Patricia Tille, Program Director
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
Avera Health and Science Center
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The Medical Laboratory Science program prepares its graduates for employment in hospital or medical laboratories. The curriculum emphasizes basic science, medical laboratory science, critical thinking and communication skills, including structured learning in the laboratories of clinical affiliated laboratories. During the first two years, students complete basic science courses necessary for entrance into the professional clinical program. Upon completion of three semesters, students apply for entrance into the professional component of the major. The professional program consists of on-campus medical laboratory science courses and an off-campus clinical experience. The program provides the scientific background in hematology, immunohematology, urinalysis, phlebotomy, microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, clinical chemistry, and management necessary for a laboratory career.
- Provide an educational program within the framework of the University setting in accordance with the Standards of Accredited Programs for the Medical Laboratory Scientist as established by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).
- Provide adequate numbers of entry-level medical laboratory scientists to meet the workforce needs of the state of South Dakota and surrounding areas.
- Provide the health care community with quality individuals who are competent to conduct laboratory procedures in large medical facilities and small rural laboratories and who demonstrate positive professional attitudes, ethics and practices.
- Provide a curriculum that includes a general or liberal education, content specific theory and applications, technical knowledge, professionalism and clinical competence to successfully complete a national certification exam.
- Assist students in career placement by providing academic and occupational advisement.
- Instill in students a sense of professionalism, commitment to lifelong learning and academic excellence.
- Prepare students to successfully enter the health care field as competent entry-level professionals that communicate well, appreciate social diversity and possess a genuine compassion and concern for others.
Medical Laboratory Science Professional Program
The Medical Laboratory Science Program accepts up to twenty-four students into the on-campus program. Applicants will be notified of the decision regarding their application in writing. Upon receipt of notification the student will have ten days to notify the MLS Program Director of their intent to accept the position.
- All pre-MLS students must submit an application and all required documents to the professional program by mail. (Applications by fax or email will not be accepted.) Consideration for admission to the professional component of the Medical Laboratory Science major is made in the fall of the academic year prior to admission to the program and must be postmarked by November 15th.
- All other applicants, including transfers or non-designated majors application packets, must submit their application that is post-marked by February 15th in the spring semester preceding admission into the program in the fall. (Applications by fax or email will not be accepted.)
- Any student who anticipates successful completion of the pre-MLS mathematics, science and communication requirements prior to the admission in the fall semester is eligible to apply.
Admission is competitive and will be determined based on the following criteria:
- Submission of their cumulative GPA on a 4.0 point scale of all college work completed at the time of application.
- Grade of “C” or “70%” minimum in all prerequisite courses.
- Completion of prerequisite courses CHEM106-106L, CHEM 108-108L, BIOL 221-221L, BIOL 325-325L, STAT 281, and course or content equivalencies as approved by the MLS program director prior to admission.
- Confirmation of ability to meet the non-academic Essential Functions of the program.
- Completion of an approved background check administered according to program guidelines. (Expenses incurred are the student’s responsibility).*
- Completion of an interview with the Medical Laboratory Science Admissions committee.
- Completion of a writing assessment exercise.
*Note: An additional background check may be required prior to clinical placement, dependent on clinical affiliate requirements. Students are responsible for all costs associated with background checks.
MLS Progression and Probation Regulations
The Medical Laboratory Science program probation standards are:
- Medical Laboratory Science GPA Calculation
- Medical Laboratory Science GPA is calculated using all medical laboratory science MLS prefix courses.
- MLS courses repeated at SDSU, only the repeated grade will be used to calculate the GPA.
- A student must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average within the medical laboratory science program to qualify for graduation with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science.
- To progress to the MLS2 year a student cannot have more than 5 credits of “D” in MLS prefix courses.
- If a student receives an “F” in a MLS prefix course, the student would not be able to progress on to the next semester and would be removed from the program. The student would then have to follow the academic appeals process laid out in the MLS Student Handbook if the student would like to be readmitted to the program.
- If a Medical Laboratory Science student fails to pass their Clinical Practice Courses (i.e., MLS 46X, MLS 47X and MLS 48X) the student may repeat the MLS clinical experience the following year according to availability and acceptance by a clinical affiliate. SDSU cannot guarantee that events beyond its control such as natural disasters, rejection of student by clinical affiliates, labor disputes, war, etc. might not prevent a student’s completion of a clinical experience. Clinical placement is NOT guaranteed.
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure
The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119.
Graduates will be eligible to take the certification examination as a medical laboratory scientist from the Board of Certification by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
Licensure requirements will vary by state.
Course Delivery Format
MLS courses are delivered through lecture, discussion, laboratory, and clinical practice experiences. The on campus program consists of lectures and laboratory courses that provide hands-on skills and technical training. The MLS program is a technology and lap-top based program. Course materials are provided electronically utilizing the Desire2Learn course management system.
Clinical Practice Experience courses will be completed at a clinical affiliate site. Placement at the clinical affiliate will be made in consultation with clinical affiliates and the MLS program faculty. Current available sites are Avera Health System facilities, Essentia Health Care System facilities, Madison Community Hospital, Mayo SW Regional Health Network, VA Regional Medical Center Sioux Falls, Huron Regional Medical Center, Prairie Lakes Healthcare, VA Medical Center Black Hills of Hot Springs, Rapid City Regional Hospital, Sanford Health Network Affiliated Hospitals and Spearfish Regional Hospital. Availability of clinical placement is not guaranteed.