Medical Laboratory Science

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science

The Degree Program

The B.S. in medical laboratory science has two areas of emphasis: Clinical laboratory science and Histotechnology.  Clinical laboratory scientists are healthcare professionals educated in all aspects of clinical laboratory analysis, including test development, performance, and evaluation.  Clinical laboratory scientists may work in many areas, including clinical chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, immunology, clinical microbiology, and molecular diagnostics.

Histotechnologists are healthcare professionals who are qualified through academic and applied science education and training to provide service, research, and management in histotechnology and areas related to anatomic pathology.  Histotechnologists are integral to the success of the anatomic pathology department by performing routine and complex procedures to preserve and process tissue specimens for examination and diagnosis by a pathologist.

Practice settings for clinical laboratory scientists and histotechnologists include hospital, clinic, public health, or private clinical laboratories; research, cytogenetic, pharmaceutical, or in-vitro fertilization laboratories; technical or sales representatives for medical manufacturers and suppliers; biotechnology, food, and cosmetic industries; and state or federal crime laboratories.

Nature of Program

Students are admitted into either the clinical laboratory science or the histotechnology area of emphasis within the medical laboratory science division after completing the pre-requisite courses at an accredited college or university. As students complete the pre-requisite courses, they may apply to the medical laboratory science area(s) of emphasis typically during the sophomore year.

Within both areas of emphasis, the junior year (the first year of the professional curriculum) includes core and area-specific courses to introduce the student to the medical sciences and to prepare for the senior year curriculum.  During the senior year (the second year of the professional curriculum), the student receives both didactic instruction and practical experience.  Students receive practical experience at one or more of the affiliated hospital laboratories including:

  • Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, WV
  • Monongalia County General Hospital, Morgantown, WV
  • West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, PA
  • WVU Eastern Division which includes City Hospital, Martinsburg, WV and Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Ranson, WV
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV
  • Excela Health which includes Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, PA and Latrobe Hospital in Latrobe, PA
  • Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, WV
  • United Hospital Center, Clarksburg, WV
  • St. Clair Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA

Students must provide their own transportation and housing during the clinical rotations.  Students assigned to the Eastern Division will participate in the rural rotation activities at this site.

The WVU medical laboratory science areas of emphasis in clinical laboratory science and histotechnology are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, and (773) 714-8880.  Graduates of the clinical laboratory science program and the histotechnology program are eligible for certification by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Admission to the Pre-Medical Laboratory Science Major

Students in the pre-medical laboratory science major and direct admit students must meet the admission criteria of WVU.  Pre-medical laboratory science students are advised by the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success.  Medical laboratory science faculty advise direct admit students.  Prospective students are advised to take mathematics, chemistry, and biology in high school.

Qualified applicants may enter the pre-medical laboratory science major at the beginning of any semester, however the professional curriculum begins the fall semester after the student is admitted to either the clinical laboratory science or histotechnology area of emphasis.  Admission to the pre-medical laboratory science major does not ensure admission to the medical laboratory science areas of emphasis in clinical laboratory science or histotechnology.

Pre-medical laboratory science students apply for admission into the junior year (first year in the MLS area of emphasis professional curriculum) before the second semester of the sophomore year in college.  Fulfillment of the pre-medical laboratory science curriculum does not ensure admittance into either the clinical laboratory science or the histotechnology area of emphasis.

pre-requisites

English3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
Biology8
BIOL 101
BIOL 103
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
4
or BIOL 115 Principles of Biology
BIOL 102
BIOL 104
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
4
or BIOL 117 Introductory Physiology
Chemistry
CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHEM 234
CHEM 236
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
Mathematics (One of the following):3
College Algebra 5-Day
College Algebra 4-Day
College Algebra 3-Day
Statistics3
STAT 211Elementary Statistical Inference3
or ECON 225 Elementary Business and Economics Statistics
GEF22-24
Credits to satisfy objectives 3,5-9.
Total Hours66-71
*

CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry: Brief Course may be substituted for CHEM 233/235 and CHEM 234/236, however two semesters of organic chemistry are strongly recommended to better prepare for the professional curriculum.

Although not required for admission to the medical laboratory science areas of emphasis in clinical laboratory science and histotechnology, eight credits of organic chemistry, eight credits of physics, cell biology, and six credits of social sciences are suggested electives for those students interested in applying to medical, dental, or other graduate programs.  In addition, a foreign language is recommended for students who plan to do graduate work.

Admission decisions are based upon the applicant’s grade point average, recommendations, interview, and documented ability to successfully complete full-time academic work.  Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 (cumulative and science).  Applicants may be admitted on probation if their GPA (cumulative or science) is less than 2.5.  Applicants with less than a 2.0 GPA, either cumulative or science, will not be admitted.  A GPA of 2.5 or above does not necessarily ensure admission.  Two letters of recommendation are required; at least one must be from a college science professor.  A personal interview with the Medical Laboratory Science Admissions Committee is required.  Admission of international students is in compliance with WVU regulations.

Application Procedure

Each year the medical laboratory science division selects a limited number of applicants from the applications received for admission to the area of emphasis in clinical laboratory science and histotechnology.  Application for admission to the medical laboratory science’s areas of emphasis is available online after December 1.

There is an application fee for residents and non-residents. The application deadline is March 15 if the applicant expects to enter the program the following fall semester.  If the class is not filled by those applications, the deadline may be extended until August.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Degree Requirements

Pre-Major Requirements
BIOL 101
BIOL 103
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
4
or BIOL 115 Principles of Biology
BIOL 102
BIOL 104
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
4
or BIOL 117 Introductory Physiology
CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory *
4
CHEM 234
CHEM 236
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory *
4
Select 1 of the following:3
College Algebra 5-Day
College Algebra 4-Day
College Algebra 3-Day
STAT 211Elementary Statistical Inference3
or ECON 225 Elementary Business and Economics Statistics
GEF Requirements 1, 4, 5, 6, & 718
First Year Studies Requirement
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
Core Curriculum
MICB 323Medical Microbiology/Lab5
PATH 300Introduction to Pathology3
PATH 303Clinical Lab Applications2
PATH 320Basic Clinical Biochemistry3
PATH 380Introduction to Immunology1
PATH 381Research and Educational Methodology2
PATH 403Community Service Practicum1
PATH 465Medical Laboratory Management2
PATH 475Medical Relevance (fulfills the Writing and Communication Skills requirement)3
PSIO 441Mechanisms of Body Function4
Area of Emphasis
Complete 1 Area of Emphasis36
Electives **9
Total Hours120
*

CHEM 231 may be substituted for CHEM 233/235 and CHEM 234/236, however two semesters of organic chemistry are strongly recommended to prepare for the professional curriculum.

**

PATH 100PATH 101, PATH 200, and PATH 201  are required for Direct Admit students and highly recommended for Pre-Medical Laboratory Science students.

A minimum of 120 hours are required for graduation. However, students may have to take additional hours.

Graduation Requirements

Junior Year

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 throughout the program. Failure to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA may result in disciplinary sanctions. The Academic and Professional Standards Committee must recommend any student for advancement to the senior year. A satisfactory GPA does not ensure advancement.
 

Senior Year

Students receive didactic and clinical instruction during the senior year which includes summer, fall, and spring semesters. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for each semester of the senior year.
 
Graduation requires satisfactory completion of all academic work and the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Medicine. All first degree students are required to complete a total of 120 semester hours for the BS in MLS degree. Any competencies not completed must be made up by the end of the school year (mid-May) or graduation may be delayed. Graduation is not dependent upon passing a national certification examination.
 
 

Areas of Emphasis

Clinical Laboratory Science Area of Emphasis Requirements

PATH 310Clinical Laboratory Mycology1
PATH 329Clinical Chemistry 12
PATH 340Introduction to Hematology3
PATH 401Phlebotomy1
PATH 420Immunology and Blood Banking3
PATH 421Immunohematology and Blood Banking Laboratory3
PATH 430Clinical Chemistry 23
PATH 431Clinical Chemistry Laboratory3
PATH 440Clinical Hematology3
PATH 441Clinical Hematology Laboratory3
PATH 450Clinical Microbiology3
PATH 451Clinical Microbiology Laboratory3
PATH 470Clinical Microscopy1
PATH 472Urinalysis and Body Fluids Laboratory1
PATH 480Clinical Immunology2
PATH 481Clinical Immunology Laboratory1
Total Hours36

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
CHEM 115 (GEF 8)4CHEM 1164 
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3 
 Select one of the following (GEF 8):4 
   
   
Select one of the following (GEF 2):4GEF 4, 5, 6, or 73 
   
   
GEF 4, 5, 6, or 73  
WVUE 1911  
 15 14
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3CHEM 234
CHEM 236
4 
STAT 211 or ECON 225 (GEF 8)3GEF 4, 5, 6, or 73 
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4Electives6 
GEF 4, 5, 6, or 73  
Elective1  
 14 13
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
PATH 3003PATH 3403PATH 4403
PATH 3203MICB 3235 
PSIO 4414PATH 3101 
PATH 3801PATH 3292 
PATH 3032PATH 3812 
Electives2PATH 4721 
 PATH 4701 
 15 15 3
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
PATH 4503PATH 4031 
PATH 4203PATH 4753 
PATH 4303PATH 4213 
PATH 4802PATH 4513 
PATH 4652PATH 4313 
PATH 4811PATH 4413 
 PATH 4011 
 14 17
Total credit hours: 120

Histotechnology Area of Emphasis Requirements

NBAN 205Introduction to Human Anatomy3
NBAN 206Human Anatomy Laboratory1
PATH 200Medical Terminology3
PATH 304Histotechnology Microanatomy3
PATH 305Staining Techniques 14
PATH 306Histotechnique 13
PATH 405Staining Techniques 24
PATH 406Histotechnique 23
PATH 407Histology Laboratory8
PATH 408Histotechnologist Practicum10
Total Hours42

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
CHEM 115 (GEF 8)4CHEM 1164 
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3 
 Select one of the following (GEF 8):4 
   
   
Select one of the following (GEF 2):4GEF 4, 5, 6, or 7 3 
   
   
GEF 4, 5, 6, or 7 3  
WVUE 1911  
 15 14
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3CHEM 234
CHEM 236
4 
STAT 211 or ECON 225 (GEF 8)3PATH 2003 
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4GEF 4, 5, 6, or 7 3 
GEF 4, 5, 6, or 7 3Elective3 
 13 13
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
PATH 3003MICB 3235PATH 3054
PATH 3203NBAN 2053PATH 4063
PSIO 4414NBAN 2061 
PATH 3801PATH 3812 
PATH 3032PATH 3043 
 PATH 3063 
 13 17 7
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
PATH 4652PATH 4031 
PATH 4054PATH 4753 
PATH 4078PATH 40810 
 14 14
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

medical laboratory science

The mission of the program in medical laboratory science at West Virginia University is to provide a high-quality educational program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree that prepares medical laboratory scientists for their roles as members of the healthcare team in an environment of rapidly changing technology.

The goals of the program are to provide:

  • a program in medical laboratory science which meets the academic standards of the University;
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientists and Histotechnologists for medical (both urban and rural) laboratories, public health laboratories, research laboratories, and industry;
  • an educational background which enables graduates to assume teaching and supervisory positions in medical laboratory science;
  • an education background acceptable for graduate work in the medical sciences.

Courses

PATH 100. Medical Laboratory Science. 1 Hour.

Introduction to the profession of medical laboratory science and medical laboratory specialties. (Pass/Fail grading only).

PATH 101. Medical Laboratory Science 2. 1 Hour.

Continuation of PATH 100. (Pass/Fail grading only).

PATH 200. Medical Terminology. 3 Hours.

General medical terminology with emphasis on clinical and anatomic pathology terminology.

PATH 201. Basic Medical Laboratory Science. 1 Hour.

Basic techniques for the medical science laboratory and current issues related to the medical laboratory science profession. (Pass/Fail grading only).

PATH 300. Introduction to Pathology. 3 Hours.

A study of principles and processes of pathology from cellular to system, including etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical features of representative or commonly occurring disorders and diseases.

PATH 301. Basic Pathology. 2 Hours.

PR: Enrollment in dental hygiene or physical therapy, or consent. A study of the basic pathologic processes in man.

PATH 302. Oral Pathology. 3 Hours.

PR: PATH 301, and dental hygiene major, or consent. Application of fundamental knowledge of general pathology to pathological conditions that occur in the oral cavity.

PATH 303. Clinical Lab Applications. 2 Hours.

Lectures and laboratory experience on laboratory safety, measurement, use and maintenance of laboratory equipment, preparation, and storage of reagents and solutions, and basic laboratory techniques.

PATH 304. Histotechnology Microanatomy. 3 Hours.

Microscopic identification of the morphology of human cells, tissues and organ systems with relationship to structure and function.

PATH 305. Staining Techniques 1. 4 Hours.

A lecture and laboratory course focusing on the theory and methodology of routine and special staining and the basic principles, components and use of instruments in the histopathology laboratory.

PATH 306. Histotechnique 1. 3 Hours.

A lecture and laboratory course focusing on the principles and theories of routine histologic techniques and the basic principles, components and use of instruments in the histopathology laboratory.

PATH 310. Clinical Laboratory Mycology. 1 Hour.

How to isolate and identify the more commonly encountered pathogenic fungi as well as those fungi frequently seen as laboratory contaminants. The course will include basic taxonomy, isolation procedures, and identifying characteristics.

PATH 320. Basic Clinical Biochemistry. 3 Hours.

Introduction to basic biochemistry and human metabolism of amino acids, proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, liquids, and nucleotides. Molecular biology and applications to the clinical laboratory are included.

PATH 323. Medical Microbiology Lab. 2 Hours.

PR: MICB 200. (For medical laboratory science students; other students with consent.) Emphasis is on clinical laboratory techniques and laboratory identification of pathogenic microorganisms.

PATH 329. Clinical Chemistry 1. 2 Hours.

Lectures in clinical chemistry analysis, clinical significance, clinical instrumentation, and implications of diagnosis.

PATH 340. Introduction to Hematology. 3 Hours.

Lectures and laboratory sessions to cover structure, morphology, and function of the cells of the blood, bone marrow and body fluids, with an overview of hematologic abnormalities.

PATH 380. Introduction to Immunology. 1 Hour.

Lectures in basic immunology, with emphasis on its structure and function. antigens, antibodies, and complement will be discussed and related to immune disorders and simple immunological tests.

PATH 381. Research and Educational Methodology. 2 Hours.

Lectures in ethics, techniques of research, and techniques of educational methodology for medical laboratory science students.

PATH 401. Phlebotomy. 1 Hour.

PR: PATH 303. Clinical laboratory practice, including venipuncture, finger sticks, and heel sticks; isolation, universal precautions and other safety techniques are included.

PATH 403. Community Service Practicum. 1 Hour.

PR: Senior year in medical laboratory science. Students will participate in approved community service activities. (Grading will be pass /fail.).

PATH 405. Staining Techniques 2. 4 Hours.

PR: PATH 305. A lecture and laboratory course focusing on the theory and methodology of immunohistochemistry.

PATH 406. Histotechnique 2. 3 Hours.

PR: PATH 306. A lecture and laboratory course focusing on the principles and theories of routine and advanced histologic techniques and the basic principles, components and use of instruments in the histopathology laboratory.

PATH 407. Histology Laboratory. 8 Hours.

This course consists of rotations in clinical and research histopathology.

PATH 408. Histotechnologist Practicum. 10 Hours.

Students will utilize their knowledge in routine and advanced histological techniques in a clinical setting.

PATH 420. Immunology and Blood Banking. 3 Hours.

Lectures on immunohematology and blood banking theory and practice.

PATH 421. Immunohematology and Blood Banking Laboratory. 3 Hours.

Clinical laboratory practice in blood banking procedures. Emphasis on procedures required for collection and preparation of blood and blood components for transfusion, special techniques, antibody studies, and problem solving.

PATH 430. Clinical Chemistry 2. 3 Hours.

PR: MTEC 329 or PATH 329. Continuation of PATH 329, includes laboratory practice in methods of measurement.

PATH 431. Clinical Chemistry Laboratory. 3 Hours.

PR: PATH 329 and PATH 420. Application of clinical chemistry principles to laboratory medicine, to include routine and specialized procedures, specimen and result evaluation, and problem solving.

PATH 440. Clinical Hematology. 3 Hours.

Lectures in hematologic theory and practice, including coagulation and body fluids laboratory.

PATH 441. Clinical Hematology Laboratory. 3 Hours.

Application of hematological principles to laboratory medicine, including coagulation, urinalysis, and body fluids. Emphasis on routine and specialized procedures, evaluations, and problem solving.

PATH 450. Clinical Microbiology. 3 Hours.

Presentation and discussion of methodologies employed in the processing of clinical microbiology specimens, isolation, and identification of clinically significant microorganisms, and determination of antimicrobial susceptibilities with laboratory.

PATH 451. Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. 3 Hours.

Practice in the clinical microbiology laboratory to include isolation and identification of microorganisms, processing of specimens and antibiograms.

PATH 465. Medical Laboratory Management. 2 Hours.

Laboratory organization and principles of laboratory management.

PATH 470. Clinical Microscopy. 1 Hour.

The analysis of body fluids (urine, fluids, etc.) for abnormalities.

PATH 472. Urinalysis and Body Fluids Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR OR CONC: PATH 470 or Consent. Clinical Laboratory principles and procedures used in analysis of urine and body fluids.

PATH 475. Medical Relevance. 3 Hours.

Case studies of pathologic entities encountered in the medical laboratory and a review of medical laboratory science. Student will complete and give an oral presentation of the Capstone experience and pass a comprehensive examination.

PATH 480. Clinical Immunology. 2 Hours.

PR: Open only to MLS majors. Lectures in principles of immunological and serological procedures, immunological diseases, and significance of laboratory methods for diagnosis.

PATH 481. Clinical Immunology Laboratory. 1 Hour.

Clinical laboratory practice in immunological procedures. Emphasis on basic serological techniques, protein analysis, molecular methods, and tissue typing.

PATH 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

PATH 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

PATH 493A-C. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

PATH 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

PATH 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

PATH 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

PATH 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in the Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.


Faculty

Director of Medical Laboratory Science and Clinical Laboratory Science Program Director

  • Beverly Kirby - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)

Histotechnology Program Director

  • Kimberly Feaster - B.S. (University of Findlay)

Associate Professor and CLS Medical Director

  • Peter L. Perrotta - M.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

Clinical Assistant Professor and HTL Medical Director

  • Olukemi Esan - M.D. (West Virginia University)

Associate Professor

  • Kerry Harbert - M.A. (West Virginia University)
  • Linda Corum - M.S. (West Virginia University)

Assistant Professor

  • Marianne T. Downes - PhD (The Catholic University of America)
  • Abra L. Elkins - M.A. (West Virginia University)

Instructor

  • Jane Wade - B.A. (West Virginia University)

Adjunct Assistant Professor

  • Anna August
  • Joyce Compton
  • Joyce Gacek

Associate Professor Emeritus

  • Barbara J. Gutman
  • Mary Ellen Koenn
  • Karen S. Long

Adjunct Instructor

  • Sharon Hall
  • Beverly Harki
  • Paula Mays