Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science is focused on the performance of laboratory determinations and analyses used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as health maintenance.  Our 3+1 program prepares you for the MLS workforce with 3 years of prerequisite coursework followed by a final year of clinical training in an affiliated hospital.  Affiliated programs are located at North Kansas City Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Truman Medical Center, and University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. To practice as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, graduates must pass the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC) exam.



Medical Laboratory Science is a branch of medicine focused on the performance of laboratory determinations and analyses used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as health maintenance.

A medical lab scientist carries out a variety of activities including:

  • Analysis in chemistry, hematology, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, urinalysis and blood banking
  • Developing and establishing new analytical procedures
  • Conducting preventative maintenance and repair of laboratory instrumentation

Here is a great YouTube video describing what a Medical Lab Scientist does.

Most medical lab scientists work in a healthcare setting such as a hospital, private laboratories or doctors’ offices. Medical lab scientists also find employment in medical sales, research, teaching/training, service organizations such as the Peace Corp, and even the military.

Student in a chemistry lab
General Studies
Major Requirements
CHE 111General Chemistry I5
CHE 120General Chemistry II with Qualitative Analysis5
CHE 310Organic Chemistry I3
CHE 311Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHE 321Quantitative Analysis4
CHE 326Instrumental Analysis4
CHE 370Biochemistry I4
BIO 106Principles of Cell Biology4
BIO 205Genetics4
BIO 311Animal Physiology4-5
or BIO 250 Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 390Microbiology4
BIO 421Immunology4
MAT 116College Algebra3
Courses in Medical Laboratory Science 130-43

The courses and credit hours required will vary based on clinical site.

Courses in Medical Laboratory Science

North Kansas City Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, or Truman Medical Center

The following courses will be taken by students accepted into the clinical laboratory science training programs at North Kansas City Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital or Truman Medical Center.

MTE 412Clinical Lab Science Theory, Applications and Correlation5
MTE 413Applications of Chemistry for Clinical Lab Science1
MTE 430Clinical Microbiology4-8
MTE 432Clinical Chemistry6-10
MTE 434Clinical Hematology3-7
MTE 436Clinical Immunohematology3-7
MTE 438Clinical Immunology1-6
MTE 440Clinical Urinalysis1-3
MTE 442Topics in Medical Technology1-4

University of Nebraska Medical Center

The following courses will be taken by students accepted into the University of Nebraska Medical Center clinical laboratory science training program.

CLS 407Clinical Laboratory Operations2
CLS 408Introduction to Clinical Hematology2
CLS 409Introduction to Clinical Microbiology2
CLS 410Introduction to Clinical Chemistry and Urinalysis1
CLS 411Introduction to Clinical Immunohematology1
CLS 412Clinical Lab Science Theory, Application, and Correlation5
CLS 413Clinical Endocrinology and Toxicology1
CLS 414Clinical Chemistry and Urinalysis2
CLS 415Clinical Chemistry and Urinalysis II2
CLS 416Clinical Hematology I2
CLS 417Clinical Hematology II2
CLS 418Clinical Microbiology I2
CLS 419Clinical Microbiology II2
CLS 420Clinical Immunology and Molecular Diagnostics2
CLS 422Clinical Immunohematology I2
CLS 423Clinical Immunohematology II2
CLS 430Clinical Laboratory Management I2
CLS 431Clinical Laboratory Management II3
CLS 442Clinical Immunohematology Laboratory Practicum I1
CLS 443Clinical Immunohematology Laboratory Practicum II1
CLS 444Clinical Core Laboratory Practicum I1
CLS 445Clinical Core Laboratory Practicum II1
CLS 448Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Practicum I1
CLS 449Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Practicum II1

University Graduation Requirements 

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in upper-division courses.  Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination).
  4. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  5. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  6. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam. 

Are you ready to declare this major? Download, sign and submit the form(s) to the Chemistry Department.

Mapping your degree plan is important. Consult with your academic advisor to create a plan and monitor it regularly.


Missouri Western is a great place for the hands-on experience you need to be successful. The professors were willing and helpful, working to enhance my education beyond the classroom, teaching practical skills. From my freshman year on I was able to work with equipment that at a larger university only a graduate student might handle. I also had the opportunity to assist with Super Science Saturday, a fun day showing different aspects of the science world to young kids. With amazing resources, volunteering opportunities, and supportive professors my college experience was better than I could have dreamed and prepared me for my career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist.

Melissa McBride, '13

Since my graduation from Missouri Western, I have had the privilege to work for large health systems, infectious disease laboratories, and on the cutting edge of healthcare Infection Control development as it relates to CDC requirements and recommendations. I’m so grateful that the Chemistry Department plugged in, invested in my future, and never gave up on me. It will always have a special place in my heart.

Melody Boudreaux-Nelson, '10