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Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science Major

Medical laboratory scientists use analytical procedures and the latest biomedical instruments to perform laboratory tests on blood and body fluids that assist physicians in patient diagnosis and treatment, disease monitoring and prevention.  Clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, urinalysis, immunohematology, and immunology are the principle practice areas for an MLS working in a medical laboratory.  In addition to laboratory testing and analysis, an MLS may also monitor test quality, supervise personnel, conduct research and develop new tests and methodologies.

A Bachelor of Science degree, major in Medical Laboratory Science, includes three years of academic coursework on campus followed by an 11-12 month full-time professional class and clinical internship in an affiliated school of medical laboratory science. Graduates are eligible to take a national certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP BOC).

College academic coursework includes college algebra, biology, microbiology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and statistics, along with general education electives. The full-time professional hospital program consists of classroom and clinical bench instruction in clinical chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, microscopy/urinalysis, microbiology, serology, phlebotomy, education, management, and research methods.

Students who have completed the prerequisite course work on campus and meet the GPA requirements established by the affiliated hospital program may be eligible to apply for the professional-level class and clinical internship. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 20 resident credits at NDSU prior to the start of the professional program to be eligible to apply. NDSU has affiliation agreements with seven hospital-based MLS programs that provide the necessary professional-level education. Affiliated programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). Admission to hospital programs is competitive. Criteria for admission is established by each hospital program and generally includes academic performance at the university level, references, related experience, compliance with essential functions, and an interview. In addition, students must comply with criminal background and student conduct requirements.

During the professional program, specific letter grades are assigned by the hospital program, recorded on the hospital program’s official transcript, and are not included in calculation of NDSU’s grade point average. Official transcripts are available upon written request from the hospital program. An NDSU grade of 'Pass' is awarded for successful completion of each term of the internship.

Information about the profession, curriculum, internship, and advising contacts are available from the Department of Allied Sciences .

Major Requirements

Medical Laboratory Science Major

Degree Type: B.S.
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 122

General Education Requirements

First Year Experience (F):
UNIV 189Skills For Academic Success (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take UNIV 189)1
Communication (C):
ENGL 110College Composition I3
ENGL 120College Composition II3
One Course in Upper Level Writing. Select one of the following:3
Business and Professional Writing
Writing in the Technical Professions
Writing and the Creative Process
Creative Writing
Writing in the Sciences
Writing in the Health Professions
Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Quantitative Reasoning (R):
STAT 330Introductory Statistics3
Science & Technology (S):
BIOL 220
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory
CHEM 121
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
CSCI 114Microcomputer Packages3-4
or CSCI 116 Business Use of Computers
Humanities & Fine Arts (A): Select from current general education list6
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B): Select from current general education list6
Wellness (W): Select from current general education list2
Cultural Diversity (D): Select from current general education list
Global Perspectives (G): Select from current general education list
Total Credits41-42

 Major Requirements

General Education Requirements40
Medical Laboratory Science Major Requirements
MLS 200Introduction to Medical Laboratory Science1
MLS 435Hematology2
MLS 496Field Exp/Internship30
Professional education (internship) within an accredited affiliated school of medical laboratory science includes the capstone experience.
Related Courses Required:
BIOC 460
Foundations of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I
and Foundations of Biochemistry I Laboratory
BIOL 150
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 221
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory
CHEM 122
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
MATH 103College Algebra (or higher level; excluding MATH 104)3
MICR 350
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Lab
MICR 463Clinical Parasitology2
MICR 460
Pathogenic Microbiology
and Pathogenic Microbiology Laboratory
MICR 470Basic Immunology3
MICR 471Immunology and Serology Laboratory2
ZOO 315
and Genetics Laboratory
Select one group of the following:6-7
Group One:
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
Group Two:
Survey of Organic Chemistry
Foundations of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II
Degree Electives: Potential of 2 credits to reach 1222
Total Credits122-123

Degree Requirements and Notes

  • All required courses must be completed with a grade of 'C' or above. All students must maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or above for each semester in the College. A student who fails to meet this standard for two successive or three non-successive semesters may be terminated from enrollment in the College.
  • Completion of the prerequisites does not guarantee a student internship. Selection of interns is competitive. Please consult your MLS advisor for more information.