Medical Laboratory Science Certificate

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The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) certificate program at Radford University Carilion prepares students for a variety of career opportunities in medical, research, veterinary, and reference laboratories. Students enjoy a mix of classroom, laboratory, clinical, and field experiences.

Each year, billions of laboratory tests are ordered in the United States and medical laboratory scientists perform and interpret tests, make recommendations for appropriate treatment and deliver quality data to ensure the best patient care.  Medical laboratory scientists are responsible for operation and maintenance of state-of-the-art equipment; assuring quality and delivery of accurate test results and fulfilling a critical role in high-quality patient care.

This one-year program is designed for applicants who have previously completed a baccalaureate degree in a related science and want to further their education or change careers, but do not have enough transfer credits to complete a second baccalaureate degree in Medical Laboratory Science.  Applicants interested in this career field should contact the Radford University Carilion Admissions Office or the Medical Laboratory Science Program Director for more information.

Program Overview

Students in the MLS certificate program experience a blend of traditional lecture courses, laboratory classes and clinical rotations to prepare them for employment in the medical laboratory field. While engaged in clinical rotations, students will be supervised by certified laboratory professionals and will achieve entry-level competency across each facet of the clinical laboratory. Clinical sites currently under contract are listed here.

Successful graduates will:

  • Master the foundational principles of clinical laboratory science and testing, including the pathological indications for performing specific laboratory tests
  • Understand system planning, including quality control and method validation
  • Assess a wide range of patient laboratory values and determine when values are abnormal or potentially erroneous
  • Interpret and understand new protocols, technologies, and advances in the field of medical laboratory science specifically and medical science generally

Why choose this certificate program?

  • The program has agreements with several accredited laboratories where you will complete your clinical rotations: Quest Diagnostics (located in Carilion Clinic facilities), HCA LewisGale Medical Center (Salem, VA) , HCA LewisGale Montgomery (Blacksburg, VA), Sovah Health Martinsville, Sovah Health Danville, Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Twin County Regional Healthcare, Centra Health, and Sentara Healthcare. You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and national leaders in all areas of healthcare practice and administration. You’ll do real patient work with 700 clinical hours in small groups with certified preceptors.
  • Flexibility and stability in the workforce- MLS certificate graduates are competent in all the disciplines within medical laboratory science, giving them greater flexibility in the workforce. In addition, MLS graduates are required to achieve competency in phlebotomy, a valuable skill that is not incorporated in all MLS curricula.

Program Outcomes

  • Placement rates:
    - 2020: 100%
    - 2021: 100%
    - 2022: 100%
    - Since 2010, our placement rate has remained at 100%
  • Graduation rates:
    - 2020: 100%
    - 2021: 93%
    - 2022: 100%

    External certification exam pass rates:
    - 2020: 77%
    - 2021: 84%
    - 2022: 76%

            Career Path

            After completion of the MLS certificate program, you will have the opportunity to begin your career in a wide range of healthcare settings, including: 

            • Hospitals (inpatient and outpatient)
            • Physician offices
            • Research laboratories
            • Employment services
            • Laboratory information systems
            • Sales and marketing
            • Government agencies
            • Outpatient care centers
            • Test development facilities
            • Educational institutions
            • Equipment testing, maintenance, and development
            • Public health

            MLS certificate program graduates have a 100% job placement rate, and there are growing opportunities for medical laboratory science graduates nationally. It is estimated that the medical laboratory science field will need more than 50,000 new laboratorians by 2024.  MLS faculty mentor students to help them identify the employment setting best suited for them and actively assist students with job searches and interview preparation.

            Admissions Requirements

            This program is designed for students entering directly from high school (see admissions requirements here) or for students transferring from another college or university (see admissions requirements here).  
            Our plan of study can be found here.

            This is a baccalaureate degree program and you will receive a Bachelor of Science degree upon successful completion of the program.  Our clinical cohort curriculum is completed as the senior year for students in the traditional four-year degree.

            If you have already completed a baccalaureate degree in a related science from an accredited institution and wish to join our clinical cohort, please apply for the Bachelor of Science degree as a transfer student.  Pre-requisite coursework must include Microbiology with lab, Immunology, and Organic Chemistry I with laboratory.


            The Medical Laboratory Science program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119.  Our last award in spring 2022 was probationary accreditation.  We are happy to report that since spring 2022 we have hired one full-time faculty member and two adjunct faculty members.  We have also added two clinical sites for rotations.  We look forward to receiving your application to join our program and profession!