Medical Laboratory Science

The Field

Medical laboratory scientists perform scientific, fast-finding tests in the medical laboratory that help track down the cause and cure of disease. They are the top-level laboratory workers – the supervisors, the specialists, the teachers – for a wide range of complex tests essential to diagnostic and treatment procedures. Some of the roles and responsibilities of this profession and the specialty areas of the medical laboratories where they function include:

  • Blood Banks – identify blood groups and match blood samples to determine and verify the final cross-match for blood transfusions.
  • Hematology – examine the blood for such diseases as anemia, hemophilia, and leukemia.
  • Microbiology – culture microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans) to identify disease – causing organisms, then perform tests to help determine the most effective antibiotic.
  • Clinical Chemistry – determine the presence and quantity of chemical substances in the blood, urine, and other body fluids to diagnose a variety of illnesses – including diabetes and kidney and liver disorders.
Licensure Disclosure
In accordance with the 2019 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, URI hereby discloses that the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in all U.S. States with the exception of the State of New York.  The applicable licensing board in these states may impose additional requirements on candidates prior to granting a license (e.g., passing of an exam; obtaining a certificate; Performing additional clinical/practicum hours; etc.), and we encourage you to investigate those requirements with your licensing board.  URI has not determined whether the curriculum for this program meets the  educational requirements for licensure in any U.S. territories and we encourage you to investigate the requirements in NY or your territory prior to accepting an offer of admission at URI.
 
Current and prospective students are encouraged to contact Neil Greene (neil_greene@uri.edu) for further information.

Undergraduate Program

This innovative program combines basic biomedical sciences with health professional training. The curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. During the first three years, the emphasis is on general education and basic courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics necessary as background in the applied sciences. Pre-clinical coursework includes courses taught in the new Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences. The clinical courses of the senior year are taught off campus by the staffs of the affiliated hospital schools of medical laboratory sciences.

The senior year is a 11-month program of study and starts soon after completion of the third year of the curriculum, in June. It is taken at one of the following hospitals: Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center, The Rhode Island Blood Center, and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, which are in Providence, within about 30 miles from the Kingston campus. The clinical program includes lectures and laboratory instruction in the various areas of medical laboratory science and prepares the student for the national certification examinations. Students majoring in Medical Laboratory Science must complete a minimum of 120 credits of coursework, including 39 credits of medical laboratory science courses. Upon completion, graduates are eligible to sit for the national MLS certification examination administered by ASCP and graduates also meet preliminary licensure requirements from participating states. For more information on licensure, please visit https://www.ascls.org/advocacy-issues/licensure.

Students may enter the Undergraduate Medical Laboratory Science Program directly from high school. It is advisable to have taken biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics in high school. Students at other colleges and universities, those with an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology, and those who have medical laboratory training from the military, may transfer into the program. Transfer credits will be determined on an individual basis.

Courses

Freshman Year
Introduction to Medical Laboratory Science
General Biology
General Chemistry
Mathematics
Statistics
General Education or Free Elective Courses

Sophomore Year

Fundamentals of the Medical Laboratory

Anatomy and Physiology
General Physics
Introductory Medical Microbiology
Organic Chemistry
General Education or Free Elective Courses
Junior Year
Biochemistry

Genetics

Immunology and Serology
Introductory Diagnostic Microbiology
Professional Elective Courses
General Education or Free Elective Courses
Senior Year
Clinical Chemistry
Clinical Immunology
Clinical Microbiology
Hematology
Immunohematology
Molecular Pathology
Professional Topics

Options

Flexibility in the curriculum permits the student to fulfill requirements for a degree in another major such as microbiology, biology, or related health sciences. A popular combination is a bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with the hospital internship taken as a fifth year of study.

Career Opportunities

Job availability in the profession is usually extensive, and it is increasing. A recent report issued by the United States Department of Labor indicates an increasing demand for professionals in all area of health care, including medical laboratory science. Graduates of the program have an opportunity for careers in clinical practice, laboratory supervision and management, health regulatory agencies, sales and technical representation for scientific equipment companies, research, and education.

Further Studies

The undergraduate program provides an excellent basis for students planning to pursue graduate education, particularly in programs leading to advanced degrees in science, medicine, education, or business. Recent placements of graduates have been at Georgetown Dental School, Tufts Medical School, Des Moines College of Osteopathic Medicine, Brown Medical School, and University of Massachusetts-Amherst.


For More Information about this program contact:

Neil Greene, Ph.D.
Director, Medical Laboratory Science
Clinical Assistant Professor
Phone: (401) 874-2315
E-mail: neil_greene@uri.edu