Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog | Expires Aug. 2030 

Medical Laboratory Science Major (B.S.)

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An interdisciplinary major. No minor is required.

Medical Laboratory Science Program

The program prepares students for a professional career in medical laboratory sciences. Medical laboratory scientists work in clinical settings to perform a variety of routine and specialized laboratory tests. Health care providers use these test results as part of their diagnostic and therapeutic plans. In addition to performing sophisticated laboratory tests, the medical laboratory scientist solves technical problems and is responsible for keeping laboratory equipment in optimal operating condition. The medical laboratory scientist may also supervise the work of medical laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants. A variety of administrative and management positions may be available to the medical laboratory scientist with job experience or further education.

The program consists of two and one half years of general education and medical laboratory science program prerequisites, including supporting courses in the biological sciences and chemistry. The last semester of the third year and the first semester of the fourth year of study consist of the professional phase courses of the program. A 22-week clinical field experience rotation at a clinical laboratory facility affiliated with the SVSU program completes the program. The clinical field experience may be conducted in either the Winter/Spring semesters or Summer/Fall semesters. Upon successful completion of the field experience, the medical laboratory science student will become proficient in the following areas of medical laboratory science: clinical hematology, analysis of body fluids, clinical immunology, clinical microbiology, clinical immunohematology (blood banking), clinical chemistry and the major principles of laboratory management. Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree i n Medical Laboratory Science, the student is eligible to take an entry-level national examination for certification as a medical laboratory scientist.

Admission as a Medical Laboratory Science major is open to students who meet general requirements for admission to Saginaw Valley State University. Formal application to the Medical Laboratory Science program for admission to the upper division (professional phase) courses of the program is required upon completion of the university and departmental requirements through the sophomore level.

Pre-Medical Laboratory Science Requirements and Policies

Preparation for admission to the MLS program requires completion of required general education courses and prerequisites for a minimum of 67 credit hours.

Required University General Education Selection by Category

Category 1: Literature

Student choice from approved courses

Category 2: Arts

Student choice from approved courses

Category 5: Historical & Philosophical Ideas

Category 6: Social Sciences

Student choice from approved courses

Category 7: Social Institutions

Student choice from approved courses

Category 8: International Systems

Student choice from approved courses

Category 9: Oral Communication

Student choice from approved courses

Category 10: Written Communication

Additional Prerequisites for Admission to the MLS Professional Phase

Students are invited to apply to the Major in Medical Laboratory Science program following successful completion of their final sophomore semester. Completion of prerequisite classes with a grade equivalent no less than 2.00 in each course, and an overall GPA of no less than 2.75 (based on a 4.00 scale) are required for formal admission into the professional phase of the Program.

Transfer Students

Transfer students’ needs are considered on an individual basis by the Program Director. Students are encouraged to contact the Director of Medical Laboratory Science for further information prior to applying for admission to the program.

Students with current medical laboratory credentials may be given advance placement credit for a portion of the professional curriculum, as determined by the Program Director. Certification must be documented.

Transportation and Fees

The student is responsible for providing transportation to and from all courses and/or clinical learning experiences associated with the program. Clinical education may include observation and interactive opportunities in clinical and community settings under the supervision of a medical laboratory scientist or other health professional. The student is responsible for fees related to classroom and clinical materials, as well as clinical placement requirements, such as health insurance, immunizations, and a certified background check.

Requirements for Admission to the Medical Laboratory Science Program

The professional phase of the medical laboratory science program begins formally in the Winter semester of the Junior year (6th semester). Admission to SVSU is required for, but does not guarantee, acceptance into the medical laboratory science program. The program is planned to accommodate a limited number of students each year; this number may vary depending on available resources. Prospective students must submit an application for admission to the professional program by October 15 preceding the winter semester admission. Applications received after October 15th will be considered for placement only if an opening is available and if all criteria are met. The following admission criteria are required of all applicants and will be used to rank applicants to determine acceptance to the program.

  • Complete the equivalent of 4 full time semesters that include pre-medical laboratory science courses listed for freshman through sophomore year.
  • Complete MLS 200 - Intro to Medical Laboratory Science .
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for all pre-professional course work.
  • Submit a completed application packet to include verification that the applicant meets the non-academic standards for the profession as listed in the MLS Essential Functions (avaliable in the MLS Program Handbook and on the MLS webpage).
  • Additional considerations for admission into the program include evaluation of science GPA, quantity of science courses, letters of recommendation, experience in a clinical laboratory or healthcare field, performance in MLS 200  (both cognitive and affective), and completion of a formal essay. Guidelines for the essay will be available with the application form.


Progression and Retention Policies

Following admission to the professional phase of the program, three semesters of full-time academic medical laboratory science course work with integrated field experiences are required. The field experience of the medical laboratory science program is an integral component of the student’s education and a minimum of 840 hours of supervised practice or educational sessions is required. Placements are subject to faculty approval and assignment at a specific facility cannot be guaranteed.

Once admitted to the MLS Professional Phase, students must:

  • Achieve a “C” or better in all MLS courses
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 in the MLS courses
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the MLS Essential Functions

Students who fail to meet the minimum GPA (3.0) requirement will be placed on MLS program probation and must meet the requirement in the subsequent semester.  Two semesters below the 3.0 GPA minimum will result in dismissal from the program.

Students who earn a grad less than a “C” in a MLS course will not progress in the major until the failed course has been repeated successfully.  A MLS course may be repeated one time.  If a grade of “C” or better is not achieved after repeating the course, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Students who earn a grade less than a “C” in two or more MLS courses at any time during the professional sequence will be dismissed from the program.

Students demonstrating a failure to meet any of the MLS Essential Functions may be dismissed from the program at any time.

Minimum exam and lab scores may be defined for the successful completion of each professional course.

MLS courses are offered once during each academic year, following a sequential design.  Therefore, part-time and probationary students will have to continue under an adjusted curriculum plan.  This will result in extending the time for achievement of all program requirements.

To be eligible for placement in a clinical fieldwork experience, students must have completed all prerequisite courses and must have met the criteria for the professional phase of the program. Placement slots are divided between two semesters in the year; one starting in Winter semester and one starting in Summer semester. The student’s placement slot will be determined by the Program Director.  Students placed in a clinical field experience must provide proof of health insurance, immunization history, and results of a certified background check, as required by the clinical affiliates. The program admits only the number of students for which there is an adequate number of clinical placement slots annually; however should a situation exist where there are more students than available clinical places in the year, the following criteria will be used to rank the students for placement. Those students who were denied placement for that period will be offered a placement slot in the following year as long as they continue to meet all necessary criteria.

  • Completion of all prerequisite course
  • GPA in MLS professional courses
  • Performance and Attendance in MLS laboratory sessions
  • Overall SVSU GPA 

  MLS students are continuously reviewed for initial and continued placement at a clinical facility. Students may be withheld from initial placement if the following conditions exist: documented unprofessional conduct or behavior, academic standing, health status that would hinder performance in the clinical setting, unacceptable lab/clinical practice or other documented reasons that indicate that the student may not succeed in a practicum. Additionally, a student may be removed from a practicum at any time for the conditions listed above, as well as failure to comply with university or facility policies and procedures, excessive absence, or a final grade less than a B- in any department rotation. Failure to complete a practicum will result in dismissal from the program.   Eligibility for National Certification Exam Current eligibility requirements for the National Certification Exam may be reviewed on the American Society for Clinical Pathology website: www.ascp.org. Granting of the degree in Medical Laboratory Science is not contingent on passing the national MLS certification exam. Program Director recommendation for the national certification exam shall be contingent on successful completion of the clinical field experience with a final grade of no less than a B-.   

Suggested Sequence for Prerequisite Courses for Admission

Students are also responsible for completing General Education Categories 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Insert those requirements into the semester outline as schedules permit. Student may also use Spring or Summer sessions to complete course work.

Major Courses: Professional Curriculum

Note: Courses must be taken in sequence as specified below unless approved by faculty.

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