Medical Laboratory Science
A Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) provides exciting opportunities for individuals with an interest in science who wish to pursue a career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. An MLS education also provides excellent preparation for medical and graduate schools or employment opportunities outside of a typical hospital setting. MLS graduates have gone on to medical school; law school; and physician assistant, pathologist assistant, and public health programs. Diverse job opportunities include employment in medical laboratories, research laboratories, forensic science laboratories, veterinary laboratories, fertility centers, higher education, healthcare information technology, and consulting. In the past three years, 100% of UIS MLS graduates have found employment in the field/closely related field or have pursued further education within one year of graduation.
Medical Laboratory Scientists play an integral role in the interdisciplinary spectrum of healthcare by: performing and interpreting a wide array of testing; investigating and correcting incidences of patient misidentification; researching and developing evidence-based testing algorithms; selecting and implementing new testing platforms; and validating, maintaining, and troubleshooting analytical instrumentation. Medical Laboratory Scientists serve as a valuable resource for the diverse healthcare workforce by providing guidance in the collection, selection, and interpretation of laboratory testing. Medical laboratory professionals must evolve continuously in the unpredictable and innovative healthcare atmosphere; carrying on rigorous continuing education programs throughout their careers.
Medical Laboratory Science has experienced several nomenclature changes throughout the history of the profession; beginning with Medical Technology (MT), then on to Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS), and finally, an amalgamation of the two, Medical Laboratory Science (MLS). For this reason, the professional laboratory environment is occupied by a workforce exhibiting all three certification terminologies (i.e. MT, CLS, MLS); though, each reflects the same level of laboratory education. To appropriately reflect current professional certification nomenclature, the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Program at UIS recently changed its name from Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS).
The UIS MLS Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018 (773) 714-8880. The MLS program’s current full ten-year accreditation is the result of two consecutive accreditation cycles with no deficiencies.
Upon completion of a NAACLS approved laboratory education route, an individual may sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) MLS professional certification examination. Graduates of the MLS Program at UIS are eligible to sit for the ASCP BOC examination via Route 1.
The MLS major consists of two distinct academic phases: the pre-professional phase and the professional phase. During the pre-professional phase, the first two years of the four-year major, students complete UIS general education requirements and MLS prerequisites. During the professional phase, the final two years of the four-year major, students complete the MLS core courses and obtain clinical experience during practicum courses. The professional phase is the NAACLS-accredited Medical Laboratory Science program. All students must complete a secondary admissions process and be accepted by the MLS Program before they may begin the professional phase. See the MLS website for application information.
According to NAACLS curriculum requirements, the UIS MLS Program includes didactic and laboratory coverage of: Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Hemostasis, Immunology, Immunohematology, Microbiology, Urine and Body Fluid Analysis, and Laboratory Operations. Due to content distribution and complexity, Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Immunohematology, and Microbiology are considered major content areas while Hemostasis, Immunology, Urine and Body Fluid Analysis, and Laboratory Operations are considered minor content areas. Additional MLS Program content areas not required by NAACLS but relevant and necessary for professional preparation include: Phlebotomy, Molecular Diagnostics, Education, and Management.
During the first year of the professional phase, students complete on-campus didactic and laboratory coursework. After successful completion of all first-year coursework, students rotate through clinical practicum courses in each of the four major content areas. Additionally, students complete a Special Topics practicum course in which they experience minor or highly specialized laboratory areas. Over the course of an academic year, students rotate through two separate clinical affiliate sites; completing two major practicum content areas per site. This allows students the opportunity to see a variety of laboratory and healthcare environments; serve diverse patient populations; and utilize several computer platforms. See the MLS Student Handbook for a current list of clinical affiliates. The program concludes with a two-part research and exam preparation capstone course series. Students must successfully pass a comprehensive closure exam to graduate from the MLS Program.
As required by the program’s clinical affiliates, prior to clinical practicum courses, all MLS students are required to submit to a background check and drug testing results. In the event that a student’s record includes a felony conviction, the program may not be able to secure clinical practicum spots. If clinical practicum spots are obtained, the student may not be able to be employed in healthcare.
MLS majors with a cumulative GPA equal to or greater than 3.25 in the MLS Program and one semester in residency at UIS may elect to participate in the MLS honors option. In addition to the MLS Program requirements, honors students must:
- maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25
- earn a minimum grade of B- for each course in the MLS Program
- successfully complete three credits of MLS 400 Applied Research
- present their findings in a formal paper and public presentation
Students must apply for participation in the honors program to the MLS Program Director and ALH Chair and obtain approval of a faculty research advisor prior to their final semester. This is not connected with the CAP Honors Program. Details can be found in the MLS Student Handbook.
All students are encouraged to meet with the MLS Program Director or a MLS advisor before initial registration and periodically thereafter in order to plan their courses of study to ensure that all requirements are met in the minimum amount of time. There is no advance placement and no credits for experiential learning.
Students are advised to be familiar with the current MLS Student Handbook and ask a MLS advisor for help if they do not understand the MLS policies and procedures.
The transfer option provides for the continuing education of students who have completed the first two years (60 semester hours) of lower-division work (preferably with the A.A. or A.S. degree). The MLS program has two + two articulation agreements with several community colleges; however, transfer students from other two-year and four-year institutions are also encouraged to apply. See the MLS Program Director regarding questions about transfer of credits.
Students should consult with college advisors for specific guidance regarding completion of general education requirements. In MLS, the clinical practicum courses (MLS 487 , MLS 488 ) fulfill the requirement for the ECCE Engagement Experience (six hours).
For best outcomes in the Program and on the national certification exam, part-time status is not recommended. Because the MLS Program proceeds in cohorts, off-sequence students will need to reapply for the cohort with which they will do the full-time clinical practicum courses.
|MLS Course Requirements|
|MLS 301||Foundations in Medical Laboratory Science||1|
|MLS 311||Laboratory Operations||2|
|MLS 331||Evidence-Based Inquiry||2|
|MLS 341||Physiologic Processes||3|
|MLS 382||Hematology I||3|
|MLS 383||Medical Microbiology I||4|
|MLS 384||Clinical Chemistry I||4|
|MLS 442||Hematology II||4|
|MLS 443||Medical Microbiology II||3|
|MLS 444||Clinical Chemistry II||3|
|MLS 448||Introduction to Immunology||3|
|MLS 449||Introductory Immunology Lab||1|
|MLS 477||Molecular Diagnotics||2|
|MLS 481||Education and Management||2|
|MLS 487||ECCE: Practicum I||6|
|MLS 488||ECCE: Practicum II||6|
|MLS 496||Special Topics Practicum||2|
|MLS 497||Senior Seminar I||2|
|MLS 498||Senior Seminar II||2|
Since the curriculum includes laboratory work done under professional supervision, the degree candidate must satisfy the customary expectations of academic work and must also meet the high-quality standards demanded of a professional medical laboratory scientist. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at UIS. Medical Laboratory Science students are required to maintain a programmatic GPA of 2.5 and must earn a grade of C- or better in all required courses.
|Degree Program||Program Type||Dept Application Materials and Admission Criteria||Prerequisite Course Requirements||Department ADM Review||Dept Conditional Admits||Dept Appeal Process|
|Medical Laboratory Science BS||On campus||*Minimum 2.5 GPA in MLS prerequisite courses
*MLS Program application
*Written statement of academic and professional goals
*Contact information for three professional or academic references
*Essential functions affirmation form
*A personal interview may be required
Additional Admission Criterion:
*Applicants must submit vaccination records (see MLS Student Handbook for vaccination requirements)
*Selection is made on a competitive basis,
|*90 quarter hours or 60 semester hours of lower-division courses
*UIS gen ed requirements
*Two semesters of general chemistry for science majors with lab (CHE 141, CHE 142)
*One semester of organic chemistry for science majors with lab (CHE 267, CHE 268)
*Two semesters of biological sciences for science majors (BIO 141, BIO 142). Other courses may apply-see MLS advisor.
*One semester of microbiology for science majors with lab (BIO 345, BIO 346). Other courses may apply - see MLS advisor
*One Semester of statistics (MAT 121)
|Program Director in consultation with Department Faculty||Yes, all MLS admissions are contingent on successful completion of prerequisites||N/A|
MLS 115. Solving Medical Mysteries. 3 Hours.
This course is intended to answer commonly asked questions about human health and disease. An overview will briefly describe healthy human biology and function which will be contrasted with the abnormal functioning seen in major diseases. Actual clinical lab results will be presented in case stories that offer a glimpse into "what is going on inside" the diseased patient. Armed with this type of information, students can become more active and effective consumers within the healthcare system. Course Information: This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Life Science without a Lab.
MLS 131. Introduction to Forensic Science. 3 Hours.
Introduces the scientific basis of forensics investigations. Discusses basic procedures for investigation of crime scenes through deductive reasoning, case history/problem-solving approach. Topics include fingerprints, soil/imprints, toxicology, ballistics, blood/body fluid analysis, DNA fingerprints, and PCR technology. Course Information: Same as CHE 131. This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Physical Science without a Lab.
MLS 132. Introduction to Forensic Science Laboratory. 1 Hour.
This laboratory will illustrate many of the basic scientific procedures and analyses used in forensic science laboratories. Exercises will include fingerprinting, hair/fiber analysis, soil/glass analysis, PCR and DNA profiling, toxicology, blood spatter analysis, and field tests for blood, semen, and drugs. This optional laboratory to be taken with MLS 131. Course Information: Same as CHE 132. This course, with MLS 131, fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Physical Science with a Lab.
MLS 201. Introduction to Medical Laboratory Science. 1 Hour.
An introduction to health care in general and the medical laboratory profession in particular. Students will create a plan for pursing a health career. Students will also learn how to be better consumers of medical laboratories.
MLS 225. Nutrition. 3 Hours.
Provides a foundation in the basic principles of human nutrition in maintaining and promoting health. Application of basic biological concepts such as cell function and heredity, as well as personal and societal applications of nutrition will enable students to make informed decisions. Course Information: This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Life Science without a Lab.
MLS 301. Foundations in Medical Laboratory Science. 1 Hour.
An introduction to the MLS program and career. Laboratory practice is discussed to include preanalytical, analytical and postanalytical factors. Professionalism, ethics, professional development and education are discussed. Introduction to research and critique of scientific literature are included.
MLS 311. Laboratory Operations. 2 Hours.
This is an introductory course for basic laboratory operations necessary for Medical Laboratory Science (MLS). This is a lecture/laboratory course that will focus on lab skills as well as general laboratory knowledge. Emphasis will be placed on laboratory skills such as pipetting and phlebotomy. Students will learn to use math skills to solve problems in laboratory science, to include the design and analysis of QC charts.
MLS 321. Seminar in Medical Laboratory Science. 2 Hours.
A writing-intensive course which serves as an introduction to the medical laboratory science program. Professionalism, ethics, and adult learning are discussed. Introduction to research and critique of scientific literature are included. Instruction and experience in blood collection techniques are included.
MLS 325. Evidence-Based Research Concepts. 3 Hours.
This course will focus on outlining the foundation of evidence-based practice in health sciences. The students will gain a basic understanding of principles in evidence-based practice and how to incorporate those principles into clinical practice. Course Information: Same as EXR 325.
MLS 331. Evidence-Based Inquiry. 2 Hours.
This course develops knowledge of evidence-based inquiry methods and their application in professional practice. Content includes: research methods, study design, evidence-based practice, and ethics in research. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 301.
MLS 341. Physiologic Processes. 3 Hours.
This course teaches the normal physiology, as well as selected diseases, of the human body at a level required for clinical medicine. Concepts are taught using a combination of lectures and exercises with case studies.
MLS 347. Medical Bacteriology. 4 Hours.
Concise overview of pathogenic bacteriology. Includes discussion of techniques for culturing and identifying bacteria and an introduction to epidemiology. Required of medical laboratory science students. Offered fall semester. Course Information: Same as BIO 347. Prerequisites: BIO 345 and BIO 346.
MLS 382. Hematology I. 3 Hours.
Course emphasizes basic hematologic and hemostasis principles. Manual and semi-automated procedures are performed. Basic morphology and routine procedures are introduced. Case studies involving normal and abnormal clinical applications are discussed.
MLS 383. Medical Microbiology I. 4 Hours.
Concise overview of pathogenic bacteriology, focusing on human disease. Includes discussion of techniques for culturing and identifying bacteria and an introduction to epidemiology. Course Information: Prerequisites: BIO 346.
MLS 384. Clinical Chemistry I. 4 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory course focusing on clinical significance and methodology of measurement of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes, electrolytes, and other important clinical chemistry analytes in blood and urine. Focus on function and pathology of all major organs in the human body. Special emphasis on quality control and its use in the clinical chemistry laboratory. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 341.
MLS 400. Applied Research. 1-4 Hours.
Directed research in procedure development or in-depth investigation of a specific area in medical laboratory science. Topic approved and hours assigned by instructor. Written report required. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 4 hours.
MLS 401. Clinical Chemistry I. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory course focusing on clinical significance and methodology of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes, electrolytes, blood gases, acid-base balance, liver function, kidney function, and endocrinology. Emphasis on quality control as it applies to selected clinical chemistry procedures. Course Information: Prerequisites: CHE 433 or equivalent.
MLS 402. Introduction to Hematology. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory course that emphasizes basic hematologic principles. Manual and automated procedures are performed. Emphasis on morphology and clinical applications. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 448 or equivalent.
MLS 403. Introduction to Immunohematology. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory course emphasizing immunohematologic concepts and properties underlying scientific principles of blood banking. Includes theory and practical applications of blood-group systems, antibody identification and compatibility testing, hemolytic disease of the newborn, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and donor procurement and processing. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 448 or equivalent.
MLS 404. Introduction to Hemostasis. 1 Hour.
Lecture/laboratory course that emphasizes components in the blood related to hemostatic mechanisms. Includes principles of procedures involved and their relationship to diagnosis and treatment of disease. Course Information: Prerequisites: BIO 141 or equivalent.
MLS 405. Introduction to Urinalysis. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory course emphasizing qualitative, quantitative, and microscopic examination of urine. Includes special analytical procedures and their relationship to diagnosing and monitoring disease and health. Course Information: Prerequisites: BIO 141 or equivalent and CHE 141 or equivalent.
MLS 411. Health Care Management. 3 Hours.
Explores the health care community and groups affected by health care delivery in the United States. Emphasis is on management, including personnel issues, financial issues, regulatory issues, and educational principles using the example of the medical laboratory. This course is open to non-MLS majors.
MLS 421. ECCE: Clinical Chemistry Practicum. 1-5 Hours.
Learn to apply chemical and immunologic theory and practice to clinical chemistry procedures, toxicology, therapeutic drug monitoring, urinalysis. Includes: immunologic procedures; instruction and experience in the use, standardization, and maintenance of sophisticated laboratory analyzers. Course Information: Prerequisites: Sr. in MLS. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Engagement Experience.
MLS 422. ECCE: Clinical Hematology Practicum. 1-4 Hours.
Experience in clinical hematology, includes advanced instrumentation using automated hematology and coagulation analyzers. Includes microscopic examination of blood smears. Laboratory data is interpreted in light of various disease states and disorders. Course Information: Prerequisites: Senior in Medical Laboratory Science program. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Engagement Experience.
MLS 423. ECCE: Clinical Microbiology Practicum. 1-4 Hours.
Isolation and identification of clinically important microorganisms from a variety of body sites. Includes antibiotic susceptibility testing. Course Information: Prerequisites: Senior in Medical Laboratory Science program. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Engagement Experience.
MLS 424. ECCE: Clinical Immunohematology Practicum. 1-3 Hours.
Blood typing, antibody screening and identification, compatibility testing, and other immunohematologic procedures are included. Emphasis is on operation and problem-solving in a modern transfusion service. Course Information: Prerequisites: Senior in Medical Laboratory Science program. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Engagement Experience.
MLS 442. Hematology II. 4 Hours.
Course focusing on advanced principles of hematologic testing leading to improved interpretive skills in hematology. Emphasis on morphology and correlation of data with disease states and disorders. Case studies and discussion used to illustrate the pathophysiology of hematological disorders. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 382.
MLS 443. Medical Microbiology II. 3 Hours.
The 2nd course in the Medical Microbiology series includes more intensive study of Medical Microbiology, specific evaluation of human pathogenic bacteriology, and evaluation of mixed cultures. This course will study the taxonomy, morphology, and pathogenesis of human microbes including bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses, including practical application of diagnostic laboratory procedures. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 383.
MLS 444. Clinical Chemistry II. 3 Hours.
Lecture course focusing on clinical significance and methodology of measurement of important clinical chemistry analytes. Focus on function and pathology of select major organs in the human body. Special emphasis on case studies with critical thinking to interpret the case studies. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 384.
MLS 447. Medical Mycology, Parasitology and Virology. 4 Hours.
Overview of medically significant fungi, parasites, and viruses. Emphasis will be placed on pathogenesis, modes of transmission, and identification. Laboratory techniques used in isolation, cultivation, and identification will be used. Also included will be discussions of epidemiology and host response regarding these microorganisms. Course Information: Prerequisites: BIO 141 or equivalent.
MLS 448. Introduction to Immunology. 3 Hours.
Immunologic principles, concepts, and techniques will be discussed, including components of the immune system, cellular and humoral immune response, and antigen-antibody reactions. Human diseases related to compromised immunity will be introduced. Course Information: Same as BIO 448. Prerequisites: BIO 141 or equivalent.
MLS 449. Introductory Immunology Lab. 1 Hour.
MLS 451. Advanced Concepts in Immunohematology. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory focusing on problem-solving and special techniques used in antibody identification and compatibility testing. Also includes a discussion of donor requirements, blood component preparation and therapy, and quality assurance in the blood bank/transfusion service. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 403.
MLS 452. Advanced Concepts in Hematology. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory focusing on advanced principles of hematologic testing leading to improved interpretative skills in hematology. Emphasis on correlation of data with disease states and disorders. Case studies and discussion used to illustrate the pathophysiology of hematological dysfunction. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 402.
MLS 454. Advanced Concepts in Clinical Chemistry. 2 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory focusing on clinical significance and methodology of trace elements, vitamins, therapeutic drug monitoring, and toxicology. Newer testing methods used to identify diseases/disorders will be discussed. Emphasizes instrument selection and method validation process. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 401.
MLS 456. Clinical Correlations. 2 Hours.
Use of problem-based case studies to analyze clinical situations and correlate laboratory data. Course Information: Prerequisites: Senior in Medical Laboratory Science Program.
MLS 468. Immunohematology. 4 Hours.
Lecture/laboratory course emphasizing concepts, properties and scientific principles of Immunohematology. Includes theory and practical applications of: blood-group systems; antibody identification; compatibility testing; hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn; donor evaluation and processing; blood component preparation and therapy; and quality assurance in the blood bank/transfusion service. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 449 or equivalent.
MLS 471. Emerging Diseases. 3,4 Hours.
Examines the global emergence of previously unknown or re-emergent infectious diseases. Historical and current diseases will be discussed by integrating the perspectives of medical science and public health in contexts of social systems, economics, politics, and geography. Challenges and remedies in an interdependent but unequal world will be discussed. Course Information: Same as MPH 471.
MLS 477. Molecular Diagnotics. 2 Hours.
This course offers an introduction into the principles, utility, and diversity of molecular testing in the medical laboratory. Central concepts include: nucleic acid extraction, amplification and detection; mutations and polymorphisms; DNA sequencing; molecular microbiology; inherited disease; molecular oncology; pharmacogenetics; and quality assurance and control in the molecular diagnostic laboratory. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 444.
MLS 480. Topics in Medical Laboratory Science. 1-4 Hours.
Selected topics of interest in current Medical Laboratory Science. Topic(s) for a semester will be stated in the class schedule. Course may include laboratory. Course Information: Prerequisites: Dependent on topic. May be repeated if topics vary.
MLS 481. Education and Management. 2 Hours.
Explores how education and management of laboratory personnel can influence health care delivery in the United States. This course covers processes and practices of health care management, including personnel issues, financial issues, regulatory issues and educational principles.
MLS 487. ECCE: Practicum I. 6 Hours.
Encompasses clinical experiences integrated with theory, in a dynamic healthcare setting where students experience the collaborative nature of MLS and healthcare. Students work with MLS, performing tests to diagnose and treat patients. #1 of 2 courses to include 2 of 4 major areas of study. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS Senior. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Engagement Experience.
MLS 488. ECCE: Practicum II. 6 Hours.
Encompasses clinical experiences integrated with theory, in a dynamic healthcare setting where students experience the collaborative nature of MLS and healthcare. Students work with MLS, performing tests to diagnose and treat patients. #2 of 2 courses to include 2 of 4 major areas of study. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS Senior. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Engagement Experience.
MLS 496. Special Topics Practicum. 1-6 Hours.
Course is designed to provide MLS students an opportunity for directed research and/or observational experiences in alternative MLS practice areas. Students may also participate in service learning. Topics and sites must be approved and written reports are required. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours if topics vary. Prerequisites: MLS Senior.
MLS 497. Senior Seminar I. 2 Hours.
This is the first course in the two-part MLS senior capstone series. Content includes: the MLS senior research project, simulation exams, student-centered remediation planning, study plan development, case studies, and peer discussions of clinical learning experiences. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 331.
MLS 498. Senior Seminar II. 2 Hours.
This is the second course in the two-part MLS senior capstone series. Content includes: exam preparation (e.g. simulation exams, student-centered remediation planning, study plan development, student bowl practice, analytical exam content breakdown), case studies, and peer discussions of clinical learning experiences. Course Information: Prerequisites: MLS 497.
MLS 499. Tutorial. 1-4 Hours.
Intended to supplement, not supplant, regular course offerings. Students interested in a tutorial must secure the consent of the faculty member concerned before registration and submit any required documentation to him or her. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 4 hours if topics vary.