Frequently Asked Questions | Medical Laboratory Sciences
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Frequently Asked Questions 
Medical Laboratory Sciences Pre-Professional Program

Applicants are encouraged to apply if they desire to become a medical laboratory scientist. The required GPA of 3.0 is calculated from the upper division courses completed during the undergraduate degree (300-400 level courses). We understand life events and other circumstances occur and encourage you to explain any variances from the required 3.0 GPA application requirement in your personal essay. Please visit the MS in Medical Laboratory Sciences application requirements page for additional details.

Students are required to have a background containing general chemistry, organic chemistry (survey of), anatomy, physiology and math coursework equivalent to algebra or higher. Statistics is recommended for research related coursework.

It will be nearly impossible to be employed during the pre-professional program due to rigorous, fast paced course requirements, as well as 40 hours per week of clinical internship plus coursework during the second year.

During the first year of the pre-professional program, applicants will be required to attend all campus laboratory sessions. During the second year of the pre-professional program, clinical internships will be selected for the student based on availability, GPA and the location of student. All reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure the student does not have to travel outside of their residing vicinity; however, in some instances, that may not be possible.

Graduates of the MS in Medical Laboratory Sciences program will be eligible to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology-Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC) certification exam upon successful completion of the program. It is recommended you review the particular requirements for your state of residence. Certain states have specific licensing requirements in addition to the national certification exam requirement.

Students pursuing the pre-professional option are required to complete all aspects of the program, including clinical rotations in all areas to include Blood Bank, Hematology, Body Fluids, Clinical Chemistry, Urinalysis, Phlebotomy, Immunology and Clinical Microbiology. Previous coursework will not be substituted for credit as we can not guarantee that it contains the areas of knowledge required for clinical or certification exam preparation.

Each clinical internship site will set the hours, days, and scheduling for the student. Students pursuing the pre-professional option are required to complete the minimum contact hours as set by the particular clinical rotation (most are 160 hours); however, clinical sites will determine the attendance schedule for each clinical internship and student. Typically, these are performed Monday-Friday, first or second shift, and require 40 hours per week for four weeks.

Students are required to come to clinical just as they would for any job: on time, as required, fully engaged, and ready to learn/work. You are not permitted to alter the schedule/hours without contacting the clinical coordinator and manager of the lab ahead of time. If a student is to miss clinical for an illness, it is expected that they contact the clinical coordinator and preceptor no later than 30 minutes prior to expected arrival.

Students are required to complete the process as healthcare facilities are required to ensure safety to patients, coworkers, and the general public. Certain criminal charges regarding moral turpitude, physical violence or endangerment, and substance abuse and/or crimes relating to substances preclude an individual from employment or internship. A student must be eligible for clinical assignment to meet acceptance into the Medical Laboratory Science program.

It is recommended that students purchase their own textbooks and keep the textbooks for the duration of the program. Textbooks are used for multiple courses and are required for study preparation for the certification exam after program completion.

All courses will be taught within the PCOM learning management system. Courses are structured to provide the same academic materials, integrity and structure as any classroom environment. Learners will have access to a syllabus, course calendar, lecture notes, handouts, recorded/live lectures, collaborative discussion boards with peers, course assignments and timed exams. Learners will submit all authored work through a digital dropbox, and exams are taken online through timed assessments that have a variety of instructor controls to verify academic integrity. Learners are required to conform to an honor code by which they agree not to cheat, collaborate or surf internet sites for answers. Many instructors use browser lockdowns to ensure academic integrity by locking the exams for users who click outside of the testing environment; hence, resulting in a failing grade.

Each course has an instructor. Questions can be asked via email, or other communication methods listed by the instructor in the syllabus. Just as in a classroom environment, instructors are expected to respond to your questions, aid you in attaining clarity, and be available during office hours (virtual) during the semester. In cases where your question is not answered in a satisfactory manner, you are encouraged to escalate the matter to the program director.

Typically, most medical lab technologists work in hospital labs and reference labs. Alternative career options could include teaching in higher education institutions, working as a program director for a MLS program, and serving as an education coordinator for employer-based positions. Physician offices and toxicology laboratories often have smaller labs; however, these labs offer equally rewarding careers. Other pathways could include working in specialty clinical labs, such as stem cell/sickle cell research, oncology centers, pharmaceutical drug trial research labs, or even industrial laboratories. Some industry laboratories include food safety and quality control, water treatment facilities or chemical laboratories. Regardless of your future interests, you will find numerous opportunities for employment in the field.