Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Medical Laboratory Science - Radford Site and Radford University Carilion Site

Jamie K. Lau, Chairperson
Center for the Sciences 281, (540) 831-5146


Program Director

Laura R. Link, MS, MLS (ASCP)CM
540-831-1761 (office)


The mission of the Medical Laboratory Science Program is to prepare ethical, knowledgeable, competent, and caring laboratory scientists who possess a broad knowledge base in the laboratory science field and are prepared to provide excellent patient care to a diverse population. 


Graduates of the Medical Laboratory Science Program will be able to

  1. Provide safe, quality patient-centered care while integrating clinical training and evidence-based practice.
  2. Demonstrate skills in leadership, quality improvement, and patient safety to provide high quality care within interprofessional teams.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and professional values.


Medical laboratory scientists perform tests that enable other healthcare providers to make diagnostic and treatment decisions for patients every day.  Billions of laboratory tests are ordered in the United States each year and laboratory scientists interact with other healthcare professionals to interpret, make recommendations, and deliver quality data for the best possible patient care.  Medical laboratory scientists are responsible for quality assurance, appropriate test methodologies, and precision analyzers leading to the delivery of accurate results.

Students in the MLS program experience a blend of traditional lecture courses, laboratory classes, and clinical rotations to prepare them for employment in the medical laboratory field. While engaged in clinical rotations, students will be supervised by certified laboratory professionals, and will achieve entry level competency in each department of the clinical laboratory.

Radford University Carilion offers more than one path to complete the MLS curriculum.  Transfer students and traditional freshman will be advised and supported while taking coursework in the MLS plan of study, receiving both a diploma and certificate in MLS upon completion. For students who have completed a baccalaureate degree previously, the MLS Certificate (rather than the BS degree) can be completed in one academic year.  Students who have not been satisfied with their career options post-graduation or who wish to pursue a career change may find that the MLS Certificate is suitable for their needs. Successful completion of the MLS Certificate makes a student eligible for the certification examination and employment in the medical laboratory science field.

Employment opportunities exist in clinical laboratories, physician office laboratories, research laboratories, industry, sales, test and instrument development, and veterinary laboratories. The MLS Program director and faculty actively assist students with job searches and help students prepare for interviews.  Opportunities for employment are most plentiful in clinical/hospital laboratories, but our graduates are also employed in research laboratories, education fields, veterinary medicine, laboratory information systems, sales and marketing, equipment/analyzer maintenance, and test development. The MLS Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119. Website: www.naacls.org 

Admissions Requirements

  • University Admission Requirements   
  • Students who wish to complete the MLS Certificate (rather than the BS degree) must complete the following pre-requisite coursework: 
    • Organic Chemistry: three credit lecture course and one credit laboratory course
    • Microbiology: three credit lecture course and one credit laboratory course 
    • Immunology: three credit lecture course
  • Completion of all prerequisite coursework by the end of the term preceding the cohort start.

Program Requirements

Once students enter the MLS curriculum (senior year for baccalaureate students) they are placed in a cohort. A cohort is defined as a group of students who are eligible to take the same courses in the Program of Study and progress through the curriculum together.  MLS students will complete all classroom exercises together.  When MLS students begin clinical rotations, the order and timing of those experiences will vary based on clinical site schedules and availability.  MLS students will receive equivalent clinical experiences and are expected to achieve entry-level competency in each area of the clinical laboratory.

Minimum Performance Standards

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, medical laboratory science students must be, with reasonable accommodations, physically and mentally capable of performing minimal standards to meet program objectives. Any student who may require accommodations should schedule an appointment with the Title IX and Disability Services Counselor. The Minimum Performance Standards for Admission and Progression include:

Essential Mental Abilities:

  • Follow instructions and rules.
  • Maintain reality orientation accompanied by short and long term memory.
  • Apply basic mathematical skills.
  • Display gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to perform assigned tasks.
  • Utilize sufficient critical thinking abilities for clinical judgment.

Essential Communication Skills:

  • Speak clearly in order to communicate with patients, families, healthcare team members, peers and faculty.
  • Effectively utilize interpersonal abilities to interact with diverse individuals, families and groups.
  • Demonstrate communication abilities sufficient for clear interaction with others in verbal and written form.
  • Read and accurately interpret written communications, including but not limited to exam questions in the academic setting, and test requisitions in the clinical setting, without assistance.

Essential Physical Abilities:

  • Stand and walk for six to twelve hours/day, possible intermittent standing, walking and sitting.
  • Walk for prolonged periods from one area to another over an eight to twelve hour period.
  • Bend, squat and kneel while performing work duties.
  • Repetitive motion to include keyboarding, pipetting, twisting/turning, bending.
  • Possible lifting and carrying of supplies and/or equipment up to approximately 10 pounds routinely, with possible heavy lifting occasionally.
  • Use hands for grasping, pushing, pulling and fine manipulation.
  • Demonstrate eye/hand coordination for manipulation of equipment (i.e., syringes, procedures, etc.).
  • Utilize auditory abilities sufficient to monitor instrumentation, phones, timers and pagers.
  • Demonstrate visual abilities sufficient for observation of equipment performance, reading computer screens and paperwork, perception of depth and color, and other observations as assigned.
  • Potential stair ascending and descending.

Working Conditions:

  • May be exposed to infectious diseases or conditions
  • May work with or around hazardous chemicals or noxious odors.
  • May require travel between facilities.
  • May require working different shifts.

Clinical Requirements

  • Ensure “All Student” health records and immunizations are up-to-date by viewing your Self-Service account. (Annual TB tests are required for all Radford University Carilion students.)
  • CPR Certification – Submit a copy of front and back of card. American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR is the only CPR accepted for clinical rotations.
  • Health Insurance – Submit copy of the front and back of your insurance card along with the form included.
  • Background Check - Student copies cannot be used for verification purposes.  
  • Drug Screen - Must be a 10-panel screen from a SAMHSA approved Laboratory performed no more than 30 (thirty) days prior to the first day of your first rotation.  Student copies cannot be used for verification purposes. The lab MUST send a direct copy to the Health Records Specialist. See Drug Screen instructions in this packet for details. Carilion’s pre-employment drug screen does not meet our standards.
  • Carilion Orientation – Completed online.  Submit the following forms:
    • Carilion Student Orientation (Includes Restraint Check-off section)**
    • Confidentiality Agreement
    • Student Program Participation Agreement
    • EMR Form
  • Restraint Check-Off
  • REQUIRED: Submit all health and clinical documentation via the online portal in Self-Service.

 Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all required coursework as described in the Plan of Study, College Catalog, and Program Handbook.

Upon graduation from this program graduates sit for a nationally recognized certification examination administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
ASCP offices are headquartered at 33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60603. Phone: (312) 541-4999. Website: www.ascp.org

Some states also require licensure; requirements are different in each state. Students interested in securing employment in states other than Virginia should discuss this with the Program Director prior to graduation.

Academic Programs

Medical Laboratory Science, B.S. (R, L) - Radford Site and Radford University Carilion Site  

Medical Laboratory Science Certificate - Radford University Carilion Site