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Bachelor of Science in Medical Lab Science

B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science

Medical laboratory science is a branch of medicine that uses laboratory analyses to diagnose and treat disease. Laboratory analyses are performed on blood, body fluids, and tissue. Physicians use these laboratory results to determine the presence, extent, and cause of disease in their patients. The role of the medical laboratory scientist is critical since the analyses must be performed quickly and reliably.

    • BI 173 Cell and Organismal Biology (4)
    • BI 283 Genetics (4)
    • BI 310 General Microbiology (4)
    • BI 442 Immunology (3)
    • BI 543 Pathogenic Microbiology (2)
    • BI 544 Pathogenic Microbiology Laboratory (1)
    • CH 185 General Chemistry (5) (Physical Systems)
    • CH 186 Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry (3)
    • CH 187 Inorganic Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis Laboratory (2)
    • CH 271 Foundations of Analytical Chemistry (5)
    • CH 340 Essentials of Organic Chemistry (5)
    • CH 531/UI331 Foundations of Biochemistry (3)
    • MA 134 College Algebra (3) (Logical Systems)
    • MA 223 Elementary Probability and Statistics (3)

Choose one course:

  • BS 332 Human Physiology (3)
  • ZO 331 Animal Physiology (3)
  • MT 300 Clinical Chemistry (8-10)
  • MT 301 Clinical Microscopy (1-2)
  • MT 302 Hematology and Coagulation (6-8)
  • MT 303 Serology Immunology (2-4)
  • MT 304 Clinical Microbiology (7-9)
  • MT 305 Blood Bank Immunohematology (3-4)
  • MT 306 Special Topics in Medical Technology (1-4)
  • UI100 First Year Seminar
  • EN100 English Composition
  • Artistic Expression
  • Written Expression
  • Oral Expression
  • Literary Expression
  • Behavioral Systems
  • Living Systems
  • Development of a Major Civilization
  • Economic Systems Political Systems Social Systems

Sample Four-Year Plan

Fall Semester (17 Hours)

  • UI 100 (3)
  • EN 100 (3)
  • CH 185/085/005 (5)
  • MA 134 (3)
  • Artistic Expression (3)

Spring Semester (12 Hours)

  • BI 173 (1)
  • CH 186 (3)
  • CH 187 (2)
  • Social Systems (3)
  • Written Expression (3)

Fall Semester (17 Hours)

  • BI 283 (4)
  • BS 332 or ZO 331 (3)
  • CH 271 (5)
  • CH 340 (5)

Spring Semester (13 Hours)

  • BI 310 (4)
  • Development of a Major Civilization (3)
  • Economic Systems (3)
  • Literary Expression (3)

Fall Semester (15 Hours)

  • BI 442 (3)
  • MA 223 (3)
  • UI 331 or CH 531 (3)
  • Behavioral Systems (3)
  • Political Systems (3)

Spring Semester (13 Hours)

  • BI 543 (2)
  • BI 544 (1)
  • Oral Expression (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (1)

Fall Semester (15 Hours)

  • Clinical Year Program (15)

Spring Semester (15 Hours)

  • Clinical Year Program (15)


Duration of the Program

The completion of the program requires four years, culminating in the Bachelor of Science in medical technology.  The program is sometimes referred to as three plus one, meaning that the student takes a three-year pre-clinical program, which is followed by one year of clinical work. The clinical year is a full twelve months in duration.

The Role of NAACLS in the Accreditation of Clinical Programs

It is the policy of Southeast Missouri State University to grant academic credit for the one-year of clinical study, only when the student attends clinical programs that hold accreditation status from The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

NAACLS is an independent, non-profit corporation that provides all of the accrediting and evaluation functions formerly conducted by the Board of Schools of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).  The sponsoring organizations for NAACLS are ASCP and the American Society for Medical Technology (ASMT).  The organizations that collaborate with NAACLS are the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the National Society of Histotechnology (NSH).  NAACLS's functions include:

  1. Drafting and reviewing the standards
  2. Conduct of educational programs
  3. Interpretation of the standards
  4. Review of self-evaluation reports
  5. On-site surveying

The discussion of accreditation by NAACLS refers only to the clinical programs.  The above-mentioned organizations have nothing to do with the accreditation of the University or any of its academic programs.

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Affiliation Agreements

NAACLS requires that clinical programs must only accept students from colleges and universities with which they have a formal affiliation agreement. Any deviation to this policy must entail exceptional circumstances.  Affiliation with a clinical program is not a guarantee of admission for a Southeast Missouri State student since most clinical programs are affiliated with a number of colleges or universities.  Entrance to the programs are competitive and the clinical programs cannot guarantee that a student or a specific number of students will be accepted each year from a particular affiliated college or university.

A number of clinical programs are now formally affiliated with this University in the Cooperative Medical Technology Program. The Clinical Program - University affiliation is characterized by the following conditions:

  1. Written and signed affiliation agreement
  2. Regular conferences between the appropriate officials of the University and clinical program
  3. Cooperative curriculum planning
  4. Listing of the clinical course of study in the University Bulletin
  5. Adjunct courtesy appointments of the appropriate University and clinical program officials
  6. The granting of academic credit by the University for completion of the clinical course of study
  7. The listing of the clinical courses, with credit hours and grades, on the student's official transcript
  8. The granting of the degree Bachelor of Science in medical technology upon completion of the academic and clinical portions of the program

The Credentialing Process

After a student receives the B.S.  in medical technology, he/she will, as a rule, seek certification (or licensure or registration) from one or more of the credentialing agencies.  Although this procedure is optional on the part of the student, it is in the best interest of the student to possess a credential since it facilitates the acquisition of employment.  For Medical Technologists, the credentialing agencies are:

American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) 
33 West Monroe
Suite 1600
Chicago IL 60603
(312) 541-4999
(800) 267 - ASCP (2727)
 Fax (312) 541-4998

Individuals newly certified beginning January 2004 in the entry-level categories will be required to participate in the BOR Certification Maintenance Program in order to maintain their certification status. This program requires 36 hours of documented continued competency every three years.

The above agencies offer certification and/or registration for holders of the baccalaureate degree with specialization in medical technology.  Earning a credential consists of successfully writing an extensive examination that covers the core material in the area of medical technology.  It is strictly the student's prerogative as to which credentialing agency is chosen.

Application for Admission to Clinical Programs

Students should make application to clinical programs at the beginning of the junior year for programs that start in the summer and June for programs that begin in January. The initial letter should contain information on present student status and should be reasonably brief. The clinical programs will respond by sending the student application forms to fill out and return. In addition, the clinical programs will request a copy of the student's transcript, two or more letters of recommendation from university instructors, and a list of courses planned and in progress at the time of application.  A copy of the results of a general health examination is also usually requested by the clinical officials.

The student must be prompt in returning requested materials to the clinical programs.  Unexplained delay may cause the clinical officials to conclude that the student is not interested in their program.  In the event that the student decides not to pursue an initial application to a given clinical program, notification to the clinical officials must be given immediately upon such decision.

The Clinical Program Interview

If the clinical program officials, after examination of the student's application materials, decide that they are interested in accepting the student, an interview will be extended to the student. Interviews are scheduled at the convenience of both the program director and the student.

When attending an interview, the student should:

  1. Show up on time
  2. Be appropriately dressed
  3. Be prepared to ask questions about specific items that the student doesn't fully understand or desires more information
  4. Take notes of what is presented at the interview so that different programs can be compared
  5. Be at ease and completely frank in discussions with the clinical officials

In the event that a student is invited to an interview, but has decided not to attend that specific clinical program, notification must be made to the clinical program to that effect immediately after the decision is made not to attend that program. Failure to appear at a scheduled interview without prior notification may endanger the University's affiliation and diminish the chances of acceptance for future Southeast students.

In the event that a student is unable to attend the interview on the specific date chosen, notification must be made immediately to the clinical program officials for the purpose of working out a mutually agreeable time for the interview.

The interview, generally, is the last stage of the application process, and the student will be notified by the clinical program officials of the date by which a final decision will be made regarding acceptance.

If a student is notified of being admitted into a clinical program but decides not to accept, notification of that decision must be sent to the clinical program immediately.

Selection of Applicants

Clinical program officials have systematic methods by which they evaluate a student's application materials.  The items that are particularly well scrutinized:

  1. Grade Point Average - overall
  2. Grade Point Average - science and mathematics
  3. Letters of Recommendation
  4. General impression of the student's maturity and seriousness of purpose
  5. Use of written and spoken English

Many programs give extra weight to an application for:

  1. Prior experience in a clinical laboratory
  2. Prior hospital or clinic experience - non-laboratory
  3. Possessing baccalaureate degree before beginning the clinical year of study
  4. MLT or CLA training

Admission to a Non-Affiliated Program

In order for a student to attend a non-affiliated clinical program, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The degree-granting institution offers a bona fide major in medical technology, including affiliation agreements with accredited clinical programs
  2. The clinical program officials submit catalog descriptions of the courses it offers, including credit hours granted by the degree-granting institution(s) with which there are affiliation agreements
  3. The officials of the clinical program are provided with a letter of agreement for the individually-named student, which is signed by the appropriate official(s) of the degree-granting institution and the hospital program specifying:
    1. That the student has completed all other degree requirements, and will be granted the degree on satisfactory completion of the senior-year professional major courses
    2. The degree-granting institution's professional major course numbers, credit hours, and
      course description
    3. The form and mechanism by which official course grades earned by the student will be reported each term by the clinical program official(s) to the degree-granting institution
  4. A copy of the letter of agreement is submitted to the NAACLS Executive Office, to be filed in the clinical program and degree-granting institution files

It is emphasized here that allowance for the acceptance of a student into a clinical program that has no formal affiliation with the student's resident university will involve only exceptional circumstances.

Student Dress and Conduct

Each program will have specific requirements for dress in the laboratory.  The standard dress while in the lab typically includes a laboratory coat or jacket or a specified uniform

The clinical year consists of a course of study in which a large amount of clinical science knowledge must be assimilated in a relatively short time duration and thus, no program director will tolerate habitual tardiness, inattention, lethargy, or discourtesy.

Minimum GPA for Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

Most programs accept a GPA of 2.00/4.00 as the minimum of good standing in any of the various sections of the clinical year.  The GPA of 2.00/4.00 corresponds, generally, to 70% on examination scores.  If a student falls below this mark, the instructional staff will provide the student with remedial measures by which the student can remove the deficiency.

Evaluation, Probation, Dismissal, and Grievance Procedures

The student's progress will be closely monitored in each of the sections of the clinical study.  As stated above, if a deficiency appears, the instructors will work closely with the student in order to correct the deficiency.  In the event that the remedial measures are not successful, the program director, with input from the instructor(s), will prepare an evaluation report and will counsel the student regarding the report.

At this point, the program director and the medical director will decide whether or not to place the student on probation.  If the student is placed on probation, the student again will be provided with a remedial procedure by which the probationary status can be removed.  If this is unsuccessful, the program and medical directors, with input from the instructional staff, will make a decision on whether or not the student should be dismissed from the program.

If a student receives notification of dismissal, he/she will have the opportunity for a grievance hearing before the appropriate program officials.  In cases of dismissal and/or grievance, the clinical officials have the option of including appropriate university officials as participants in the proceedings.

Part-Time Employment

The lecture and laboratory instruction takes up 40 hours per week of the student's time.  The student then spends most of his/her evenings in study and review.  Although this doesn't leave much time for part-time employment, some hospitals will offer part-time employment on weekends.  Part-time, weekday evening employment may be limited to those students who have maintained an excellent academic record in the clinical studies.

Health and Liability Insurance

The student has the option of taking the same accident and sickness insurance plan available to resident students or maintain his/her own private plan.  In addition, some hospitals will make their own plan available to the student (usually at cost to the student).

Most hospitals maintain a limited coverage in case of accidents in the laboratory and this coverage is usually not charged to the student.

During the clinical year, the student will be required to be covered by liability insurance.  In some programs, the hospital's general liability insurance will include student coverage.  However, in some hospitals, the coverage does not include students and thus, the student must procure liability insurance on his/her own.  In the latter case, the student should consult with one of the medical technology faculty advisors.

Professional Ethics

As the student works towards becoming a professional medical technologist, he/she must always keep in mind the confidential nature of the results of patients’ laboratory tests.

Estimation of Expenses During the Clinical Year

Tuition or Fees - See individual program descriptions.

Living Expense - The student will be expected to maintain his/her own living expenses.  Some of the larger hospitals maintain a dormitory for nurses, and will make living quarters available to the medical technology student at a bargain rate, provided that the living space is available at the appropriate time.  Some programs offer students a reduced rate on hospital cafeteria meals.

Incidental Expenses - The student is responsible for incidental expenses such as books, written materials, lab coat laundering, etc.

Sources of Financial Aid

University Sources
  1. Grants - The University administers the Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, and the Missouri State Grant
  2. Loans - Loan programs administered by the university include the Federal Perkins Loan, the Federal Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), and the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
    Important - Be sure application through University makes it clear that you are off campus in the clinical year program.  Estimated expenses must be actual cost of clinical year program - not the cost to attend Southeast.
Clinical Programs Sources
  1. Grants and Loans - Some hospitals administer Federal financial aid programs such as BEOG, SEOG, Federally guaranteed student loans, and VA benefits. Some hospitals also maintain their own student loan service.  And some hospitals will not have any kind of financial aid service.
  2. Scholarships - Clinical programs vary as to scholarship offerings.  Each clinical program will furnish details on their financial aid sources.
Other Scholarships

International Society for Clinical Laboratory Technology
The ISCLT organizations award scholarships to medical technology majors, based on financial need.

Contact:     ISCLT
                 Suite 918
                 818 Olive Street
                 St. Louis, MO 63101

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
The Fisher Scientific Company provides a $3,000 scholarship that is administered by the national office of ASMT.  This scholarship is paid in installments during the junior and senior years of study.  In order to be eligible, a student must:

  1. Be a permanent resident of the United States
  2. Be enrolled full time in a degree program in medical technology in an accredited college or university.
  3. Have completed the first term of the sophomore year and will enter the junior year within 12 months.

Contact:     American Society for Medical Technology 
                 Education and Research Fund, Inc. 
                 330 Meadowfern Dr. 
                 Houston, Texas   77067

Missouri Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
The MSMT organization is the state chapter of ASMT. MSMT operates a loan program for students attending Missouri clinical programs.  At present, $750 can be loaned to a student demonstrating financial need.  The interest is 7% repayable over a two-year period after graduation.

Contact:     Sandy Claussen
                 5301 N. Michigan
                 Kansas City, MO 64118

Student Status While Attending the Clinical Program

Tuition or Fees - The University will charge no fees or tuition while the student is in the clinical year of study.

Registration and Residence Requirements - The medical technology faculty advisors will enroll each student who is accepted into a clinical program.  This will be done for the Fall, Spring and Summer terms. Thus, the students in their clinical year will be on the University's regular enrollment list for the three terms and will hold regular student status.  This procedure makes the student eligible for financial aid requiring University student status.

Transmittal of Grade Records to the University

When a student completes the clinical year of study, the program director will send a copy of the student's clinical record to the University's Registrar.  This record shall contain the listing of the clinical courses by course title, course number, semester credit hours and grades.  This record, as received from the clinical program, will appear on the student's official transcript.

Certification and/or Registration

After the student has finished the clinical year of study and has received his/her degree, the question of certification and/or registration must be dealt with.  We live in a credential-conscious society, and it is in the best interest of the medical technologist to possess a credential, since it will facilitate the acquisition of a professional position.  Possessing a credential means formal recognition of professional or technical competence by one or more certification/registration agencies.

It is the student's prerogative as to which agency is chosen for the obtaining of certification/registration.  The student also has the option of obtaining certification from more than one agency.  The certification agencies for medical technologists are listed in Section I D of this document.  Fees for writing an agency's certification or registry examination vary.

In order for the University to keep a record of the success rate of our students on the certification/registration exam, each student will be asked to sign a waiver of their rights under the 1974 Family education Rights and Privacy Act.  This request will be made by the clinical program director.  This will allow the program director to transmit to the Medical Technology faculty advisor the registration/certification exam results each year.

Application for Graduation

Students must apply for graduation.  Since medical technology students are not on campus for pre-registration for final term, you must notify the Registrar of your intent to graduate.  The Registrar will then send you the necessary forms.  The deadline for notifying the Registrar of your intent to graduate is the end of the first week of classes in the term you wish to participate in commencement exercises.

Most students attend clinical programs that begin in July and finish the following June.  If you wish to participate in Spring commencement, you may do so only if the transcript of your clinical grades can reach the Registrar's office by June 30 of that year.  If this is not possible, you will need to graduate at the end of the summer session.  Be sure that your School of Medical Technology will be able to meet this deadline before applying for spring graduation.

Employment Opportunities

Most certified/registered medical technologists are employed in the clinical laboratories of hospitals.  Other opportunities exist in the following areas: 

  • Clinics and Hospitals
  • Physicians' Offices
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Industry in General
  • Public Health
  • Armed Forces
  • Research and Development
  • College/University Teaching

Employment opportunities are good for medical technologists. Salaries vary depending on a number of factors. Starting salaries for the registered/certified medical technologist employed in a hospital in the Mid-West is ~$32,000.

Continuing and Graduate Education

Continuing Education

The rapid, exponential expansion of scientific knowledge, including medical knowledge, makes it imperative that the medical technologist take advantage of continuing education opportunities.  In addition, to self-study, various professional organizations such as ASCP, ASMT, and others, conduct short courses on new developments in clinical laboratory science.  Other opportunities are found in short courses, workshops, etc. conducted by colleges and universities, and by manufacturers of clinical laboratory equipment.

Graduate Education

All universities that have complete graduate schools have advanced degree programs in areas such as biochemistry, bacteriology, virology, immunology, physiology, molecular biology, etc., that are directly pertinent to medical technology.  For more detailed information, the student can contact:

Education Committee 
American Society for Medical Technology 
330 Meadow Fern 
Houston, TX 77067

Foreign Students

Clinical programs vary in their policies regarding the acceptance of foreign students.  Some programs will accept only students who hold U.S.A. citizenship.  Some programs will accept foreign students, providing they are here on immigrant status.  Many programs will not accept non-immigrant foreign students.  Those who do, will insist that the student be facile in verbal and written English as a condition of acceptance.

Alternatives Students Not Admitted to a Clinical Program

Admittance to clinical programs is competitive and the completion of the three years of pre-clinical work does not guarantee admission to clinical study.  In the event of unsuccessful application, the student should, by all means, return for his/her senior year and complete the baccalaureate program.  The most convenient majors are Biology, Chemistry or Interdisciplinary Studies.

The student should also re-apply to clinical programs of interest early in the senior year.  As is stated earlier in this document, extra weight is given to the application of a student who will hold the baccalaureate degree before entering the clinical program; however the holding of the degree does not guarantee admission.


Clinical Affiliates


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