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Medical Laboratory Technicians and Clinical Laboratory Technicians interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Science may now apply to the BSMLS Degree Advancement Option (DAO), College of Allied Health Professions, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). 

The DAO is available through distance education technology and can be completed on a part-time basis by practicing laboratory professionals. 

Applicants must be pre-approved for enrollment by the CAHP Academic and Student Affairs office. Accepted applicants must have completed a minimum of 77 semester credits hours of specific college prerequisite courses and an accredited MLT or CLT program. Technicians must be registry-eligible or certified. 

The BSMLS Degree Advancement Option (DAO) is offered through the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and provides working medical laboratory technicians/clinical laboratory technicians (MLTs/CLTs) the opportunity to earn an advanced degree while continuing to work in their home communities. 

Qualified candidates are interviewed and mentored by a faculty advisor who works with students to develop an Individual Plan of Study for degree completion. The Plan of Study includes the core curriculum of the Medical Laboratory Science program, which tailors the technicians' clinical and educational background to their professional goals. Once the Individual Plan of Study has been determined, accepted students will be approved to enroll in the DAO.

A minimum of 43 semester hours of coursework from UNMC must be completed to qualify for degree completion. Students must be awarded a minimum of 120 total semester hours of college credit to be eligible to graduate from UNMC, therefore, additional coursework may be required. Students are allowed up to 5 years to complete the degree advancement option, however it is possible to complete the program in two years.

Courses are available through a variety of distance learning technologies. Students are required to write papers, complete projects, conduct research, communicate with professors and students online, work independently on assignments and with coworkers on group projects, do case presentations, take quizzes and exams, etc.

Program Objectives

The BSMLS Degree Advancement Option (DAO) has three objectives:

  • To enable practicing medical laboratory professionals, currently registry-eligible or certified, to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science.
  • To utilize distance learning technologies; providing access to education and the opportunity for technicians to continue to work in their profession while they complete their degree.
  • To provide medical laboratory professionals the opportunity to advance professionally and personally, develop independent-thinking and critical-judgment skills, and become more flexible and competitive in today’s healthcare environment.

Admission to the Program

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Degree Advancement Option (DAO) must:

  • Graduate from a NAACLS accredited MLT/CLT program and be certified or registry-eligible;
  • Complete a minimum of 77 hours of specific college prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in the program;
  • Present a minimum of 11 semester hours from a baccalaureate degree-granting institution (only 66 semester credit hours may be transferred from a community college);
  • Present a C or better for all 77 hours of prerequisite coursework;
  • Present a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Present a math & science GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Participant Requirements

Participants need to possess computer operating system skills and have easy access to a computer with a high speed Internet connection and up-to-date software. You may also need to purchase or have access to a digital camera and video camera. A local preceptor, or proctor, will be required (usually a supervisor who agrees to work with you to proctor exams and/or evaluate presentations) and you will need access and permission to follow cases at the facility where you work. To review the requirements and responsibilities for the preceptor/proctor please go to the How to Apply page and open the Preceptor Agreement.

Review the Computer Requirements.

University / College DAO Prerequisites

Biological Sciences
Must include microbiology (with lab preferred), genetics or molecular biology, and immunology16
Chemistry (with labs)
Must include minimum of 2 upper level (200 or above) chemistry courses (may include Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry I and II or Analytical Chemistry - Biochemistry with a lab is strongly recommended). This requirement can also be satisfied with MLT clinical chemistry coursework.14
English Composition
Select 3 hours3
Select 3 hours (Statistics preferred)3

Request a transcript evaluation

Suggested Electives

Students should select electives to achieve a total of 77 semester hours including a broad general educational background. Physiology and Molecular Biology are strongly recommended. Additional recommended subjects include Cell Biology, Introduction to Hematology, Pathogenic Microbiology and Parasitology. Upper level science courses taken at a 4-year institution are strongly recommended.

Admission to the BSMLS Degree Advancement Option requires the applicant to successfully complete at least 77 semester hours (115.5 quarter hours) at an accredited college or university. Only 66 semester credit hours can be accepted from a community college. At least 11 semester credit hours must be completed at a four-year institution.

Note: The MLS Program will not accept AP, CLEP, or DANTES credit toward the English Composition, Mathematics, or Science requirements. Any AP, CLEP, or DANTES credit earned in these categories will be used as elective prerequisite credit only. A maximum of 6 semester hours of College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement Program (APP) or Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) will be accepted for transfer and will count towards the 17 credit hours required at a four-year institution.

All applications and transcripts are reviewed by CAHP Academic and Student Affairs on a case-by-case basis. Grades lower than “C” will not transfer for credit. Additional coursework may transfer for credit; course description and syllabus may be requested for evaluation of equivalency with UNMC. All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an ASCP Board of Certification-approved agency.

Applicants will be considered without regard to age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, political beliefs, or disability. Motivational factors, life experience, patient care experience, maturity, and references are important factors in the admission process.

How to Apply

For information on how to apply to the BSMLS Program, visit the "How to Apply" website. For information on application deadlines and interview dates, visit the "Application Deadline" website.

Academic Progress

Students enrolled in the BSMLS Degree Advancement Option are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their Individual Plan of Study and degree requirements. All courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or better and a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be maintained throughout enrollment in the program. Courses may be repeated only once, and a cumulative GPA below 2.0 at the completion of any semester will result in dismissal from the program.

Degree Completion

Upon successful completion of BSMLS curriculum, students will receive diploma and graduation information  from UNMC Student Services. Students must be awarded a minimum of 120 total semester hours of college credit (UNMC courses + transfer credit) by the UNMC Office of Academic Records in order to be eligible to graduate from UNMC. 

To obtain your transcripts, please visit the UNMC Student Services website

Diplomas are issued once a year in May. Upon successful completion of all requirements by the deadline dates set by the Program, graduates of the BSMLS DAO are welcome to participate in the graduation ceremonies in Omaha, Nebraska.


The University of Nebraska Medical Center Medical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018.


The Plan of Study includes 43 hours of theory, practical application and technical performance experiences gained through lectures, clinical case conferences, independent study and supervised laboratory experiences. The patient-oriented learning environment includes all areas of a full-service, accredited clinical pathology laboratory. The faculty advisor will work with the student to select an appropriate schedule to complete their Individual Plan of Study. 

Required Courses
Total Credit Hours43

Please use the link on the left for course descriptions.

Course offerings are subject to change based on instructor availability, enrollment, and technology.

2017-2018 Tuition & Fees

Tuition $322.00 per credit hour
Technology Fee $100.00 per semester
Online Course Fee $35.00 per credit hour
Library Fee $6.25 per credit hour