Medical laboratory scientists receive training in the following areas: clinical chemistry, the study of chemical reactions that occur in normal and diseased processes; hematology, the study of the cellular elements of the blood and blood-forming tissues and hemostatic mechanism; urine and body fluids analysis, the study of principles and practices of urinalysis, kidney function, and analyses of cerebrospinal fluid and other body fluids; microbiology, the study of microbiological aspects of infectious disease and the isolation and identification of pathogenic bacteria; immunohematology, the application of theory and principles of blood banking, cell typing, compatibility testing and antibody identification; and immunology, the study of the immune system and the serological and molecular techniques used for diagnosing infectious disease. With the rapid advancement of knowledge in the field of laboratory medicine, there is a growing need for highly skilled and knowledgeable clinical laboratory scientists. Employment is found in hospitals; physicians’ offices; research facilities; molecular diagnostics, biotechnology and public health laboratories; industrial quality control; veterinary clinics; and sales and service of health care equipment. In addition to the technical arena, opportunities as managers or consultants exist for graduates of this program.
Upon graduation the student is eligible to take the national examination for Medical Laboratory Scientists given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
The mission of the undergraduate program is to serve the health care needs of the community by providing highly competent and professional medical laboratory scientists who will be able to function effectively upon entrance into the field and be prepared to explore future scientific and technological advances in laboratory science.
Student learning outcomes
1. Demonstrate knowledge
Students will demonstrate knowledge of the basic underlying scientific concepts and proficiency in performing the full range of laboratory tests in the areas of hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology (blood banking), microbiology, body fluids, serology/immunology and molecular diagnostics.
2. Environment conducive for student learning
VCU will provide a high quality educational setting for the development of students' professional skills.
3. Success in workplace
The program will provide the community with competent and professional medical laboratory scientists who can function effectively upon entrance into the field.
4. Professional conduct
Students will demonstrate appropriate professional conduct and leadership characteristics to include effective communication skills, ethical conduct and problem-solving abilities.
The minimum passing grade for all professional courses leading to the Bachelor of Science degree is D. All courses must be completed with a passing grade, with no more than one D, for the student to be eligible for promotion or graduation. Satisfactory completion of the previous semester’s course work is a prerequisite to the next semester.
Promotion/graduation is based on recommendations of the faculty. The student is expected to do all of the following:
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 at VCU
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in CLLS course work
- Obtain a passing grade in all CLLS courses, with no more than one course grade of D in CLLS course work
- Complete the clinical education requirements to the satisfaction of the clinical and academic faculty
- Exhibit the attitudes and skills deemed necessary to function as a professional medical laboratory scientist
- Pay all fees
Detailed grading policies including the mechanism for grade appeals are given to each entering student during orientation.