MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE
In the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) specialization within the Bachelor of Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences prepares you 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. You will work with, and analyze, all types of body tissues and fluids through hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.
In the MLS specialization, you will complete 2-4 years of prerequisite and specialized classroom instruction meant to establish competencies in core scientific disciplines. A cumulative GPA of 2.80 or higher is required for all specializations in the Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences major. Reviewing the Undergraduate Catalog (see Curricular Requirements) for CDS core curriculum and grade expectations is required.
Because Laboratory professionals provide as much as 80 percent of the information a physician requires to diagnose a patient, the Medical Laboratory Science curriculum is a natural path to professional schools. 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 CDS 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. See the curriculum requirements for additional information. 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, Ascension 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.
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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates demand for laboratory professionals to increase by a total of 7% between 2021 and 2031.
The salary for medical laboratory professionals varies according to their level and location. According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 2017 Wage Survey of Medical Laboratories in the United States, the staff level MT/MLS/CLS national average salary is $61,112 per year and $78,267 per year at the supervisory level. The BLS reports that clinical laboratory technologists and technicians earn a median pay of $57,800 per year as of May 2021.
- 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
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS-MI)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- Medical Technology Internship Match Program of Michigan (MTIMPM)
Clinical sites with MTIMP M affiliation: