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


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