Medical Laboratory Sciences
The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) specialization prepares students to perform diagnostic tests in clinical settings to determine the presence, extent or absence of disease and provide data to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. These laboratory professionals work with all types of body tissues and fluids, from blood and urine to cell samples. Areas of specialization within clinical pathology include:
- Clinical Chemistry
- Flow Cytometry
- Immunohematology (blood bank)
- Molecular Diagnostics
Students may apply for specialization standing in MLS after completing the BDTS core curriculum, generally at the end of the sophomore year. The junior and senior years consist of the specialization course requirements at Oakland University. A clinical internship is required for national certification as a medical laboratory scientist. Application to the hospital based clinical internship is made through the Medical Technology Internship Matching Program of Michigan during the summer semester prior to the senior year. Internships are either six or 10 months duration depending on the clinical site, and are post-graduation.
Oakland University is affiliated with the following accredited MLS clinical programs: Detroit Medical Center University Laboratories; Hurley Medical Center; St. John Hospital and Beaumont Health System. Acceptance into the internship program is competitive and based on grade point average, personal interview, and letters of recommendation. Desirable candidates possess qualities/abilities in communication, computer literacy, leadership, multitasking, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Students in the MLS specialization must complete the following course. For a complete description of required courses, please review the Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Science Program entry in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Please see the Medical Laboratory Science Plan of Study for a recommended year-by-year schedule of classes.
- enjoy solving puzzles and problems
- excel in handling multiple tasks
- enjoy a fast-paced and challenging work environment
- enjoy hands-on science
- want to find a science-based degree that prepares you for advanced studies in science or applied sciences such as medical school
- want a career that develops skills and provides experience to be used in a variety of employment settings
Laboratory professions are some of the fastest growing career fields in the United States and are expected to continue to have higher than average job growth well into the future. In fact, the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates demand for laboratory professionals to increase by a total of 22% or 70,600 jobs between 2012 and 2022. Laboratory professionals earn a median pay of $47,820 per year.
The salary for medical laboratory professionals varies according to their level and location. According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 2013 Wage Survey of Clinical Laboratories in the United States, the staff level MT/MLS/CLS national average salary is $56,430 per year and $77,113 per year at the supervisory level.