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A medical laboratory science student conducts test with a microscope.

Medical Laboratory Science

A medical laboratory scientist (MLS) is a healthcare professional who performs various diagnostic analyses on body fluids and other specimens.

Providing Essential Results for Healthcare Professionals

During the first three years, the student is enrolled in general education, science and preliminary medical laboratory science courses. The senior practicum includes two semesters at the university and one and one half semesters at an affiliated hospital.  

The Medical Laboratory Sciences Department has a process for articulation with accredited Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) programs, which provides career mobility for the associate degree-level technician.

Students completing the program are eligible to take national examinations for certification as medical technologist/medical laboratory scientists.


    Medical laboratory science is composed of many different areas of study:

    • Clinical Bacteriology: The identification of pathogenic microorganisms and susceptibility to antimicrobial agents.
    • Clinical Chemistry: The analysis of body fluids for chemical analytes such as glucose.
    • Clinical Hematology: The study of blood cells and their abnormalities, with emphasis on procedures of laboratory examination.
    • Clinical Immunohematology: The theory and techniques of donor selection, processing blood for transfusion and resolving incompatibilities.
    • Principals of Clinical Administration and Education: Introduction of basic principles of clinical laboratory administration and education.

    Degree Options

    There are two Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees available with this major.

    More about this Major


    Medical Laboratory Science offers many career opportunities:

    • Medical laboratory generalist
    • Laboratory information system analyst
    • Medical laboratory research scientist
    • Educator
    • Instrument and product development
    • Infection control officer
    • Regulatory agency employee (CLIA, CDC)
    • Pre-professional graduate programs such as MD., DO, PhD, pharmacy, dentistry, physician’s assistant

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net, a partner of the American Job Center. This is not a comprehensive list.

    • 100% job placement or advanced degree pursuit
    • The median salary for a MLS is $50,550 or $24.30 per hour.
    • MLS has a 97% pass rate on the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam.
    The Medical Laboratory Science program at USM was one of the most demanding things I have ever gone through as far as my education. I was more than prepared when I got into the hospital.

    Meet Some of Your Professors

    Dr. Mary Lux

    Professor and Chair

    Favorite Course: Mycology

    Expertise: Microbiology Education

    Dr. Margot Hall


    Favorite Course: Clinical Chemistry

    Expertise: Clinical Chemistry

    Dr. Cindy Handley

    Assistant Professor

    Favorite Course: Hematology

    Expertise: Online Education

    Dr. Sabrina Bryant

    Assistant Professor and Program Director

    Favorite Course: All MLS Courses

    Expertise: Immunohematology

    Anna Swann


    Favorite Course: Hematology

    Expertise: Hematology

    Mary Warden


    Favorite Course: Immunology

    Expertise: Immunology

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