The Anatomy of Action

Become a Medical Laboratory Scientist. A medical laboratory scientist (MLS) performs a full range of laboratory tests from simple cholesterol screenings to more complex tests to uncover diseases such as AIDS, diabetes and cancer. As a MLS, you will be responsible for confirming the accuracy of test results and reporting laboratory findings to the pathologist and the patient's physician. You will work quickly and carefully. As a MLS you hold life and death in your hands because the information you give to the doctor influences the medical treatment that a patient receives. The MLS works with microscopes, complex electronic equipment, computers and precision instruments.


Our Body of Work

Our 3-semester certificate program includes intensive classroom instruction and clinical laboratory experience. You will gain the intellectual tools to understand disease processes and the corresponding laboratory skills needed to assist physicians with diagnosis and treatment of their patients. You will learn to perform a wide variety of laboratory tests ranging from simple one step to complex multiple step procedures. You will also learn to operate complex equipment, computers, microscopes and precision instruments, and how to use equipment such as pipettes, inoculating loops and other equipment used in manual testing methods.

Program Outcomes

Outcomes are reported using a three-year average from 2016-2018

Certification Exam (ASCP-BOC MLS) Pass Rate: 94%
Defined as pass rate for exams taken within one year of graduation

Graduation Rate: 100%
Defined as percentage of students completing the program whom started the final half, defined as the start of summer semester

Placement Rate: 100%
Defined as employment in the laboratory field or pursuit of further education within one year of graduation

How to Apply

College Admission First
The first step in the admissions process is to apply using the Mercy College Application. Early application is encouraged. For a complete list of College and program application deadlines, click here.

Program Admission Second
The second step in the admission process is to apply using the MLS Program Application. We accept 12 students into the MLS program each year. Your admission into this program is on a competitive basis. Meeting the minimum criteria or being admitted into Mercy College does not guarantee admission into the program.

The application and transcript deadline is October 15. All application materials must be received in the Mercy College Admissions Department by October 15 to be considered for admission. Applicants meeting the admission requirements will be invited to interview with program officials. All interviews must be completed before November 15.

The MLS program is affiliated with several institutions of higher learning. Accepted students from affiliated institutions complete their senior year at Mercy College, earning up to 41 semester hours of upper level science credits. Students from affiliated institutions must complete all other affiliated institution graduation requirements to qualify for a B.A. or B.S. degree upon completion of the MLS certificate at Mercy College.

Students from non-affiliated colleges and universities are eligible to apply if they have completed or will have completed a B.A. or B.S. degree before the program begins and meet all academic requirements.

Prospective students who are interested in the MLS Certificate may want to also consider admission to the Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Track Three at Mercy College.


Selection Process

Following the October 15 application and transcript deadline, the process to select students begins. Each qualified applicant is invited to interview with program officials and tour the laboratory. Complete applications are reviewed by the selection committee, which considers the following:

  • Types and difficulty of courses taken
  • Evidence of well-rounded education, such as better than average grade in English composition
  • Courses taken that are not required but are recommended
  • Work experience
  • Volunteer and extra-curricular activities
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Activities that indicate social consciousness and involvement
  • Essay
  • Cumulative and science GPA


  • Acceptance letters are sent to accepted students by December 1.
  • Accepted students must reply to Mercy College to accept or decline the offered position by December 15.
  • Application eligibility does not guarantee acceptance.

Background Preparation

Students must complete the following undergraduate coursework with a "C" (not "C-") or higher prior to beginning the MLS program: sixteen (16) semester hours of Chemistry, including Biochemistry and/or Organic Chemistry that are part of a science major curriculum; sixteen (16) semester hours of Biology, including Immunology and Microbiology that are part of a science major curriculum; and three (3) semester hours of college level mathematics at the algebra level or above.

Medical Laboratory Experience

Students experience direct lab instruction in Mercy Medical Center’s clinical laboratory. Mercy Medical Center’s progressive, modern clinical laboratory performs an average of 200,000 analytical procedures each month to help diagnose and treat patients throughout the community. Students work one-on-one with medical laboratory scientists throughout the curriculum. Working alongside Mercy’s experts in medical laboratory science and other health professions will be a valuable resource in your academic and professional development.


The MLS program includes a full-time program chair and two full-time MLS Instructors as well as medical laboratory scientist preceptors in the clinical laboratory assuring you an exceptional level of personalized instruction.

Job Outlook

Once you have completed your MLS certificate, you will have the knowledge and clinical laboratory experience needed to become a nationally certified medical laboratory scientist. You will be eligible to sit for the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification.

There is currently a shortage of Medical Laboratory Scientists/Technologists, and they are in demand across the country. Graduates of the MLS program at Mercy College will find career opportunities in hospitals, independent clinical laboratories, blood centers, industry, universities, government laboratories, and research facilities. Faster-than-average job growth is expected to arise as our population ages and experiences an increased need for diagnosing and treating diseases. For more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities go the the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Gainful Employment

To view the graduation, employment, tuition, and debt information referred to as the "Gainful Employment Disclosures", please click here.


Accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N River Rd
Des Plaines, IL 60018