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Medical Laboratory Science

The Medical Laboratory Science Program (formerly Medical Technology) at Old Dominion University, the oldest health science program at the university, originated from two hospital-based programs that were started in the late 1920s and early 1930s at DePaul Hospital and Norfolk General Hospital.

When the B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science (BSMLS) degree requirements are successfully completed, the graduate is eligible for examination and certification through the Board of Certification (BOC) of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). However, granting BSMLS degree is not contingent upon the student's passing any type of external certification of licensure examination.


About the Program

Full admission to Old Dominion University is required prior to admission to the program. Students are not formally admitted into the Medical Laboratory Science Program (formerly Medical Technology) until the end of the sophomore year, when completion of all pre-requisites is expected. Admission to the University does not constitute automatic admission to the program.

Qualified students are interviewed by the Medical Laboratory Science Advisory Committee, whose decision is final. All application materials must be received by February 1 for students desiring to enter the following fall term. It is the responsibility of the student to see that all application materials have been received. Prospective students who desire entry after the deadline should contact the Program Director. Students not in the program are allowed to take the pre-clinical courses on a space-available basis.

The program application and reference forms are available for download:
* MLS Program Application
* MLS Reference Form

Three (3) reference forms are required (at least two from an academic source and cannot be provided by the applicant's relative)

Technical Standards are fundamental abilities necessary to successfully complete the academic and clinical requirements of the program.

Information on MLT to MT articulation, the BSMLS Degree Completion Program (formerly BSMT), certification examinations, and application packets for the Medical Laboratory Science Program may be obtained by contacting the:

School of Medical Diagnostic and Translational Sciences
2118 Health Sciences Building
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0050
(757) 683-3589

The mission of the Medical Laboratory Science Program (formerly Medical Technology) is to provide an excellent educational program embodying a curriculum that prepares students to become competent professionals who are committed to providing quality patient care, serving the community, and advancing the body of knowledge in clinical laboratory science.

  • To provide students with a model educational system based upon scientific and technological excellence.
  • To provide a high quality academic program and clinical learning experiences that espouses commitment to quality patient care and concern for the dignity and rights of all patients.
  • To provide opportunities for faculty and the professional community to work with students to further the body of knowledge in the profession through research and scholarship.
  • To provide qualified and competent practitioners and future leaders, within the educational framework, in order to ensure the integrity of the profession, promote service to the community, and respond to health care issues and needs.
  • Develops and performs specimen collection, processing, and evaluation, adapting systems when corrective actions are indicated.
  • Performs analytical tests on body fluids, cells, and other substances.
  • Correlates laboratory data, recognizes problems, and selects appropriate corrective actions.
  • Utilizes quality control and quality assurance measures to evaluate the validity and reliability of laboratory test results and services provided.
  • Evaluates new techniques, instruments, and methodologies.
  • Applies knowledge of applicable regulations that govern laboratory operations so that compliance is maintained.
  • Demonstrates professional conduct and interpersonal skills with patients, laboratory personnel, and other health care professionals.
  • Exercises principles of financial, operations, information, and human resource management.
  • Applies principles of educational methodology in the development and delivery of instructional materials to students, health care professionals, and patients.
  • Recognizes the importance of continuing education for growth and the maintenance of professional competence.
  • Applies knowledge of research design in evaluating published studies.

Medical Laboratory Science Teaching Faculty

Rachel Childs, M.S., MLS(ASCP)
Clinical Assistant Professor
Teaching: hematology and hemostasis, urinalysis, and bodily fluids
Margaret Goodman, M.S., MT(ASCP)
Riverside Doctor's Hospital
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Teaching: immunology and immunohematology
Barbara Kraj, PhD, MLS(ASCP)MB
Associate Professor and Program Director
Teaching: immunology, immunohematology, and molecular techniques
Ellie Luethy, MHS, MT(ASCP)
Adjunct Instructor (distant learning)
Teaching: management in clinical setting, instrumentation, and clinical chemistry
Linda McClenney, MS, MLT(ASCP)
Bon Secours Mercy Health Mary Immaculate Hospital
Adjunct Assistant Professor (distant learning)
Teaching: hematology and hemostasis
Louise Midland, MT(ASCP)
Adjunct Instructor
Teaching: blood bank laboratory
Peter Mollica, Ph.D., MB (ASCP)
Assistant Professor
Monarch Molecular Technical Supervisor
Teaching: instrumentation, clinical chemistry and directed study in MLS
Mary Petty, M.S., MT(ASCP)
Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Hampton
Adjunct Assistant Professor (distant learning)
Teaching: statistical applications in the clinical laboratory
Jenni Rickerson, MLS(ASCP)
Adjunct Assistant Instructor
Christina Ruffy, MT(AMT), BB (ASCP)
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth
Adjunct Instructor
Teaching: summer blood bank practicum, flow cytometry
Angela Wilson, M.S., M(ASCP)
Clinical Assistant Professor
Teaching: orientation to MLS, clinical bacteriology and virology, mycology, and parasitology

Staff

Gordon Ward
Lab Manager/Clinical Coordinator
Starmayne Wilson
Administrative & Office Specialist III

Resources

Clinical Sites

ODU Medical Laboratory Science Program is privileged to offer clinical practica at the sites listed below. Internships/practica will be assigned by the Program Director and Education Coordinator as they become available and may be made for evening, night, as well as day shifts. Student learning experiences in clinical practicum courses are performed under the supervision of a preceptor. Student learning experiences, however, are not substituted for the work of the staff. Service work performed by students outside of academic hours is not required or permitted to fulfill practicum requirements. Assignments will be made on a priority basis, i.e., preference will be given to those students who are ready for graduation immediately upon completion of practicum courses. In case of a shortage of clinical sites, assignments will be made based on academic performance, centered on cognitive, psychomotor as well as affective behaviors.

Students may be required to attend several different clinical sites. Transportation is the student's responsibility. Internships/practica may be local or at distant sites. Newly acquired clinical sites may require relocation for the assignment period.

Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
736 Battlefield Boulevard N
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Liaison: Melanie Hughes

Bon Secours Hampton Roads
Liaison: Terri Allen

Mary Immaculate Hospital
2 Bernardine Dr.
Newport News, VA 23602

Maryview Medical Center
3636 High Street
Portsmouth, VA 23707

Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters
601 Children's Lane
Norfolk, VA 23507
Liaison: Mary Shields

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
620 John Paul Jones Circle
Portsmouth, VA 23708
Liaisons: Cynthia Sivells and Reynaldo Jornacion

Riverside Regional Medical Center
500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23601
Liaison: Susan Elliott

Sentara Laboratory Services
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
600 Gresham Drive
Norfolk, VA 23507
Liaison: Jessica Linhardt

Sentara Careplex Hospital
3120 Victoria Blvd
Hampton, VA 23661

Sentara Independence
800 Independence Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Sentara Leigh Hospital
830 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, VA 23502

Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital
1060 First Colonial Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
100 Sentara Circle
Williamsburg, VA 23188

University of Virginia Medical Center
1215 Lee Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Liaison: Briana Shelton

Veteran's Administration Medical Center
Hampton, VA 23667
Liaison: Mary Petty

Veterans Affairs (VA) Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center
1201 Broad Rock Blvd
Richmond, VA 23224
Liaison: Neil Gamayon


BSMLS Degree Completion Program (formerly BSMT)

Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Medical Technology)

Eligibility:
Graduates of a formal accredited medical laboratory technician training program who are MLT certified and currently employed in a full service clinical laboratory.

Medical Laboratory Science Application for Admission

Interested applicants for the MLT to MLS Degree Completion Program should click here to contact a Health Sciences Enrollment Coordinator.

MLT to MLS Articulation

Articulation into the BSMLS Program is available to individuals who are graduates of a formal accredited medical laboratory training program. Students with previous laboratory training may complete the degree by completing courses in the traditional BSMLS Program or the BSMLS Degree Completion Program. Advanced placement will be based on educational background and work experience.

Degree Completion Program

The BSMLS Degree Completion Program is available for laboratory practitioners who are graduates of accredited associate degree, hospital or military Medical Laboratory Technician programs who are currently employed in a full service clinical laboratory. MLT certification is required for admission. The program builds on previously acquired strengths and accomplishments, allowing students to acquire advanced technical, managerial, and problem-solving skills. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of local and distant practitioners who seek a baccalaureate degree. Program courses are delivered online to accommodate the schedules of working students.


Medical Laboratory Science Teaching Faculty

Rachel Childs, M.S., MLS(ASCP)
Clinical Assistant Professor
Teaching: hematology and hemostasis, urinalysis, and bodily fluids
Margaret Goodman, M.S., MT(ASCP)
Riverside Doctor's Hospital
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Teaching: immunology and immunohematology
Barbara Kraj, PhD, MLS(ASCP)MB
Associate Professor and Program Director
Teaching: immunology, immunohematology, and molecular techniques
Ellie Luethy, MHS, MT(ASCP)
Adjunct Instructor (distant learning)
Teaching: management in clinical setting, instrumentation, and clinical chemistry
Linda McClenney, MS, MLT(ASCP)
Bon Secours Mercy Health Mary Immaculate Hospital
Adjunct Assistant Professor (distant learning)
Teaching: hematology and hemostasis
Louise Midland, MT(ASCP)
Adjunct Instructor
Teaching: blood bank laboratory
Peter Mollica, Ph.D., MB (ASCP)
Assistant Professor
Monarch Molecular Technical Supervisor
Teaching: instrumentation, clinical chemistry and directed study in MLS
Mary Petty, M.S., MT(ASCP)
Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Hampton
Adjunct Assistant Professor (distant learning)
Teaching: statistical applications in the clinical laboratory
Jenni Rickerson, MLS(ASCP)
Adjunct Assistant Instructor
Christina Ruffy, MT(AMT), BB (ASCP)
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth
Adjunct Instructor
Teaching: summer blood bank practicum, flow cytometry
Angela Wilson, M.S., M(ASCP)
Clinical Assistant Professor
Teaching: orientation to MLS, clinical bacteriology and virology, mycology, and parasitology

Staff


General Education & Program Prerequisites

Course Credits
ENGL Composition I* 3
ENGL Composition II* 3
Fine Arts* 3
Foreign Language**
0-6
History* 3
Social Science* 3
Information Literacy and Research*
3
Literature* 3
Biology 121 N 4
Anatomy & Physiology 3-8
General Chemistry I and II 8
Organic Chemistry 5
Statistics 3

Program of Study

The general education courses, prerequisite science courses, and remaining courses necessary for the degree can be completed on campus or at local community colleges.

The delivery formats for the medical technology courses are web-based.

All students in the BSMLS Degree Completion Program must complete the clinical component of the program which requires students to demonstrate competence in the following areas of the clinical laboratory:

  • Hematology/Coagulation
  • Microbiology
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Immunohematology

Recommended Degree Plan

Fall Semester
MLS 324 Clinical Instr. & Elec. 3
MLS 328 Advanced Hematology and Hemostasis 2
MLS 330 Clinical Immunology 2
Spring Semester
MLS 310 Urinalysis/Body Fluids 1
MLS 326 Immunohematology 3
MLS 340 Parasitology/Mycol/Virology 1
MLS 351 Clinical Biochemistry 3
Summer Semester
MLS 309 Medical Bacteriology 3
MLS 402 Survey of Clinical Molecular Techniques 2
MLS 441 Hematology Competency 1
MLS 443 Clinical Chemistry Competency 1
MLS 444 Immunohematology Comp. 1
Fall Semester
MLS 403W Management in the Clinical Setting
3
MLS 440 Statistical App/Data Analysis 3
MLS 442 Microbiology Competency 1
Spring Semester
MLS 457 Medical Laboratory Seminar 1
PHIL 345* 3
Impact of Technology* 3

* Choose from the list of approved general education courses.
** The foreign language requirement may be met with three years of a foreign language in high school or two years of two different foreign languages in high school.

Note: Junior year core courses that are over three years old prior to graduation, must be reevaluated by the faculty member at ODU in charge of the specialty, in both theoretical knowledge and technical skills. Reevaluation may result in the requirement to repeat and/or audit out-of-date courses. This applies to both part-time and returning Degree Completion Program students.

For consultation and evaluation of eligibility for degree completion program contact: healthsciencesonline@odu.edu

Program Outcomes

MLS(ASCP) Certification Exam Pass Rates*

*percentage of students who passed the ASCP BOC exam within the first year of graduation
ODU Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science Program
2013 graduates 93.8%
2014 graduates 90.9%
2015 graduates 100%
2016 graduates 86%
2017 graduates 93.75%
2018 graduates 93.75%
2019 graduates 91%
2020 graduates 85%
2021 graduates 83.3%
as of 5/20/22. The final result will be available at the end of December 2022

Employment/Graduate School Placement Rates**

**percentage of respondent graduates who found employment in the field or continue their education within one year of graduation

ODU Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science Program
Placement Within a Year From Graduation
2013 graduates 100%
2014 graduates 100%
2015 graduates 100%
2016 graduates 100%
2017 graduates 100%
2018 graduates 100%
2019 graduates 100%
2020 graduates 92%
2021 graduates 100%

Graduation/Attrition Rates

For students slated to graduate between 7/1/19-6/30/20 For students slated to graduate between 7/1/20-6/30/21 For students slated to graduate between 7/1/21-6/30/22
Yearly Attrition Rate (%)*** 0 3.6 4.2
Yearly Graduation Rate (%)**** 100 96.4 95.8

*** as defined by the NAACLS: percentage of students who have begun the final half of the program but subsequently left (voluntary or involuntary).

****as defined by the NAACLS: percentage of students who have begun the final half of the program and successfully graduated from the program.

For traditional students, courses completed past junior year determine the final half. For online BS completion program for MLTs, their "final half" starts after the first 15 credit hours.

Technical Standards

Technical standards represent the essential functions that students must master to successfully complete program requirements. Standards for this program are listed below.

Students must be able to:

  1. Perform laboratory assays and tasks with coordination and control.
  2. Manipulate small objects and devices.
  3. Turn dials, press buttons and keypads, and move switches.
  4. Maneuver around instruments in the laboratory and in patient care settings.
  5. Perform and interpret laboratory assays, including the ability to: distinguish red, yellow, blue, and other color reactions; distinguish between solutions that are clear, cloudy or particulate; identify stained and unstained cellular and non-cellular components in the range of 1 um using a microscope; and read calibration lines or scales that range 1 mm apart.
  6. Perform tasks and assays that require responses to auditory stimuli.
  7. Perform phlebotomy, blood and body fluid processing, and testing procedures safely.
  8. Perform laboratory assays and interpret results, including the ability to communicate effectively in English, both in written and non-written forms.
  9. Read, understand, and follow directions printed in English.
  10. Maintain cognitive, psychomotor, and affective performance standards while retaining intellectual and emotional stability and maturity when confronted with stressful and rigorous circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist?
Medical Technologists, currently known as Medical Laboratory Scientists, are laboratory health professionals who provide vital information about the status and function of the body and its systems. The data is utilized in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

How desirable is this profession?
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook* "An increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures. Prenatal testing for various types of genetic conditions also is increasingly common. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians will be in demand to use and maintain the equipment needed for diagnosis and treatment".

Additionally "Job prospects will be best for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians who complete an accredited education program and earn professional certification."

*https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm (visited January 30, 2018).

Are there job opportunities in Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science?
Most of our graduates obtain local job offers before completing the program.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook "Employment of medical laboratory technologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations."

What prerequisite courses do I need?
Biology (4 hrs), foundations of chemistry/equivalent to ODU CHEM 121N/122N and CHEM 123N/124N (8 hrs), organic chemistry (5 hrs), anatomy and physiology (3-8 hrs), and statistics (3 hrs) are required science prerequisite courses.

I have a BS degree in science. Do I qualify for admission?
Yes. As long as the prerequisite courses listed above are met, applicants are eligible for a second baccalaureate degree in Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Sciences (BSMT/BSMLS). A faculty advisor will evaluate your credentials.

I am transferring to ODU from a community college/another institution. What should I do?
Contact the Health Sciences Advising Center-an advisor can assist you in getting prepared to apply to the MT/MLS Program:

Health Sciences Advising Center
3133 Health Sciences Building
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288
Phone: (757) 683-5137
Email: hsadvising@odu.edu

What GPA do I need in order to be eligible to apply to the MT/MLS Program?
The minimum GPA is 2.0 overall and a "C" in all prerequisite science courses. However, admission is competitive. Admitted students who are the most successful have a GPA that is 2.8 or higher.

When do I apply?
Prospective transfer and second degree students and students tracking from their freshman year (spring of their sophomore year), should apply by February 1 for traditional on-campus program.

Applications for Degree Completion Program are accepted during fall or spring semester. It is recommended students apply when they are within one - two semesters of finishing the general education and prerequisite course requirements.

If I miss the application deadline, am I allowed to begin taking MT/MLS Program courses?
Yes, prospective students may begin taking program courses prior to formal admission to the program. A faculty advisor will recommend selected courses based on completed prerequisites.

What is the difference between the traditional BSMT/BSMLS Program and the BSMT/BSMLS Degree Completion Program (DCP)?
Program courses in the traditional BSMT/BSMLS Program are offered on ODU campus during the day. Degree Completion courses are web-based courses for applicants who are already certified as Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs) due to completion of a formal, NAACLS accredited medical laboratory training program or applicants with an Army/Navy or Air Force Medical Laboratory Specialist Certificate (such as 68K). The BSMT/BSMLS Degree Completion Program is preferably offered to practicing laboratory professionals.

I am a Laboratory Technician. How does my previous coursework apply towards obtaining a BSMT/BSMLS?
Articulation into the BSMT/BSMLS Program is available to certified individuals who are graduates of a formal accredited medical laboratory training program. Students with previous laboratory training may complete the degree by completing courses in the traditional or Degree Completion Program. Completion of the Laboratory Technician program does not exempt the applicants from the science prerequisites. Advanced placement will be based on educational background and work experience.

How long does it take to complete the Program?
Students beginning the traditional BSMT/BSMLS Program as freshmen can complete the program in 4 years. Transfer students can complete the program in five semesters (including summer). Second-degree students can complete the program in four semesters (including summer).
BSMT/BSMLS Degree Completion Program students can complete the program in five semesters (including summer).
Total time for completion of both programs will vary depending on what prerequisites courses are needed.

Are professional Medical Laboratory Science courses taken at another institution transferable to the ODU Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science program?
Professional courses in Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science taken at another institution are considered for transfer on a case-by-case basis. Transfer decisions will depend on the number of credit hours taken, syllabus evaluation by the faculty and, the grade earned by the student. Professional courses completed in non-accredited programs and courses in which the applicant achieved less than a B will not be considered for evaluation.


About the Profession

Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Medical Technology) is a challenging and rewarding healthcare profession. Technologists work in a variety of clinical settings as laboratory scientists, specialists, educators, managers, and researchers. An essential member of the healthcare team, the Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist provides vital information about the status and function of the body and its systems.

Learn More

The data, obtained by precision instruments and electronic equipment, is utilized in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. The major responsibilities of a Medical Laboratory Scientist include sample analyses and the interpretation, evaluation, and validation of data obtained in the following clinical laboratory disciplines:

  • Chemistry - quantitative and qualitative analysis of chemical constituents of body fluids
  • Hematology - analysis of blood cells and plasma proteins for abnormalities associated with disease
  • Immunohematology - analysis of antigens and antibodies associated with the transfusion of blood components
  • Immunology/Serology - analysis of the body's immune response in relation to the diagnosis of infectious and non-infectious diseases
  • Microbiology - identification and evaluation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites associated with infectious diseases
  • Urinalysis - physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of the urine and body fluids.
  • Molecular Pathology/Diagnostics is an emerging laboratory discipline in which the application of sophisticated methodologies and techniques leads to data used in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of genetic disorders, malignancies, and infectious diseases.
  • Phlebotomy-specimen collection techniques.

Minor in Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Medical Technology)

A minor in Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Medical Technology) requires a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of MLS courses. Students may choose courses from a specific discipline or from several disciplines. Completion of the minor program does not confer eligibility for professional certification. Selection of a minor program of study is done in consultation with a Program Faculty Advisor.

Minor Programs of Study

Hematology

  • MLS 311 (Hematology)

  • MLS 312 (Hematology Lab)

  • MLS 327 (Hemostasis/Advanced Hematology)

  • MLS 337 (Hemostasis/Advanced Hematology Lab)

  • MLS/CYTO* Electives

* MLS 401 / CYTO 404 (General Pathology)

Microbiology

  • MLS 308 (Clinical Microbiology)

  • MLS 307 (Clinical Methods in Microbiology)

  • MLS 309 (Medical Microbiology)

  • MLS 319 (Medical Bacteriology Methods)

  • MLS 340/339 (Medical Parasit./Mycol./Viro.)
    or
    MLS 330/331 (Clinical Immunology/Serology)

Clinical Chemistry

  • MLS 324 (Clinical Instrumentation & Elec.)

  • MLS 325 (Clinical Instrumentation Methods)

  • MLS 351 (Clinical Biochemistry)

  • MLS 310 (Urinalysis & Body Fluids)

  • MLS 313 (Diagnostic Methods in Urinalysis)

  • MLS/CYTO* Electives

* MLS 401/ CYTO 404 (General Pathology)

Immunohematology

  • MLS 330 (Clinical Immunohematology & Serology)

  • MLS 331 (Clinical Immunohematology & Serology Lab)

  • MLS 311 (Hematology)

  • MLS 312 (Hematology Lab)

  • MLS 326 (Immunohematology)

  • MLS 336 (Immunohematology Lab)

  • MLS/CYTO Elective*

* MLS 401 / CYTO 404 (General Pathology)

General Clinical Laboratory

  • MLS 311 (Hematology)

  • MLS 312 (Hematology Lab)

  • MLS 351 (Clinical Biochemistry)

  • MLS 310 (Urinalysis & Body Fluids)

  • MLS 313 (Diagnostic Methods in Urinalysis)

  • MLS/CYTO* Electives

* MLS 401 / CYTO 404 (General Pathology


Program at-a-glance

In 1972 Old Dominion University's Medical Laboratory Science Program (formerly Medical Technology) was the first in Virginia to institute the innovative two-plus-two curriculum which provides the fundamentals of a liberal education in the first two years and professional studies in Medical Laboratory Science in the junior and senior years.

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