2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Sep 28, 2021  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Medical Laboratory Science (B.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Stacie Lansink, Interim Program Director
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
Avera Health and Science Center

Program Information

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.

Program Goals

  • 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.

Enabling Objectives

  • 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.

Admissions Deadlines

  • November 15 - Current SDSU Medical Laboratory Science Majors (minimum of 12 months as a designated MLS Major)
  • February 15 - All other applicants, including transfer students or non-designated majors. Transfer students must be admitted to SDSU prior to applying to the MLS program.
  • 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 Requirements

Admission is competitive and will be determined based on the following criteria:

  • Submission of cumulative GPA on a 4.0 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 CHEM 106-106L , 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 concurred 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.
  • Graduation
    • 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.
  • Progression
    • 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, Regional Health, and Sanford Health Network Affiliated Hospitals. This list is not all inclusive and may change as affiliations and availability of sites are updated periodically. Availability of clinical placement is not guaranteed.

Requirements for Medical Laboratory Science Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science 

System General Education Requirements


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science

System General Education Requirements 33 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 80 Credit Hours
Electives** 7 Credit Hours

**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.

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