Redefining the Classroom

Welcome to the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major!

Medical Laboratory Science students practicing techniques for counting bacteria

Medical Laboratory Science students practicing techniques for counting bacteria

By completing the coursework required for this major, completing a clinical experience, and passing the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) exam, you will become a certified medical laboratory scientist.

Medical laboratory scientists perform tests on blood, urine, stool, cerebrospinal fluid, joint fluid, and other types of specimens to gain information about the specimen donor’s health. Medical laboratory scientists oversee all steps of the testing process, from collection of the specimen to reporting results. They understand the physiology and the principles behind the tests they perform; they can troubleshoot methods, interpret results, and advise other members of the patient care team as to the most appropriate test to choose. Medical laboratory scientists work in hospitals, in independent clinical laboratories, in veterinary laboratories, in state health departments, and in research laboratories.

LSSU’s Medical Laboratory Science program has two concentrations: Academic and Clinical

  Academic Concentration Clinical Concentration
Duration (total) 4 years 4 ½ years
Certification Exam eligibility (upon graduation) No Yes
Admission All who are accepted to LSSU Competitive
Curriculum All classroom lectures and labs 4 years of classroom lectures and labs + 6 months clinical experience

NOTE: A complete list of course requirements for both concentrations may be found in the Academic catalog.

  • Academic Concentration

    Medical Laboratory Science students practicing techniques for counting bacteria.Microbiology students practicing techniques for counting bacteria

    The Academic Concentration is designed to be completed in four years. When you finish the Academic Concentration you will receive a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science, but you will not be eligible to take the Board of Certification exam. If you want to take the certification exam after completing LSSU’s MLS - Academic Concentration, you must first be accepted into, and complete, a six- to twelve-month clinical experience at an independent hospital-based MLS program that is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are four such programs in the state of Michigan, located at:

    • DMC University Laboratories (Detroit)
    • St. John Providence Health Laboratories (Detroit/Grosse Pointe)
    • Hurley Medical Center (Flint)
    • Beaumont Health System (Royal Oak)

    LSSU cannot guarantee acceptance into any of the hospital-based programs. While completing this clinical experience, you are not an LSSU student (you have already graduated), and you do not pay LSSU tuition (some hospital programs charge their own tuition; some do not).

  • Clinical Concentration

    Medical Laboratory Science students in last fall's independent study parasitology course examining the eggs of parasitic worms.Medical Laboratory Science students examining the eggs of parasitic worms

    The Clinical Concentration is designed to be completed in four and a half years. When you finish the Clinical Concentration you will receive a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and you will be eligible to take the Board of Certification exam. That is because the last six months of the Clinical Concentration consist of a clinical experience at one of our Clinical Affiliate partner hospital labs: you will spend each day in a real-life hospital laboratory practicing tests on that hospital’s equipment on real-life patient specimens. Because our Clinical Affiliates can accommodate only a limited number of students each year, admission into the Clinical Concentration is by competitive application at the end of your junior year.

    Entry into and completion of MLS - Clinical Concentration

    All students wishing to major in Medical Laboratory Science must begin by declaring the MLS-Academic Concentration as their major.

    The course requirements for the first three years of the Academic Concentration and the first three years of the Clinical Concentration are exactly the same.

    In the final half of their junior year, students wishing to enter the Clinical Concentration submit an application packet to the Program Director (details in the Student Handbook). Students who are accepted switch at that time from the Academic Concentration to the Clinical Concentration and finish the last 1½ years according to the course requirements of the Clinical Concentration. Students who do not apply to or who are not accepted into the Clinical Concentration finish the last 1 year according to the course requirements of the Academic Concentration.

    Clinical Concentration: Student Handbook

    Extensive information about LSSU’s MLS-Clinical Concentration, including accreditation information, program goals and outcomes measures, and policies and procedures, is provided in the Student Handbook.

    Some of the information in the Student Handbook is reproduced below:

    II. Program Mission Statement

    The mission of the Lake Superior State University Medical Laboratory Science- Clinical Concentration Program is to train competent entry-level Medical Laboratory Scientists.

    III. Program Accreditation Information

    The Lake Superior State University (LSSU) Medical Laboratory Science (MLS)—Clinical Concentration Program is seeking accreditation [Note: will be changed to read “has serious applicant status” when the Program gains that status] by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).  NAACLS may be contacted at:

    5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720
    Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
    Phone: 773-714-8880
    Fax: 773-714-8886
    info@naacls.org

    IV.  Program Director

    Martha A. Hutchens, Ph.D., MT(ASCP)CM
    Assistant Professor
    School of Biological Sciences
    Lake Superior State University
    650 W. Easterday Ave.
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

    VI. Program Outcomes Measures

    A. Certification Rate

    This Program is required to publish the average certification rate of its graduates over past three years.  This data is not yet available, as this is the first year of the Program’s existence.  After a cohort of students has graduated and taken the certification exam, this data will be published.

    B. Graduation Rate

    This Program is required to publish the percent of students who begin the final half of the Program who also complete the Program, on average over the past three years. This data is not yet available, as this is the first year of the Program’s existence.  After a cohort of students has graduated, this data will be published.

    C. Attrition Rate

    This Program is required to publish its attrition rate averaged over the past three years. This data is not yet available, as this is the first year of the Program’s existence.  After a cohort of students has graduated, this data will be published.

    D. Placement Rate

    This Program is required to publish the percent of graduates who find employment within the field of medical laboratory science or who pursue further education, on average over the past three years. This data is not yet available, as this is the first year of the Program’s existence.  After a cohort of students has graduated and sought employment, this data will be published.

    VII. Program Goals and Graduate Competencies

    The goals of the Lake Superior State University Medical Laboratory Science- Clinical Concentration Program are to provide the information, personal interactions, and experiences that will prepare students to:

    • Understand and analyze medical laboratory tests and situations
    • Quickly, accurately, and precisely perform medical laboratory test procedures
    • Conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner.

    Graduate competences (aka Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes)

    1) Graduates of the MLS Program will recall fundamental principles of each discipline used in the medical laboratory, including:

    • Basic Laboratory Operations
    • Clinical Chemistry
    • Hematology/Hemostasis
    • Immunology/Serology
    • Immunohematology
    • Microbiology (including Mycology and Parasitology)
    • Urine and Body Fluids Analysis
    • Regulations pertaining to the medical laboratory
    • Communication
    • Education
    • Professionalism
    • Finances
    • Management
    • Clinical Research

    2) Graduates of the MLS Program will, given the necessary data, draw accurate conclusions about the quality of a clinical laboratory test and suggest appropriate action

    3) Given a set of clinical laboratory data, graduates of the MLS Program will draw accurate conclusions about the health of the patient and suggest a correct course of action

    4) Graduates of the MLS Program will use the scientific method to formulate and test hypotheses

    5) Graduates of the MLS Program will communicate clearly in writing

    6) Graduates of the MLS Program will safely and accurately perform basic medical laboratory test procedures

    7) Graduates of the MLS Program will demonstrate entry-level competency in medical laboratory test procedures

    8) Graduates of the MLS Program will exhibit professional behavior and attitudes

    VIII. List of Clinical Affiliates

    War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
    Clinical Liaison:
    Michael Metrish, MT(ASCP)
    Laboratory Director
    War Memorial Hospital
    Sault Sainte Marie, MI, 49783
    mmetrish@wmhos.org
    906-635-4428

    Helen Joy Newberry Hospital, Newberry, MI
    Clinical Liaison:
    Mitchell Grigg MBA, MT(ASCP)
    Laboratory Director
    Helen Newberry Joy Hospital
    Newberry MI, 49868 
    mgrigg@hnjh.org
    906-293-9189