
  • Process and communicate pertinent clinical information.
  • Demonstrate professionalism skills in the medical laboratory science field.
Accreditation Statistics
  2023 2022 2021 3-Year Total
Graduation Rate % (# of students) 100% (10/10) 100% (4/4) 100% (2/2) 100% (16/16)
Certification Pass Rate % (# of students) 100% (10/10) 75% (3/4) 50% (1/2) 88% (14/16)
Placement Rate % (# of students) 100% (10/10) 100% (4/4) 100% (2/2) 100% (16/16)

Study Medical Laboratory Science at a Technological University

At Michigan Tech, you will learn by doing—evaluating blood smears; performing crossmatches; identifying pathogens. You'll learn and experience first-hand how medical laboratory science is central to patient diagnosis. With faculty that also serve as your academic advisors and mentors, you'll build the knowledge and research foundations required to succeed in graduate school, research, or the job.

  • Get personalized attention: Our smaller department (labs average about 18 students) ensures you'll build valuable relationships with advisors and professors who take an interest in your accomplishments. They provide personalized guidance tailored to your academic and career goals, ensuring a clear path to success.
  • Engage in biological science research: Become involved in a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Whether you are planning to go to graduate school or pursue a career upon graduation, one of the factors that often gives our students an edge is the opportunity to engage inresearch as an undergraduate student and gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art research instrumentation. Many of our students conduct undergraduate research with faculty members.
  • Get involved: Utilize your interest in medical laboratory science by getting involved with any number of professional and student organizations—Society of Medical Laboratory Scientists (SMLS);Emergency Medical Services;Pre-Health Association (PHAT); and more.

Undergraduate Majors in Biological Sciences

Not sure which major is the right fit? No problem.
Just declare the General Sciences and Arts major, give yourself time, and decide when you arrive on campus. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Undergraduate Minors

Specialize in a secondary discipline outside of or complementary to your major, expand your knowledge base, and boost your potential career options with these nine biology-centric minors. A minor in a pre-professional program such as Pre-Law or Pre-Health prepares you for graduate school and future careers in law and medicine. You can declare a major anytime, but it is recommended you begin your minor studies as early as possible in your academic career. To learn more, speak to an academic advisor.

  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Bioprocess Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Fish Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Plant Sciences

Tomorrow Needs You

Supercharge your medical laboratory science skills to meet the demands of a technology-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, engineering, and math. Graduate with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to help make accurate patient diagnoses.

"The MLS faculty are some of the most wonderful people, I think. Because they're really excited for you to learn, but they're more excited for you to grow as a person."

Watch The Video

Karmyn Polakowski
Karmyn Polakowski, '21
BS—Medical Laboratory Science