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Medical Laboratory Science Major

UIndy's medical laboratory science major combines on-campus study and clinical training to prepare you to perform diagnostic lab tests in hospital labs and clinics and commercial labs. As a medical laboratory scientist (MLS), your behind-the-scenes role in the testing and analysis of blood, tissue and other body fluid samples will help physicians make important medical decisions and monitor patient care. Such tests may be used to confirm mild illnesses or serious diseases, pregnancy, clinical levels of drugs or alcohol in the body, and the effects of drugs on various diseases.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field remains in high demand, offering multiple opportunities for employment and a competitive salary. Graduates of UIndy's program also benefit from a high job placement rate. In fact, affiliated clinical sites prefer to hire their graduates in medical laboratory science as opposed to graduates from other major programs.

Program strengths

  • Extensive clinical training in a medical setting
  • Clinical training programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS)
  • Experience working directly with a team of other health care professionals
  • Nearly 100 percent job placement rate in the field
  • Applied course work in immunology, hematology and other medically-related areas

Clinical training program

The medical laboratory science degree program is highly competitive, requiring three years of coursework at UIndy and completion of a 12-month clinical training program in a hospital laboratory during the fourth year of undergraduate study. The first three years allow you to build a scientific foundation through course prerequisites in organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, general microbiology and immunology. During your junior year, you must apply for admission to one of the clinical training programs offered by our affiliated hospitals – IU Health Methodist Hospital and Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis or Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Admission 

Consideration for acceptance to the clinical training program requires completion of all prerequisite courses with a 2.7 or higher GPA, as well as a personal interview. 

Annie: Franciscan St. Francis Health


Annie Morical completed her clinical training at Franciscan St. Francis Health, and then was immediately hired into a position as a medical technologist working in all areas of the clinical laboratory. After about four years, she was selected to fill her current role of clinical instructor, teaching hematology, coagulation, clinical microscopy and clinical chemistry, and training students to perform clinical lab testing. 

"The year in the clinical program was by far the most intense learning of my college career. The knowledge I gained in that year is what I use daily in order to be successful in my career as a medical laboratory scientist. I learned not only how to perform the testing, but the meaning behind all of the test results and the reasons for each step in the procedure." 

Despite growing technological advances, Annie says that competent employees in this field are in demand. "An analyzer can only go as far as completing the testing, but an intelligent, well-trained medical laboratory scientist is essential to the completion and interpretation of the test results."

Annie recommends UIndy and her profession to others. "The medical laboratory science major at UIndy has allowed me to excel in the career of my choice. The work is rewarding, and allows an individual to be a part of the health care industry and patient care with limited patient contact. There is nothing like knowing that the testing results that you provided have helped to save a patient's life."

Potential careers for medical laboratory science majors

Medical laboratory scientists (sometimes referred to as clinical laboratory scientists or medical technologists) work in a variety of lab settings, including:

  • Hospital labs and clinics
  • Doctor's offices
  • Reference labs
  • Biotechnology labs
 
  • Industrial research labs
  • Forensic labs
  • Veterinary clinics

Certification

Once you graduate from UIndy's medical laboratory science program, you will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification. Many medical laboratories require this certification, and according to ASCP, those who are certified often have better job opportunities and higher salaries. Note that some states have a separate licensure process, although Indiana does not. 

Medical laboratory science might be for you if:

  • You are interested in working in a lab setting
  • You desire to work in the medical field with a four-year degree
  • You enjoy solving problems
  • You are looking for a degree that will serve as good preparation for medical school or other professional programs

Curriculum Guides

These curriculum guides outline the different classes you will need to take as a medical laboratory science major. The general education guide provides a list of all the classes you need in order to fulfill UIndy’s general education requirements. The medical laboratory science guide lists all of the classes you will need to take in order to fulfill the major’s requirements. Be sure to take a look at both guides in order to get a complete picture of what your classes will look like at UIndy.