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Medical Laboratory Science

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

School: Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Medical laboratory science is a profession that uses clinical laboratory tests to detect, diagnose, monitor and treat disease. More than 70% of all medical decisions are based on the results of clinical laboratory testing.


Medical laboratory scientists are part of the team of health care professionals who work to determine the presence, extent or absence of disease. They perform a range of laboratory tests to detect diseases such as cancer, coronary artery disease and diabetes. These health care professionals analyze, evaluate and validate laboratory data in the five major areas of the clinical laboratory: chemistry, immunology, hematology, transfusion medicine and microbiology. 

Admission to the medical laboratory science program is based on a holistic review of each candidate, including academic achievement in prerequisites and the student’s overall cumulative grade-point average.

Students are encouraged to apply by the posted deadline to the medical laboratory science program.  

Applicants who wish to apply to the medical laboratory science program must complete all prerequisite courses with a C- or higher prior to beginning professional course work.

Applicants must apply electronically by January 31 of each year.

Applying as a sophomore: Students may apply for the first time, or reapply, as a sophomore or above while completing their remaining prerequisites. Subject to successful academic standing, admitted students will begin the major as a member of the junior cohort autumn term of the calendar year in which they apply.

Prospective students interested in meeting with an HRS advisor may call 614-292-1706 to arrange an appointment.

Tracks of study

The certification track: The curriculum for this track is designed to prepare students for entry-level work as medical laboratory scientists. In addition to four semesters of medical laboratory science courses, students participate in a six-week internship program during the final semester. This preparation helps students gain clinical experience and take a required comprehensive final exam to help prepare for the national certification exam. Graduates of this track of study will be qualified to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology Medical Laboratory Scientist certification exam.

The medical science (non-certification) track: The curriculum for this track is designed for students interested in medical, nursing, physician assisting, dental, veterinary, optometry or any other professional or graduate school. Course content includes pathophysiology of laboratory diagnostics without actually teaching laboratory procedures. This area of study is excellent preparation for medical school or other post-baccalaureate studies. The absence of lab requirements in this curriculum allows for more flexible scheduling, which can accommodate outside courses required for admission into professional or graduate programs. Graduates of this track are not eligible to take the national certifying exam upon graduation.

The Medical Laboratory Technician articulation track: The curriculum for this track is designed for American Society of Clinical Pathology certified medical laboratory technicians who would like to complete their bachelor's degree. This track provides technicians with advanced clinical science education and an opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree, which can be used to fulfill requirements to become eligible for the American Society of Clinical Pathology Medical Laboratory Scientist registry exam.  However, the curriculum will not fulfill the additional professional experience requirements needed to sit for the exam. 

Students in the medical laboratory science major are encouraged to contact the Office of International Affairs to find study abroad experiences related to health care that can strengthen their applications to majors and graduate study programs.

In their final semester, certificate track students gain practical experience in the clinical laboratories of affiliated hospitals. This six-week internship program is comprised of rotations in each of the five primary disciplines of clinical laboratory science (chemistry, immunology, transfusion medicine, microbiology and hematology). Students work under the supervision of a practicing medical laboratory scientist to apply the theoretical knowledge and laboratory skills learned in the academic setting to the clinical setting.

The Honors Program in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences enhances the student experience in many ways, all of which further prepare students for the next step in their academic or professional careers. Activities eligible for Honors designation include service projects, study abroad, leadership in student organizations and research. For additional information regarding eligibility and requirements, please visit our website.

The Health Sciences Scholars Program and the Dunn Sport and Wellness Scholars Program may be of particular interest to students interested in the major because they bring together students with interests in the many health programs offered at Ohio State.

Learn more about the Honors and Scholars Programs at honors-scholars.osu.edu.

Students are encouraged to investigate research opportunities. Interested students can graduate with research distinction by completing an undergraduate research thesis. Additional information regarding eligibility and requirements can be found on our website.

Students in themedical laboratory science program can live in the Future Health Professionals Learning Community. Students may also apply to participate in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Ambassadors program.

Most medical laboratory scientists work in hospital laboratories. Medical laboratory scientists can also work in many other areas, such as forensics, research, public health laboratories, pharmaceutical industries, medical sales, fertility clinics, environmental labs, doctors offices and information systems.

For the past five years, over 90% of medical laboratory science students have passed the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Registry certification exam on the first attempt.

The median annual wage for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians is $52,330. The median annual wage for medical laboratory scientists is $84,810. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of medical laboratory scientists and technicians will grow 11% from 2018 to 2028 and medical laboratory scientists will grow 8%. A shortage in many parts of the country creates opportunities for employment and good salaries for graduates.

Office of Student Services
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
206 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-1706
HRSstudentservices@osumc.edu
hrs.osu.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/medical-laboratory-science

A comprehensive academic visit for prospective students can include receiving information about the program, student financial aid, honors and scholars, and campus involvement opportunities. As you plan your visit, you may have the opportunity to attend an academic overview. Interested students should visit campusvisit.osu.edu for more information. 

If a session is not available during the visit, please call 614-292-1706 to arrange an appointment with an HRS advisor. To guarantee an appointment, please call at least a week ahead of time.

Interested in a career in health care?

Check out the Health Care Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a health care career.