Skip to header Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Medical Laboratory Sciences

College of Health Professions

 
Program description

Medical laboratory scientists’ critical role on the health care delivery team is to provide physicians laboratory data, essential information for making decisions related to diagnoses and treatment. Due to emerging technologies and knowledge of the human condition, the profession of medical laboratory sciences is forever challenging and rewarding.  The shortage of clinical laboratory scientists in the workforce has ensured job opportunities for graduates and plentiful student scholarship offerings.


The program includes classroom, laboratory, and hands-on experiences. Students participate in multiple full-time clinical laboratory rotations at facilities including VCU Health, Central Virginia VA Health Care system, University of Virginia Health System, Bon Secours Health Partners Laboratory, and more.

 

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. 

 

Upon graduation students are eligible to take the national examination for medical laboratory scientists given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Career opportunities

Medical laboratory scientists and medical technologists perform laboratory testing in various settings to diagnose, monitor and treat diseases. Most medical laboratory personnel work in hospital laboratories. Many are also employed by private physicians, medical groups, public health and environmental laboratories, research facilities, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies, universities, industrial medical laboratories, molecular diagnostic laboratories and the armed forces. On the job, you would:


  • Conduct analysis of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscopes, automated instruments, and manual techniques to detect abnormalities or diseases.
  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, and high quality test results, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.

With a master's or doctoral degree, you could also manage a medical laboratory, perform clinical and translational research, or teach clinical laboratory science courses in a postsecondary environment.

Change of major requirements

Students apply for entrance to the B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences through undergraduate admissions during spring semester preceding desired fall admission. Students must complete the two-year program requirements (a total minimum of 60 credits) for application to the Bachelor of Science degree program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the summer preceding desired fall admission.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Biomedical Laboratory Officer
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Medical Technologist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Technologist
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Research and Development Scientist
  • Sales or Technical Representative
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Laboratory Manager/Supervisor
  • Lead Scientist
  • Molecular and Cellular Biologist
  • Teaching and Research Faculty
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 151
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.5+ cumulative GPA to apply, 2.0+ cumulative GPA to progress
Department name:
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences
Building/room location:
900 East Leigh Street, Richmond, VA
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
MCV
Phone:
(804) 828-7247
Email:
callahane@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Attend a departmental information session.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Medical Laboratory Sciences

College of Health Professions

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Attend a departmental information session.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
View graphic versionView graphic version