Medical Laboratory Science – Albright College

Medical Laboratory Science

With this 3+1 program, earn an Albright College degree and qualify to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology certification exam at the end of your fourth year.

Who are medical laboratory scientists?

Medical laboratory scientists are vital healthcare personnel who conduct laboratory analyses to assist physicians and other medical professionals in patient diagnosis and treatment.

They use biomedical instrumentation and technology to perform laboratory testing on blood and body fluids. Laboratory testing encompasses such disciplines as clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology and molecular biology.

They monitor testing quality and generate laboratory data needed to detect cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, and infectious microorganisms.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor projects that the employment of medical laboratory technicians and scientists will increase by 14% through the year 2026. According to Jobs Rated Almanac, medical laboratory science has experienced 25% job growth and good job security.

In 2015, the average salary for laboratory professionals was about $41,420 and $60,520 annually depending on geographic location. Currently, there is a shortage in many parts of the country, which guarantees employment and higher salaries for graduates.

[source: The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science]

Candidates for the MLS 3+1 program must be a Biology major on the Biotechnology track. These students complete all General Education requirements and sufficient courses in three years at Albright College (for a total of 24 courses), such that the fourth year in the hospital setting would be sufficient to earn the Bachelor of Science degree. Candidates must have a 3.0 GPA or higher – both overall and in the required biology and chemistry courses (see the Courses section below).

Candidates that seek admission after graduating from Albright College (4+1 option) could graduate with any major but would have to be mindful of all requirements and prerequisite courses prior to applying.

General Education requirements:

  • First Year Seminar (FYS)
  • ENG 101 and 102
  • Foreign language courses (2 total)
  • Foundations courses:
    • Humanities
    • Fine Arts
    • Social Science
    • Nature Science (BIO 151, 152, CHE 105, 106 all count for this area, see below)
    • Quantitative Reasoning (MAT 110 Elementary Statistics counts for this area, see below)
  • Connections courses (2 total)
  • Synthesis course

MLS program prerequisites:

  • BIO 234 and 235 (Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II)
  • BIO 321 (Microbiology)
  • BIO 498 (Immunology)
  • CHE 105 and 106 (General and Analytical Chemistry)
  • CHE 207 and 208 (Organic Chemistry I and II)
  • a course in genetics or molecular biology is recommended (e.g., BIO 325 Molecular Genetics)
  • a statistics course is also recommended (see above)

Additional requirements for the Biology (Biotechnology track) major that are not listed above:

  • BIO 151
  • BIO 152
  • BIO 203
  • any of the following to bring the total number of courses taken by the end of the junior year to 24:
    • BIO 322, 325, 327, 329, 495, 499
    • CHE 325, 326

How does this 3+1 arrangement work?

Through an affiliation agreement between Albright College and the Reading Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Science, Albright College will grant a Bachelor of Science degree (biology major, biotechnology track) to students who successfully complete the requirements of both the college and the clinical Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program.

During the senior year, students’ time at Reading Hospital will be divided between classroom instruction and relevant hands-on experience gained in the clinical laboratory. (Granting of the Albright bachelor’s degree will not be contingent on successfully passing a MLS certification or licensure examination.)

It is also possible to apply to admission into the Reading Hospital MLS program as a post-baccalaureate (4+1 program) after completion of an Albright College degree and the MLS program’s prerequisite courses.

Note: Admission into Reading Hospital MLS program is a competitive process and is not guaranteed. However, Albright students meeting the program’s minimum requirements are given preference over students from other schools without affiliation agreements. Students interested in this program should consult with Erin Ventresca, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology and the health sciences advisor.

The annual MLS training program application deadline is in October. Accepted participants begin training in July of each year.

For additional information, consult the website of the Reading Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Science.

Ethan Kentzel, MLS (ASCP) is the current MLS program director in the Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences. Ethan is also a non-teaching, clinical faculty member of Albright College as part of the affiliation agreement.