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Medical Laboratory Sciences FAQs

This video was produced by the Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center (AHEC).
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How many students are admitted into the program?

The program is fairly competitive, favoring those students with higher GPAs.
Traditional Track–32 students
MLS Online Fast Track (SC Residents & Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology or Chemistry)–10-15 students depending on available clinical sites
MLT-MLS (career ladder)–Unlimited

When is the application deadline?

Students desiring acceptance to all of the programs in medical laboratory science should first make application to the university. Once you have been accepted to the university and have met all prerequisite requirements you will need to apply to AHCAS by March 1st.

What are your admission policies and procedure?

Currently enrolled Georgia Southern University students must also meet the requirements for admission to the Medical Laboratory Science program and apply separately to the program. Transfer students must be accepted to the university with regular admission status. Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5 or more. Satisfactory completion of the Regent’s Testing Program if applicable. Completion and/or credit for: a minimum of 20 semester hours biological science to include microbiology; a minimum of 12 semester hours of chemistry, to include general and organic, and a minimum of two college mathematics courses (statistics is required). Science course (chemistry and biology) average of 2.5 or better with no more than one required science course with a grade of “D.”

All prerequisite science (chemistry and biological science) courses are restricted to courses applicable to a major in those fields or medical laboratory science, according to the academic institution’s curriculum requirements where the course or courses were taken. Remedial courses do not qualify.

Students must apply to and be accepted to Georgia Southern University. Students should apply as a student seeking a BS degree or if you have a degree, apply as a Post-Baccalaureate seeking a BS degree. You will pick the Armstrong Campus and Bachelor of Health Science.

Once students have been accepted to the university and have met all prerequisite requirements, they may apply to the program through the AHCAS system. If you are accepted into the MLS program, your degree will then be changed to MLS

What is the MLT-MLS Online Career Ladder program?
The online Career-Ladder track enables certified medical laboratory technicians (MLT) to advance their education. The online track is limited to those with MLT credentials who are currently employed at an approved clinical site. It provides students with a high-quality academic and professional environment, allowing for the development of critical thinking skills and professional values and characteristics. The program graduate will be able to satisfy eligibility requirements for a professional certification examination at the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) level.
What is the Fast Track program?

The Department offers a fast track online program.
Format: Online Program (open to South Carolina residents only): It is open only to South Carolina residents who have obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, chemistry, or a closely related field. In addition, this program requires the completion of microbiology and organic chemistry before admission.
Format: Online Program (open to Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology or Chemistry): The Medical Laboratory Science Online Fast-Track program is also available to students who have completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology or Chemistry.Typically, students who apply to this track currently work in a hospital/clinical setting. We will require a Statement of Support from the hospital/clinical site. Prior to admittance into the program, the hospital/clinical site must be approved.

Can I be accepted before I have completed all my prerequisites?

Yes, but they must be completed before you start in the fall unless arrangement with the department head was secured.

What are the essentials functions?

Essential functions are the physical, intellectual, and behavioral requirements of the program that a student must be able to master. Students must successfully meet these essential functions in addition to the academic requirements. In addition to the intellectual program requirements, students must be able to comply with program-designated essential functions in order to participate in a medical laboratory science educational program. These functions include visual and observation skills, motor and mobility skills, and communication and professional behavioral skills. A complete list may be found in the MLS Student Handbook.

Is health insurance required?

All students accepted into the program are required to submit complete health history forms, evidence of health insurance with a prescription plan.

I have a BS degree, what are my options?

You may be entitled to second BS degree from Georgia Southern University in Medical Laboratory Science. You may be eligible for the Traditional Track or the BS Fast Track.

What is required for international students?

Foreign applicants must meet the requirements for admission to Georgia Southern University as outlined in the University catalog and the NAACLS requirements, if applicable. Foreign applicants to Medical Laboratory Science program at Georgia Southern are advised to communicate with the department head before arranging for foreign transcript evaluation. If a student desiring to major in medical laboratory science already has a degree from a foreign university and desires to base his/her eligibility for national certification on this degree, the student must have the official transcript evaluated by one of several acceptable agencies. For an approved listing contact the MLS Program Director.

A student whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score a minimum of 523 on the written test (or a minimum of 193 on the computer-based TOEFL) for consideration for admission to the Department.

Do you accept part-time students?


Do I have to travel to a clinical site?

Yes. Students will be responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the clinical sites. Due to the limited number of clinical sites in Savannah, it will be necessary to assign students to clinical sites outside of Savannah. Students who desire to complete their clinical rotations at facilities not in Savannah should let the program director know in writing no later than the end of the fall semester.

Where are your clinical sites?

The clinical practicum is a structured clinical laboratory experience, where students integrate theory and application under supervision in various areas of the clinical laboratory. For the Traditional Track, the internship starts in late May/Early June to mid-November. A Practicum Schedule based on required contact hours for each individual course will be prepared for each student. Students are required to adhere to this schedule unless specified otherwise by the program director and/or clinical coordinator. Clinical practicum’s are provided in the laboratories of St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, and Memorial Health University Medical Center located in Savannah, Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro, Medical University of South Carolina, and others as necessary. For the online programs clinical internship starts during the first fall semester. Students will rotate through clinicals while taking online lectures. South Carolina students will be assigned a site. Other online students must be employed by an approved site.

If relocated to a clinical site outside Savannah, am I responsible for paying the extra living expenses?

Yes. Students are responsible for their own living expenses.

Is your program accredited?

Yes, by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). This agency is committed to being the premier agency for accreditation and approval of educational programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related health professions.

Do I have to take a licensing exam after I graduate?

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the ASCP Board of Certification exam. A list of states requiring a separate license may be found our MLS Webpage.

Is it okay to have a “C” in a science class and still be accepted into the program?

Yes. Students are allowed only one “D” in area F.

Can I find a job with this degree?

Yes! There is a great need for medical laboratory scientists in a variety of health care settings and students usually have several job opportunities upon graduation.

Are there opportunities to further my education in Medical Laboratory Science?

Yes you may seek an advanced degree in the field of Medical Laboratory Science. There are masters programs and a newly designed Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science. In addition, you may advance your career by seeking a specialty certificate through the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Will I be able to work full/part time while in the program and still be successful?

This depends on the student. We do not have a policy against employment while in the program, but we highly recommend students do not work during the program.

What is a typical day like in the program?

Traditional Track: In the first two semesters, classes and labs are offered on the Armstrong Campus Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the last two semesters, students follow their assigned clinical site schedule.

Online Tracks: Lectures are held entirely online. Clinical training will occur in the hospital laboratory. Your training will fall within the same time frame or immediately following your lectures.

Last updated: 6/21/2023