Medical Laboratory Scientist

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences provides the following description: At career entry, the medical laboratory scientist will be proficient in performing clinical laboratory tests in areas such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, serology/immunology, coagulation, and molecular and other emerging diagnostics, and will be able to play a role in the development and evaluation of test systems and interpretive algorithms. The graduates will have diverse responsibilities in areas of analysis and clinical decision-making, regulatory compliance with applicable regulations, education, and quality assurance/performance improvement. They will also possess basic knowledge, skills and relevant experience in:

  • Communications to enable consultative interactions with members of the health care team, external relations, customer service and patient education;
  • Financial operations, marketing and human resource management of the clinical laboratory to enable cost-effective, high quality, value-added laboratory services;
  • Information management to enable effective, timely, accurate and cost-effective reporting of laboratory-generated information and;
  • Research design/practice sufficient to evaluate published studies as an informed consumer.

Upon graduation and initial employment, the medical laboratory scientist should be able to demonstrate entry-level competencies in the above areas of professional practice. Graduates are eligible to sit for national certification examinations in medical laboratory science after completion of the program.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The specific educational outcomes for the program are to produce graduates who:

  • Demonstrate entry-level competencies for medical laboratory scientists in the following disciplines: hematology, chemistry, immunology, blood bank, urine and body fluid analysis, microbiology, and laboratory operations.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior including sound work ethics, cultural responsiveness and appearance while interacting with patients and health care professionals.
  • Evaluate published studies as an informed consumer.
  • Demonstrate continuing competency by certification maintenance.
  • Use educator skills to create and deliver an instructional unit.
  • Use laboratory management skills to plan, organize, staff and cost out a new clinical laboratory service.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the laboratory profession through active involvement in a professional organization. 

MLS Program Outcomes Measured

Admission Requirements

Enrollment in MEDT courses, requires department approval.  The Medical Laboratory Science department uses a priority registration system to approve student enrollment in MEDT courses.  Students are required to meet with an advisor to develop an academic plan and to submit all required department forms for department approval consideration.  Additional information can be found on the Application Procedure webpage. 

Academic Progress

In order to progress within the Bachelor of Science Medical Laboratory Science program, students must earn a minimum grade of C or P in all Medical Laboratory Science courses required for the degree and demonstrate professional behavior as defined by the "Medical Laboratory Science Department Core Abilities" and associated behavior criteria. Satisfactory progress is demonstrated by exhibiting Developing Level Criteria by the end of the second year (assessed by core faculty), and Entry Level Criteria by the end of the Medical Laboratory Science Practicum (assessed by clinical instructors). Students must receive a score of 3 or higher on the Developing Level Criteria in order to progress in the program and demonstrate the Critical Core Abilities during clinical practicum in order to graduate from the program. Students who are unable to earn an acceptable grade in the MEDT courses during their initial enrollment may attempt to earn a satisfactory grade one additional time on a space available-basis.

When the number of students admitted to the program exceeds the number that can be accommodated in the clinical practicum, students are placed on an alternate list and informed they can complete their practicum should space become available, or they are given preference for a subsequent semester. Students receive a letter stating they are an alternate; they sign and return the letter acknowledging alternate status.

The University of Alaska Anchorage is affiliated with clinical sites throughout the state of Alaska. Students training at clinical sites outside of Anchorage may incur additional costs related to travel and housing. The practicum coordinator will ask for volunteers to train outside of Anchorage. If there are no volunteers, GPA in the MEDT courses will be used to select students for those sites. If a student is unable or unwilling to go outside of Anchorage, they will be placed on the alternate list and given preference for a subsequent semester.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete the General University Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
  2. Complete the General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees. In the Medical Laboratory Science program, the required support courses meet the Quantitative Skills and Natural Science Requirements.
  3. Complete the Required Support Courses and Major Requirements.

Required Support Courses

Complete all 31-36 credits of support courses for the Medical Laboratory Science major with a minimum grade of C.

  • BIOL A111 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
  • BIOL A112 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
  • CHEM A103 Survey of Chemistry (3) & CHEM A103L Survey of Chemistry Laboratory (1) or CHEM A105 General Chemistry I (3) and CHEM A105L General Chemistry I Laboratory (1)
  • CHEM A104 Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (3) and CHEM A104L Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory (1) or CHEM A106 General Chemistry II (3) and CHEM A106L General Chemistry II Laboratory (1) and CHEM A321 Organic Chemistry I (3)
  • CIS A110 Computer Concepts in Business (3)
  • ENGL A212 Technical Writing (3) or ENGL A213 Writing in the Social and Natural Sciences (3)
  • MATH A107 College Algebra (or any MATH course for which MATH A107 is a prerequisite) (3-4)
  • PHIL A302 Biomedical Ethics (3) or PHIL A305 Professional Ethics (3)
  • STAT A252 Elementary Statistics (3) or STAT A253 Applied Statistics for the Sciences (or any STAT course for which STAT A252 or STAT A253 is a prerequisite) (4)

Major Requirements

Complete the following major courses with a minimum grade of C or P (71-74 credits):

  • MEDT A132 Introduction to Laboratory Medicine (3) or MEDT A101 Phlebotomy Procedures (5) and MEDT A133 Basic Techniques in Laboratory Medicine (1)
  • MEDT A202 Clinical Chemistry (6)
  • MEDT A203 Clinical Microbiology (6)
  • MEDT A204 Hematology and Coagulation (6)
  • MEDT A206 Immunology and Blood Banking (6)
  • MEDT A208 Urine and Body Fluid Analysis (3)
  • MEDT A250 Cultural Diversity in Health Care (1)
  • MEDT A301 Clinical Molecular Biology (4)
  • MEDT A302 Clinical Laboratory Education and Management (4)
  • MEDT A303 Advanced Clinical Microbiology (6)
  • MEDT A401 Introduction to Research (2)
  • MEDT A495 Medical Laboratory Science Practicum (12) or MEDT A395 Medical Laboratory Technology Practicum (12) and MEDT A495 Medical Laboratory Science Practicum (12)

A total of 120-129 credits is required for the degree, of which 42 credits must be upper division.

Honors in Medical Laboratory Science

Students majoring in Medical Laboratory Science are eligible to graduate with departmental honors by satisfying the following requirements:

  1. Meet the requirements for a BS in Medical Laboratory Science.
  2. Earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in courses applicable to the degree requirements. Only UAA and transfer courses taken within the last seven years will be included in the GPA for departmental honors.
  3. Obtain approval to enroll in the Honors Elective from the program director.
  4. Pass the Honors Elective course, MEDT A402, Medical Laboratory Science Honors: Quality Assessment Project.