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Medical Laboratory Science


Medical laboratory science programs prepare people to conduct medical tests on body fluids, tissues, and cells.

Medical laboratory science programs include topics such as:


In medical laboratory science programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Most medical laboratory science programs require students to complete a practicum at a clinic under the supervision of experienced technologists.


Several community colleges and two-year schools offer associate degree programs in medical laboratory science. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in medical laboratory science. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Some universities offer graduate degrees in medical laboratory science. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Most medical laboratory science programs are "2 + 2 professional programs." This means that you spend your first two years taking general courses that prepare you for the program. Then, in the last two years, you take courses and participate in clinical field work that is geared specifically for medical laboratory science students.

So before your admission to this program, you are required to take two years of math, science, and general education core courses. These courses are typically some combination of the following subjects:

Minimum GPA requirements are required, but they vary among programs. In general, your overall GPA for the first two years of college should be at least 2.0, and your math-science GPA should be at least 3.0.

In addition, a personal interview may be required.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor’s degree and good grades. Your bachelor's degree should be in medical laboratory science or a closely related field such as chemistry or microbiology. All of the programs expect you to have clinical and research experience.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Students rarely do graduate work just in medical laboratory science. Instead they usually specialize in a small area of the field such as immunohematology. Or they may want to concentrate on research, education, or administration. Typical courses vary by specialty. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

All programs include practicums in their curriculums. These are valuable hands-on opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world clinical settings. They also give you the opportunity to experience more specialized paths in medical laboratory science. For example, you might work in a crime lab for a police department and test blood samples for the presence of chemical substances.

Things to Know

You need to have good hand-eye coordination in order to perform delicate procedures. You also need to be able to distinguish colors from each other.

You are expected to pay for your own lab coat and liability insurance, and transportation during your clinical training.

Graduation from an accredited program in medical laboratory science qualifies you to take the national exams for certification as a medical laboratory scientist.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

Wenatchee Valley College

Wenatchee Valley College (Omak Campus)

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Tacoma Area

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Yakima Area

Heritage University