The UIS MLS Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018 (773) 714-8880. The MLS program’s current full ten-year accreditation is the result of two consecutive accreditation cycles with no deficiencies.
Upon completion of a NAACLS approved laboratory education route, an individual may sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) MLS professional certification examination. Graduates of the MLS Program at UIS are eligible to sit for the ASCP BOC examination via Route 1.
The MLS major consists of two distinct academic phases: the pre-professional phase and the professional phase. During the pre-professional phase, the first two years of the four-year major, students complete UIS general education requirements and MLS prerequisites. During the professional phase, the final two years of the four-year major, students complete the MLS core courses and obtain clinical experience during practicum courses. The professional phase is the NAACLS-accredited Medical Laboratory Science program. All students must complete a secondary admissions process and be accepted by the MLS Program before they may begin the professional phase. See the MLS website for application information.
According to NAACLS curriculum requirements, the UIS MLS Program includes didactic and laboratory coverage of: Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Hemostasis, Immunology, Immunohematology, Microbiology, Urine and Body Fluid Analysis, and Laboratory Operations. Due to content distribution and complexity, Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Immunohematology, and Microbiology are considered major content areas while Hemostasis, Immunology, Urine and Body Fluid Analysis, and Laboratory Operations are considered minor content areas. Additional MLS Program content areas not required by NAACLS but relevant and necessary for professional preparation include: Phlebotomy, Molecular Diagnostics, Education, and Management.
During the first year of the professional phase, students complete on-campus didactic and laboratory coursework. After successful completion of all first-year coursework, students rotate through clinical practicum courses in each of the four major content areas. Additionally, students complete a Special Topics practicum course in which they experience minor or highly specialized laboratory areas. Over the course of an academic year, students rotate through two separate clinical affiliate sites; completing two major practicum content areas per site. This allows students the opportunity to see a variety of laboratory and healthcare environments; serve diverse patient populations; and utilize several computer platforms. See the MLS Student Handbook for a current list of clinical affiliates. The program concludes with a two-part research and exam preparation capstone course series. Students must successfully pass a comprehensive closure exam to graduate from the MLS Program.
As required by the program’s clinical affiliates, prior to clinical practicum courses, all MLS students are required to submit to a background check and drug testing results. In the event that a student’s record includes a felony conviction, the program may not be able to secure clinical practicum spots. If clinical practicum spots are obtained, the student may not be able to be employed in healthcare.