Undergraduate Degree Offered
B.S.M.L.S - Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science
Areas of Study
Chemistry; Hematology and Hemostasis; Immunohematology (Blood Bank); Microbiology, Parasitology and Mycology; Molecular Diagnostics; Urine and Body Fluid Analysis; Laboratory Operations (including phlebotomy)
Length of Program
Eleven (11) months - The program consists of 43 semester hours and begins in late May of each year. Graduates are eligible to apply for ASCP board certification as medical laboratory scientists upon completion of the program.
The MLS Program has three phases: student laboratory (13 weeks) on the Omaha or Kearney Campus (University of Nebraska at Kearney), first clinical rotation (17 weeks), and second clinical rotation (17 weeks) at assigned clinical locations. At each phase of the program, students must learn to integrate practice with theoretical knowledge and understanding.
The MLS Program provides patient-centered educational opportunities, with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in hematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunohematology (blood bank), immunology, molecular diagnostics and management. The program emphasizes laboratory principles and procedures, clinical significance and application, principles and practice of quality assurance, principles of laboratory management and supervision, safety, instructional methods, and computer applications.
Through affiliated programs, students have the option of obtaining their clinical education at one of several clinical affiliate sites. Students are not accepted into the MLS program if clinical experience cannot be guaranteed.
All students must successfully complete the entire curriculum of the MLS Program in order to be considered for the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science. Students must have completed a total of 120 semester credit hours to qualify for the baccalaureate degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Graduates of the UNMC Medical Laboratory Science Program are eligible to take a national examination administered by the Board of Certification (BOC), the separate, certifying body within the organizational structure of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Those who pass the exam in medical laboratory science may use the initials, MLS(ASCP)CM, after their name to show they are proficient in their field.
Additional information is available by contacting
About the Profession
Medical Laboratory Scientists (formally known as Clinical Laboratory Scientists or Medical Technologists) are responsible for the development, performance, evaluation of laboratory testing that is needed in patient medical care and clinical research. They analyze samples of blood, tissue, and body fluids using cutting-edge technology and a variety of analytical techniques. They are at the forefront of healthcare guiding other health care professionals. 70-80% of all medical decisions are based on laboratory results. A Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science will give you the ability to work in many different environments and several areas of expertise.
Medical Lab Scientists work in many environments:
- Reference Laboratories
- Forensic Laboratories
- Veterinary Clinics
- Public Health
- Pharmaceutical Laboratories
Areas of Expertise:
- Immunology/ Serology
- Microbiology/ Virology
- Blood Banking
- Molecular Diagnostics
Medical laboratory scientists find challenging employment in a variety of laboratory settings. As vital members of the health care team, they enjoy assisting practitioners during the care, diagnosis and treatment of patients. Medical laboratory scientists can work in all areas of laboratories or specialize in one of several sections of a clinical laboratory such as chemistry, transfusion medicine, hematology, immunology, and microbiology.
You can be employed in hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, research facilities, industry, public health institutions, forensic or pharmaceutical laboratories, and animal clinics.
- 8.7% vacancy rate (2014)*
- 19.2% expected retirement rate between 2014-19*
- 16% job growth (2014-24)**
*Lab Medicine 2014 ASCP Wage & Vacancy Survey
**US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Medical laboratory scientists have many opportunities for advancement, with supervisory skills and with technical expertise in such areas as advanced immunology, cell marker technology, transplantation, toxicology, cancer research, and cytogenetics.
You also can obtain an advanced degree related to other fields of laboratory medicine including forensics, genetics, microbiology, medical informatics, public health, adult education, or business administration.
An advanced practice degree is in development: Doctorate in Medical Laboratory Science. Learn more about its development and scope of practice.
Medical laboratory scientists are very versatile in what positions they can fill within the lab and beyond its walls. For example, in industry, clinical laboratory scientists are needed for product development, research, marketing, sales, and quality assurance.
Medical Laboratory Science
Enrollment in each program is limited and competitive. The admissions committee of each program, composed of program faculty and administration, evaluates the qualifications of each applicant and makes the final selections for admission.
Required Minimum GPAs:
1. Cumulative GPA 2.5
2. Cumulative Science GPA 2.5 and/or 20 most recently completed biology/chemistry semester hours 2.5
Admission to the senior year of our Medical Laboratory Science Program requires the applicant to successfully complete the following prior to matriculation:
University / College Required Prerequisites:
Successful completion of 77 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) at an accredited college or university. Only 66 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) can be accepted from a community college. A total of 11 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) must be completed at a 4-year regionally-accredited college or university. Upper-level science courses taken at a 4-year institution are strongly recommended. Credits for courses in which grades below “C-“ were received, are not accepted in fulfillment of the individual course prerequisites listed below. [Exceptions to this policy due to COVID-19] The 77 semester hours must include the following:
Biological Sciences (16 semester hours) including:
1. Microbiology (with lab preferred)
2. Immunology (CAHP offers an on-line course in Fall & Spring)
Chemistry (14 semester hours) including:
Minimum of two upper level (200 level or above) Chemistry courses. Upper level chemistry courses may include Organic Chemistry I, Organic Chemistry II, Biochemistry or Analytical Chemistry. Biochemistry with a lab recommended.
English Composition (3 semester hours)
Mathematics (3 semester hours) - Statistics is preferred.
A maximum of six College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP) and/or Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Support (DANTES) semester hours will be accepted for transfer. Any CLEP, AP or DANTES semester hours will not be accepted towards prerequisite science courses.
Physiology and Molecular Biology are strongly recommended. Additional recommended courses include Cell Biology, Introduction to Hematology, Pathogenic Microbiology, and Parasitology.
Evaluation of Applicants:
Applicants are evaluated for admission on several levels, including, but not limited to:
1. Cumulative GPA
2. Science GPA or most recently completed 20 biology/chemistry hours
3. Course load/course levels
4. Writing ability demonstrated through personal essay and narrative, and writing skills demonstrated during interview
5. Communication skills demonstrated during interview
An applicant may strengthen their application through job shadowing experience or direct observation of a clinical laboratory, additional coursework in science and mathematics and demonstrating academic ability through the completion of higher level courses with a laboratory component (such as the suggested electives).
Get complete application details on How to Apply.
Note: Degree Completion Advancement (MLT to MLS) will have a different schedule from what is listed below, but are required to complete the listed courses.
The curriculum includes theory, practical application and technical performance experiences gained through lectures, clinical case studies, writing activities, small group work, independent study, and supervised laboratory experiences. The patient-oriented learning environment includes all areas of a full-service, accredited clinical pathology laboratory.
Required courses totaling 45 semester hours of credit include:
|Completed May-August (Student Laboratory):|
|MLS 407||CLINICAL LABORATORY OPERATIONS||2|
|MLS 408||INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL HEMATOLOGY||2|
|MLS 409||INTRODUCTION TO MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY||2|
|MLS 410||INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND URINALSIS||1|
|MLS 411||INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY||1|
|Completed August-November (Clinical Rotation I):|
|MLS 413||CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY AND TOXICOLOGY||1|
|MLS 414||CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND URINALYSIS I||2|
|MLS 416||CLINICAL HEMATOLOGY I||2|
|MLS 418||CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY I||2|
|MLS 420||CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY, SEROLOGY AND MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS||2|
|MLS 422||CLINICAL IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY I||2|
|MLS 430||CLINICAL LABORATORY MANAGEMENT I||2|
|MLS 442||CLINICAL IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY LABORATORY PRACTICUM I||1|
|MLS 444||CLINICAL CORE LABORATORY PRACTICUM I||1|
|MLS 448||CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY LABATORY PRACTICUM I||1|
|Completed November-May (Clinical Rotation II):|
|MLS 412||CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE THEORY, APPLICATION AND CORRELATION||5|
|MLS 415||CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND URINALYSIS II||2|
|MLS 417||CLINICAL HEMATOLOGY II||2|
|MLS 419||CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY II||2|
|MLS 423||CLINICAL IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY II||2|
|MLS 431||CLINICAL LABORATORY MANAGEMENT II||3|
|MLS 443||CLINICAL IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY LABORATORY PRACTICUM II||1|
|MLS 445||CLINICAL CORE LABORATORY PRACTICUM II||1|
|MLS 449||CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY PRACTICUM II||1|
|Total Credit Hours||43|
MLS 2020-2021 Academic Calendar
|May 20||First Day of Fall Classes|
|May 25||Memorial Holiday (no classes)|
|May 26||Last Day to Drop/Add Courses for Fall|
|July 3||Independence Day Observed (no classes)|
|September 7||Labor Day (no classes)|
|October 16||Last Day to WITHDRAW from Classes|
|November 26-28||Thanksgiving Break|
|December 18||Last Day of Fall|
|January 11||First Day of Spring Classes|
|January 17||Last Day to Drop/Add Classes for Spring|
|January 18||Martin Luther King Holiday (No Classes)|
|February 10||Deadline for filing for May Graduation|
|March 14-21||Spring Break|
|April 2||Last Day to WITHDRAW from classes|
|May 7||Last Day of Spring|