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Medical Laboratory Science

The Bachelor in Science Degree in medical laboratory science has two areas of emphasis: clinical laboratory science and histotechnology. Clinical laboratory scientists are healthcare professionals educated in all aspects of clinical laboratory analysis, including test development, performance and evaluation. Clinical laboratory scientists may work in many areas, including clinical chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, immunology, clinical microbiology and molecular diagnostics.

Histotechnologists are healthcare professionals who are qualified through academic and applied science education and training to provide service, research and management in histotechnology and areas related to anatomic pathology. Histotechnologists are integral to the success of the anatomic pathology department by performing routine and complex procedures to preserve and process tissue specimens for examination and diagnosis by a pathologist.

Students may apply to either or both the clinical laboratory science and the histotechnology area of emphasis after completing two years of prerequisite courses in an accredited college or university. The first two years of the undergraduate curriculum include biology (8 hours), inorganic chemistry (8 hours), organic chemistry (CHEM 231 or organic chemistry I and II), college algebra or higher, introductory statistics and the general education requirements. Prerequisite courses may be completed at any regionally accredited institution of higher education.

The second two years are based at the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and include lectures, student laboratory, and clinical experiences at one or more of the affiliated clinical rotation sites. The affiliated clinical rotation sites are located in Morgantown, W.Va., Clarksburg, W.Va., the WVU Eastern Division, Charleston, W.Va., Pittsburgh, Pa., Latrobe, Pa., and Greensburg, Pa. During the clinical experience, students will apply their knowledge and skills by using state-of-the-art medical equipment to perform laboratory procedures under the supervision of a clinical instructor.

Career Profile

Practice settings for clinical laboratory scientists and histotechnologists include hospital, clinic, public health or private clinical laboratories; research, cytogenetic, pharmaceutical or in-vitro fertilization laboratories; technical or sales representatives for medical manufacturers and suppliers; biotechnology, food and cosmetic industries; and state or federal crime laboratories.

The program office receives frequent notification of regional employment opportunities. There is currently a significant shortage throughout the country of qualified clinical laboratory scientists and histotechnologists. This shortage is expected to increase over the next decade. The job market varies from state to state and within a particular state.

Sample Course Schedules

Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.

Freshman Year

PATH 100 Medical Laboratory Science COMM 105 Introduction to the Mass Media BIOL 115 Principles of Biology CHEM 115 Fundamentals of Chemistry MATH 126C College Algebra 3-Day

Senior Year

PATH 430 Clinical Chemistry 2 PATH 420 Immunology and Blood Banking PATH 465 Medical Laboratory Management PATH 480 Clinical Immunology PATH 450 Clinical Microbiology

By the Numbers

Facts and figures that make this major unique:

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The WVU Medical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, phone 773-714-8880. Graduates of the clinical laboratory science and the histotechnology programs are eligible for certification by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

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