Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences

Admissions Requirements 

The application deadline is June 15. All application materials, the application fee, official transcripts, and all supporting documents must be received by the Office of the University Registrar if using the Texas Common Application or Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS) application by the deadline. Applicants who are enrolled in college courses at the time of application should submit an official transcript showing courses in progress. An official, updated transcript must be submitted upon completion of the courses.

Bachelor of Science in MLS applicants must complete the Texas Core Curriculum (42 hours) and prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or better. Certain prerequisite courses will apply towards meeting the Texas Core requirements:

Texas Core Curriculum Requirement                                                                               

  • English Composition I & II  (6 semester credit hours)
  • College Algebra or higher (3 semester credit hours)
  • Natural Sciences (BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or other natural science)  (12 semester credit hours)
  • Humanities
    • Any philosophy, language, humanities, or English literature course (3 semester credit hours)
  • Visual and Performing Arts
    • Any arts, drama, or music course (3 semester credit hours)
  • U.S. History I and U.S. History II (6 semester credit hours)
  • Texas State & Local Government & American Government (6 semester credit hours)
  • Any psychology or sociology course (3 semester credit hours)

All applicants must complete the program prerequisites listed below and no grade less than "C" will be accepted; ALL 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)
  • Biology I with lab (4 semester credit hours)
  • Biology II  (3 semester credit hours)
  • Microbiology with lab (for science majors) (4 semester credit hours)
  • General Physiology or Human Physiology (upper division) (3 semester credit hours)
  • Genetics (3 semester credit hours)
  • Organic Chemistry I with lab (4 semester credit hours)
  • Precalculus (3 semester credit hours)
  • Statistics (math, science or psychology)  (3 semester credit hours)

Additional MLS program requirements:

  • Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Minimum science GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Completion of the online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), or the Texas Common Application
  • Payment of non-refundable $95 application fee if using the AHCAS application or a $60 application fee if using the Texas Common Application
  • Submission of the following documents to the AHCAS or the Office of University Registrar contingent upon which application system was used.
    • 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).
    • 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 (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 80 (Internet).

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

If you are made an official offer for the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences (BSMLS) 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 BSMLS class. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • Completion of a criminal background check. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • All immunization requirements must be complete - Student Immunization Record and immunization information can be found on the 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 to the Office of University Registrar. All Foreign transcripts must be also sent to include the original transcript and the NACES evaluated official transcript (course by course).

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.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences degree program is a four-year program that consists of a minimum of 126 semester credit hours. The third and fourth year of the program is comprised of medical laboratory science courses and clinical practicums that are completed at the Health Science Center. The courses listed in the Sample Plan of Study constitute the professional curriculum for the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science.

Individualized degree plans are created for each student admitted to the program in consultation with the program director.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
MLSC 3011Quality Assurance in the Clinical Laboratory 1
MLSC 3051Hematology 3
MLSC 3052Hematology Laboratory 2
MLSC 3060Immunohematology 2
MLSC 3064Immunohematology Laboratory 2
MLSC 3065Clinical Immunology 3
MLSC 3071Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory 1
MLSC 3085Principles of Biochemistry 3
 Total Credit Hours: 17.0
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
MLSC 3010Body Fluids 2
MLSC 3033Medical Microbiology 3
MLSC 3064Immunohematology Laboratory 2
MLSC 3040Special Topics in Microbiology 3
MLSC 3081Clinical Chemistry 2
MLSC 3082Clinical Chemistry Laboratory 2
 Total Credit Hours: 14.0
Second Year
FallCredit Hours
MLSC 4033Advanced Medical Microbiology 2
MLSC 4053Advanced Hematology 2
MLSC 4057Hematology Practicum 5
MLSC 4067Immunohematology Practicum 4
MLSC 4095Management 2
MLSC 4189CLS Senior Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 16.0
Second Year
SpringCredit Hours
MLSC 4006Professional Issues 1
MLSC 4037Microbiology Practicum 4
MLSC 4055Advanced Immunohematology 2
MLSC 4083Advanced Clinical Chemistry 3
MLSC 4087Chemistry Practicum 5
MLSC 4190Research 2
 Total Credit Hours: 17.0

Objectives/Program Outcomes

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 other

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. 

Certification

Students who successfully complete the BS in Medical  Laboratory Sciences program are eligible to take the national certification examination 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.

Placement Examinations

Individuals who have certification from Board of Certification (BOC) of  ASCP as a MLT, 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.

Practicum Assignments

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.

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 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.

Courses

MLSC 3010. Body Fluids. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a study of selected body fluids including urine, amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial fluid. Renal physiology and the physical and chemical properties of urine and cellular elements of the urine in healthy and diseased states are studied. The formation and function of cerebrospinal fluid and amniotic fluid will be discussed. The anatomy and physiology of pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial cavities will be presented. Attention is given to the cellular and formed elements found in these body fluids. In addition, this course includes the performance of various laboratory procedures utilized in the analysis of each of these fluids. Case studies will be used to emphasize the changes in laboratory results associated with various disease states. Principles and applications of quality control procedures are practiced.

MLSC 3011. Quality Assurance in the Clinical Laboratory. 1 Credit Hour.

This course presents the principles, statistics, and applications of quality assurance as it pertains to the clinical laboratory. The course will emphasize the statistics that are needed to evaluate a quality control system, the rules that are necessary for interpreting the quality control results, and the role of quality control in a quality assurance program. The impact of federal and state regulatory agencies on the clinical laboratory and its quality assurance program will be discussed. A large part of this course is via computer-assisted instruction.

MLSC 3033. Medical Microbiology. 3 Credit Hours.

This is a comprehensive study of medically important microorganisms including their composition, morphology, and growth requirements. Methods for identification including biochemical reactions of significant pathogens and their role in infectious disease will be stressed.

MLSC 3034. Medical Microbiology Lab. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a laboratory course emphasizing diagnostic clinical microbiology. Examination of samples from different body sites provides students the opportunity to recognize and identify organisms that comprise the normal flora and those that are potential pathogens. This course includes conventional and rapid biochemical methods for detection and identification of significant organisms. Principles and application of quality control procedures are practiced. Corequisites: CLSC 3033.

MLSC 3040. Special Topics in Microbiology. 3 Credit Hours.

This lecture and laboratory course will focus on the transmission, pathophysiology, clinical sites of infection, clinical presentation, life cycles, and identification of infrequently isolated bacterial pathogens, anaerobes, mycobacteria, viruses, parasites and fungal agents. Specimen collection techniques and methods of processing specimens for each group of organisms will be included. Laboratory sessions will focus on microscopic identification as well as classic and rapid methods of detection and identification of these etiologic agents. Prerequisites: CLSC 3033 and CLSC 3034.

MLSC 3051. Hematology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a study of the normal production, maturation, and function of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets. Common disorders involving such cells will be discussed with emphasis on the pathogenic mechanisms. Hematologic laboratory tests and their correlations with disease states will also be examined. Normal hemostasis will be considered including pertinent laboratory tests used in diagnosis of coagulation problems.

MLSC 3052. Hematology Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a clinical laboratory course emphasizing manual and semi-automated cell counting techniques and other basic hematologic tests. Time is devoted to the examination of normal and abnormal blood smears with emphasis on identification of cells and their relationships to various disease processes. An introduction to quality control methods in the hematology laboratory will also be included. Corequisites: CLSC 3051.

MLSC 3060. Immunohematology. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a study of the major blood groups of humans including the red cell antigen systems, alloantibodies, and non-immune stimulated antibodies. The relationship of blood group systems to compatibility testing, transfusion reactions, and hemolytic disease of the newborn will be discussed.

MLSC 3064. Immunohematology Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a laboratory course emphasizing basic bloodbanking techniques including blood typing, identification of alloantibodies, and resolution of typing discrepancies. Techniques used in resolution of compatibility testing, investigation of transfusion reactions, and hemolytic disease of the newborn are practiced. Principles and applications of quality control are introduced. Corequisites: CLSC 3060.

MLSC 3065. Clinical Immunology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will discuss the principles of innate and acquired immunity. Emphasis will be placed on the cell-mediated immune response and humoral immune response to immunogens. The cells of either response, their development, and their role in the specific immune response will be discussed. Soluble mediators of the immune response will be covered including immunoglobulins, cytokines, and complement. Finally, disorders of impaired immune function and infectious diseases will be discussed including autoimmunity, hypersensitivity, transplantation and tumor immunology, immunodeficiency, syphilis, infectious mononucleosis, etc. Laboratory testing for these disorders will be described.

MLSC 3071. Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory. 1 Credit Hour.

This laboratory course introduces students to basic laboratory concepts and skills. Safety regulations and procedures will be covered. Specimen collection, handling and storage are discussed in relation to the reliability of a laboratory test result. Students will perform immunologic procedures commonly used in the diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases. Principles and applications of quality control procedures are integrated throughout. Corequisites: CLSC 3065.

MLSC 3081. Clinical Chemistry. 2 Credit Hours.

The study of carbohydrates, enzymes, proteins and other chemicals routinely analyzed in clinical chemistry laboratories. Emphasis is placed upon principles of testing, methods of analysis, data interpretation, and clinical significance of results. Laboratory mathematics, quality control, safety, and instrumentation also are topics covered.

MLSC 3082. Clinical Chemistry Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a laboratory course emphasizing biochemical analysis of body fluids utilizing manual procedures and semi-automated instrumentation. Students are given the opportunity to develop motor skills and organizational techniques in biochemical procedures. Principles and applications of quality control procedures are practiced. Corequisites: CLSC 3081.

MLSC 3085. Principles of Biochemistry. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a discussion of the basic biomedical processes that occur in the human body. Topics that will be covered include the molecular basis of life, molecular structure, bioenergetics, enzymes, and metabolism.

MLSC 4006. Professional Issues. 1 Credit Hour.

This interdisciplinary course will provide an overview of professional and ethical issues facing allied health professionals. Topics to be discussed include responsibilities of the health care practitioner, life and death decisions, patient confidentiality, substance abuse, whistle blowing, and informed consent. Ethics in research and other critical issues related to health care problems will also be addressed. Collaborative activities and simulated cases will be used to enhance discussion among students.

MLSC 4033. Advanced Medical Microbiology. 2 Credit Hours.

This course will discuss etiology of infectious diseases in different body sites. Laboratory identification of suspected etiologic agents, using conventional methods, will be emphasized. Recent developments in microbiology and new rapid methods in the identification of bacterial agents of infectious disease will also be presented. One section of this course is in a distance-learning format offered via the Web. Students wanting to enroll in the Web section must receive permission from the instructor.

MLSC 4037. Microbiology Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

Under the supervision and direction of a clinical instructor in the hospital setting, the student is introduced to the functional roles of the clinical microbiology laboratory. Emphasis is on the practical application of microbiological principles in the areas of bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, and mycobacteriology. Students have the opportunity to gain experience in the isolation and identification of both indigenous microflora and potential disease producing organisms of man. Concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM) are emphasized.

MLSC 4053. Advanced Hematology. 2 Credit Hours.

Using problem-based learning approach, this advanced course presents the pathogenic mechanisms of disorders involving erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets, and coagulation factors. The methodology for detection of diseases of the blood and blood forming organs is examined. The peripheral blood and bone marrow findings in relation to various hematopoietic disease processes will be emphasized. Abnormalities of hemostatic mechanisms and their correlation with laboratory tests will be presented.

MLSC 4054. Advanced Hematology/Web-Based. 2 Credit Hours.

This advanced course in hematology/hemostasis presents the pathogenic mechanisms of disorders involving erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets, and coagulation factors. The methodology for detection of diseases of the blood and blood forming organs is examined with emphasis on the interpretation of the findings and determination of appropriate reflex testing. Morphologic changes in the peripheral blood and bone marrow will be emphasized. This is a Web-based course. Enrollment is open to clinical laboratory technicians/medical laboratory technicians or military-trained laboratory personnel who have been accepted into the CLS program or by special permission from the course director.

MLSC 4055. Advanced Immunohematology. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a lecture course which uses case studies to emphasize theory and principles and develop problem solving skills. Major areas of focus include collection, processing and therapeutic use of blood components; investigation of autoantibodies and alloantibodies as detected in hemolytic disease of newborns, transfusion reactions, and autoimmune hemolytic anemias. The HLA system and applications in transplantation and paternity testing will also be discussed. One section of this course is in a distance-learning format offered via the Web. Students wanting to enroll in the Web section must receive permission from the instructor.

MLSC 4057. Hematology Practicum. 5 Credit Hours.

Under the direction and supervision of a clinical instructor, the student will have the opportunity to gain expertise and confidence working in the hematology section of the clinical laboratory. Students will perform hematologic and coagulation tests as well as "troubleshoot" automated hematology and coagulation instruments. An opportunity to gain proficiency in morphologic evaluation of normal and abnormal cellular morphology, including peripheral blood and bone marrow examination, will be offered. The student will be introduced to the technology of flow cytometry and interpretation of results including scattergrams/scatterplots in the diagnosis of hematologic disease. Knowledge of internal and external quality control methods in the hematology laboratory will be emphasized. Students will also have the opportunity to learn the principles of interfacing laboratory instrumentation with the laboratory information system as well as the role of the LIS in test ordering, specimen processing, and reporting of results.

MLSC 4067. Immunohematology Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

Under the supervision and direction of a clinical instructor in the hospital setting, the student will be given the opportunity to perform routine blood grouping and typing, compatibility testing, and donor unit processing. Experience in solving antibody problems, HLA testing, and preparing components will also be offered. Quality assurance procedures are practiced on a daily basis.

MLSC 4083. Advanced Clinical Chemistry. 3 Credit Hours.

This is an advanced clinical lecture course emphasizing abnormalities in liver, cardiac, renal, and endocrine systems and their effect on chemical blood constituents. The theories and use of complex biochemical methodologies including immunochemical assays, chromatography, and electrophoresis also will be discussed. One section of this course is in a distance-learning format offered via the Web. Students wanting to enroll in the Web section must receive permission from the instructor.

MLSC 4087. Chemistry Practicum. 5 Credit Hours.

Under the direction and supervision of a clinical instructor, the student is introduced to the delivery of patient care as it relates to the clinical chemistry laboratory. The student will gain experience in laboratory testing using automated chemistry instrumentation. The student will perform a variety of laboratory tests including general chemistry tests, immunochemical assays, therapeutic drug monitoring, toxicology, urinalysis, and special chemistry procedures. In addition, the student will perform routine and reflex serological tests using immunoassay-based methods to facilitate the diagnosis of certain disease states. Knowledge of internal and external quality control methods will be emphasized.

MLSC 4091. Independent Study. 1-12 Credit Hours.

A plan of study is determined by the supervising faculty. The participating student and supervising faculty develop the course requirements and forms of evaluation. Credit hours are determined by the scope of the project.

MLSC 4095. Management. 2 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to present the principle of group dynamics, human resources management, and financial analysis to students in laboratory medicine. Topics include leadership style, staffing, and laboratory information systems (data management, analysis, selection). Writing resumes and laboratory procedures and developing job performance criteria are included. Interviewing techniques and performance evaluations are practiced. Current issues in managed care including outcomes assessment, evidence-based medicine, infection control, CLIA regulations, point of care testing, onsite surveys of the laboratory and medical necessity are discussed.