Medical Laboratory Science Schools

It may be reassuring to know that trained medical laboratory technologists, often called clinical laboratory scientists (CLS) or medical laboratory scientists (MLS), are behind the more complex procedures being carried out on patient specimens in a laboratory.

Due to the broad level of knowledge required in biology, chemistry, and microbiology, these professionals can specialize in several areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Degree specialties in medical or clinical laboratory science include immunology (carrying out specimen tests on the human immune system and its reaction to foreign bodies), immunohematology (collecting, classifying, and preparing blood for use in transfusions), and molecular biology (carrying out protein and nucleic acid tests on samples of cells).

Aspiring medical laboratory scientists can earn a bachelor’s degree in a general or specialized field of science from one of many medical laboratory science schools.

There are many other specialty fields that an MLS can enter, including cytotechnology, microbiology, and clinical chemistry. Compared to clinical laboratory technicians, who usually have an associate degree, medical laboratory scientists are qualified and certified to carry out more complex procedures.

When employed in a small lab, an MLS may do various tests, but when working in a larger lab, they may be able to specialize. Read on to learn more about the educational requirements for an MLS and what types of certifications may be available to help them discover the best possible job outcomes.

MLS fast facts
Projected Jobs Created21,800
Projected Job Growth7 percent
Average Salary$57,800
Low Salary$30,280
High Salary$79,340
Entry-Level EDU Bachelor's Degree
Sourced from BLS, 2022

MLS Degree & Certification Programs

A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to start an MLS career, according to the BLS, and this means an investment in a four-year bachelor’s degree in clinical / medical laboratory science. That said, students in some programs may complete a degree part-time or even accelerate their speed of learning for an earlier graduation date. Below are a few MLS programs for prospective medical lab scientists:

Arizona State University

The bachelor’s of arts in applied medical laboratory science (BAS) degree is available at the Phoenix-based Arizona State University campus. The program features both on-campus options and a selection of courses in an online format. In addition, the program includes clinical rotations through which students gain practical experience, including lab work in hematology, immunology, and many other fields, and the use of current technology and automation similar to what would be found in a lab setting.

Made up of 120 credits, the program includes courses such as laboratory leadership; clinical urinalysis and body fluids; hematology and hemostasis; immunohematology and immunology; clinical microbiology; and clinical chemistry.

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Duration: 48 months
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $714 per credit

Ohio State University

Located in Columbus, Ohio State University offers a bachelor’s degree in MLS with four curriculum tracks. Students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field also can complete coursework for a second degree at the school or pursue a certificate of study to further their skills in this area.

An internship in an Ohio-based hospital is included as part of the program to help students seek certification through the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Indeed, the school reports that between 2018 and 2021, at least 98 percent of students who sought ASCP MLS certification successfully passed the exam and received certification over the past four years.

Comprising 120 credits, the program includes courses such as molecular genetics; microbiology; hematology; phlebotomy; chemistry; immunohematology; microscopy; immunology; and professional issues.

  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Accreditation: National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $480.21 per credit

University of North Dakota

Offering a degree in MLS since 1949, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks allows students to either pursue a 2+2 route, comprised of pre-professional and professional education, a 4+1 route for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, or a medical laboratory technician (MLT) to MLS route, which also offers online learning options. In fact, the MLT to MLS program can be completed online while working at a medical facility.

A total of 126 credits are needed to graduate from the MLS 2+2 program, which would be for students just starting college, with the professional portion in MLS beginning during the fall of the junior year and including a summer semester of 13 credits between the junior and senior years.

The curriculum includes courses in immunology; hematology; laboratory calculations; molecular diagnostics; medical microbiology; biochemistry; preanalytical testing; clinical urinalysis; clinical immunohematology; medical mycology; and clinical body fluids.

  • Location: Grand Forks, ND
  • Duration: 48 or 60 months
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $422.78 per credit

University of Washington

Based in Seattle, the University of Washington offers an MLS program through the university’s department of laboratory medicine that features pre-professional and professional portions. Subjects including bacteriology, biochemistry, clinical hematology, mycology, virology, and others are featured in the professional part of instruction.

Students also complete their final year (three quarters) in the lab at the university. Students also have the opportunity to learn about more complex laboratory procedures by completing an internship.

The curriculum includes courses such as introduction to immunology; introduction to biochemistry; introduction to medical laboratory science; molecular diagnostics; medical bacteriology; introductory clinical chemistry; medical virology; medical mycology and parasitology; clinical coagulation; and laboratory analysis of urine and body fluids.

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Duration: 48 months
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS); Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: $745.25 per two credits (residents); $2,644.23 per two credits (non-residents)

University of Vermont

A bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science is offered through the University of Vermont, located in Burlington. Two concentration areas are available in clinical and public health. In the spring semester of the senior year, students start intensive laboratory experiences and begin to work one-on-one with a staff technologist. The school has affiliations with several labs in the Northeast part of the country, including Vermont, New York, and Connecticut.

The curriculum includes courses such as medical terminology; human cell biology; human anatomy & physiology; microbiology & infectious disease; fundamentals of biochemistry; applied molecular biology; immunology; general chemistry; and introduction to organic chemistry. The program comprises 121 credits.

  • Location: Burlington, VT
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS); New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Duration: 48 months
  • Tuition: $678 per credit (residents); $1,720 per credit (non-residents)

Weber State University

Based in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University provides a bachelor of science degree in medical technology (MT) and an associate degree to pursue a career as a medical laboratory technician (MLT).

The bachelor’s degree offers two tracks. The first is for students who intend to use their MT degree to work in a medical lab. In contrast, the second is designed for those who plan to go on to graduate-level education to become veterinarians, physician assistants, or attend medical school. All programs have online as well as on-campus options available.

As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as biostatics, research & laboratory practices; advanced clinical immunohematology; advanced clinical hematology & hemostasis; advanced clinical chemistry; advanced clinical microbiology & molecular diagnostics; and clinical lab immunology/virology.

  • Location: Ogden, Utah
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS); Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Duration: AAS (24 months); BS (48 months)
  • Tuition: $291 per credit (residents); $387 per credit (non-residents

SELECT * FROM `mts_online_offline_data` WHERE `page_url` = '/medical-lab-scientist' AND ( `table_type` = 'Offline' OR `table_type` = 'BOTH (Online + Offline)' ) ORDER BY `grads` DESC

List of Clinical/Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati Ohio https://www.uc.edu 175
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin https://uwm.edu 134
California State University-Dominguez Hills Carson California https://www.csudh.edu 86
Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan https://msu.edu 81
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus Ohio https://www.osu.edu 80
University of North Dakota Grand Forks North Dakota https://und.edu 77
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Galveston Texas https://www.utmb.edu 75
Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem North Carolina https://www.wssu.edu 58
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond Virginia https://www.vcu.edu 56
San Francisco State University San Francisco California https://www.sfsu.edu 53
University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell Massachusetts https://www.uml.edu 43
Loma Linda University Loma Linda California https://llu.edu 41
Tarleton State University Stephenville Texas https://www.tarleton.edu/home 41
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis Minnesota https://twin-cities.umn.edu 40
CUNY Hunter College New York New York https://hunter.cuny.edu 39
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-San German San German Puerto Rico https://www.sg.inter.edu 37
University of Kentucky Lexington Kentucky https://www.uky.edu 37
University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences San Juan Puerto Rico https://rcm2.rcm.upr.edu 37
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Metro San Juan Puerto Rico https://metro.inter.edu 36
Wayne State University Detroit Michigan https://wayne.edu 36
University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah https://www.utah.edu 32
Farmingdale State College Farmingdale New York https://www.farmingdale.edu 31
University at Buffalo Buffalo New York https://www.buffalo.edu 31
University of Central Florida Orlando Florida https://www.ucf.edu 31
Brigham Young University Provo Utah https://www.byu.edu 30
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio Texas https://uthscsa.edu 30
The University of West Florida Pensacola Florida https://uwf.edu 30
Upstate Medical University Syracuse New York https://www.upstate.edu 30
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle Washington https://www.washington.edu 29
CUNY York College Jamaica New York https://www.york.cuny.edu 28
Georgia Southern University Statesboro Georgia https://www.georgiasouthern.edu 28
Oakland University Rochester Hills Michigan https://www.oakland.edu 28
Stony Brook University Stony Brook New York https://www.stonybrook.edu 28
Wichita State University Wichita Kansas https://www.wichita.edu 28
Illinois State University Normal Illinois https://illinoisstate.edu 27
University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe Louisiana https://www.ulm.edu 25
Grand Valley State University Allendale Michigan https://www.gvsu.edu 23
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans New Orleans Louisiana https://www.lsuhsc.edu 23
University of Delaware Newark Delaware https://www.udel.edu 23
University of Rhode Island Kingston Rhode Island https://www.uri.edu 23
Arkansas State University Jonesboro Arkansas https://www.astate.edu 22
Hocking College Nelsonville Ohio https://www.hocking.edu 22
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina https://www.unc.edu 22
University of Vermont Burlington Vermont https://www.uvm.edu 22
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond Kentucky https://www.eku.edu 21
Ferris State University Big Rapids Michigan https://www.ferris.edu 21
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate Tennessee https://www.lmunet.edu 21
Marist College Poughkeepsie New York https://www.marist.edu 21
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Ponce Ponce Puerto Rico https://www.pucpr.edu 21
College of Staten Island CUNY Staten Island New York https://www.csi.cuny.edu 20
Radford University Radford Virginia https://www.radford.edu 20
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas https://ku.edu 20
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Nebraska https://www.unmc.edu 20
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Stevens Point Wisconsin https://www.uwsp.edu 20
West Virginia University Morgantown West Virginia https://www.wvu.edu 20
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana https://www.iupui.edu 18
Northern Illinois University Dekalb Illinois https://www.niu.edu/index.shtml 18
Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud Minnesota https://www.stcloudstate.edu 18
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Texas https://www.tamucc.edu 18
The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso Texas https://www.utep.edu 18
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg Texas https://www.utrgv.edu 18
Allen College Waterloo Iowa https://www.allencollege.edu 17
McNeese State University Lake Charles Louisiana https://www.mcneese.edu 17
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Gurabo Campus Gurabo Puerto Rico https://uagm.edu/es 17
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Wisconsin https://www.uwlax.edu 17
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Albany New York https://www.acphs.edu 16
Dixie State University Saint George Utah https://utahtech.edu 16
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti Michigan https://www.emich.edu 16
Long Island University Brookville New York https://www.liu.edu 16
Rush University Chicago Illinois https://www.rushu.rush.edu 16
University of Hartford West Hartford Connecticut https://www.hartford.edu 16
University of North Texas Denton Texas https://www.unt.edu 16
University of Toledo Toledo Ohio https://www.utoledo.edu 16
Brookline College-Phoenix Phoenix Arizona https://www.brooklinecollege.edu 15
Carolinas College of Health Sciences Charlotte North Carolina https://atriumhealth.org/education/carolinas-college-of-health-sciences 15
Texas State University San Marcos Texas https://www.txst.edu 15
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston Texas https://www.mdanderson.org 15
George Mason University Fairfax Virginia https://www.gmu.edu 14
Saginaw Valley State University University Center Michigan https://www.svsu.edu 14
Salisbury University Salisbury Maryland https://www.salisbury.edu 14
Wright State University-Main Campus Dayton Ohio https://www.wright.edu 14
East Carolina University Greenville North Carolina https://www.ecu.edu 13
Michigan Technological University Houghton Michigan https://www.mtu.edu 13
Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette Indiana https://www.purdue.edu 13
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis Tennessee https://www.uthsc.edu 13
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham Alabama https://www.uab.edu 13
University of Rochester Rochester New York https://www.rochester.edu 13
Andrews University Berrien Springs Michigan https://www.andrews.edu 12
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana https://www.lsuhs.edu 12
Mississippi State University Mississippi State Mississippi https://www.msstate.edu 12
University of Maryland Baltimore Baltimore Maryland https://www.umaryland.edu 12
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison Wisconsin https://www.wisc.edu 12
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Bowling Green Ohio https://www.bgsu.edu 11
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers Florida https://www.fgcu.edu 11
Howard University Washington District of Columbia https://howard.edu 11
Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines Iowa https://www.mchs.edu 11
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania https://www.pacollege.edu 11
Texas Southern University Houston Texas https://www.tsu.edu 11
The University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas https://www.utexas.edu 11
University of Bridgeport Bridgeport Connecticut https://www.bridgeport.edu 11
University of Michigan-Flint Flint Michigan https://www.umflint.edu 11
University of South Dakota Vermillion South Dakota https://www.usd.edu 11
DLP Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center Johnstown Pennsylvania https://www.conemaugh.org/education 10
Indiana University-South Bend South Bend Indiana https://southbend.iu.edu 10
Marquette University Milwaukee Wisconsin https://www.marquette.edu 10
University of Connecticut Storrs Connecticut https://uconn.edu 10
University of Illinois Springfield Springfield Illinois https://www.uis.edu 10
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan https://umich.edu 10
University of Wyoming Laramie Wyoming https://www.uwyo.edu 10
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus Indiana Pennsylvania https://www.iup.edu 9
Kean University Union New Jersey https://www.kean.edu 9
Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta Georgia https://www.msm.edu 9
North Dakota State University-Main Campus Fargo North Dakota https://www.ndsu.edu 9
Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau Missouri https://semo.edu 9
Texas Woman's University Denton Texas https://twu.edu 9
University of California-Davis Davis California https://www.ucdavis.edu 9
Youngstown State University Youngstown Ohio https://ysu.edu 9
Auburn University Auburn Alabama https://www.auburn.edu 8
Louisiana Tech University Ruston Louisiana https://www.latech.edu 8
Mercy College Dobbs Ferry New York https://www.mercy.edu 8
Minnesota State University-Mankato Mankato Minnesota https://www.mnsu.edu 8
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage Alaska https://www.uaa.alaska.edu 8
West Liberty University West Liberty West Virginia https://westliberty.edu 8
Bellarmine University Louisville Kentucky https://www.bellarmine.edu 7
Bradley University Peoria Illinois https://www.bradley.edu 7
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania https://www.esu.edu 7
Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cape Girardeau Missouri https://www.sehcollege.edu 7
St Luke's College Sioux City Iowa https://www.stlukescollege.edu 7
St. Joseph's University-New York Brooklyn New York https://www.sjny.edu 7
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu Hawaii https://manoa.hawaii.edu 7
University of South Florida Tampa Florida https://www.usf.edu 7
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh Wisconsin https://uwosh.edu 7
Winona State University Winona Minnesota https://www.winona.edu 7
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas Nevada https://www.csn.edu 6
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Baton Rouge Louisiana https://franu.edu 6
Saint Louis University Saint Louis Missouri https://www.slu.edu 6
Southern Adventist University Collegedale Tennessee https://www.southern.edu 6
SUNY College at Plattsburgh Plattsburgh New York https://www.plattsburgh.edu 6
The University of Montana Missoula Montana https://www.umt.edu 6
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Carolina Campus Carolina Puerto Rico https://uagm.edu/es 6
University of Maine Orono Maine https://umaine.edu 6
University of the Sciences Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://www.sju.edu 6
Ball State University Muncie Indiana https://www.bsu.edu 5
Baptist Health College Little Rock Little Rock Arkansas https://www.bhclr.edu 5
Miami University-Oxford Oxford Ohio https://miamioh.edu 5
Morgan State University Baltimore Maryland https://www.morgan.edu 5
Roosevelt University Chicago Illinois https://www.roosevelt.edu 5
Seattle University Seattle Washington https://www.seattleu.edu 5
St. John's University-New York Queens New York https://www.stjohns.edu 5
The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington Texas https://www.uta.edu 5
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College Blue Ash Ohio https://www.ucblueash.edu 5
York College of Pennsylvania York Pennsylvania https://www.ycp.edu 5
Eastern Illinois University Charleston Illinois https://www.eiu.edu 4
Marywood University Scranton Pennsylvania https://www.marywood.edu 4
Monmouth University West Long Branch New Jersey https://www.monmouth.edu 4
Stevenson University Stevenson Maryland https://www.stevenson.edu 4
SUNY at Fredonia Fredonia New York https://www.fredonia.edu 4
SUNY Brockport Brockport New York https://www2.brockport.edu 4
University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa https://uiowa.edu 4
Walsh University North Canton Ohio https://www.walsh.edu 4
Baptist Health Sciences University Memphis Tennessee https://www.baptistu.edu 3
Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion Pennsylvania https://www.clarion.edu 3
Flathead Valley Community College Kalispell Montana https://www.fvcc.edu 3
Florida Southern College Lakeland Florida https://www.flsouthern.edu 3
Indiana State University Terre Haute Indiana https://www.indstate.edu 3
Kansas State University Manhattan Kansas https://www.k-state.edu 3
Kent State University at Kent Kent Ohio https://www.kent.edu 3
Minot State University Minot North Dakota https://www.minotstateu.edu 3
Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield Missouri https://www.missouristate.edu 3
Ohio Northern University Ada Ohio https://www.onu.edu 3
University of Arizona Tucson Arizona https://www.arizona.edu 3
University of Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana https://uindy.edu 3
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green Kentucky https://www.wku.edu 3
Arkansas Tech University Russellville Arkansas https://www.atu.edu 2
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro Pennsylvania https://www.edinboro.edu 2
Elmira College Elmira New York https://www.elmira.edu 2
Lake Superior State University Sault Ste Marie Michigan https://www.lssu.edu 2
Missouri Southern State University Joplin Missouri https://www.mssu.edu 2
Nazareth College Rochester New York https://www2.naz.edu 2
New York Medical College Valhalla New York https://www.nymc.edu 2
Northwest Missouri State University Maryville Missouri https://www.nwmissouri.edu 2
Roberts Wesleyan College Rochester New York https://www.roberts.edu 2
Saint Elizabeth University Morristown New Jersey https://www.steu.edu 2
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona Minnesota https://www.smumn.edu 2
The College of Saint Rose Albany New York https://www.strose.edu 2
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville Tennessee https://www.utk.edu 2
University of Central Arkansas Conway Arkansas https://uca.edu 2
Washburn University Topeka Kansas https://www.washburn.edu 2
Western Illinois University Macomb Illinois https://www.wiu.edu 2
Bemidji State University Bemidji Minnesota https://www.bemidjistate.edu 1
Blue Mountain College Blue Mountain Mississippi https://bmc.edu 1
Brescia University Owensboro Kentucky https://www.brescia.edu 1
Coker University Hartsville South Carolina https://www.coker.edu 1
DePaul University Chicago Illinois https://www.depaul.edu 1
Dordt University Sioux Center Iowa https://www.dordt.edu 1
Eastern Mennonite University Harrisonburg Virginia https://emu.edu 1
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus Madison New Jersey https://www.fdu.edu 1
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus Teaneck New Jersey https://www.fdu.edu 1
Gannon University Erie Pennsylvania https://www.gannon.edu 1
Harding University Searcy Arkansas https://www.harding.edu 1
Hartwick College Oneonta New York https://www.hartwick.edu 1
Holy Family University Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://www.holyfamily.edu 1
Keuka College Keuka Park New York https://www.keuka.edu 1
Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis Missouri https://www.maryville.edu 1
Missouri Western State University Saint Joseph Missouri https://www.missouriwestern.edu 1
Morningside University Sioux City Iowa https://www.morningside.edu 1
Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids Iowa https://www.mtmercy.edu 1
Northern State University Aberdeen South Dakota https://northern.edu 1
Northwestern College Orange City Iowa https://www.nwciowa.edu 1
Oklahoma Christian University Edmond Oklahoma https://www.oc.edu 1
Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah New Jersey https://www.ramapo.edu 1
Rockhurst University Kansas City Missouri https://www.rockhurst.edu 1
Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall Minnesota https://www.smsu.edu 1
Southwestern Adventist University Keene Texas https://www.swau.edu 1
The University of Findlay Findlay Ohio https://www.findlay.edu 1
University of Central Oklahoma Edmond Oklahoma https://www.uco.edu 1
Valley City State University Valley City North Dakota https://www.vcsu.edu 1
Wartburg College Waverly Iowa https://www.wartburg.edu 1
Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania https://www.wilkes.edu 1
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Hybrid and Online MLS Degree Programs

Any--<-->==mlst--Select `wp_mts_sb_school_data`.*, `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.* FROM `wp_mts_sb_school_data` JOIN `wp_mts_sb_program_details` ON `wp_mts_sb_school_data`.s_id = `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.s_id WHERE (`wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees = 'assc' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like '%,assc,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like 'assc,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like '%,assc' OR`wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees = 'bach' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like '%,bach,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like 'bach,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like '%,bach' OR`wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees = 'mast' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like '%,mast,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like 'mast,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_current_degrees like '%,mast') AND ( `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name = 'mlst' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name like '%,mlst,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name like 'mlst,%' OR `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name like '%,mlst' ) AND `wp_mts_sb_school_data`.s_active = 'Yes'AND `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_active = 'yes' ORDER BY CASE WHEN `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name LIKE '%mlst%' THEN 1 END, CASE `wp_mts_sb_school_data`.s_id WHEN 34 THEN 1 WHEN 12 THEN 2 WHEN 41 THEN 3 WHEN 40 THEN 4 WHEN 39 THEN 5 WHEN 38 THEN 6 WHEN 37 THEN 7 WHEN 36 THEN 8 WHEN 35 THEN 9 WHEN 33 THEN 10 WHEN 50 THEN 11 WHEN 27 THEN 12 WHEN 1 THEN 13 WHEN 67 THEN 14 WHEN 55 THEN 15 WHEN 77 THEN 16 WHEN 31 THEN 17 WHEN 54 THEN 18 WHEN 26 THEN 19 WHEN 48 THEN 20 WHEN 6 THEN 21 WHEN 87 THEN 22 WHEN 85 THEN 23 WHEN 16 THEN 24 WHEN 13 THEN 25 WHEN 32 THEN 26 WHEN 90 THEN 27 WHEN 65 THEN 28 WHEN 62 THEN 29 WHEN 9 THEN 30 WHEN 53 THEN 31 WHEN 86 THEN 32 WHEN 76 THEN 33 WHEN 60 THEN 34 WHEN 69 THEN 35 WHEN 88 THEN 36 WHEN 89 THEN 37 WHEN 81 THEN 38 WHEN 64 THEN 39 WHEN 84 THEN 40 WHEN 30 THEN 41 WHEN 82 THEN 42 WHEN 72 THEN 43 WHEN 83 THEN 44 WHEN 61 THEN 45 WHEN 8 THEN 46 WHEN 75 THEN 47 WHEN 14 THEN 48 WHEN 7 THEN 49 WHEN 28 THEN 50 WHEN 80 THEN 51 WHEN 66 THEN 52 WHEN 57 THEN 53 WHEN 79 THEN 54 WHEN 59 THEN 55 WHEN 68 THEN 56 WHEN 63 THEN 57 WHEN 70 THEN 58 WHEN 43 THEN 59 WHEN 71 THEN 60 WHEN 44 THEN 61 WHEN 73 THEN 62 WHEN 45 THEN 63 WHEN 58 THEN 64 WHEN 29 THEN 65 WHEN 56 THEN 66 WHEN 51 THEN 67 WHEN 3 THEN 68 WHEN 5 THEN 69 WHEN 4 THEN 70 WHEN 42 THEN 71 WHEN 74 THEN 72 WHEN 10 THEN 73 WHEN 15 THEN 74 WHEN 17 THEN 75 WHEN 18 THEN 76 WHEN 19 THEN 77 WHEN 49 THEN 78 WHEN 2 THEN 79 WHEN 20 THEN 80 WHEN 21 THEN 81 WHEN 22 THEN 82 WHEN 23 THEN 83 WHEN 24 THEN 84 WHEN 25 THEN 85 WHEN 11 THEN 86 WHEN 78 THEN 87 WHEN 47 THEN 88 WHEN 52 THEN 89 WHEN 46 THEN 90 ELSE 99 END ASC, `wp_mts_sb_program_details`.p_name
University of West Florida
Arizona State University
University of Cincinnati Online

Students looking for online programming as part of their MLS education typically will find two options: a hybrid bachelor’s degree program with some campus visits required or a track for employed MLTs to complete a bachelor’s degree and further their careers.

Students take online courses for general education requirements or electives while traveling to campus for MLS courses in the first track. The second track can be appropriate for those who have earned an associate’s degree and are already employed as medical laboratory technicians who want to complete a four-year degree. The two years needed to finish this degree may necessitate that students complete clinical, internship, and practicum experiences, but many schools may allow these to be done in the area where the student resides.

Here are some schools that offer bachelor’s degree completion programs in medical laboratory science:

Georgia Southern University

With campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, and Hinesville, Georgia Southern University offers an MLT-to-MLS degree that can be completed by taking 48 credits in the field, 15 of which must be done in clinical practicums. Another three credits are to be taken in laboratory management and education, which provides students insight into the financials, leadership, management, and personnel administration required at a lab.

To be accepted into the program, students must already be employed at an approved clinical site. Students can finish the degree in as little as 16 months, with some graduates finding work with the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the American Red Cross.

  • Location: Savannah, GA
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS); Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges
  • Duration: Four semesters
  • Tuition: $182.13 per credit

University of Cincinnati

Medical laboratory technicians (MLTs) already working in the field who want to complete two more years of education for a bachelor’s degree in MLS can turn to the University of Cincinnati for an online MLS degree program. Each term in the program, students are assigned to a specific cohort of students led by an instructor and interact through chat sessions, message boards, and other formats.

Preparing students for the ASCP MLS certification exam, this 100% online program can be completed in just over two years. Comprising 60 credits, the program includes courses such as clinical immunology; clinical fluid analysis; clinical microbiology; principles of immunohematology; statistics; hematology; hemostasis; clinical chemistry; and diagnostic molecular biology.

Admission requirements to the program include an associate degree in MLT or CLT from a NAACLS accredited institution, a minimum grade point average of 2.5, and proof of ASCP, AAB, or AMT CLT/MLT certification.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $571 per credit (residents); $586 per credit (non-residents)

University of New Mexico

Many of the University of New Mexico’s MLS courses are offered online through the UM School of Medicine with required on-campus lab training. Students can complete their MLS bachelor’s degree in just one-and-half years of full-time study or three years of part-time study.

Admission dates are August and January of each year. Students complete their practical experiences at sites affiliated with the school in the state, such as Quest Diagnostics, TriCore Reference Laboratories, and the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center.

Comprising 63 credits, the program includes courses such as introduction to clinical chemistry; clinical microbiology; clinical hematology & hemostasis; clinical immunohematology; clinical parasitology; urinalysis rotation; and clinical serology.

  • Location: Albuquerque, NM
  • Duration: Full-time (18 months); part-time (36 months)
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $264.20 per credit (residents); $954.34 per credit (non-residents)

University of Tennessee

Students at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center can complete a bachelor’s degree in MLS by taking 36 credits in medical laboratory science. Based in Memphis, the school has several affiliate sites in Tennessee, including Baptist Memphis Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, through which students can complete clinical and practical hours.

Students can expect to gain clinical hours at more than one hospital in the state. This program prepares graduates to be eligible for the MLS licensure exam offered by ASCP, a certification required by many employers. The curriculum includes courses such as clinical chemistry; medical laboratory practices; hematology; blood bank; clinical microbiology; and advanced laboratory practices.

  • Location: Memphis, TN
  • Duration: Three terms
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $8,750 total (residents); $10,375 total (non-residents)

It is essential to know that to even be accepted into an online MLT-to-MLS program, students often need to have graduated from a program accredited through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

Other requirements also may be necessary for acceptance, including a specific minimum GPA or even letters of recommendation. Finally, there are more schools, in addition to those listed above, that offer certification-only programs. For more information about MLS certification, please see the licensing and certification section below.

School City State Website grads
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati Ohio https://www.uc.edu 175
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin https://uwm.edu 134
George Washington University Washington District of Columbia https://www.gwu.edu 95
Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan https://msu.edu 81
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus Ohio https://www.osu.edu 80
University of North Dakota Grand Forks North Dakota https://und.edu 77
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock Arkansas https://www.uams.edu 73
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock Texas https://www.ttuhsc.edu 66
Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem North Carolina https://www.wssu.edu 58
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond Virginia https://www.vcu.edu 56
San Francisco State University San Francisco California https://www.sfsu.edu 53
Austin Peay State University Clarksville Tennessee https://www.apsu.edu 52
Idaho State University Pocatello Idaho https://www.isu.edu 45
University of Kentucky Lexington Kentucky https://www.uky.edu 37
National University La Jolla California https://www.nu.edu 34
South Dakota State University Brookings South Dakota https://www.sdstate.edu 27
Old Dominion University Norfolk Virginia https://www.odu.edu 25
Marshall University Huntington West Virginia https://www.marshall.edu 24
University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg Mississippi https://www.usm.edu 22
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina https://www.unc.edu 22
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth Massachusetts https://www.umassd.edu 19
Northern Michigan University Marquette Michigan https://nmu.edu 19
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg Texas https://www.utrgv.edu 18
Louisiana State University-Alexandria Alexandria Louisiana https://www.lsua.edu 18
Augusta University Augusta Georgia https://www.augusta.edu 17
University of Mississippi University Mississippi https://olemiss.edu 16
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis Tennessee https://www.uthsc.edu 13
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Flex Milwaukee Wisconsin https://flex.wisconsin.edu 13
East Texas Baptist University Marshall Texas https://www.etbu.edu 13
Andrews University Berrien Springs Michigan https://www.andrews.edu 12
Northeastern State University Tahlequah Oklahoma https://www.nsuok.edu 10
Santa Fe College Gainesville Florida https://www.sfcollege.edu 9
Itawamba Community College Fulton Mississippi https://www.iccms.edu 2
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Medical Laboratory Science Core & Elective Courses

More than 240 MLS programs are accredited through the NAACLS, which means that students should have plenty of opportunities in the U.S. to be accepted into a program that has gone through rigorous outside review by this agency. Often, in MLS degree programs, there are pre-professional and professional components that need to be completed. For example, the pre-professional phase may include biology, chemistry, statistics, and general education requirements ranging from English to the social sciences or arts.

Students need to successfully complete their pre-professional courses, including obtaining a specific GPA, to be able to move on to the professional part of the program. The final two years of an MLS degree program include courses in:

  • Blood banking
  • Clinical parasitology
  • Hematology & hemostasis
  • Introduction to clinical chemistry
  • Introduction to clinical microbiology
  • Advanced clinical microbiology
  • Laboratory operations math

Students may also need to complete clinical rotations, which are typically done after all of a student's MLS coursework has been finished. Lab hours are usually done on campus. If the program is offered online (as may be an option in some MLS completion programs), students may need to report to the campus lab or an approved lab elsewhere to complete this portion of their education.

Accreditation of Medical Laboratory Science Programs

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) oversees the accreditation of MLS programs, in addition to programs in other related fields, such as cytogenetic technology (CT), histotechnician (HT), diagnostic molecular scientist (DMS), and more. Students may choose to attend a NAACLS-accredited program as a form of assurance that they will receive a quality education from qualified instructors.

The NAACLS, a nonprofit, independently accredits schools using a process that begins with submitting a self-study, which is then reviewed by the NAACLS and then sent back to the school for response and follow-up. From there, a site visit by NAACLS is scheduled.

Accreditation, when granted, can be given on a probationary basis, a two-year basis or, even for five years, depending on the number of non-compliance issues found. Perhaps, more important is that the NAACLS offers a search page on its website, allowing students to look for accredited programs by program name, institution name, or state.

In addition to programmatic accreditation through NAACLS, students should be sure to verify a school's institutional accreditation. Offered through US Department of Education-approved accrediting bodies such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), this accreditation applies to the school as a whole. The institutional accrediting process is similar to programmatic accreditation but must be broader to cover all programs.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS (2022), demand for clinical technologists and technicians—a field related to MLS—is expected to grow by 7 percent from 2021 to 2031. Numerous factors are expected to contribute to this growth, including an aging Baby Boomer population in need of more services, such as lab work, to help identify Type 2 Diabetes or cancer conditions.

Because of this anticipated job growth, some 21,800 new positions are expected to become available in that decade. It is important to note that this outlook data applies to all medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, including medical laboratory scientists.

Career Facts MLS
Related CareersChemist, Cytotechnologist, Histotechnologist, Materials Scientist, Microbiology Technologist, Veterinary Technologist
Common Job TitlesMedical Technologist, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Technology & EquipmentMicroscopes, Advanced Analytical Equipment, Precision Testing Equipment, Computers
Sourced from BLS 2022

Licensing & Certification of Medical Laboratory Scientists

Upon graduation from a bachelor's level program, students may want to seek certification of their skills through an organization, such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Board of Certification (BOC). The fee for its MLS certification exam is $250 as of July 2023.

To be eligible, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited MLS program or from a program that includes biology, chemistry, and math courses in the past five years. There are six pathways of eligibility for the MLS examination.

When a student's eligibility documentation has been approved by the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC), they can schedule their exam through a Pearson Professional Center. If students pass the exam, they will receive their certification within three to five weeks of notification of their exam scores, and the certification is good for three years.

Why seek certification through the ASCP BOC? It allows professionals to demonstrate their competence in carrying out various responsibilities in the profession. Certification also can result in better job opportunities, higher pay, and even garnered respect from work associates. The ASCP BOC reports that its certifications (including in many fields and MLS) are sought by seven times as many lab professionals as lab certifications offered through different credentialing organizations.

In addition to certification, state licensure is required in some areas. According to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), state licensure is required in 11 states: California, Hawaii, Florida, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Nevada, West Virginia, Montana, and Georgia as well as Puerto Rico.

The licensing process is different in each state but typically requires proof of certification, education, and fingerprinting. Therefore, any aspiring MLS who plans to work in a state requiring licensure should be sure to research that specific state's requirements before enrolling in an MLS program to ensure they can meet all standards upon graduation.

Rachel Drummond, MEd
Rachel Drummond, MEd Writer

Rachel Drummond has contributed insightful articles to MedicalTechnologySchools.com since 2019, where she offers valuable advice and guidance for those pursuing careers in the healthcare field, combining her passion for education with her understanding of the critical role that healthcare professionals play in promoting physical and mental well-being.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.