Laboratory Education: Medical Laboratory Scientist Program

Program Requirements

Lab Medical Science Benefits

Medical Technologist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Download the Medical Laboratory Scientist Application Form.


Lynn Poth, MS, MT (ASCP)
MLS Program Director

The Medical Laboratory Science Program is a nine-month clinical internship, from September through May, with intensive study in the areas of chemistry (including toxicology and instrumentation), coagulation, hematology, immunohematology (blood bank), immunology, microbiology (including parasitology, mycology, mycobacteriology, and virology), urinalysis, management, and education. Each area of study includes practical laboratory experiences, lectures and/or workshops, self instruction learning modules, patient case studies, and exams. Students receive individualized instruction as they learn and work with teaching technologists in the laboratory. Students perform tests on patient blood and body fluid specimens and, under supervision, report results. General hours for the internship are 7AM - 3:30PM, Monday through Friday. One to two weeks of evening-shift experience, from 3PM -11PM, is included. Clinical enrollment is limited to a maximum of 8 students per year. An academic calendar is available upon request.

Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate that is not contingent on passing a certification examination. Graduates are then eligible to take the national certification examination of the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification. The pass rate for this exam over the last three years has been 100%.

Affiliated University Programs for Medical Technology

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato, MN 56001
Program Director: Lois Anderson, M.A., MT (ASCP)
(507) 389-2417

St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Program Director: Louise Millis MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse
La Crosse, WI 54601
Program Director: Michael A. Lazzari, DHEd, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

Winona State University
Winona, MN 55987
Program Director: Lisa Jordan, MS, MT(ASCP)SMcm

Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI 49931
Program Director: Karyn A. Fay MS MT(ASCP)SH

Admission Requirements

To qualify for entrance into HCMC's Medical Laboratory Science Program, the following classes or their equivalents are required:

  • Biological Sciences: A minimum of 16 semester credits is required. The required courses are general biology, hematology, immunology, microbiology, anatomy/ physiology, genetics/molecular biology. Recommended courses include introduction to medical laboratory science, medical or pathogenic microbiology, parasitology, and virology.
  • Chemistry: A minimum of 16 semester credits is required. The required courses are general chemistry and organic or biochemistry. Recommended courses include analytical chemistry and instrumentation.
  • Mathematics: A college math course is required. Remedial math courses are not acceptable. In addition to a college math course, statistics is required, either as a separate course or included in a relevant course (e.g. biostatistics or analytical chemistry)
  • Required pre-clinical courses: hematology with lab experience and immuno-hematology with lab experience. Introduction to clinical chemistry and urinalysis are highly recommended
  • Suggested electives: physics, computer science, education courses, business administration

The student must be currently enrolled in one of the five affiliated universities or have graduated from one of them within the past three years. Attendance at an affiliated university does not guarantee placement in the program. The student must have at least one complete semester of grades from a four-year institution showing satisfactory performance in required courses with a full course load.

The student must receive excellent recommendations from science professors and the affiliated university’s Medical Laboratory Science/CLS/MT program director.

Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.9 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) will be considered first. A grade of "D" or "F" in a required course is not acceptable unless a waiver is obtained from the HCMC program director in consultation with the HCMC education technologists. Clinical rotations and academic courses are integrated during the clinical experience. This schedule does not allow for retaking courses. Therefore, the number of course withdrawals and course retakes due to grades of D or F, especially in required courses, will be noted on each student’s transcript and considered as part of the admission criteria.

Pre-Clinical Competencies

(All documents are in PDF format)

Overview of Competencies
Blood Bank
(Antibody Panel)

The student must complete the pre-clinical curriculum or equivalent.

A student must not be disqualified from having direct patient contact as a result of the Minnesota Department of Health background study (as required by Minnesota law).

A student must be able to satisfy the Technical Standards based on existing skills and abilities, or through the use of corrective devices. A copy of the Technical Standards is included with the application form.

Students must demonstrate their knowledge of the Pre-Clinical Competencies by writing a response for each of the stated objectives. The responses will be evaluated for completeness by the HCMC education technologists. Feedback will be provided to both students and their affiliated university in order to plan for improvements in the university curriculum.

Application Instructions

  1. Application forms are available from affiliated universities (in the MLS/CLS/MT Program), the HCMC program director, or you may download an application.
  2. Required documents: The following must be submitted by October 15 to be considered for admission to the HCMC Medical Laboratory Science Program:
    • A complete application form, including signature form and biographical sketch.
    • The application fee is $50.00. Make checks payable to "HCMC MLS Program"
    • Official transcripts from all universities and/or colleges attended. Students must have a cumulative and science GPA of 2.6 or higher to be eligible for the program.
    • Two recommendation forms, to be completed by a science professor and the affiliated university’s MLS/CLS/MT program director.
  3. HCMC tour: Tours are required as part of the application process. All tours must be completed by Oct 1. No tours will be scheduled after that date. Students may tour the fall, spring, or summer prior to applying. Please contact the Program Director for scheduling.
  4. The ability to follow detailed directions correctly and completely is an essential characteristic when determining suitability for the laboratory science profession. A complete application is a requirement for admission and students with incomplete applications will not be considered for an interview.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Medical Laboratory Science Program is to educate medical laboratory science students such that they successfully complete the program and subsequently pass a certification exam. The program will continue to teach students to be responsible for their learning, to work as a team, to be problem solvers, and to develop critical thinking skills and communication skills. The program will seek and use constructive criticism from current and past students and from laboratory staff to continually improve the content, teaching methods, case studies, and evaluation systems of our programs. The program will monitor the time and money spent teaching and conduct our program as efficiently as possible. The program will provide our teaching techs with the tools they need, including continuing education opportunities, and creatively provide as much time as possible for teaching and preparation.


The Medical Laboratory Science Program will:

  • Provide high-quality instruction that will produce a medical laboratory scientist who is competent in the theory and practice of laboratory skills.
  • Provide the environment necessary to enable each student to develop and demonstrate professionalism and concern for the patient in the daily practice of medical laboratory science.
  • Provide a curriculum that will enable each student to:
    • Acquire and develop competence in the technical skills and theory necessary for the performance of medical laboratory procedures included in each clinical course.
    • Participate in clinical experiences that will fulfill requirements in the following areas:
      1. Chemistry
      2. Hematology and Coagulation
      3. Immunology
      4. Microbiology
      5. Immunohematology (Blood Bank)
      6. Urinalysis
      7. Phlebotomy/Specimen Collection and Processing
      8. Management and Education
    • Pass national board certification examinations of the profession.
    • Function effectively as a responsible medical laboratory scientist upon completion of the clinical program.
  • Provide instructors in all areas who are well-qualified and motivated.
  • Develop and use valid testing and evaluation mechanisms.
  • Employ a variety of instructional methods and materials.

Access a complete list of MLS Graduates' Career Entry Competencies.

Information for Applicants

Depending on the policies of the student’s affiliated university, 24-32 semester hours of credit are granted for the clinical internship at HCMC. Most students will pay tuition to their affiliated university, and HCMC will bill the university to receive partial tuition. In the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the program, tuition reimbursement will be made according to the student’s affiliated university’s policy. Students from Winona State University, University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, St. Cloud State University, and some students from Michigan Technological University will follow this policy. Michigan Tech students who have completed a bachelor's degree and are not paying tuition to the university will pay HCMC an amount equal to that reimbursed by the University system. In the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the program, tuition reimbursement will be made according to the amount of time spent in the program. Students from University of Minnesota – Mankato, will be billed for tuition directly by HCMC. Access a summary of current tuition policies by University.

Students must pay approximately $700.00 for textbooks and instructional materials (not refundable if student withdraws or is dismissed from the program). A $75 copy fee is also required. Students must also pay certification examination application fees. During the internship, students must provide their own food, housing, clothing, transportation and parking, health insurance, and miscellaneous supplies (notebooks, folders, pens, paper, etc.).

HCMC Courses:
The courses that must be completed at HCMC with a passing score of at least 75% include:

  • Clinical Chemistry
    Identification and quantitation of specific chemical substances in blood and body fluids by various analytical techniques; clinical correlation with disease states; principles of instrumentation; quality control; specimen collection and processing.
  • Clinical Hematology and Coagulation:
    Theory of blood cell formation; hematologic diseases; hemostasis; correlation of morphologic findings with specific physiologic or pathologic processes.
    Practical experience with hematological instruments and techniques which determine major hematologic and clotting parameters; quality control; specimen collection and processing.
  • Clinical Immunohematology (Blood Bank):
    Study of major blood group systems; principles and procedures for antigen/antibody detection; blood grouping; antibody identification; compatibility testing; blood preservation and processing; component therapy; evaluation; quality control; specimen collection and processing.
  • Clinical Immunology:
    Study of antigen and antibody structure, function, and interaction; humoral and cellular immunology principles and procedures; application of immunological and serological techniques in diagnosis of disease; quality control; specimen collection and processing.
  • Clinical Management and Education:
    A basic introduction to the principles and theory of management, computer science, and education as it relates to the clinical laboratory.
  • Clinical Microbiology:
    Theory and techniques of cultivation, isolation, and identification of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses via biochemical and microscopic techniques; determination of sensitivity to antimicrobial agents; correlation with clinical cases; quality control; specimen collection and processing.
  • Clinical Urinalysis:
    Theory of renal physiology; techniques and practice of routine urinalysis; quality control; identification of elements in urine and sediment; correlation with disease states; specimen collection and processing.

Access a complete list of current tuition rates.

Admission Policy

  1. All students who meet the requirements for admission and have completed the application process will be considered for admission to the program.
  2. Completed applications are reviewed by the program director and education technologists prior to scheduling an interview (after October 15 and before December 1).
  3. Interviews are conducted at HCMC by the program director and one or more of the education technologists. At the time of interview, students will be evaluated and scored in relation to their college grades, their recommendation letters, their interview comments, and other information contained in their application.
  4. Student acceptance/non-acceptance notices will be completed by December 15.
  5. Following acceptance into the program, students will receive an orientation manual that details general policies of conduct, attendance, dress, grading and evaluation procedures, and grievance policies.

Additional Information

  1. This process extends exceptional students the privilege to apply to only one program and, if the program agrees, be accepted two weeks before the normal application deadline. An acceptance letter is mailed to the student so he or she knows they don't have to apply anywhere else.
  2. If the applicant was not selected for early admission, the student’s application is automatically included with the rest of the applications at that program to be considered for the remaining spots (and the student may opt to send applications to other programs as well).
  3. Note that the student must have toured the institution – this includes meeting the Program Director and/or one or more of the Education Technologists. These people make notes on the applicant and may ask some of the questions asked at the formal interview. A telephone or personal interview is also conducted.

Student Selection Process

HCMC Medical Laboratory Science Program

  1. All students who meet the requirements for admission, and have completed the application process will be considered for admission to the program.
  2. Completed applications are reviewed by the Program Director and Education Technologists prior to scheduling an interview (after October 15 and before December 1).
  3. The Program Director completes the Summary of Required Courses/Credits/Grades form for each applicant to assure that all required courses are completed, in progress, or planned.
  4. The HCMC Program Director will work with the university program directors to arrange interviews.
  5. Each student is interviewed by one or more Education Technologists (or designee) and the Program Director (or designee). The same list of interview questions is used for each student. Using the HCMC Applicant Rating Form, each student is rated per GPA, experience, recommendations, biographical sketch, interview traits/comments, other information contained in their application, and overall impression. Interviewers document comments if desired.
  6. Ratings are tallied by the Program Director and/or Education Technologists. Interviewers compare and discuss comments and ratings. Ratings may be adjusted at this time.
  7. A consensus will be reached as to which students will be offered internship positions and which students will be alternates should one or more selected student decline or cancel.
  8. Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.9 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) will be considered first. A grade of "D" or "F" is not acceptable unless a waiver is obtained from the HCMC Program Director in consultation with the HCMC Education Technologists.
  9. Students and the university program directors will be notified by phone or email by December 15.


A student may be placed on probation by the Education Committee (Program Director and Education Technologist) if:

  • After acceptance into the program, a student receives a grade lower than a "C" in any of the following college courses:
    • Microbiology
    • Hematology
    • Chemistry
    • Immunology
    • Immunohematology
    • Urinalysis
      The student may enter the program on probationary status or be denied entrance into the program – depending on a joint decision between university program director and the HCMC Education Committee.
  • A student receives a score less than 75% on a key exam in two consecutive rotations, (hematology, microbiology, chemistry, immunohematology, urinalysis,) regardless of the overall grade in a section.
  • The technical or academic performance in any HCMC clinical section (lab and/or lecture) is less than 75%.
  • The average of all non-academic performance is below the minimum stated in any section.
  • Student has displayed unprofessional conduct or unacceptable behavior, including: lack of ethics, breach of confidence, dishonesty, cheating, unsatisfactory technique or attitude, excessive absence/tardiness.
  • Student has not complied with program or HCMC policies and regulations.


  • A student on technical or academic probation will be given the opportunity to raise the grade to minimum passing score of 75%.
  • A student placed on probation due to scoring less than 75% on key exams in consecutive rotations must pass all key exams in the next rotation.:
  • A student, having been placed on probation and failing to meet the requirements of that probationary period, may be dismissed after a decision by the Education Committee to terminate the student. The university program director will be notified as soon as the student is placed on probation and of any subsequent course of action.
  • A student whose non-academic performance is less than the average acceptable range in any one section could be dismissed by the Education Committee without a probationary period (after documentation and counseling).
  • A student who has displayed unethical or unprofessional behavior or performance could be dismissed by the Education Committee without a probationary period.
  • A student who is disqualified from having direct patient contact as a result of a Minnesota Department of Health background study (required by Minnesota law) will be dismissed.
  • A student who has violated HCMC or program rules or policies could be dismissed without a probationary period.
  • Should a student feel that probation or dismissal is unfair; an appeal may be made using the Grade and Evaluation Appeal or Student Grievance Policies in the HCMC Medical Laboratory Science Program Orientation Manual.
  • A student may withdraw from the program only after consultation with the Program Director who will go over the specific procedure at that time.

Access a complete list of program policies. Please note that these policies are updated every July.