Frequently Asked Questions

What is a medical laboratory scientist?
Medical Laboratory Scientists highly educated laboratory scientists who perform tests on blood, body fluids and tissues which aid the physician in the diagnosis,management, and treatment of disease.  Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLSs) interpret data, analyze results, develop and evaluate new test procedures, manage information, and communicate with other members of the health care team.  Approximately 85% of medical decisions are based upon the test results generated by the clinical laboratory.

Are there jobs available for medical laboratory scientists?
Yes.  In fact there is a nationwide shortage of medical laboratory scientists.  Most of our students have multiple job offers before they graduate.

What kind of salaries can graduates from the medical laboratory science program earn?
In the Little Rock area, recent graduates are currently earning from $48,000 to $52,000 per year.  Higher salaries are available for working evening shifts, night shifts or weekends.  Salaries do vary depending on the geographic location.  Experienced supervisor and laboratory manager positions average from $60,000-$90,000 and over.

What is the scope of testing I will learn about in the medical laboratory science program?
The Program focuses on the major areas of clinical laboratory testing which include:

  • Clinical Chemistry (testing and measurement of chemical analytes)
  • Hematology (examination and enumeration of blood cells)
  • Urinalysis (detection of chemical components and elements in urine)
  • Microbiology (culture, staining, and biochemical identification of microorganisms)
  • Immunohematology (typing and crossmatching of patient and donor blood)
  • Immunology (detection of antibodies and unique proteins)
  • Newer areas of testing including Flow Cytometry and Molecular Diagnostics


Are medical laboratory scientists limited to working in a hospital laboratory setting?
  Because of the medical laboratory scientists comprehensive course work, extensive training and problem-solving skills, many choices for practice are available including hospital, clinic, public health, research, and private laboratories; companies manufacturing laboratory analysis systems, supplies, equipment or media; state or national crime labs; physician office laboratories; fertility laboratories; and biotechnology, food, and cosmetic industries.  A Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science also provides a strong foundation if a student should decide to pursue a career in medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, or other advanced degree.

Do medical laboratory scientists take a state or national licensing examination?
Arkansas clinical laboratory personnel are currently not required to be state or nationally licensed; however, most hospitals do require employees to be certified by passing a nationally administered exam.

Where can I find out more about medical laboratory science as a career?
More information is available at the following sites:

What if I have a question about the profession of medical laboratory science?
Contact the department by email or by phone for more information, and we will gladly answer your questions and send you a packet of information.

  • Phone:  501-686-5776
  • Toll free: 1-800-981-4427

How many students are in each class?

Can out of state students apply and be accepted?

When can I come for a tour of the campus?
A general tour of the UAMS Campus can be arranged with the Student Recruiter by calling the Welcome Center at 501-686-5730.

Can I work while completing the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program?
We recommend that students not work if at all possible, but if they must work, limit the number of hours worked per week to not more than 8 to 10 hours.

What hours will be in attendance at school while enrolled in the Medical Laboratory Sciences program?
We advise students that the schedule may be 8:00 to 4:00 Monday thru Thursdays.  And we also schedule an occasional Friday.

What is the deadline for admission applications?
May 15

When do classes begin?
Students are admitted once a year for the fall semester, and classes begin in August.

Is it “hard” to get accepted into the program?
Admission to the program is competitive with the advantage going to those students with higher cumulative and prerequisite GPAs.

Should I send a college transcript for all college coursework?
Yes, it is a requirement for admission.

Is financial aid available?
Yes. Interested individuals may contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (telephone 501-686-5451) for information concerning available grants, loans and scholarships.

Do I have to have every prerequisite course completed before I can apply for admission?
Please visit the Prerequisite Courses page to review requirements.

What courses are recommended as electives?
Consult the program at 501-686-5776.

If I am past the traditional college age, am I too old to enter laboratory medicine?
Certainly not. Student ages in the program range from 20 to 50.

At my internship site, will I just be another “working tech” or will I be in a learning environment?
UAMS Medical Laboratory students will not be substituted for routine laboratory testing personnel during clinical practicum courses.  No clinical education sites should be dependent upon students to complete daily workloads.  Students should not be assigned clinical education activities outside regular week day shifts unless that is the only time the work is performed by the affiliate personnel.   Work at times other than that listed on clinical rotation schedule is non-compulsory.

What advising and guidance opportunities are available to students?
Each student has ample opportunities for advising and guidance.  Please see this document