School of Medical Laboratory Science - Application Requirements

The applicant must have completed a baccalaureate degree prior to beginning the program or be eligible for a baccalaureate degree at the end of the clinical program.

A non-degreed (3+1) applicant must be enrolled in the MLS/MT curriculum at an affiliated university.

The student from an affiliated university receives academic credit for the program year and is awarded a baccalaureate degree from his or her respective university upon successful completion of the program.  The MLS program is affiliated with:

Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) Joplin, MO
Pittsburg State University (PSU) Pittsburg, KS
Missouri State University (MSU) Springfield, MO
Drury University (DU) Springfield, MO
Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) Cape Girardeau, MO
Lincoln University (LU) Jefferson City, MO
Arkansas Tech. University (ATU) Russellville, AR
University of Central Missouri (UCM) Warrensburg, MO

  • A non-degreed, non-affiliated applicant may be considered if space is available and the respective college or university must agree to certain terms of cooperation.  The program director can provide further details.
  • A degreed (4+1) applicant must complete the degree prior to the start of the clinical year.
  • The applicant must live in the local area, attend a college or university in the local area or be moving to the local area.
  • All applicants must have completed the following minimum prerequisite coursework:
    • 16 semester hours Chemistry
      • Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry must be included
    • 16 hours Biology
      • Microbiology and Immunology must be included
    • Completion of at least one course in mathematics above the remedial level

The content of the chemistry and biological science courses must be considered applicable toward a major in those fields or in clinical laboratory science/medical technology.

  • All applicants must have a science and math G.P.A. of 2.5 or better based on a 4.0 scale.
  • An applicant who has completed a baccalaureate degree and prerequisite coursework more than seven years before application should update their academic preparation. Please contact the program director for more details.
  • An applicant with a degree obtained outside the United States, in addition to the items listed above, must also satisfy the following requirements prior to application:
    • Meet one of the following options:
      • Possess a baccalaureate degree in Chemistry or Biology
      • Admission to an accredited U.S. graduate program where the college or university has accepted the foreign degree regardless of the declared major.
  • All applicants must meet the Essential Requirements of the program.  These represent the essential non-academic requirements that must be mastered to successfully participate in the program and the profession.

Essential Requirements

Because completion of a Medical Laboratory Science program signifies that the holder is eligible to sit for the Certification exam at the medical laboratory/clinical laboratory scientist level and signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the profession of medical laboratory science, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical, research, and industrial laboratory situations and to demonstrate entry level competencies at all levels of professional practice. Therefore, students must meet the following abilities and expectations prior to admission to the program.

  1. Essential Observational Requirements for the Medical Laboratory Sciences

    The MLS student must be able to:

    • Observe and perform laboratory operations in which biologicals (i.e., body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens) are processed and tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, and microbiological components.
    • Characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biologicals, reagents, or chemical reaction products.
    • Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color differences (hue, shading, and intensity) of microscopic specimens.
    • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on video.  
  2. Essential Movement Requirements for the Medical Laboratory Sciences

    The MLS student must be able to:

    • Move freely and safely about the laboratory
    • Reach laboratory bench-tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds, or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
    • Travel to selected sites for practical and seminar experience.
    • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing over several hours.
    • Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory specimens from patients.
    • Control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
    • Use an electronic keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.  
  3. Essential Communication Requirements for the Medical Laboratory Sciences

    The MLS student must be able to:

    • Demonstrate effective written and oral communications skills in the English language.
    • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
    • Follow verbal or written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory test procedures.
    • Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection.
    • Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests.
    • Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).
    • Independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer, and laboratory practical examinations.
  4. Essential Intellectual Requirements for the Medical Laboratory Sciences

    The MLS student must:

    • Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, problem solving, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
    • Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.
  5. Essential Behavioral Requirements for the Medical Laboratory Sciences

    The MLS student must:

    • Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
    • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
    • Be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of heavy workloads (i.e., large number of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time), task-related uncertainty (i.e., ambiguous test-ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. test orders that must be done as soon as possible), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli).
    • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
    • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.
    • Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.
    • Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals. (Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.)
    • Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. The student must be able to critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities). The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments.

Other Student Requirements

Students accepted in the MLS program must successfully complete a criminal background check, physical examination and drug screen.


The applicationletter of explanation, and reference letter are available via the links provided. The deadline for the completed application is November 1 for the July class and August 1 for the January class.

Viable applicants are invited for a personal interview with the program’s admissions committee. The interview process takes about one hour.

Admission to the MLS program is on a competitive basis. The MLS program’s admissions committee evaluates each applicant based on academic and non-academic criteria such as science and math GPA, work experience, references, and personal interview. Up to four students are selected for each incoming class.

Selected students, alternates and others are notified by the end of December for the July class and by the end of August for the January class.