FAQs

How will I know if this is a career for me?

Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) is a career for you if you:

  • are a problem solver
  • like challenge and responsibility
  • are accurate and reliable
  • work well under pressure
  • communicate well
  • set high standards for yourself
  • are fascinated by science

What are some of the benefits of being a Medical Laboratory Scientist?

  • Multiple career opportunities within various clinical, reference or research labs
  • Challenging and constantly changing technology
  • Excellent entry-level salaries and opportunities for growth
  • Flexible hours and part-time opportunities
  • Foundation for other health-related careers (Medical School, Physician Assistant)
  • Becoming an integral part of the health care team and providing quality patient care

Is the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program accredited?

The Program has received “Serious Applicant Status” by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). As such, students who have successfully completed the program, may sit for the national certification examination offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Full accreditation is expected to be received by Spring 2014.
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (http://naacls.org)
5600 North River Road
Suite 720 Rosemont,
IL 60018-5119
(773) 714-8880

How is the program structured? Is there a clinical component or internship?

The traditional MLS program is called a 3 + 1 model. Three years are spent at UB finishing prerequisite courses and upon successful completion of those three years which also requires passing a comprehensive examination, the student will spend the last two semesters of the senior year in a clinical rotation at one of the UB clinical affiliates.

Where can I do my clinical rotations?

Currently UB is affiliated with Yale New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Waterbury Hospital, St Vincent’s Medical Center, for a current listing of affiliates please contact the program. If you have a special request, please let us know and we will investigate that option for you.

I hear different terms and it seems confusing, what is my job title and what am I called after I finish the program?

The term commonly used in the past was Medical Technologist. Today, the current professional term is Medical Laboratory Scientist. Medical Laboratory Technician is used for a two year Associate degree graduate. People who graduate from the categorical certificate program are called categorical graduates and may be referred to as a Clinical Chemist, Hematologist, Clinical Microbiologist or Immunohematology Technologist.

I have a degree already, what are my options?

Sometimes people with a prior BS degree will choose to specialize in one area of the clinical laboratory. This is called categorical certification and people can become a Clinical Chemist, Hematologist, Clinical Microbiologist or Immunohematology Technologist. People with degrees can also seek a second degree in MLS.

What is the difference between the Medical Laboratory Science and Categorical programs and certification?

The full MLS program is current offered only as a 4 year traditional degree or as a two year second degree program. Categorical certification is usually offered to people already having a BS degree and can potentially be completed in less than two years. It is designed for people wanting a more rapid means for working in a clinical laboratory or for those people wanting to specialize.

MLS graduates are trained to work in any of the four major clinical labs (Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology or Blood Bank (Immunohematology). Categorical people generally work in a specialized section of the lab. Often it is recommended for people to seek to combine two categorical areas such as Chemistry and Hematology to make them more marketable.

When do I apply to the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program?

Application is ongoing, students may contact admissions at UB at any time to apply. The program offers both a traditional degree option and a post baccalaureate certificate option. Please contact the program for more details on a customized certificate options.

Is financial aid available?

For degree students financial aid may be available, student should contact the financial aid office for more details. Certificate students pay a set tuition plus fees. Contact the program director for more information on customized certificate options, waguiar@bridgeport.edu

How are placements at clinical rotation sites determined?

Normally during the Spring semester of the junior year, students have the opportunity to visit all of the clinical rotation sites. Students then submit their application for placement. The clinical site may then require additional information, which may include a personal interview. Once this has been completed, a matching process will determine the placement. While students are not guaranteed their first choice, placement will be guaranteed for those who maintain the standards of scholastic achievement.

Are there any additional fees or expenses associated with the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program?

There will be added expenses for uniforms and clinical travel. While on clinical placement, you are responsible for all expenses associated with the clinical experience. You are responsible for your own transportation to the clinical site. You should allow for transportation expenses, which could include parking fees and the cost of gasoline. You are required to pay full fees and tuition during clinical affiliations..

Is housing or parking available at the clinical sites?

Housing is currently not available at the clinical sites. However, UB has dorms available. Most clinical sites are within a 30 minute drive from UB and some have shuttle service from local train stations. In Bridgeport, UB students also have access to local bus transportation to area hospitals.

There may be parking fees during clinical, depending upon the clinical site.

What do I need to do after graduation?

Students are encouraged to sit for the national certification examination as soon as possible after completion of the Program. The program does not require you to pass the certification examination in order to grant you a degree. For more information on certification:

American Society for Clinical Pathology (http://www.ascp.org/)
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 541-49

What is the job market for Medical Laboratory Scientists?

There currently is a nationwide shortage of qualified medical laboratory scientists, which will likely continue into the foreseeable future. It is expected that 50% of the workforce may retire within the next 10 years providing plenty of job opportunities nationwide.

How many students are accepted each year?

A total of eighteen students may be accepted each year into the Program; this includes both baccalaureate degree and certificate program students.

What would a career ladder look like for me once I become a Medical Laboratory Scientist?

A Medical Laboratory Scientist who gains experience in one of the special areas of the laboratory has the opportunity to advance to a specialist level; in chemistry, hematology, transfusion services, immunology and microbiology. There are also numerous opportunities in management, research and education. There are additional positions in pharmaceutical companies and industry, as well as in reference, state health department and forensic laboratories. With additional graduate work, there are even more opportunities for professional growth. In today's laboratories, areas of scientific exploration include the immune system, cell marker technology, bioengineering and cancer research. In the clinical area, drug testing, therapeutic drug monitoring and biogenetics are just a few of the specialties with openings. In industry, Medical Laboratory Scientists are needed for positions in marketing, sales, quality assurance, environmental health and insurance, among others.

Are you able to do the program on a part-time basis?

Part-time study is possible through the completion of the junior year courses for baccalaureate degree students and the first semester for Certificate Program students. However, you must be a full-time student once you start your clinical training. Classes will meet Monday through Friday for two semesters. During clinical rotations you will be following the work shift of your assigned technologist.

What are entry level salaries for this profession?

Salaries vary by region, ranging from approximately $40,000 to $60,000 per year base. Additional monies are given for evening, night and weekend shifts.

I have other questions, or how do I get more information about the program?

Please contact Wayne Aguiar, Program Director at 203 576-4268 or waguiar@bridgeport.edu