Medical Laboratory Sciences

Medical laboratory sciences, also known as clinical laboratory sciences, is the allied health profession that directly impacts quality patient care.  Using cutting-edge technologies, medical laboratory scientists (MLS) analyze blood and other body fluids to help identify, treat, and prevent hundreds of diseases and conditions - from thyroid problems to diabetes, from leukemia to hepatitis.  Although most entry-level MLS practitioners are employed in hospital laboratories others obtain positions in areas such as: specialty clinics, reference laboratories, veterinary laboratories, biotechnology laboratories, public health laboratories, as well as in facilities that perform paternity testing or evaluation of compatibility for transplant patients.  Their skill set, emphasis on accuracy and precision in performing testing and knowledge of method development and validation are readily transferable.  This is one reason MLS graduates are also employed in the biomedical/biotechnology industry and research laboratories.

The Clinical Laboratory Sciences programs including the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MS MLS) are accredited by The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119; (773) 714-8880; email info@naacls.org.  Web site: http://www.naacls.org.  Graduates of the MSMLS program are eligible to take the National Certification Examination for Medical Laboratory Scientist, MLS(ASCP) given by the Board of Certification (BOC) of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), 33 West Monroe St., Suite 1600, Chicago, IL, 60603, 1-800-267-2727.

Master of Science of Medical Laboratory Sciences Admission Requirements

The application deadline is June 15th.  All application materials, the application fee, official transcripts, and all supporting documents must be received by the Office of University Registrar by the deadline.  Applicants who are enrolled in college courses at the time of the application should submit an official transcript showing courses in progress.  An official, updated transcript must be submitted upon completion of the courses.

Master of Science in MLS applicants must complete a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and all math and science requirements listed below.

All applicants must complete the program prerequisites listed below and no grade less than "C" will be acceptedALL science courses must be designated for science majors.

Program Prerequisite Requirement

        • General Chemistry I with lab (4 semester credit hours)
        • General Chemistry II with lab (4 semester credit hours)
        • Organic Chemistry I with lab (4 semester credit hours)
        • Biology I with lab (4 semester credit hours)
        • Biology II (3 semester credit hours)
        • Genetics (3 semester credit hours)
        • General Physiology or Human Physiology (upper division) (3 semester credit hours)
        • Microbiology with lab (for science majors) (4 semester credit hours)
        • Precalculus (3 semester credit hours)
        • Statistics (math, science, or psychology) (3 semester credit hours)

Additional Program Requirements

        • Minimum science GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale)
        • Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
        • Completion of the Texas Common Application
        • Payment of non-refundable $60 application fee
        • Submission of official transcripts from each college and university currently or previously attended.  Applicants who are enrolled in college courses at the time of application should submit an official transcript showing courses in progress.  An updated transcript must be submitted upon completion of the courses.  Note: Transfer credits indicated on another school's transcript are not accepted in lieu of submitting the original institution record for that coursework.  Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be submitted in the original language and must be accompanied by a NACES Members evaluation agency English translation (course by course).
        • Submission of two reference letters completed by former instructors (preferably science instructors) or employers
        • Interview with program faculty
        • International Applicants only: Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (http://www.ets.org/toefl) (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 68 (Internet)


Required Documents (if you are accepted) to the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences program:

If you are made an official offer for the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MSMLS) program, all of the following items are required prior to matriculation:

  • Non-refundable $250.00 SHP Tuition Deposit to secure each student's seat for the MSMLS class. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • Completion of a background check.  Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • All Immunization requirements must be complete - UT Health Science Center Student Immunization Record and immunization records can be found at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Student Health Center Web Page - see record form for full instructions.
  • Final updated transcripts must be submitted upon completion of courses from each college/university: send to the UT Health Science Center Office of University Registrar.  All Foreign transcripts must be also sent to include the original transcript and the NACES evaluated official transcript.

UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Office of University Registrar Mailing Address:
Office of University Registrar - MC 7702
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX  78229-3900

  • Evidence of current health insurance showing dates of coverage.  Unless proof of proper insurance coverage is provided before the first day of class, students will be charged for a health insurance policy through the university.  The fee for this policy is non-removable once the payment due date passes and is non-refundable once paid.


 

Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences degree program is a 21-month program that consists of 74 semester credit hours.  The curriculum consists of medical laboratory science (clinical laboratory science) courses and clinical practicums.  The clinical practicums are completed at clinical affiliates in the San Antonio area and sites throughout South Texas.  The courses listed below constitute the curriculum for the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences.

This is a professional degree program and will not require a thesis for graduation. It is expected that students will be full-time. However, in special circumstances a student may petition to attend part time. This request for part-time status will be reviewed and approved by the faculty and Program Director. Depending on the part-time status percentage, selection of this option could delay graduation by at least one year.

Master of Science of Medical Laboratory Sciences Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
MLSC 5000Immunodiagnostics 3
MLSC 5001Immunodiagnostics Laboratory 1
MLSC 5085Organ System Biochemistry 3
MLSC 5002Clinical Applications of Quality Assessment 1
MLSC 5003Diagnostic Hematology 3
MLSC 5004Diagnostic Hematology Laboratory 2
MLSC 5005Diagnostic Immunohematology 2
MLSC 5006Diagnostic Immunohematology Laboratory 2
 Total Credit Hours: 17.0
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
MLSC 5007Diagnostic Chemistry 2
MLSC 5008Diagnostic Chemistry Laboratory 2
MLSC 5009Laboratory Analysis of Body Fluids 2
MLSC 5010Diagnostic Microbiology 3
MLSC 5011Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory 2
MLSC 5012Advanced Special Topics in Microbiology 3
 Total Credit Hours: 14.0
First Year
SummerCredit Hours
INTD 5064Applied Statistics for Health Care Practitioners 3
MLSC 5013Medical Toxicology/Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 3
 Total Credit Hours: 6.0
Second Year
FallCredit Hours
MLSC 6000Advanced Diagnostic Microbiology 2
MLSC 6001Advanced Diagnostic Hematology 2
MLSC 6002Principles of Laboratory Management 3
MLSC 6003Evidence-based Medicine in Medical Laboratory Science 3
MLSC 6004Diagnostic Hematology Practicum 4
 Total Credit Hours: 14.0
Second Year
SpringCredit Hours
MLSC 6005Advanced Diagnostic Immunohematology 2
MLSC 6006Advanced Diagnostic Chemistry 3
MLSC 6007Seminar in Laboratory Medicine 3
MLSC 6008Professional Issues in Healthcare 1
MLSC 6013Diagnostic Chemistry Practicum 4
 Total Credit Hours: 13.0
Second Year
SummerCredit Hours
MLSC 6009Diagnostic Immunohematology Practicum 4
MLSC 6010Diagnostic Microbiology Practicum 4
 Total Credit Hours: 8.0

Master of Science of Medical Laboratory Sciences Objectives/Program Outcomes

Students graduating from a Clinical Laboratory Science program such as the MS in MLS must meet the essential function requirements of the academic program and profession.  They will complete programs consisting of academic study and clinical laboratory experiences.  The student will possess the skills and attributes necessary to perform as a professional before graduation from the program.  These skills and attributes are known as essential functions and include the following:

Observation

The student will be able to:

  • Observe laboratory demonstrations in which laboratory procedures are performed on biological specimens (i.e., body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens).
  • Characterize the color, consistency, and clarity of biological specimens and reagents.
  • Characterize the macroscopic features used to distinguish bacterial and fungal cultures.
  • Use a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine differences in structure and color (hue, shading, and intensity) in microscopic specimens.
  • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print or displayed on any type of audiovisual media or A/V monitor. 

Mobility

The student will be able to:

  • Perform laboratory testing independently while adhering to existing laboratory safety standards.
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting and/or standing, over several hours.
  • Travel to numerous clinical laboratory practicum sites.
  • Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  • Grasp, hold, transport, utilize specimens, reagents, hazardous chemicals and equipment in a safe manner as needed to perform laboratory testing.
  • Collect and handle patient specimens in a timely, safe, and professional manner in order to maintain specimen integrity.
  • Handle all biological specimens using Standard Precautions as established by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
  • Use laboratory equipment (e.g., pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and instruments to perform laboratory procedures according to established procedures.
  • Troubleshoot and correct equipment/laboratory instrument malfunctions.

Communication

The student will be able to:

  • Read and understand technical and professional materials (i.e., textbooks, journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
  • Follow oral and written instructions independently.
  • Clearly instruct patients regarding specimen collection.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity, confidentiality and respect when speaking with or about patients or about patients’ data.
  • Communicate clearly, accurately and tactfully with faculty members, student colleagues, staff and other health care professionals orally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).  Oral communication includes the ability to ask and respond to formal and informal questions with confidence at an appropriate professional level.  Written communication includes ability to use correct grammar and spelling as well as the appropriate level of formality to initiate or respond to inquiries, complete reports or memos, or conduct other paper or computer work. 

Intellect

The student will be able to:

  • Comprehend, measure, calculate, reason, integrate, analyze, evaluate, compare, correlate, and problem-solve.
  • Recognize abnormal laboratory results (e.g., patient and QC) and take appropriate action.
  • Demonstrate critical-thinking and judgment skills appropriate to a given situation.

Behavior

The student will be able to:

  • Organize work and perform multiple tasks within given time constraints and under stressful conditions while maintaining the ability to communicate clearly.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptation to professional and technical change.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous situations and proceed safely to minimize risk to self and others.
  • Support and promote teamwork through activities with colleagues and other health care professionals.
  •  Accept and act on constructive criticism, critically evaluate self-performance, recognize and correct mistakes.
  • Demonstrate honesty, compassion, responsibility, reliability and ethical behavior.
  • Exercise independent judgement and accept responsibility for own work.

Master of Science Medical Laboratory Science Program Policies

Advancement to the Second Year

A student must have no grade lower than a C in required science and medical laboratory science (clinical laboratory science) courses to begin the second year and clinical practicums.  In addition a MLS student must file an Intent to Enroll in Clinical Practicum form, available from the program director at the end of the semester before practicums begin.  Students who are ready for clinical practicums are placed based on availability of positions at the affiliate sites throughout South Texas.  All students are expected to complete at least one clinical practicum at an affiliate located outside of San Antonio.  In the unlikely event that there are not enough sites available for the number of students ready to enter clinical practicums, assignments will be made according to program policies.  Students who must remediate a practicum will be assigned to an affiliate on a space-available basis.

Advisement and Schedule Planning

Applicants are encouraged to seek advisement from their college counselors or the School of Health Professions Office of Admissions and Special Programs at (866) 802-6288 (toll-free) or (210) 567-6220.  Students who complete program requirement courses at another college or university are urged to seek advisement about coursework that will fulfill the program requirements well in advance of applying to the Health Science Center.  Students must be advised each semester before permission is given to enroll in professional courses.  For students in the MS in MLS program, sequencing and completion of specific courses are very important.

Certification

Students who successfully complete the MS in MLS program are eligible to take the National Certification Examination for Medical Laboratory Scientist, MLS(ASCP) given by the Board of Certification (BOC) of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).  Awarding of the degree is not contingent on passing an external certification or licensing examination.

Practicum Assignments

Clinical practicum assignments provide the student with the breadth of experiences that encompass all major content areas and exposure to laboratory technology.  Assignment to clinical affiliates for practicum courses is a random process that is based on availability of positions at the affiliate sites.  Practicum courses typically begin in the fall semester of the second year and are completed during the following summer semester.

All students are expected to complete at least one practicum at an affiliate located outside of San Antonio.  If a student declines to go to an assigned affiliate, this will result in a loss of the students' practicum position and possible delay of graduation.  Students who have special needs and request special considerations for practicum assignments must put the request in writing to the program director at least one semester before the practicum begins.  The program director will take the request to the faculty who will approve or disapprove the request.

Program Costs

In addition to required tuition and fees, there are costs for textbooks, scrubs, and equipment.  Detailed information about program costs can be found on the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences program website.

Transfer of Credits

Agreements for transferable coursework exist with some area colleges and universities.  Students should contact the program director of the Health Science Center's Clinical Laboratory Sciences Programs or the biology advisor at their institution to determine if such an agreement exits with their school.

For additional information, see the policies and procedures in the School of Health Professions section of this Catalog.