The medical laboratory science program focuses on the learning of integrated scientific concepts and their useful application to the diagnosis of disease.
The program provides a solid background in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and communication in the first three years. This is followed by a fourth year of practical hands-on learning of specific diagnostic skills in a clinical laboratory setting.
Our goal is to develop scientific competence in students and the capability of performing specific tests and experiments leading to the diagnosis of human disease. This is achieved by providing a program taught by faculty who excel in their respective academic disciplines, including those who are actually working in the field of healthcare.
Medical laboratory science professionals, also known as clinical laboratory scientists or medical technologists, perform laboratory procedures essential to diagnosing a disease. In addition to being respected members of a healthcare team, medical laboratory scientists make vital contributions in many other areas of the laboratory sciences. These fields include epidemiology; veterinary medicine; sales; marketing; laboratory supervision and management; education; instrumentation; public health; food technology; toxicology; medical, industrial, and pharmaceutical research; molecular and genetic testing; and forensic determinations. A huge demand for medical technologists currently exists, and positions are as varied as the individual’s own preferences and interests.
Students are enrolled full-time at the University for three academic years and must complete a minimum of 100 credit hours of approved courses.
Upon the successful completion of U1 through U3 didactic coursework, students spend U4 (fourth year) in a 12-month internship at an approved hospital school of medical technology or medical laboratory science.
Students apply for their hospital internship program following completion of the U2 (second year). A cumulative grade point average of 2.90 in required science courses is required to make an application and thus progress from U2 to U3. (This GPA is currently based on requirements of the hospital affiliates and is subject to change based on the hospital requirements.) If the student does not achieve the required GPA at the end of U2, he/she could be dropped from the program and should refer to the “Admission to an Academic Program after Being Dropped from a Program,” “University Dropped from the Rolls,” and “Changing Majors” policies. Students should consult with their advisor and may be eligible to change majors and reapply to the Medical Laboratory Science program at a later date.
Acceptance into a hospital internship is not guaranteed, and is solely based on the discretion of the hospital program. Hospitals base their decisions on grades, recommendations, and an on-site interview. If the student does not obtain an internship, he/she will be dropped from the program and should refer to the “Admission to an Academic Program after Being Dropped from a Program,” “University Dropped from the Rolls,” and “Changing Majors” policies for possible outcomes.
Internship sites are not necessarily in the Philadelphia area, and students may need to relocate for the internship year. The University assists students in obtaining acceptance into an approved hospital school and holds formal affiliations with the schools of medical technology or medical laboratory science at the following hospitals: Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA; UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory, Jamestown, NY; Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ; Pennsylvania Medical College, Lancaster, PA; Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ; Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH; and NY Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. Some of these hospitals provide free tuition for the fourth year, provided the students work for their healthcare system after graduation.
These schools are approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). The affiliates are hospitals that have kept pace with technological developments, possess the newest instrumentation, and have established excellent medical and surgical services.
During the senior year, students may pay a reduced rate of tuition. A few of our hospital affiliates will offer sign-on bonuses to students after graduation, if they accept a position at the hospital system where they did their internship. These sign-on bonuses are meant to reimburse the student for part, or all of their fourth-year tuition Opportunities for working in the clinical laboratories are also available, thus providing experience and salary compensation. The medical laboratory science senior rotates through each of the specialized departments in the clinical laboratory:
- The clinical hematology/coagulation lab teaches the student to identify the cellular blood components (red cells, white cells, and platelets) and the disorders associated with these cells and the blood-forming tissues.
- In clinical immunohematology, students learn blood typing and crossmatching and preparation of components.
- Microbiology involves the study of the causative agents of disease (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites).
- Clinical immunology/serology utilizes the principles of immune reactions to diagnose many viral and bacterial diseases and is on the leading edge of clinical lab science.
- In clinical chemistry, qualitative and quantitative analyses are used to identify and measure minute amounts of chemicals in the body necessary for its proper functioning.
- The molecular biology laboratory is where DNA analysis and other molecular techniques are performed.
- Other areas of study are endocrinology, urinalysis, cytogenetics, pathology, instrumentation, quality control, cell biology, flow cytometry, and laboratory computer systems.
When the clinical rotation has been satisfactorily completed, the student qualifies for the degree of bachelor of science in medical laboratory science.
Students who successfully complete the curriculum will be able to:
- Understand the biological, physiological, and pathological basis of disease.
- Have knowledge of and be able to relate normal biological processes to disease situations, as well as have a basic knowledge in broad biological areas.
- Demonstrate competency in the laboratory portion of biology and chemistry laboratories prior to internship year.
- Demonstrate knowledge of skills, expectations, current trends, and professional aspects of the field of medical laboratory science prior to internship.
- Possess and demonstrate entry-level skills, competencies, and proficiencies in medical laboratory science, as determined by NAACLS requirements, as well as theoretical background in aspects of disease diagnosis.
- Understand the “case study” concept and process and be able to successfully solve case studies and communicate these results.
- Understand and perform quantitative aspects of medical laboratory science such as graphs, charts, laboratory value units, and statistical analysis.
- Be aware of social, political, and community impact of laboratory medicine and some aspects of healthcare in general.
- Learn to work well in group settings and interact with other healthcare professionals.
- Acquire an awareness and sensitivity of patient-related issues and the importance of patient confidentiality.
- Demonstrate the ability to read and analyze scientific literature.
- Demonstrate the ability to read and follow clinical procedure manuals, patient reports, and charts.
- Recognize limitations of scientific plans and approaches.
- Understand how each laboratory test bears on patient diagnosis.
- Become lifelong learners and maintain certification status through continuing medical education.
National certification examinations, given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), enable those who pass to use the professional designation MLS (ASCP)CM after their names. Medical laboratory science is a rapidly growing and changing field and provides a varied and interesting profession for someone interested in the sciences and in medicine.
In order to earn a degree from Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.
Medical Laboratory Science Major Requirements
- Medical Lab Science Elective Credits:3-4
(see footnote 1 below)
- Molecular Biology Requirement Credits: 2-3
(see footnote 2 below)
- Immunology Requirement Credits: 3-4
(see footnote 3 below)
(See Footnote 4 Below)
Medical Laboratory Science Supporting Requirements
- The student can choose two of the following Medical Lab Science electives, or an MLS elective and a free elective:
BS 218; BS 308; BS 348
- The Molecular Biology requirement can be satisfied by one of the following:
BS 306; BS 475; BS 476; or additional courses as approved by the program director.
- The immunology requirement can be satisfied by either:
BS 355 - Clinical Immunology (3cr); BS 358 - Immunology (3cr); BS 356 - Immunobiology (4cr)
- Credits vary according to affiliation site.
Sample Medical Laboratory Science Curriculum Plan
Students entering in Catalog Years 2019 and beyond (graduating classes of 2023 and beyond) - with general education
- General Education Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
- Free Elective or Medical Laboratory Science Elective1 Credits: 3-4
- General Education Humanities Requirements Credits: 3
- Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3
- General Education Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
- Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3
- General Education Humanities Credits: 3
- Free Elective or Medical Laboratory Science Electives1 Credits: 3-4
- Free Elective Credits: 3
- Immunology Requirement3 Credits: 3-4
Total Minimum Credits: 130
Students must have a science GPA of 2.90 by the end of the summer semester of the second year in order to make application for internship.
Margaret A. Reinhart, MT (ASCP)
BS (Millersville University); MMA (Pennsylvania State University); MS (Villanova University)
Senior Lecturer of Biological Sciences
Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program
Diane Valentin, MT (ASCP)
BS (University of the Sciences); MS (Rutgers University)
Instructor of Medical Laboratory Sciences
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Barbara Zingale, BS, MT (ASCP)
BS (Florida Atlantic University)
Acting Program Director
Susan Harrington, PhD
PhD (University of Maryland);
MPH (Johns Hopkins University)
Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ
Nancy Jalowski, MAEd, MT (ASCP), PBTCM
MAEd (University of Phoenix)
Brian S. Erler, MD, PhD
MD (City University of New York, Brooklyn)
Pennsylvania Medical College, Lancaster, PA
Carol Bond, MA, MT (ASCP)
MA (Evangelical Seminary)
New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY
Lynn Jones, MSEd, MT (ASCP)
MSEd (American College of Education)
Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Jean Buchenhorst, MS, MT (ASCP)
Michael Husson, MD
MD (Boston University)
St. Christopher’s Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Susanne Dannert MT (ASCP)
BS (Temple University) MS (Thomas Jefferson University)
Judy Pascasio, MD
MD (University of the Philippines)
Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ
Marieha Tomlin, MS, MLS (ASCP)CM
MS (Rutgers University)
Robert Mazziotta, MD
MD (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey)
UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory, Jamestown, NY
Michele G. Harms, MS, MLS (ASCP)CM
MS (State University of New York, Fredonia)
William A. Geary, MD, PhD
PhD (Washington University); MD (University of Virginia)