About Medical Laboratory Science

About Medical Laboratory Science

What is a Medical Laboratory Scientist?

Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) work with the healthcare team to gather and provide laboratory information to caregivers that will assist them with patient diagnosis and treatment. This diagnostic data can also provide vital information for disease prevention and health monitoring. MLS use advanced instrumentation to perform testing in various areas of the lab.

What is the difference between a Medical Technologist (MT) and a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)?

The only difference between an MLS and an MT is the certification. Individuals certified by the American Medical Technologists MT exam use the credential MT(AMT). Individuals certified by the ASCP Board of Certification MLS exam use the credential MLS (ASCP). The exam and eligibility are consistent regardless of the initials in the credentials.

What is the difference between a 3 + 1 and a 4 + 1 student?

A 3+1 student is still enrolled at an affiliated university and their degree will be granted upon successful completion of the MLS program. A 4+1 student has been granted their degree prior to the first day of the MLS program and does not have to be a graduate of an affiliated university.

What is the career outlook for a medical laboratory scientist?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), employment for an MLS is expected to grow 12% from 2016 – 2026 which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is due to the aging baby boomer population requiring more medical care as well as a large number of MLS retiring from the field.

What is the current starting pay for a medical laboratory scientist?

According to BLS.gov, the median annual wage for MLS and Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) is $57,800 (May 2021). This figure is generally higher for MLS and can vary depending on the facility and geographic location.

About Our Program

About Our Program

How long is the MLS program?

The Cleveland Clinic MLS program lasts approximately 50 weeks and includes three weeks of vacation as well as days off for all major holidays.

Are students expected to report on a daily basis?

Students are expected to attend Monday through Friday unless otherwise notified.

How long is a typical school day?

Students are expected to be in attendance from 7:30 am –- 4:00 pm.  This may change slightly depending on the operational needs of the department and learning opportunities that may present during the clinical experience.

Is there a uniform requirement?

There is no uniform requirement.  Students can either wear scrubs or business casual.  There are color restrictions for the scrubs.  Contact the Program Director for additional information.

What is the cost of the MLS program?

The current program cost for 4+1 students is $7500 plus the cost of books, health insurance, and living expenses.

The program cost for most 3+1 students is handled with the affiliate university.  See your advisor or the program director for details.  Books, health insurance and living expenses are additional.

Are there financing options or financial aid available to help pay for the program?

Tuition payments can be made in one lump sum or in two payments.  At least half of the balance of tuition must be paid by the end of the first week of the program and the remainder of the balance must be paid by January 31 of the clinical year.

There are scholarships available. The Program Director gives current and incoming students alternative sources of funding to help defray the cost of the program. Because the MLS program is not a part of a degree granting institution, Federal Financial Aid cannot be used to pay for the program.

Can a student work while enrolled in the MLS program?

Students are allowed to work while enrolled in the MLS program but we generally do not recommend working more than about 20 hours per week to allow for enough time for study.

About Application to the Program

About Application to the Program

What are the program prerequisites?

3+1 applicants:

  • Must be enrolled at an affiliated university.
  • Must be able to graduate from that university at the completion of the program.
  • Must follow the graduation roadmap provided by the MLS program advisor at the affiliated university.

4+1 applicants:

  • Must have their degree conferred in a biological, chemical, physical science or medical lab science prior to the first day of the program.

All applicants:

  • Biology, chemistry, math and overall GPAs must be greater than 2.5 to apply. GPAs greater than 2.80 are considered competitive.
  • Have at least 16 semester credits of biology, 16 semester credits of chemistry, a math course as well as enough credits to complete the degree.

What if my college grades do not meet the minimum requirements listed?

If your GPA does not meet the minimum requirements listed, you will not be granted an interview. However if you retake courses to improve low grades, the higher grade may be used to calculate your GPAs. For additional information, contact the Program Director.

How do I apply?

Please contact the Program Director at MLS@ccf.org for the application materials.

What is the application deadline?

All application materials and transcripts must be received electronically by 12/1 at midnight. Transcripts and other mailed items must be postmarked by 12/1 to be accepted.

Can I tour the facilities prior to an application submission?

All applicants selected for an interview and choose the face-to-face option will get a tour as part of the process.

We provide tours to any prospective students that are in their freshman or sophomore years of college.

If I have a scheduled tour, how do I get to Cleveland Clinic?

Visit Locations & Directions on www.clevelandclinic.org to get directions from your specific location to our location. You will also be given directions and a campus map when your interview or tour is scheduled.

About the Selection Process

About the Selection Process

How is the selection process conducted?

Applicants who meet the minimum GPA and have submitted all the required materials by the 12/1 deadline may be scheduled for an interview.

All interviewed students are then evaluated on their application, interview and academic performance. The final selection is based on the composite score.

Where is the interview and how do I get there?

If the applicant is selected for an interview and chooses to have a face-to-face interview, they will be sent directions and a campus map. They can drive a personal vehicle, get dropped off by someone else, or take public transportation.

Can I schedule an online interview?

Based on visitor restrictions at Cleveland Clinic facilities at the time the interviews are scheduled, the interview may be done virtually or face-to-face. Applicants will be given more details when it is scheduled.

How many students are selected for the program?

Currently, the program accepts up to twelve students for the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus and up to 4 students for placement at Cleveland Clinic Akron General.