The MLS curriculum at UIS provides preparation for certification as a medical laboratory scientist. The first two years of the four-year major are considered the PreProfessional Phase. During this time, the student completes the general education requirements of the university and the prerequisites for the Professional Phase. The last two years are considered the Professional Phase or the MLS Program. The Professional Phase, the MLS Program, is accredited by NAACLS (see MLS Major page). Both UIS students and transfer students must submit an application for the Professional Phase/MLS Program (see Admissions).
Health and Essential Requirements
MLS students must be able to meet the Essential Functions and Health Requirements outlined in the CLS Student Handbook and admissions packet. These describe the minimum abilities necessary for the program and the profession as well as the required immunizations.
Professional Liability Insurance Requirement
Professional liability insurance is required of each student during clinical rotations and is provided by the University of Illinois.
Background Check, Drug Tests, and Immunizations for Rotations
Hepatitis B shots, a 6-month series, should be completed before starting the Program. ALL MLS seniors are also required to have a background check, drug testing, and certain immunizations including flu shots. Students are responsible for paying for these. These will be required during the summer before the clinical rotations begin. For more detail, please see the CLS Student Handbook.
Academic and Clinical Experiences
Interdisciplinary and problem-oriented, with emphasis on the basic sciences and standards of contemporary clinical laboratory science, the curriculum includes academic and clinical experiences.
Academic work during the junior year is designed to provide a strong background in biochemistry, microbiology, and immunology. The summer and fall terms of the senior year provide theory and laboratory experience in clinical chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, and hemostasis. During the balance of the senior year, the student’s clinical education encompasses rotations through the various clinical specialty areas of affiliated hospital laboratories.
The clinical experience is under the joint supervision of faculty at the University of Illinois at Springfield and practicing professionals in affiliated hospital laboratories. Clinical education is coupled with didactic courses offered at UIS. Enhancement experiences are available in areas of interest to the student.
Criminal background checks are required before clinical rotations. A background check that is not “clear” precludes rotations at some hospitals and prevents employment at most healthcare facilities.
Since the program includes laboratory work done under professional supervision, the degree candidate not only must satisfy the customary expectations of academic work but also must meet the high-quality standards demanded of a professional medical technologist/clinical laboratory scientist. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00. Clinical laboratory science students are required to maintain a grade of C- or better in all required courses.
At the end of the fourth year, students must pass a comprehensive program examination covering all aspects of Medical Laboratory Science. However, issuing of the degree is not contingent upon passing any type of external certification or licensure examination.