Master of Health Science in Medical Lab Science

Prepare for a career solving healthcare problems as a medical lab scientist.

Are you interested in solving medical mysteries every day? Our Master of Health Science in Medical Lab Science will prepare you for a career in a clinical lab that makes an impact. This full-time program prepares you to change careers and be a leader in the lab in just two years!

Why choose Bellarmine for a Master’s in Medical Lab Science?

If you’re considering a career in medical laboratory science, you’ve made a great choice. It’s a growing, rewarding profession, both financially and personally. Our entry level Master’s in MLS will prepare you for practice and advancement in the medical lab setting. The MLS program is an 80-credit hour program that can be completed as a full-time student in 2 years with summer classes. Our program starts each year in August and includes 15 weeks (600 hours) of a clinical internship at one or more of our affiliated Louisville-area hospitals. Thanks in part to this practical clinical experience our graduate employment rate is 100%. Our dedicated faculty provide you with the individual attention needed to succeed in your course work, and in your new career!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Medical Lab Scientist do?
Medical Laboratory Scientists (formerly Clinical Laboratory Scientists or Medical Technologists) provide the science that supports healthcare. Most diagnostic and therapeutic medical decisions are based on laboratory test results generated by a Medical Laboratory Scientist. They apply skill and instrumentation to analyze blood cells and body fluids, to identify disease-causing bacteria and viruses, and to perform testing prior to transfusions and transplantation.

Where are clinical lab career opportunities?
MLS graduates are employed primarily in hospital laboratories, but also enjoy career opportunities in biomedical research, forensics, biotechnology, toxicology, health care administration, pharmaceuticals, and other industries. An MLS degree also provides excellent preparation for medical, dental, or graduate school.

What kind of classes will I be taking?
Students complete hands-on technical courses in Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Medical Microbiology, Clinical Immunology, and Immunohematology (Blood Banking), as well as additional online courses related to professional practice and leadership.

Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in MLS?
No. Our program is entry level. Qualified applicants who have completed the prerequisite course work are admitted regardless of their undergraduate field of study. This is a great program for those who have undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences and want a practical hands-on career choice.

What are the prerequisite course requirements for a master’s in Medical Lab Science?
We require proof of completion of: 12 hours of Biology, including Cell Biology (at least 4 credit hours at 200-level or higher); Immunology and Molecular Biology are strongly recommended; 12 credit hours of Chemistry, including Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry; 3 credit hours of Mathematics (Pre-calculus of higher, or Statistics).

Can I work while I get my MLS degree?
This is a rigorous program, with a great deal of time devoted to in-class lecture, labs, and clinical experiences. We strongly encourage students to devote their time to the program for the best career outcomes.

How much time would I need to spend outside of class to be prepared for class?
On average, we recommend three hours outside of class to prepare for each hour of instruction. However, this will vary with the content of the courses(s) you are taking each semester.

Would I be eligible for any financial assistance?
Yes. You will want to file the FAFSA and apply for federal loans at fafsa.ed.gov. Graduate students are eligible for loans in the amount of $20,500 per academic year (fall, spring and summer) while enrolled.

Student Story

“Bellarmine is a relatively small university with really high-quality education. I always had close contact with my professors. The small class sizes mean the professors are able to take time with each student to be sure we are able to digest what we have learned. They are easy to seek for help and get feedback quickly.”

Fei Wang ’18 MLS

Admission Requirements

The Master of Health Science in Medical Lab Science is an entry level Master’s for students with an undergraduate degree in another field. Candidates must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, grade of C or better in prerequisite science and math courses (applicants who do not have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA may be reviewed for admission if the math/science GPA is 3.0 or higher). We require two references, a personal statement describing why you would like to be a Medical Laboratory Scientist, and an interview in addition to the application. For the full admission process, visit the admission requirements page.

Tuition and Fees

Visit our Graduate Tuition Rates page for the most up-to-date tuition and fees information.

Funding Assistance
As a degree seeking student in the MLS program, students should be eligible for federally supported forms of student aid. Financial aid questions should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at Bellarmine University (finaid@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.7300).

Learning Outcomes

After completing the Bellarmine MLS program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Establish a personal scientific knowledge base that prepares them to read, to interpret, and to utilize scientific knowledge in clinical practice. This includes the ability to:
  1. Correlate test results with patient information
  2. Evaluate and interpret scientific literature, with an understanding of experimental design and statistical analysis
  3. Evaluate and validate new procedures and instrumentation
  4. Pursue professional development opportunities
  1. Demonstrate critical thinking ability and problem-solving skills. This includes the ability to:
  1. Employ discipline-specific knowledge in the context of clinical decision making
  2. Collect and analyze pertinent information
  3. Interpret data
  4. Apply systems thinking to medical laboratory science practice
  5. Draw conclusions and make judgments or recommendations
  6. Incorporate current best evidence to evaluate/develop testing guidelines
  1. Perform a full range of laboratory tests with accuracy and precision. This includes the ability to:
  1. Competently and safely collect and/or process appropriate biological specimens for a particular test procedure
  2. Operate laboratory instrumentation and perform preventative/corrective maintenance
  3. Evaluate the acceptability of test data; identify any problems with specimens, procedures, or instrumentation; and take appropriate corrective action
  4. Utilize quality assurance to monitor analyses, equipment, and technical competency
  5. Report results clearly and accurately
  6. Effectively utilize computers, laboratory software, and information systems to record and report results
  7. Apply and interpret laboratory safety regulations and compliance measures
  8. Apply principles of quality management systems
  1. Demonstrate appropriate professional behavior. This includes the ability to:
  1. Maintain appropriate confidentiality of patient results
  2. Consider ethical responses to difficult situations
  3. Practice effectively in interprofessional teams 
  4. Communicate effectively and professionally with other healthcare professionals, the public, and patients
  5. Promote patient-centered healthcare through diagnostic and therapeutic support
  6. Apply principles of leadership and management to maximize productivity and efficiency of the laboratory
  7. Design, implement and evaluate programs of instruction for students and employees
  8. Provide professional leadership through local, regional, and national groups

Technical Standards

Since a degree in Medical Laboratory Science indicates mastery, not only of knowledge, but also of technical skills, and since these skills are to be applied in clinical situations, all MLS students are expected to meet certain criteria for admission to and progress in the professional program. These criteria include minimum standards of observation, motor function, behavioral-social capabilities, and communication. Learn more about the Technical Standards.

Accreditation

National Accrediting Agency
for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N. River Road Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
847.939.3597, 773.714.8880 or info@naacls.org
F: 773.714.8886

Contact information

Karen Golemboski, Ph.D., MLS (ASCP), Dept. Chair
502.272.8387 or kgolemboski@bellarmine.edu

James Standard, Senior Graduate Admission Officer
502.272.8351 or jstandard@bellarmine.edu

Office of Graduate Admission
502.272.7200 or
gradadmissions@bellarmine.edu

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