This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2021-2022 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

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 science given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Mission statement

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.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency of the following:

  • 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, urine and body fluids, serology/immunology, and molecular diagnostics
  • Appropriate professional conduct and leadership characteristics to include effective communication skills, ethical conduct and problem-solving abilities.

Admission requirements for applicants with an associate degree in laboratory science

Certified MLTs (CLTs) qualify for special admission with less than 60 hours of credit. An MLT (CLT) applicant must have a minimum of 44 non-MLT semester hours of transferable credit for admission as a full-time student (38 hours for part-time admission). The transfer hours must include: 8 hours of biology, 8 hours of chemistry, 3 hours of mathematics and 6 hours of English composition. MLTs admitted under special status are required to complete the science, humanities and social sciences requirements for regular admission before they qualify for graduation.

Credit for CLLS courses may be granted for upper-level course requirements through challenge examinations or exemptions based on documented competencies, depending upon a student’s past academic performance in previous course work and clinical experience.

MLTs (CLTs) who meet the exemption eligibility requirements for the junior-level laboratory portions of the curriculum may take the CLLS course work online.

Academic regulations

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.