Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences
The BS MLS program provides an excellent career opportunity to join one of the fastest growing professions in healthcare. The program is comprised of 64 semester credit hours and is designed to provide entry level competencies in the four core disciplines and challenge the board of certification to perform high complexity testing. The results of the analysis performed by an MLS are used to provide critical diagnostic information using advanced technologies to analyze blood, tissue, and body fluids. Prospective students do not require any healthcare experience to be considered. The professional clinical phase includes 720 hours of in-hospital clinical practice.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national board examinations in Medical Laboratory Science. Our graduates are recognized for their clinical skills and aptitude by some of the best health care systems.
Tracks within the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science
The Traditional Track is designed for individuals pursuing a BS degree in MLS.
The Advanced Standing Track is designed for individuals who attended a NAACLS approved Medical Laboratory Technician school, has an associate's degree, and is board certified by ASCP as an MLT(ASCP).
Students graduating from the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences program will be able to:
- Demonstrate communication skills sufficient to serve needs of patients, colleagues, members of patient care team and the public.
- Perform laboratory tests using sophisticated instrumentation on body fluids, cells, and other specimens accurately and efficiently.
- Use quality control data and procedures to evaluate the validity and reliability of laboratory test results.
- Correlate laboratory test results, recognize the presence of a problem (e.g., reagents, instrumentation, controls, personnel) and take appropriate corrective action.
- Determine the significance of laboratory test results through an understanding of physiologic functions, principles, techniques, and methods related to clinical laboratory practice.
- Exhibit ethical and professional behavior appropriate for the delivery of patient care.
- Participate in continuing education to enhance personal competency and impart knowledge to others
- Use the principles of method evaluation in the selection of new test methods and instrumentation
- Apply educational principles and methodologies to teaching/learning situations involving students, colleagues, patients, members of patient care team, and the public
- Recognize basic principles of administration and supervision as they relate to clinical laboratory practice
- Apply principles of safety and governmental regulations and standards related to clinical laboratory practice
Program Policies and Information
Advancement to the Second Year
A student must have no grade lower than a C in required science and medical laboratory sciences courses to begin the second year and begin 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 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 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 lower-division course work at another college or university are urged to seek advisement about coursework that will fulfill 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 any Medical Laboratory Sciences program, sequencing and completion of specific courses are very important.
Students who successfully complete the BS in Medical Laboratory Sciences 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.
Credit by Examination
Students enrolled in the BS in Medical Laboratory Sciences program may attempt to earn credit by examination according to the policy and procedures in the School of Health Professions section of this Catalog. Students who have college credit for MLT coursework are eligible to take “challenge examinations.” Students who are certified MLT (ASCP), have completed a MLT program accredited by NAACLS, and have an associate degree are not required to take challenge examinations. Challenge examinations must be passed with a grade of 70% or better for credit to be earned. For detailed information about eligible courses, fees, schedules, and procedures, contact the program director.
Individuals who have certification from Board of Certification (BOC) as a MLT(ASCP), have graduated from an accredited MLT program with an associate degree and are entering the second year of the BS in MLS may be given placement examinations to determine areas of discipline strengths and weaknesses.
Clinical practicum assignments provide the student with a 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 and are completed during the spring 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 student’s practicum position and possible delay of graduation. Students who have special needs and request specific 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.
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 Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences 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 Medical Laboratory Sciences Program or the biology advisor at their institution to determine if such an agreement exists with their school.
For additional information, see the policies and procedures in the School of Health Professions section of this Catalog.