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Laboratory Medicine

Department Overview

NW 120, UW Medical Center

Medical laboratory science, offered by the Department of Laboratory Medicine, is a profession of highly knowledgeable and skilled individuals who perform clinical laboratory tests on patient samples. This is a critical part of healthcare, as the results obtained by these laboratory tests are a vital tool for physicians in their diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
NW 120, UW Medical Center
(206) 598-6131
medtech@uw.edu

The Department of Laboratory Medicine offers the following program of study:

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree

Bachelor of Science

  1. Pre-professional Phase. During the first two years, students enroll as pre-majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, satisfying general education requirements as well as completing prerequisite courses.
  2. Professional Phase. The professional phase begins autumn quarter of the third year and continues for seven consecutive quarters at the UW School of Medicine. Courses in the first year of the professional phase provide students an appropriate theoretical background and basic technical skills that enable them to function effectively in the clinical laboratory.

The final year is offered in the clinical laboratories of the UW Medical Center and its principal affiliates. Students in the core clinical laboratories receive on-the-bench training in chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, and microbiology.

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Work: Completion of University writing, reasoning, and general education requirements. Electives, not required for admission or graduation, may include: CHEM 321, MICROM 301, GENOME 351, GENOME 371, B STR 301, PHIL 115, PHIL 241, CLAS 101, CLAS 205, PATH 410, UCONJ 420. Begin taking admission requirements, shown below.

Department Admission Requirements

  1. BIOL 118, BIOL 180, BIOL 200, BIOL 220; CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162; CHEM 223, CHEM 224 (or CHEM 237, CHEM 238, CHEM 239); one of STAT 220, STAT 221/SOC 221/CS&SS 221, STAT 311, or Q SCI 381.
  2. Complete all general education requirements including 10 credits of Individuals & Societies, and 10 credits of Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts, as well as all required English and writing courses.
  3. Students admitted to the medical laboratory science program must be exempt from or have successfully completed any required English as a Second Language (ESL) courses no later than August 31 of the application year or admission is cancelled.

Application Procedure: See program adviser for application form. Application deadline is February 15, to begin the following autumn quarter.

Major requirements

152-155 credits as follows:

  1. Courses Required for Admission (48-51 credits): See list above.
  2. Didactic Courses (59 credits): IMMUN 441, MICROM 442, MICROM 443, MICROM 444, MICROM 445; LAB M 418, LAB M 419, LAB M 420, LAB M 421, LAB M 426, LAB M 428, LAB M 429, LAB M 430, LAB M 434, LAB M 435
  3. Clinical Rotations (50credits): LAB M 423, LAB M 424, LAB M 425, LAB M 431, LAB M 432, LAB M 433
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in all didactic and clinical rotation courses
  5. Minimum 2.00 GPA, both cumulative and in required courses

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Graduates of the medical laboratory science program are expected to have in-depth knowledge of the relationships between laboratory data and pathologic processes, and how laboratory data relate to clinical medicine. They have experience with the performance and quality control of routine and specialized medical laboratory testing procedures and an understanding of the theoretical basis of these procedures. In addition, they have experience trouble-shooting and resolving typical problems in the clinical laboratory and are familiar with laboratory quality assurance, safety, governmental regulations, information systems, management, research design and practice, educational methodology, continuing education, communication, ethics, professionalism, and concepts and principles of laboratory operations.

    Successful medical laboratory scientists enjoy studying the biological, chemical, and physical sciences and find personal satisfaction and intellectual reward in applying scientific methods in the diagnosis and evaluation of disease. A medical laboratory scientist may practice as a generalist, using knowledge in several of the scientific areas, or may specialize in one scientific area in larger hospitals. Medical laboratory scientists may work in a variety of settings, including clinical laboratories in large medical centers, hospitals, and clinics. Others carry out research in industrial, public health, and medical laboratories, or teach in hospitals, colleges, and universities.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The major training sites are the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. Affiliate hospitals include Seattle Children's hospital, Labcorp Dynacare, Group Health Cooperative, MultiCare Health System, Northwest Hospital, Providence Everett Medical Center, Providence St. Peter Hospital, Veterans' Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, and Highline Medical Center. The Puget Sound Blood Center is also affiliated with the University of Washington. These laboratories support patient care, and provide training and research in the major clinical divisions of chemistry, hematology, immunohematology (blood banking), and microbiology, including multiple subspecialties in these divisions. In addition, students can either receive training in a variety of clinical laboratory rotations designed to enrich their core clinical experiences or participate in research in collaborative projects supervised by faculty members in the Department of Laboratory Medicine. Enrichment rotations include subspecialty sections in chemistry, hematology, and/or microbiology; molecular diagnostics laboratories; and laboratories where multi-tasking skills are utilized.
  • Honors Options Available: For Interdisciplinary Honors, see University Honors Program.
  • Internship Opportunities: One or two internships per year in Japan available to graduates of the medical technology program.
  • Department Scholarships: Several offered.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: None currently active.

Of Special Note: The medical laboratory science program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119, (847) 939-3597, (773) 714-8880, (773) 714-8886 (fax), info@naacls.org, www.naacls.org. Graduates are eligible for certification by the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and by the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel, Inc.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
NW 120, Box 357110
(206) 598-2148
hschil@uw.edu

The Department of Laboratory Medicine offers a Master of Science in Laboratory Medicine and prepares the graduate for advanced technical and supervisory positions in the clinical and research laboratories as well as in pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries.

The curriculum is flexible, usually two years for full-time students, and up to six years for part-time students. Students select one of five pathways and work with a mentor on a thesis project. In addition to the 25 credits of required courses, they take courses related to their area of study. The target population is medical technology (MT/MLS) graduates with ASCP certification.

The Department of Laboratory Medicine also offers a combined undergraduate/graduate program (CUG). Students may enter this CUG either as undergraduates or college graduate/postbaccalaureate students. To be admitted to the CUG program, the student must first be accepted into the undergraduate program shown above. Undergraduates or college graduate/postbaccalaureate students may apply simultaneously to the CUG program, or delay application until graduation. Once accepted into the CUG, the student completes the undergraduate program, then immediately enrolls in the Graduate School. Students receive a BS in Medical Laboratory Science at the completion of their undergraduate studies and an MS in Laboratory Medicine at the completion of their graduate studies.

Admission Requirements

The program accepts mostly ASCP certified medical laboratory scientists (MLS/MT). For medical laboratory scientists (MLS/MT), MLT (medical laboratory technician), students from a four-year program, or laboratorians with significant experience in a clinical laboratory, admission requirements include:

  1. Minimum 3.00 GPA in the last 90 graded quarter credits or the last 60 graded semester credits
  2. Certification as a medical laboratory scientist (MLS/MT) or equivalent, or as a medical laboratory technician (MLT) or equivalent, or as a specialist in a clinical laboratory field
  3. Completion if the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test within the last five years
  4. Foreign students must have a satisfactory command of the English language. Results of the TOEFL, MLT, or IELTS must be submitted to the Graduate School. These scores are good for only two years.
  5. A 200-300 word statement about educational and professional objectives and reasons for taking the master of science program
  6. Three letters of recommendation
  7. A personal interview

For students with an undergraduate degree in a scientific field such as chemistry, microbiology, or biology, without ASCP certification, the program is highly competitive. Admission requirements include:

  1. Outstanding academic achievements, including a minimum 3.20 GPA in the last 90 graded quarter credits or the last 60 graded semester credits.
  2. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test within the last five years, with excellent scores.
  3. Foreign students must have an excellent command of the English language. Results of the TOEFL or IELTS must be submitted to the Graduate School. Scores are good for only two years.
  4. A 200-300 word statement about educational and professional objectives and reasons for taking the master of science program
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Personal interviews with department faculty

Application deadline is February 15 to begin the following autumn quarter. Application forms and procedures for admission to the Graduate School are available at www.grad.washington.edu/.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 36 credits, of which nine are thesis credits. Full-time medical laboratory scientists typically complete the program in two years. Students select one of five pathways, as follows:

  1. Chemistry/Immunology
    1. Required: BIOST 511, LAB M 502, LAB M 510, LAB M 520, LAB M 601, LAB M 700
    2. Recommended: MICRO 441
    3. Electives relevant to thesis, chosen with advice from mentor: BIOC 426, BIOC 440, BIOC 441, BIOC 442, BIOC 540, BIOC 541, BIOC 542, BIOST 512, BIOST 513, CHEM 428, CHEM 429, CHEM 436, CONJ 546, IMMUN 532, IMMUN 533 IMMUN 534, IMMUN 535, PATH 500, PATH 502, PATH 513, PATH 515, PATH 516, PATH 517, P BIO 505, P BIO 506, P BIO 507, PHCOL 401, PHCOL 402
  2. Hematology/Coagulation
    1. Required: BIOC 440, BIOC 441, BIOC 442, BIOST 511, LAB M 502, LAB M 510, LAB M 520, LAB M 601, LAB M 700
    2. Recommended: PATH 516
    3. Elective relevant to thesis chosen with advice from mentor: BIOST 512, BIOST 513, CHEM 428, CHEM 429, CONJ 546, GENOME 465, IMMUN 441, IMMUN 532, P BIO 506, PATH 500, PATH 512, PATH 514, PATH 515, PATH 516, PATH 522, PATH 560 (*, max. 10).
  3. Microbiology/Virology
    1. Required: BIOST 511, LAB M 502, LAB M 510, LAB M 520, LAB M 601, LAB M 700
    2. Recommended: IMMUN 441, MICRO 442, MICRO 444, MICRO 445, MICRO 555 (2.5)
    3. Electives relevant to thesis chosen with advice from mentor: BIOC 440, BIOC 441, BIOC 442, BIOC 541, BIOST 512, BIOST 513, CHEM 428, CHEM 429, CONJ 547, CONJ 550, EPI 503, EPI 507, EPI 510, EPI 511 (3-4), EPI 512, IMMUN 533, MICROM 411, MICROM 431, MICROM 450, MICROM 529 , MICROM 530, MICROM 531, MICROM 553, P BIO 505, P BIO 506, PATH 512, PATH 513, PATH 515, PATH 516
  4. Molecular Diagnostics/Genetics
    1. Required: BIOST 511, LAB M 502, LAB M 510, LAB M 520, LAB M 601, LAB M 700
    2. Recommended: BIOC 440 or equivalent, BIOC 441 or equivalent, BIOC 442 or equivalent, GENOME 465
    3. Electives relevant to thesis chosen with advice from mentor: BIOST 512, BIOST 513, BIOST 516, CHEM 428, CHEM 429, CONJ 546, EPI 516, EPI 517, GENOME 411, GENOME 466, GENOME 531, IMMUN 441, IMMUN 532, IMMUN 536, MICROM 450, MICROM 530, P BIO 505, P BIO 506
  5. Management/Medical Informatics
    1. Required: BIOST 511, LAB M 502, LAB M 510, LAB M 520, LAB M 601, LAB M 700
    2. Electives relevant to thesis chosen with advice from mentor
      1. Business Administration: B A 470, B A 472
      2. Business Communications: B CMU 510
      3. Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior (HRMOB): HRMOB 410, HRMOB 450, HRMOB 470 MGMT 403, MGMT 404