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Medical Laboratory Sciences–BS
Brookdale Campus West 700A
(212) 481-4442, 4502
Web site: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/mls
HEGIS Code: 1223
Curriculum for the Bachelor of Science Degree
Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) is a pre-professional major, preparing students for careers in laboratories devoted to promoting, maintaining and restoring human health. The MLS curriculum builds upon the basic science courses required to enter the program. Courses in the major fall into the following categories:
- fundamental lab skills
- clinical subspecialties
- advanced biomedical courses
- pre-professional practice
Emphasis is placed on problem solving and development of laboratory strategies, in addition to theoretical knowledge and practical skills in each of the disciplines in the curriculum. The academic demands of MLS courses often require students to carry lower credit loads than they are accustomed to. Part-time attendance and some evening classes are mechanisms for assisting students complete the challenging curriculum. See course descriptions below and the MLS Web site for more detail.
Entry-Level Positions Students completing the MLS degree are prepared for positions in a variety of settings. These include clinical (medical) technologists in diagnostic laboratories in hospitals and commercial environments, research assistants in medical center and university labs, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and public health laboratories. Personnel shortages are severe in several of these areas, and opportunities are predicted to grow. The Monthly Labor Review projects a growth rate of 23% for clinical laboratory positions through 2014.
The passage of the Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act in 2005 created a transparent professional pathway defining the education, experience and examination to qualify as a clinical technologist in New York State www.op.nysed.gov/prof/clt/subpart79-13.htm). While regulations for implementation are still in development, the MLS course of study has been defined as fulfilling the educational and practice components for licensure under the transition guidelines. It is expected that status as licensed professionals will help to alleviate shortages in the field.
MLS students are encouraged to plan for postbaccalaureate education, and guided to complete prerequisites. MLS alumni have been successful in medical and dental school, graduate programs in biomedical science (master’s and PhD), management and clinical specialties (PA, forensic science, etc.) and advanced laboratory diagnostics such as cytotechnology.
Opportunities for Pre-Professional Experience
Professional Practice Qualified students planning for careers in the diagnostic lab enroll in MLS 410, to fulfill the practical experience requirement of the clinical technologist license. Students are assigned to hospital, reference or public health labs for summer or semester-long internship experience in an area consistent with their interests. Students completing the academic program but not Professional Practice may serve as trainees in settings arranged by them following graduation.
Qualified seniors may apply to the BS/MA collaboration between MLS and the department of Biological Sciences. An intensive techniques workshop (BIOL 410) is taken prior to graduation and upon successful completion, students may continue with professional internship and the MA program, allowing MLS graduates to complete the degree at an accelerated pace.
Qualified students are encouraged to participate in faculty research projects in such areas as cancer vaccine development, bacterial pathogenesis, gastric secretion and central nervous system myelination through independent study and honors courses. Several honors and awards are available to recognize excellent projects.
MLS majors meet each semester with a faculty adviser to review progress and plan the next semester’s program. The adviser helps students pace their studies appropriately. Counseling for graduate school, employment and reference support is ongoing for our alumni, and a strong professional network exists among MLS alumni.
Completion of 60 credits before enrolling in MLS, including: 1 year general chemistry with lab (CHEM 10200 , CHEM 10400 , CHEM 10600 , or equiv) 1 year general biology with lab (BIOL 10000 , BIOL 10200 , or equiv) and overall GPA of at least 2.5. Students enter the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program in fall and spring semesters. Advisers welcome e-mail inquiries anytime. To apply both current Hunter College students and transfer students must complete a Transfer Application with the CUNY University Application Processing Center. Visit http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/prospectivestudents/ug_students/transfer.shtml and select On-Line Application from the choices. Be sure to select “Medical Laboratory Sciences” at Hunter College as the choice of curriculum. Use CUNY curriculum code 0344 when applying. Admissions take place on a rolling basis so students should apply as early as possible. Admission deadlines for fall and spring semesters are February 1 and September 15, respectively. Students are encouraged to complete most of their General Education Requirement (GER) before entering the program, but liberal arts classes can be interspersed with major courses. (See Academic Programs and Policies section of this catalog.)