Aug 13, 2022  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog (Jan 2016) 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog (Jan 2016) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Laboratory Science, MLT to BSMLS


Kathy Kenwright, M.S., Program Director
Royce E. Joyner, M.D., Medical Advisor

Program Objectives

The College of Health Professions offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science (BSMLS) for students who have earned an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT). This career-ladder program allows Medical Laboratory Technicians to complete their Bachelor of Science degree online while maintaining their employment in a medical laboratory. Graduates of the program are prepared to function effectively as medical laboratory scientists in any laboratory setting and eventually to assume positions of responsibility in laboratory management, teaching and consulting.


The UTHSC program in medical laboratory science is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018- 5119; (773) 714-8880; The online program will undergo accreditation review during the next accreditation cycle with the current medical technology program.


  1. Completion of the following 84 credit hours of prerequisite coursework with a grade of “C” or better in each course:
Prerequisite coursework for admission prior to Fall 2017 Credit Hours
English 3
Humanities 3
General Chemistry 8
Organic Chemistry* 8
General Biology or Zoology 8
Human Physiology or Anatomy/Physiology 4
College Algebra 3
Microbiology 4
Social Science 3
Electives and MLT coursework** 40
Total 84

* One semester of Organic Chemistry and one semester of Biochemistry is acceptable.
** All students receiving a baccalaureate degree in the state of Tennessee must have completed one unit of American History on the high school level or six credit hours of college-level American History (three credit hours of Tennessee History may be substituted for 3 credit hours of American History).

Prerequisite coursework effective Fall 2017 Credit Hours
General Education  
English Composition 3
English Literature 3a
Humanities or Fine Arts 3
Social/Behavioral Sciences 3
Natural Science/Mathematics  
         College Algebra 3
American History 6b
Subtotal     21
General Education Electives  
Electives 5
Subtotal     5
Prerequisite Course Work  
English Composition II 3
General Chemistry 8
Organic Chemistry 8c
General Biology or Zoology 8
Human Physiology or Anatomy/Physiology 4
Microbiology 4
Subtotal     35
MLT Courses & Licensured  
Competency-Based Credit 23
Total 84
  1. Courses in literature maybe used to fulfill the Humanities/Fine Arts requirement.
  2. Students lacking the required one unit (one year) of American History from high school must complete six (6) credit hours of American History or three (3) credit hours of American History and three (3) credit hours of Tennessee History to fulfill the requirements in General Education.  Students who have successfully completed one unit (one year) of American History in high school will need to complete six (6) credits of elective to have thirty (30) credit hours in General Education.
  3. One semester of Organic Chemistry and one semester of Biochemistry maybe be substituted for two semesters of Organic Chemistry.
  4. Applicants who have completed a medical laboratory technician program, received a degree and passed one of the following board exams: American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or American Medical Technologists (AMT) and are certified as a medical laboratory technician will be granted 23 credits for competency based education.


  1. An earned AS or AAS degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from a NAACLS accredited program.
  2. In  addition  to  their  B.S.  degree  requirements,  qualified  students  must  have  successfully completed with a “C” or better the specific courses required for medical laboratory science.
  3. A minimum overall GPA of 2.5.
  4. Sufficient college level course work to total a minimum of 84 credit hours with a “C” or higher in MLT and prerequisite courses.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from previous college instructors or immediate supervisor and a letter of support from the applicant’s laboratory manager.
  6. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English must submit the results of t h e TOEFL, with a minimum score of 550 on the written test, 213 on the computer test or 80 on the TOEFL iBT®.
  7. Interview with the faculty.
  8. Coursework from another professional degree program may not be transferred to meet the requirements for admission to or graduation from the MLS program.  There is no advanced standing or placement in the program.

Applications are accepted online at

Health Requirements

In addition to general University of Tennessee Health Science Center requirements, Medical Laboratory Science students are required to have an annual skin test for tuberculosis and to be immunized against Neisseria meningitidis and the Hepatitis B virus. Information about fulfilling these requirements is provided during orientation.

Required Textbooks

Students may access the required books for the program by going to the following link to the Bookstore on the UTHSC website:

Technical Standards

Medical Laboratory Science students must have or must be able to acquire certain essential skills, functions and professional attitudes and behavior as described for the College and the Program in order to progress through the curriculum and to graduate. A description of the technical standards for students in the College of Health Professions is included in the college overview section on this catalog. Prior to matriculation, students are required to indicate in writing they have reviewed and are able to meet the college-wide and program specific technical standards.  The additional Specific Technical Standards for Medical Laboratory Science Students include the:

  • Ability to assess and make appropriate judgments regarding lab services and patient outcomes.
  • Ability to prioritize and perform laboratory testing.
  • Ability to adapt to a variety of patient care situations, including crises.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing.
  • Ability to participate in discussion in the classroom, the clinical arena and with colleagues and patients.
  • Ability to acquire information developed through didactic instruction and clinical experiences.
  • Ability to understand reading assignments and to search and evaluate literature.
  • Ability to prepare written assignments and maintain written records.
  • Ability to perform duties and assignments in a timely fashion while under stress and in a variety of settings.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to use the computer for instructional assignments and patient care activities.

Physical and Motor Skills

  • Dexterity with both wrists, hands and arms, and dexterity with all fingers.
  • Ability to grasp, pinch, push, pull, finger, hold, extend, rotate, cut.
  • Ability to obtain and/or verify patient samples.
  • Possess sufficient stamina to tolerate physically taxing workloads.
  • Ability to operate/manipulate and effectively evaluate the status of laboratory instruments and equipment.

Sensory Skills

  • Visual acuity (corrected to 20/40); visual perception with respect to depth and color.
  • Ability to palpate.

Cognitive, Integrative, Quantitative Skills

  • Ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate as applicable to clinical laboratory practice.
  • Ability to solve one or more problems within specific time frames, which are often short.
  • Ability to comprehend spatial relationships.

Affective, Behavioral and Social Skills

  • Ability to function as part of a team (communicate effectively in English, consult, negotiate, share, delegate.)
  • Ability to delegate to and supervise others.
  • Adherence to safety guidelines for self and others.
  • Compliance with standards and regulations required by external agencies.
  • Ability to follow instructions/procedures with accuracy and precision
  • Ability to maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress, while also maintaining appropriate performance standards.
  • Learn and exhibit professional attributes.

State Authorization

As outlined in the college section of this catalog, students completing all or a portion of an educational program who reside outside of the state in which the program originates (i.e., for UTHSC students residing outside of the state of Tennessee while enrolled in an online program) must be authorized per statute to do so by the state in which they live.  The University of Tennessee is responsible for securing all necessary authorizations across the US.  Students seeking admission to the online MLT-MLS who plan to live outside of Tennessee while completing the degree should contact the program director to confirm the presence of the necessary state authorization.

General Education Competencies*

  1. Communication - Students must be able to communicate effectively in a style appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience.
  2. Mathematics - Students must be able to apply basic mathematical tools in the solution of real- world problems.
  3. Sciences - Students must be able to apply principles of the natural, behavioral and social sciences in the solution of problems encountered.
  4. Critical Thinking - Students must be able to demonstrate their ability to solve problems, construct and present cogent arguments in support of one’s views, and understand and evaluate arguments presented by others.
  5. Information  Literacy  -  Students  must  be  able  to  seek,  access,  critically  evaluate  and appropriately apply information.
  6. Technology - Students must be able to use technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information in a professional manner.

General education competencies will be measured through tools and strategies such as student performance on oral presentations, written critiques of research papers, and papers written in capstone courses. Math competencies may be measured through tools such as comprehensive math examinations prior to graduation. Students will be apprised of specific strategies to be used to evaluate their mastery of the general education competencies during new student orientation.

*Required of all students at UTHSC enrolled in one of the UTHSC Bachelor of Science degree programs

Program-Specific Policies


Email is the primary mode of communication for instructor and student interactions and is conducted using the official UTHSC email system. Course information is provided to students via the campus learning management system, BlackBoard, which includes the course syllabus, links to campus resources, reading and supplemental class materials, recorded lectures, testing and assessment, grades and other classroom materials. To ensure online privacy and to verify student identity, students must use their unique login and id to access their email accounts and the BlackBoard site. Student’s personal information is not shared with anyone outside of the college unless specified by the student in accordance with all FERPA guidelines. Students can only access courses in which they are enrolled.  Faculty may also interact with students via web-conferencing using Adobe Connect, video chat and telephone conferences.

Final exams are taken through Lock Down Browser in the presence of a proctor who verifies the identity of the student. This is usually performed at the student’s site of employment although other arrangements could be made if warranted.

Academic and Student Support Services for Online Students
Additional resources and information particularly pertinent to students enrolled in an online program is provided in the college portion of the catalog as well as the overall UTHSC portion of the catalog.  Students are strongly encouraged to review the information regarding access to various resources for online students.

Attendance Requirement

Attendance is mandatory. In an online class, which means participating in discussions or activities posted in Blackboard and checking for announcements on a daily basis.

Clinical Affiliations

Clinical affiliation sites are located in Memphis and throughout Tennessee. Ideally students will complete their clinical practicums at their place of employment. These practicums must be completed outside of their work schedule. If the place of employment does not perform testing in all areas the student will be expected to find an alternate site. An affiliation agreement (between the clinical site and the University) must be signed before a student can perform a clinical practicum.

Grading Policy

Written and practical examinations and performance evaluations are a part of the educational program throughout the curriculum. All courses in each credit must be passed before the student is allowed to progress to the next term. No credit for any course is awarded until the end of the term. The point- grade conversion scale used by the medical laboratory science program for all courses, except clinical practice courses is as follows:

95 - 100 = A
85 - 94 = B
75 - 84 = C
65 - 74 = D
Below 65 = F

The grading scale for all clinical practice courses is as follows:

95 - 100 = A
86 - 94 = B
80 - 85 = C
75 - 79 = D
Below 75 = F

Information about grading for incompletes and withdrawals is covered in the general college section of the catalog. Students should reference this information about grade assignments in these situations.

Curriculum Summary: MLT to BSMLS Curriculum

Total: 11 credit hours

Total: 14 credit hours

Fall Term (July- December)

  • MLS 409 - Clinical Microbiology Cr Hrs: 5
  • MLS 410 - Clinical Practicum V Cr Hrs: 2
  • MLS 501 - Advanced Laboratory Practices Cr Hrs: 4

Total: 11 credit hours

Grand Total: 36 credit hours

Total Prerequisite Credits: 84 credit hours

Total Degree Credits: 120 credit hours

Progress, Promotion and Graduation

Students must maintain a term GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale to progress to the next term in good standing. Any student who earns a grade of D in any course may be placed on academic probation. A student earning a grade of “F” in any course or a grade of “D” in two or more courses may be dismissed using the guidelines outlined for progress and promotion under the General Information section in the present catalog.

Requirements for Graduation - BSMLS (MLT to BSMLS)

The following requirements must be satisfied to earn the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science:

  1. The candidate must present evidence of having satisfactorily completed all prerequisite coursework.
  2. Students must complete all courses and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  3. The candidate must discharge all financial obligations to the University and remove all deficiencies documented by the Registrar.
  4. Granting of the BS degree is not contingent upon passing a certification exam or obtaining licensure.

Attendance at graduation is mandatory. Those unable to attend the commencement must obtain permission to receive the degree in absentia by filing a written request with the Dean of the College.

Certification Examination and Licensure

Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science qualify to sit for the national certification examination in medical laboratory science (MLS) administered by the Board of Certification (BOC) of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Graduates are also eligible to take the American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification examination. Both examinations are offered year- round in major cities throughout the United States. Graduates in the program seeking employment in the field of medical laboratory science in the state of Tennessee must also obtain a license to practice from the Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board. A passing score on the ASCP or AMT certification exam is required for licensure in Tennessee.

Student Professional Organization Membership

Medical laboratory science students are eligible for student membership in a number of professional associations including the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science and the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Students are encouraged to apply for membership in one or more regional or national professional organizations.