medical laboratory science

Med Lab Scientists: Unsung heroes in diagnosing COVID-19:

Why Major in Medical Laboratory Science?

Access to quality healthcare for all is one of the most significant grand challenges of the 21st century. Did you know that approximately 70% of the information a physician needs to properly diagnose and treat patients comes from the laboratory test results performed by Medical Laboratory Scientists? Think about the COVID-19 pandemic; medical laboratory scientists conduct the testing that facilitates the diagnosis of and leads to rapid treatment for infections, bleeding disorders, and other illnesses.  Medical Laboratory Science encompasses the essence of biology, chemistry and medicine. Students in the Medical Laboratory Science major gain a comprehensive knowledge base in hematology, clinical chemistry, immunology, immunohematology, molecular diagnostics, and microbiology as well as the skill set to perform laboratory tests required by physicians and other healthcare providers to care for their patients. Students apply their knowledge and skills in the “real world” at approximately 30 area hospital and clinical laboratory affiliates during their senior year. The job outlook according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% increase in employment prospects, and our graduates are highly sought after for employment upon graduation.

Uniqueness of Our Program

Accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the Medical Laboratory Science program is enhanced by excellent faculty, including noted researchers in their respective fields of cancer, inherited visual diseases, immunology, and infectious diseases. Undergraduate student laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art clinical instrumentation are directed by accomplished, certified medical laboratory science professionals. Graduates seeking employment are eagerly sought by employers in hospital and private laboratories, as well as industrial medical and biomedical laboratories, research and fertility centers, and physician office laboratories. Many graduates pursue graduate and professional education programs in medicine, health administration, public health and other areas.

The medical laboratory science major culminates in the awarding of a bachelor of science degree. Students enter the University as freshmen or transfer students with a declared interest in medical laboratory science (MLSI) for the purpose of advisement and progression toward the MLS-BS major. Consideration for admission to the major at the end of the sophomore year is based on the following criteria:

  • Minimal grade point index of 2.00 for the first 4 semesters;

  • Minimal grade point index of 2.00 for specific prerequisite courses in biology and chemistry; and

  • Completion of at least 60 credit hours, including the prerequisite science courses.

Approximately 36 students are admitted each year, resulting in a low student-to-instructor ratio in the medical laboratory science student laboratory courses. The first two years provide pre-professional courses in the basic sciences and liberal arts. The third and fourth years are an integration of professional and clinical courses. Students receive clinical experience in the fall of junior year and during the last 20 weeks of their senior year at three or more of our clinical laboratory affiliates.

Most students who complete the medical laboratory science major are interested in professional opportunities for medical laboratory scientists, including employment in hospital and private clinical laboratories, public health agencies, industrial medical and biomedical laboratories, research and forensic laboratories, educational institutions, pharmaceutical companies, fertility centers, and physicians’ office laboratories.. However, some students planning to pursue medical school, pathologist assistant studies, or physician assistant studies, for example, will receive individualized advisement to fulfill requirements for application to these programs. 

Students interested in medical school, optometry school, physician assistant graduate programs, etc. should review the information posted at the Center for Health Profession Studies and the Health Profession Evaluation Committee. These websites provide updated course requirements for medical-related graduate and professional programs.


UD alumnus finds tremendous value in Med Lab Science degree: