The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
Center for the Health Professions



Patterson Center

» Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science

Medical laboratory scientists play an important role in detecting and diagnosing a number of diseases. Working with pathologists or other scientists, these highly skilled professionals perform a wide range of laboratory tests and analyze the findings. Most medical laboratory scientists work in hospital laboratories; others work in clinics, health agencies, research facilities, and pharmaceutical facilities.

Will I need further study?
Yes. Students need to complete professional/clinical education as part of an MLS program to work in the field. Elmhurst College has an affiliation with Hines VA Hospital for their MLS program to assist students with completing their clinical education. Students must apply to the MLS program and be a U.S. citizen to be eligible. If accepted, they spend three years on site at Elmhurst College majoring in biology and take their final phase of coursework and clinical training on site at Hines VA Hospital (11 months) earning a degree from Elmhurst College after successful completion of the program (approximately 4 years total). Courses completed in the MLS program count toward the requirements to graduate with a major in biology. Graduates of the program are eligible to take certifying examinations offered by the ASCP Board of Certification or any other approved certifying agency. However, graduation is not contingent upon certification. Students have the option to graduate from Elmhurst and then apply to the MLS program as well. Interested students should contact the Patterson Center for the Health Professions to learn more about how to apply and eligibility requirements. The affiliation does not guarantee admission for students into the MLS program even if they are admitted to Elmhurst College.

Tuition is based off of current Elmhurst College rates and fees for both the coursework at Elmhurst and at Hines for the affiliation. There are additional costs for books which may vary from year to year ($0-$500). Hines VA Hospital is located at 5000 South 5th Avenue, Hines, IL 60141-3030. Please visit the Hines website for more details. 

What should I major in?
To apply for the affiliation, students must be biology majors. However, students applying separate of the affiliation can major in any discipline taking care to complete the appropriate prerequisite courses.

What are the course requirements?
Students who are accepted into the program must complete the general education and biology major curriculum at Elmhurst College. The following courses are required for the MLS program and may fall under the biology major or graduation requirements.

  • Biology: four courses for the major including microbiology (BIO 321) and immunology (BIO 341) and some physiology which may be included in a general course
  • Chemistry: four courses including some organic and/or biochemistry
  • Math: one course of college level math
  • Statistics and physics are recommended

Students must speak with an advisor in the Center to learn about recommended courses and the specific details about the prerequisites for the Hines VA Hospital affiliation.

What about advising?
Expert advising is an important part of the Patterson Center. You will meet with one of our expert advisors to discuss your specific academic and professional interests. Your advisor will work with you throughout your Elmhurst career, clearing obstacles and giving expert guidance. Want to know more? See Advisors.

How do I get certified?
After successfully completing an MLS program, students are eligible to write one or more national registry examinations.

Where can I find additional information?
You can start by contacting us at Elmhurst’s Patterson Center for the Health Professions or check out these useful websites:

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Allied Health Schools: Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Mayo Clinic: Laboratory Sciences Career Overview

Any student interested in applying for the program is responsible for learning about all the requirements. Admission to Elmhurst College does not guarantee acceptance into a program affiliation.

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