Photo of Mayo medical laboratory science students handling specimens


The Medical Laboratory Science Program curriculum is developed in an e-learning platform, and the curricular model applies the reverse lecture-homework paradigm.

Didactic curriculum is completed as homework via online presentation of lectures and reading material. This includes:

  • Student interaction with written content and streaming lectures (learner to content)
  • Threaded discussions (learner to learner)
  • Online chats
  • Email (learner to instructor)

Daily laboratory lessons are taught in the traditional face-to-face classroom format. Students apply the online didactic material during hands-on instructor-facilitated laboratory sessions, which are a combination of case studies, laboratory lessons and discussion groups.

Students are accountable through regular quizzes, examinations and lecture assignments designed to prepare them for the respective laboratory sessions.

Throughout the Medical Laboratory Science Program, students complete didactic and laboratory courses, as well as gain experience in clinical rotations. The entire curriculum is a total of 43 semester credits in the key areas of medical laboratory science.

Didactic course work (35 credits)

Course Credits

MLS 4600: Medical Laboratory Science Program Introduction
Laboratory safety, patient confidentiality (HIPAA), integrity and compliance, emergency preparedness, computer applications, academic policies, and general program orientation are incorporated into this course.


MLS 4601: Urinalysis
This course covers the physical and chemical analysis of urine to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infections, stone formation and other diseases.


MLS 4602: Immunology
This course provides an introduction to the structure and function of the human immune system. Cells and immune proteins are discussed as are antigen-antibody reactions.

Immunochemical techniques with emphasis on clinical application in the evaluation of the immune status and the diagnosis of infectious diseases and immune disorders will be presented.


MLS 4603: Molecular Diagnostics
Application of molecular biology techniques for diagnosing inherited (genetic) and acquired disorders. DNA purification methods, Southern blot analysis, polymerase chain reaction and other specialized techniques are discussed.


MLS 4604: Clinical Immunohematology

The Clinical Immunohematology course provides an overview of blood banking procedures including ABO/Rh blood typing, antibody screening, antibody identification, compatibility testing, transfusion reactions and prenatal testing as it applies to blood bank serology.

Cellular therapy products, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) testing, blood collection and processing, and quality assurance also will be covered.


MLS 4605: Hemostasis
This course studies platelet function, coagulation factors, and acquired and hereditary hemorrhagic disorders. Laboratory techniques performed and discussed are screening tests and specific assays for clotting abnormalities.

There is an emphasis on the correlation of clinical laboratory data with the diagnosis and treatment of hemorrhagic disorders.


MLS 4636: Clinical Microbiology I
The epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical illness caused by bacterial agents of infectious disease, and their culture, identification, and susceptibility testing by traditional biochemical techniques and molecular methods, are discussed.


MLS 4637: Hematology I
The origin, morphology and function of hematopoietic cells are discussed. Laboratory sessions focus on theory and application of hematology procedures, including analysis of peripheral blood for red cell mass, hemoglobin content, quantity of blood cells and identification of hematopoietic cells according to degree of maturation.

There is an emphasis on the correlation of laboratory data with the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases.


MLS 4638: Clinical Chemistry I
This course provides an overview of physiological principles and concepts, methodologies, and clinical significance of biochemical analytes and elements found in blood and other body fluids. Math and statistics involved in reagent preparation and manual and automated laboratory procedures are performed.

Quality control, quality assurance and result determination are emphasized. Clinical chemistry case studies are presented to aid in clinical correlation and problem-solving.


MLS 4736: Clinical Microbiology II
The epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical illness caused by viral, parasitic and fungal agents of infectious disease, and their culture, identification, and susceptibility testing by traditional biochemical techniques and molecular methods, are discussed.


MLS 4737: Hematology II
This course focuses on white blood cell disorders. Laboratory sessions include the analysis of abnormal white blood cell morphology, bone marrow morphology, cytochemical staining and flow cytometry, as well as cerebrospinal fluid, semen, and synovial and serous fluids.

There is an emphasis on correlation of clinical laboratory data with the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases.


MLS 4738: Clinical Chemistry II
This course is a continuation of Clinical Chemistry I.


MLS 4800: Westgard QC
This course provides education and training in quality control with emphasis on statistical quality control.


MLS 4801: Westgard Method Validation
This course discusses how to assure the quality of any laboratory test through proper management of performance characteristics of an analytical method.


MLS 4802: New Discoveries and Laboratory Management
This course is an 18-lecture seminar series on laboratory management and advancements in laboratory medicine.


Clinical experiences (8 credits)

These are "hands-on" practicum experiences in the clinical laboratories that prepare students for entry-level positions in a clinical testing laboratory. Required core training includes rotations through bacteriology, clinical chemistry, hematology, blood banking, immunology, phlebotomy and renal analysis.

Also available are opportunities for experiences in more-specialized areas, including toxicology, endocrinology, metals analysis, human cell therapy, fertility testing, parasitology, mycology, molecular genetics, biochemical genetics, infectious diseases serology, and HIV and hepatitis testing laboratories.

Course Credits

MLS 4803: Clinical Experience I
Immunology, phlebotomy and renal analysis clinical laboratory rotations
During the immunology rotation, the Medical Laboratory Science student will become familiar with serum protein electrophoresis as well as other analytes and analytical methods used in clinical immunology.

Upon completion of the phlebotomy section, the student will complete the following competencies:

  • Follow standard precautions and demonstrate the venipuncture and skin puncture process on a teaching mannequin and fellow students before rotating to the clinical setting
  • Outline the correct phlebotomy technique, select appropriate phlebotomy techniques and equipment for the given patient, and follow the correct order of draw
  • Demonstrate competency of the venipuncture process by performing 100 to 120 successful collections (if patient population is available), which will include evacuated collections, winged infusion collections, syringe collections and skin puncture collections

Upon completion of the renal analysis laboratory rotation, the student will be able to perform a routine urinalysis according to standard operating procedures and describe the clinical significance of abnormal chemistries and microscopic elements. The Medical Laboratory Science student will perform maintenance and quality control of the instrumentation used for routine urinalysis.


MLS 4804: Clinical Experience II
Hematology clinical laboratory rotations
During the course of this rotation, the student will experience and participate in all aspects of the Hematopathology Laboratory. This will include instrument operation, instrument maintenance, quality control, sample verification, result interpretation and troubleshooting technical issues.


MLS 4805: Clinical Experience III
Microbiology clinical laboratory rotations
During the course of this rotation, the student will experience and/or participate in all aspects of the Bacteriology Laboratory, including the methods performed in the routine aerobic, anaerobic and blood culture laboratories; susceptibility testing laboratory; and FA/referral and light cycler laboratories.

Students will complete rotations through either the virology/parasitology laboratories or the mycology/TB laboratories and will perform routine specimen examination and culture techniques as well as instrument operation, instrument maintenance, quality control, sample verification, troubleshooting and interpretation of clinical information.


MLS 4806: Clinical Experience IV
Chemistry clinical laboratory rotations
During the clinical chemistry experience, the students will rotate through a core chemistry lab and an elective chemistry lab. During this time, they will gain hands-on experience working with multiple chemistry analyte methodologies, quality control, instrument maintenance and operation, result interpretation, critical value reporting, and applying troubleshooting skills to different lab situations.


Clinical experience at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.
The clinical experience at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida includes generalist laboratory training through all major testing laboratories in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and is extended an extra six weeks to account for the difference in test volumes between the Florida and Minnesota campuses.

Grading or evaluation

Students in the Medical Laboratory Science Program are evaluated by the program director, program faculty and the clinical instructors.

Mayo School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools that include:

  • Written assignments and examinations
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

A competency-based evaluation system and performance appraisal forms are used to evaluate clinical performance. Mayo's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Student Policy Manual

The Medical Laboratory Science Program's Student Policy Manual provides information about the program's curriculum-related requirements, general policies, academic policies and clinical experience policies. Students will receive a copy of the Student Policy Manual during program orientation.

The manual serves as a reference for policies and procedures for the duration of the student's time in the program. Applicants may request a copy of the program's policy manual through the Medical Laboratory Science Program office.

Curriculum enhancements

Mayo School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are assessed constantly and changed as necessary to ensure the highest quality training.

Sept. 29, 2016