How will I know if this is a career for me?
Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) is a career for you if you:
- are a problem solver
- like challenge and responsibility
- are accurate and reliable
- work well under pressure
- communicate well
- set high standards for yourself
- are fascinated by science
What are some of the benefits of being a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
- Multiple career opportunities within various clinical, reference or research labs
- Challenging and constantly changing technology
- Excellent entry-level salaries and opportunities for growth
- Flexible hours and part-time opportunities
- Foundation for other health-related careers (Medical School, Physician Assistant)
- Becoming an integral part of the health care team and providing quality patient care
Is the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program accredited?
The Program has achieved national accreditation through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). As such, students who have successfully completed the program, may sit for the national certification examination offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (http://naacls.org)
5600 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
How is the program structured? Is there a clinical component or internship?
The traditional MLS program is called a 3 + 1 model. Three years are spent at UB taking prerequisite and core courses. Upon successful completion of those three years, including passing a comprehensive examination, the student will spend the two semesters of the senior year in clinical rotations at one of UB’s clinical affiliate hospital laboratories.
Where can I do my clinical rotations?
The University is contracted with multiple clinical affiliates including but not limited to Yale New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Stamford Hospital, and St Vincent’s Medical Center. For a complete current listing of affiliates please contact the program. If you have a special request, please let us know and we will investigate that option for you.
I hear different terms and it seems confusing, what is my job title and what am I called after I finish the program?
The term commonly used in the past was Medical Technologist. Today, the current professional term is Medical Laboratory Scientist. Medical Laboratory Technician is used for a two year Associate degree graduate. People who graduate from the categorical certificate program are called categorical graduates and may be referred to as a Clinical Chemist, Hematologist, Clinical Microbiologist or Immunohematology Technologist.
I have a degree already, what are my options?
Sometimes people with a prior BS degree will choose to study one or more areas of the clinical laboratory without obtaining a second degree. To do this, our program offers a categorical route of study, allowing students to concentrate on studies in Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology and/or Immunohematology. People with a degree also have the option of obtaining a second degree in MLS after fulfilling all University of Bridgeport requirements for graduation.
What is the difference between the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) and Categorical programs and certification?
The full MLS program is currently offered only as a 4 year traditional degree or as a second degree program. The length of time to obtain a second degree in MLS is dependent on how many credits transfer to UB. A Categorical program of study is usually offered to people already having a BS degree and can potentially be completed in approximately two years. It is designed for people wanting a more rapid means to begin working in a clinical laboratory or for those people wanting to specialize.
MLS graduates are trained to work as Generalists in all four major clinical labs which are Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology and Blood Bank (Immunohematology). Categorical people generally study and then work in fewer than four sections of the lab. Although Generalist status is best for hiring eligibility, it is suggested that people seeking categorical status combine a minimum of two categorical areas, such as Chemistry and Hematology, to make themselves more marketable for hire.
Certification is accomplished by taking and successfully passing the national certification examination offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The ASCP offers an exam for Generalist and exams in each categorical area.
When do I apply to the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program?
Application is ongoing, students may contact Admissions at UB at any time to apply. The program offers both a traditional degree option and or a customized categorical plan of study. Please contact the program for more details on customized plan of study options.
Is financial aid available?
For students obtaining a degree, financial aid may be available. The student should contact the Financial Aid office for more details. Categorical students pay a set tuition plus fees. Contact the program director, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information on customized categorical options.
How are placements at clinical rotation sites determined?
Normally during the semester prior to entering clinical rotations, students with good academic standing in the MLS program have the opportunity to visit our program’s affiliated clinical rotation sites. Students then submit their application for placement to the three sites of their choice. The application process may include either an in-person or telephone interview. During a scheduled Matching conference with all involved affiliates and UB faculty, student placement will be determined. Students are generally placed in one of their first three choices, however, placement is not guaranteed. If a student wishes to change their clinical rotation site, they will have to make a new application to the site(s) of their choice. Again, placement at a new clinical rotation site is not guaranteed.
Are there any additional fees or expenses associated with the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program?
Upon placement, the student may be responsible for the costs associated with the on-boarding process at their assigned clinical rotation site. These costs may include the cost for urine drug screen testing, background check and any required immunizations. You are responsible for all expenses associated with the clinical experience, including the cost of uniforms and travel. You are responsible for providing your own transportation to the clinical site. Therefore, you should allow for transportation expenses, which could include parking fees and the cost of gasoline. You are required to pay full fees and tuition to the University of Bridgeport during clinical affiliations.
Is housing or parking available at the clinical sites?
Housing is currently not available at the clinical sites. However, UB has dorms available. Most clinical sites are within a 30 minute drive from UB and some have shuttle service from local train stations. In Bridgeport, UB students also have access to local bus transportation to area hospitals.
There may be parking fees during clinical, depending upon the clinical site.
What do I need to do after graduation?
Students are encouraged to sit for the national certification examination as soon as possible after completion of the Program. The program does not require you to pass the certification examination in order to grant you a degree. For more information on certification:
American Society for Clinical Pathology (http://www.ascp.org/)
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603
What is the job market for Medical Laboratory Scientists?
There currently is a nationwide shortage of qualified medical laboratory scientists, which will likely continue into the foreseeable future. It is expected that 50% of the workforce may retire within the next 10 years providing plenty of job opportunities nationwide.
How many students are accepted each year?
A total of eighteen students may be accepted each year into the MLS Program; this includes both baccalaureate degree and categorical program students.
What would a career ladder look like for me once I become a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
A Medical Laboratory Scientist who gains experience in one of the special areas of the laboratory has the opportunity to advance to a specialist level; in chemistry, hematology, transfusion services, immunology and microbiology. There are also numerous opportunities in management, research and education. There are additional positions in pharmaceutical companies and industry, as well as in reference, state health department and forensic laboratories. With additional graduate work, there are even more opportunities for professional growth. In today’s laboratories, areas of scientific exploration include the immune system, cell marker technology, bioengineering and cancer research. In the clinical area, drug testing, therapeutic drug monitoring and biogenetics are just a few of the specialties with openings. In industry, Medical Laboratory Scientists are needed for positions in marketing, sales, quality assurance, environmental health and insurance, among others.
Are you able to do the program on a part-time basis?
Part-time study is possible until entering into clinical rotations at an affiliate hospital. During the clinical rotation semesters, the student will be full-time and will have classes at UB on Mondays and will be in the clinical laboratory at their assigned site Tuesday through Friday. Both classes and rotations occur during the daytime. At the clinical site, a student will typically be on site each day for 6-7.5 hours. The exact time for each shift will be determined by the clinical site.
What are entry level salaries for this profession?
Salaries vary by region, ranging from approximately $40,000 to $60,000 per year base. Additional monies are given for evening, night and weekend shifts.
I have other questions, or how do I get more information about the program?