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Medical Laboratory Science



students at counter using pipettesProgram Description

The Medical Laboratory Science Program is a four-year course of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree, and is divided into two major parts, the Pre-professional Phase and the Professional Phase.

Pre-Professional Phase

During the freshmen and sophomore years, known as the pre-professional phase, students must earn a minimum of 90 quarter credits, including both prerequisite courses for medical laboratory science and general education courses required for graduation from the University of Washington, as outlined below.

Specific requirements:

  1. Prerequisite course requirements

The following courses must be completed prior to entry into the Medical Laboratory Science Program:

  • Biology 180, 200, 220
  • Biology 118 – Survey of Human Physiology
  • General Chemistry 142, 152, 162
  • Organic Chemistry 223, 224 or 237, 238, 239
  • Any Basic Statistics course (we no longer accept calculus)
  1. Completion of University writing, reasoning, and general-education requirements by the time you graduate.

Below are the General Education Requirements for the School of Medicine which is a graduation requirement, not an MLS program requirement. Therefore these do not have to be complete to start the MLS program, but must be complete in order to graduate. However, the MLS program curriculum is rigorous and therefore recommended that you have as many general education courses complete (if not all) prior to starting the program.

  1. 5 credits of English composition, plus a minimum 7 credits of additional writing-intensive courses
  2. 5 credits of quantitative reasoning – the Statistics or Chemistry course that you take to meet the program prerequisite requirement will satisfy this general education requirement
  3. 10 credits of VLPA (Visual, Literary, Performing Arts)
  4. 10 credits of I & S (Individuals & Societies)

Courses may be taken at the UW, or at another university, college, or community college. All prerequisite courses do not have to be complete at the time of application to the program (application deadline is February 15 for entry in Autumn Quarter). However, the applicant must show a specific plan for completion of all prerequisite courses prior to entry in the Professional Phase of the program. If courses are not complete at the time of application, admission will be with the condition that all course work will be completed prior to Autumn Quarter.

If course work is taken at some other school, it is important to verify that courses equivalent to those offered at the UW are taken. An advisor at the school should be able to obtain and give you this information.

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Professional Phase

The last two years of study constitute the professional phase. Courses in the first year of this phase are designed to provide students with an appropriate theoretical background and with the basic technical skills that will enable them to function effectively in the clinical laboratory.

The following subjects are included in the professional phase of the curriculum and are taught by faculty in the Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Immunology and Microbiology:

  • Bacteriology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Clinical Hematology
  • Clinical Microscopy (Urinalysis and other Body Fluids)
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Coagulation
  • Immunohematology
  • Immunology
  • Mycology
  • Phlebotomy (blood collection)
  • Parasitology
  • Virology

The final year (3 quarters) takes place in the clinical laboratories of the University of Washington Medical Center and its affiliates. One major advantage of the UW Medical Laboratory Science Program is the opportunity to learn complicated and highly technical laboratory procedures in an internship setting in clinical laboratories. This type of educational experience requires the cooperation of the clinical laboratories in the facilities listed below. The Medical Laboratory Science Program will not recruit more students into the program than can be accommodated in these clinical facilities.

  • Evergreen Healthcare
  • Franciscan Health Care System
  • Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound
  • Harborview Medical Center (HMC)
  • LabCorp/Dynacare
  • Northwest Hospital and Medical Center
  • Providence Everett Medical Center
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital
  • Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC)
  • Seattle Children's Hospital
  • Tacoma General Hospital
  • UW Medical Center (UWMC)
  • Valley Medical Center
  • Veterans’ Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS)
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center

Students spend the majority of their scheduled time in the core clinical laboratory program in chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, and microbiology. In addition, they can either spend time in a variety of clinical laboratory rotations designed to enrich their core clinical experiences or participate in research. In research, a collaborative project is supervised by a faculty member in the Department of Laboratory Medicine. Enrichment rotations include subspecialty sections in chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and/or immunohematology; molecular diagnostics laboratories; and laboratories where skills in several sections are utilized.

Students in the Medical Laboratory Science Program also learn proper specimen collection techniques, including phlebotomy (drawing blood) since phlebotomy may be part of their role as medical laboratory scientists, especially in smaller hospital or clinic settings. Phlebotomy orientation includes review of educational software (Phlebotomy TutorTM) and the opportunity to practice on "simulated training arms" before collecting samples from other students and eventually, under supervision, from patients.

Attendance

In the clinical year, the student must be able to be present in the clinical laboratory full-time, 40 hours per week.

Applicants who require accommodation in order to meet these standards should contact the University of Washington Disabled Student Services at (206) 543-8924 after they have been accepted into the program.

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Graduation Requirements for Medical Laboratory Science

Graduates of the Medical Laboratory Science Program are expected to have in-depth knowledge of the relationships between laboratory data and pathologic processes, and their relevance to clinical medicine.

They will have experience in the performance of both routine and specialized testing procedures, as well as an understanding of the theoretical basis of these procedures. They will also have experience in troubleshooting and resolving typical problems in the clinical laboratory. Graduates will have experience with laboratory computers, laboratory management, developmental research techniques, instructional methodologies, quality assurance, quality control, and laboratory safety.

A minimum 2.00 GPA in all laboratory medicine courses and a GPA of 2.00, both cumulative and in required courses are required for graduation.

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Medical Laboratory Science Program Faculty

All faculty in the Department of Laboratory Medicine are involved in the education of students in the Department, regardless of the level of education.

In addition, there are faculty and staff who are directly responsible for the Undergraduate Medical Laboratory Science Program. They plan and implement the overall curriculum in the Professional Phase of the Medical Program. The Medical Laboratory Science faculty members and her/his teaching responsibilities are as follows:

Medical Director: Harvey Schiller, MD Urinalysis / Body Fluids
Program Director: Kara Hansen-Suchy, MEd, MT (ASCP) SH Foundations / Clinical Hematology / Coagulation
Faculty: Daniel Bankson, S.M., PhD, MBA Clinical Chemistry / Biochemistry
  Daniel Sabath, MD, PhD Bloodbanking-Transfusion Medicine
  Min Xu, MD, PhD Research
Staff: Heather Eggleston, MEd Academic Adviser / Program Operations Specialist
  Roxann Gary, MT(ASCP)SBB Bloodbanking-Transfusion Medicine
  Rachael Lamma, MLS (ASCP) CM Student Laboratory Instructor
  Gretchen Van Kekerix, MT(ASCP) Student Laboratory Instructor

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Medical Laboratory Science Program Accreditation

The Medical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

Contact information

NAACLS
5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
847.939.3597, 773.714.8880, 773.714.8886 (fax)
Email: info@naacls.org
Website: www.naacls.org

Graduates are eligible for certification as Medical Laboratory Scientists by the Board of Certification of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).

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Applying to the Medical Laboratory Science Program

All qualified applicants are considered. Acceptance of applicants depends upon the decision of the Admissions Committee in Medical Laboratory Science.

To be considered for admission, students must have a minimum:

  • » of 90 credits,
  • » 2.00 (4.0 = A) cumulative grade point average, and
  • » 2.00 (4.0 = A) science grade point average.

The science grade point average is calculated using only those science and math courses (or equivalents) that are required for the program.

Selection is based primarily upon:

  1. Scholarship (both cumulative and science GPAs are considered with an emphasis on the science GPA. The required prerequisite courses is the science GPA)
  2. Personal qualifications (application essay)
  3. Recommendation letters (two)
  4. Interview

Completed applications are due by February 15 for entrance in the following autumn quarter. For complete application instructions, go to: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/auyong/23406/

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Contact for Additional Information

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact the Medical Laboratory Science Program advisor at:

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Related Medical Laboratory Science Links


Last updated: 12/17/2014

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