Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences
The Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences is an option for students who hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and wish to pursue a rewarding career as a medical laboratory scientist. Medical laboratory scientists use state-of-the art instrumentation to analyze blood and other body fluids providing critical, objective data for disease diagnosis, treatment planning, and preventative health care.
The application deadline is June 15th. All application materials, the application fee, official transcripts, and all supporting documents must be received by Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), or the Office of the University Registrar if Apply Texas is used, 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 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)
• 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 online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS) or Apply Texas Application
• Payment of non-refundable $95 application fee if using AHCAS application or a $60 application fee if using Apply Texas application
• Submission of the following documents to AHCAS or the Office of the University Registrar
- 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 transcript 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 (http://www.ets.org/toefl) (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 80 (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 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 criminal background check. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
- Completion of student drug testing. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
- Student Immunization Record: Student Immunization record and immunization information can be found at the Health Science Center's Student Health & Wellness Center Web Page – see website for full detailed 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.
The Professional Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences degree program is a 23-month program that consists of 74 semester credit hours. The curriculum consists of medical 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 Professional 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 Medical Laboratory Sciences Student Progress Committee. Depending on the part-time status percentage, selection of this option could delay graduation by at least one year.
Sample Plan of Study
|MLSC 5001||Immunodiagnostics Laboratory||1|
|MLSC 5085||Organ System Biochemistry||3|
|MLSC 5002||Clinical Applications of Quality Assessment||1|
|MLSC 5003||Diagnostic Hematology||3|
|MLSC 5004||Diagnostic Hematology Laboratory||2|
|MLSC 5005||Diagnostic Immunohematology||2|
|MLSC 5006||Diagnostic Immunohematology Laboratory||2|
|Total Credit Hours:||17.0|
|MLSC 5007||Diagnostic Chemistry||2|
|MLSC 5008||Diagnostic Chemistry Laboratory||2|
|MLSC 5009||Laboratory Analysis of Body Fluids||2|
|MLSC 5010||Diagnostic Microbiology||3|
|MLSC 5011||Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory||2|
|MLSC 5012||Advanced Special Topics in Microbiology||3|
|Total Credit Hours:||14.0|
|INTD 5064||Applied Statistics for Health Care Practitioners||3|
|MLSC 5013||Medical Toxicology/Therapeutic Drug Monitoring||3|
|Total Credit Hours:||6.0|
|MLSC 6000||Advanced Diagnostic Microbiology||2|
|MLSC 6001||Advanced Diagnostic Hematology||2|
|MLSC 6002||Principles of Laboratory Management||3|
|MLSC 6003||Evidence-based Medicine in Medical Laboratory Science||3|
|MLSC 6004||Diagnostic Hematology Practicum||5|
|Total Credit Hours:||15.0|
|MLSC 6005||Advanced Diagnostic Immunohematology||2|
|MLSC 6006||Advanced Diagnostic Chemistry||3|
|MLSC 6007||Seminar in Laboratory Medicine||3|
|MLSC 6008||Professional Issues in Healthcare||1|
|MLSC 6010||Diagnostic Microbiology Practicum||4|
|MLSC 6009||Diagnostic Immunohematology Practicum||4|
|Total Credit Hours:||17.0|
|MLSC 6013||Diagnostic Chemistry Practicum||5|
|Total Credit Hours:||5.0|
Students graduating from the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences will be able to:
- Communicate effectively with patients, colleagues, members of patient care team and the public on issues related to clinical laboratory practice.
- Perform laboratory tests using sophisticated instrumentation on body fluids, cells, and other specimens accurately and efficiently.
- Assess quality control data and apply quality control procedures to determine validity and reliability of laboratory test results. If results aren't reliable, suggest possible causes (e.g., systematic or random) and methods to resolve the inaccurate results.
- Evaluate laboratory test results, determine if results are reportable to patient's medical record, detect problem if one or more of the test results is not reportable and predict an action for resolution.
- Analyze laboratory test results to predict disease state (e.g., iron deficiency anemia) and select appropriate reflex laboratory test(s) necessary to confirm the diagnosis or identify the appropriate therapeutic intervention.
- Exhibit ethical and professional behavior appropriate for the delivery of patient care.
- Gather and apply evidence-based research in clinical decision-making to include evaluation and implementation of new laboratory test methods and instrumentation and outcome analyses.
- Apply fundamental principles of administration and supervision to clinical laboratory practice.
- Use educational principles and methodologies to teach and/or inform students, colleagues, patients, members of patient care team, and public on clinical laboratory topics or general healthcare topics.
- Comply with all safety regulations impacting practice in the clinical laboratory and monitor for changes in regulations.
- Contribute to the profession through presentations and active involvement in American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).
Advancement to the Second Year
A student must have no grade lower than a "C" in required science and medical 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 Professional MS in MLS program, sequencing and completion of specific courses are very important.
Students who successfully complete the Professional 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.
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.
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 Professional 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 Medical Laboratory Sciences Program 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.
INTD 5064. Applied Statistics for Health Care Practitioners. 3 Credit Hours.
This online course focuses on the application of descriptive and inferential statistics in research studies. Students are expected to gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to understand, interpret, and evaluate statistical results; work with a consultant statistician; and use software to enter, analyze, and summarize data. Course requirements include homework assignments, online discussions and/or chats, and periodic projects.
MLSC 5000. Immunodiagnostics. 3 Credit Hours.
This course focuses on principles of innate and acquired immunity. Emphasis will be placed on the cell-mediated immune response and antibody-mediated immune responses 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 including the most current recommendations for tests will be described. Students will be expected to integrate the role of specific immune responses, current research findings, and the laboratory testing used in diagnosis and treatment of the specific condition. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available Basis.
MLSC 5001. Immunodiagnostics 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. Students are expected to troubleshoot and resolve testing discrepancies and suggest reflex testing based on initial test results.
Corequisite: MLSC 5000.
MLSC 5002. Clinical Applications of Quality Assessment. 1 Credit Hour.
This course presents the CLIA requirements for quality assessment that apply to the clinical laboratory. The principles, statistics, and applications of quality assessment will be discussed. A major emphasis of the course the internal quality control system including 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 a quality assessment program. The impact of federal and state regulatory agencies on the clinical laboratory related to its quality assessment program will be discussed. This course uses blended learning format with instructional components given in the classroom setting and online.
MLSC 5003. Diagnostic Hematology. 3 Credit Hours.
This courses 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. Using case studies, students will be expected to analyze the laboratory data to determine differential diagnosis and suggest appropriate reflex testing to confirm diagnosis. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available Basis.
MLSC 5004. Diagnostic Hematology Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.
This is a clinical laboratory course emphasizing automated cell counting techniques and basic hematologic tests. Test results are critically evaluated to determine their reportability. Normal and abnormal blood smears are examined with emphasis on identification of cells and their relationships to various disease processes. Recognition of maturing hematopoietic cells will be studies using normal bone marrow smears. Students will apply quality control methods throughout the hematology laboratory experience.
Corequisite: MLSC 5003.
MLSC 5005. Diagnostic 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 fetus and newborn will be discussed. Students will be expected to analyze and resolve complex cases and prepare a report on specific blood group systems. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available Basis.
MLSC 5006. Diagnostic Immunohematology Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.
This laboratory course emphasizes basic blood banking techniques including blood typing, identification of alloantibodies, and resolution of typing discrepancies. Techniques used in resolution of compatibility testing, investigation of transfusion reaction, and hemolytic disease of the newborn are practiced. Principles and applications of quality control are introduced. Students are expected to be able to resolved cases involving multiple alloantibodies and complex patient histories.
Corequisite: MSLC 5005.
MLSC 5007. Diagnostic Chemistry. 2 Credit Hours.
The study of carbohydrates, enzymes, proteins, electrolytes 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. Through case study analysis, students will be expected to correlate the laboratory results with pertinent disease states and explain how the laboratory results support the diagnosis. Aspects of the laboratory's quality assessment program ill be discussed including method evaluation, determination of reference intervals, and selection of new methods. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available Basis.
MLSC 5008. Diagnostic Chemistry Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.
This is a laboratory course emphasizing biochemical analysis of body fluids using automated instrumentation and manual procedures. Assessment of test results by applying quality control methods and review of patient result protocol is stressed. Students are expected to correlate test results with pertinent disease states and suggest appropriate reflex testing to confirm diagnosis. Method evaluation studies are performed and evaluated.
Corequisite: MLSC 5007.
MLSC 5009. Laboratory Analysis of Body Fluids. 2 Credit Hours.
This course focuses on the analysis and findings of selected body fluids including urine, amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid and synovial fluid in health and disease states. Anatomy and physiology of the kidney, pleural, pericardial and peritoneal cavities are studied. Topics include: physical and chemical properties as well as cellular elements of urine; formation and function of cerebrospinal fluid and amniotic fluid as well as cellular and formed elements. In addition this course includes the performance of various laboratory procedures utilized in the analysis of each fluid. Case studies and literature review will be used to emphasis of each fluid. Case studies and literature review will be used to emphasize correlation of the changes in laboratory results with various disease states. Principles and applications of quality control procedures are practiced.
MLSC 5010. Diagnostic Microbiology. 3 Credit Hours.
This is a comprehensive study of medically important microorganisms including their microscopic and colony morphology, and growth requirements. Methods of detection, identification and susceptibility pathogens and their role in infectious disease will be stressed. Antimicrobials, their mechanisms of action and resistance mechanisms will be included. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available Basis.
MLSC 5011. Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory. 2 Credit Hours.
This is a laboratory course emphasizing diagnostic microbiology. Examination of specimens 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 methods for detection, identification, and susceptibility testing of significant organisms. Principles of quality control procedures are practiced. Rarely encountered and fastidious microorganisms are additional challenges of this course.
Corequisite: MSLC 5010.
MLSC 5012. Advanced 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 anaerobes, mycobacteria, parasites and fungi. Specimen collection techniques and methods of processing specimens for each group of organisms will be included. Laboratory sessions will focus microscopic identification was well as classic and rapid methods of detection and identification.
Prerequisites: MLSC 5010 and MLSC 5011.
MLSC 5013. Medical Toxicology/Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 3 Credit Hours.
This course provides the student with the knowledge of the major classes of drugs and bioactive compounds, their mode of action and the concept of toxidromes. This course will concentrate on the role of the laboratory in personalized medicine (effect of individual genetics on the response to drugs and the production of toxicity in pain management and drug addiction) and the parts genomic testing and therapeutic drug monitoring should play.
MLSC 5085. Organ System Biochemistry. 3 Credit Hours.
This course provides an advanced understanding of the biochemical processes that drive proper functioning of the major organs in the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, the liver and biliary system, cardiovascular, pulmonary, respiratory, renal, pancreas and endocrine systems. The course also provides the biochemistry of micronutrients, including vitamins, and the three macronutrients- carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. The metabolic processes that integrate these systems are stressed.
MLSC 6000. Advanced Diagnostic Microbiology. 2 Credit Hours.
This course will discuss etiology of infectious diseases in different patient populations, different body sites and organ systems in a case-based approach. Appropriate specimens and laboratory tests based on patient signs and symptoms will be emphasized. Recent developments in microbiology and new methods in the identification of bacterial agents of infectious disease will also be presented. The course will explore the public health and infection control aspects of infectious diseases.
MLSC 6001. Advanced Diagnostic Hematology. 2 Credit Hours.
This lecture course uses a case-based approach to study the pathogenic mechanisms of disorders involving erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets, and coagulation factors. 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. Using case studies, students will analyze laboratory results ad discuss relevant and irrelevant results.
MLSC 6002. Principles of Laboratory Management. 3 Credit Hours.
This course focuses on general management and laboratory-specific management topics. The areas of human resource management, organizational behavior, financial analysis, as well as compliance and regulatory issues will be incorporated into the course. Reimbursement issues and CPT coding, principles and development of reflex testing and critical pathways will be covered. Job specific skills such as resume writing and interviewing will be addressed. Assignments and projects will allow students to integrate these principles and topics in laboratory related scenarios.
MLSC 6003. Evidence-based Medicine in Medical Laboratory Science. 3 Credit Hours.
This course introduces the principles of, rationale for use of, and the process employed in evidence-based medicine in laboratory medicine. Topics include: basic principles of evidence based medicine, development of focused questions, identification and use of the hierarchy of information, critical appraisal of literature, and application to laboratory practice scenarios.
MLSC 6004. Diagnostic Hematology Practicum. 5 Credit Hours.
Students will perform hematologic tests on quality control and patient samples using automated hematology and hemostasis instruments. Emphasis is on evaluation of quality control and patient results and troubleshooting un-reportable results. An opportunity to gain proficiency in morphologic evaluation of normal and abnormal cellular morphology, including peripheral blood and bone marrow, will be offered. In addition the student will have the opportunity to practice flow cytometry techniques and evaluate results characteristic of specific hematologic disorders. Students will gain experience with the laboratory information system as well as the role of the LIS in test ordering, specimen processing, and reporting results.
MLSC 6005. Advanced Diagnostic Immunohematology. 2 Credit Hours.
Advanced study in specific applications of clinical immunohematology including: 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. Molecular testing and HLA system applications in transplantation and paternity testing will also be discussed. This course utilizes complex and unusual case studies as a means to integrate theory and principles and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.
MLSC 6006. Advanced Diagnostic Chemistry. 3 Credit Hours.
This course prepares the student with advanced clinical chemistry knowledge underlying the rapidly growing laboratory tests. The course emphasizes the test abnormalities associated with routine tests such as the comprehensive metabolic panel, as well as emerging tests in the areas of tumor markers, care of the infertile couple, pregnant woman and newborn screening tests, clinical toxicology and therapeutic drug monitoring. This is a problem-solving course that is heavily driven by case studies.
MLSC 6007. Seminar in Laboratory Medicine. 3 Credit Hours.
This course discusses the value of conducting medical research, the historical events leading to the development of the Nuremberg code and the Belmont Report, benefits of including all races, both genders and all ages in medical research (and the disadvantages of excluding some). This course also exposes the student to different styles of scientific writing and publication, and guides the students on how to interpret and critique scientific publications and case reports. Each student will be required to critique/discuss about ten scientific publications in front of peers.
MLSC 6008. Professional Issues in Healthcare. 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 heath 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 be also be addressed. Collaborative activities and simulated cases will be used to enhance discussion among students.
MLSC 6009. Diagnostic Immunohematology Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.
Students will perform routine blood grouping and typing, compatibility testing, and alloantibody detection and identification using multiple methods. Advanced techniques for investigation and resolution of discrepancies and complex problems such as autoantibodies will be included. Students will practice HLA testing, quality assessment procedures are practiced on a daily basis. Investigation and methods to resolve quality assessment problems will be addressed.
MLSC 6010. Diagnostic 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 the 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. Students will gain an appreciation of the healthcare regulatory environment, workflow, and day-to-day operations of a busy microbiology laboratory.
MLSC 6013. Diagnostic Chemistry Practicum. 5 Credit Hours.
The student is introduced to the role of the clinical chemistry laboratory in patient care. Students have the opportunity to gain experience with laboratory automation including general chemistry instruments, immunochemical instruments, and urinalysis instruments. Emphasis will be placed on troubleshooting instrumentation problems and patient sample issues. The student will also perform urinalysis, special chemistry procedures, therapeutic drug monitoring, and toxicology procedures. In addition students will perform routine and reflex testing for specific disease states that are primarily diagnosed by serologic tests using immunoassay-based techniques. Internal and external quality control methods will be practiced and external quality control results (i.e., proficiency testing reports) will be analyzed to determine if corrective action is required.