The Brain and Spine Institute is made up of experts in the field of neuroscience in order to bring patients the best healthcare in East Tennessee for a full range of neurological diseases and disorders.
A medical laboratory scientist (MLS), formerly known as a medical technologist (MT) or clinical laboratory scientist (CLS), functions as a medical detective, performing laboratory tests that provide physicians with information that assists them in preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases and maintaining patient wellness.
The medical laboratory scientist performs a wide variety of laboratory tests, ranging from simple dipstick urine tests to complex DNA tests that help physicians assess risk of diseases. Using test results, physicians can uncover diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, infections and many other diseases.
Medical laboratory scientists interact with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other members of the healthcare team to provide timely, accurate information so the patient can receive the correct medical treatment.
Medical laboratory scientists use sophisticated biomedical instruments and technology, microscopes, complex electronic equipment, computers, and methods requiring manual dexterity to perform tests on blood, body fluids, and tissue specimens. Clinical laboratory testing sections include clinical chemistry, hematology, Immunohematology (Blood Bank), immunology, microbiology and molecular diagnostics.
The 50-week certificate program begins the first week of January and accepts a maximum of twelve students each year. The clinical year includes intensive classroom instruction and extensive clinical laboratory experience. Students acquire intellectual skills to help them understand disease processes and gain proficiency in laboratory testing, so they can provide physicians with necessary information to diagnose and treat their patients. MLS students learn to perform laboratory tests in each clinical section, using automated and manual testing methods.
The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
The mission of the University of Tennessee Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Science program is to recruit, educate, and prepare highly competent medical laboratory scientists to serve their patients and the healthcare profession while demonstrating high ethical and moral standards and the utmost in technical competence.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Science program is committed to improving the quality of life of those we serve by being one of the leading programs in the state, with recognition of graduates for leadership, compassion and clinical expertise.
The philosophy of the University of Tennessee Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Science program is that medical laboratory scientists, as essential members of the health care team, provide a valuable diagnostic service to physicians. We believe that the patient is an individual member of society with rights and privileges, worthy of respect regardless of sex, race, creed, national origin or socioeconomic status.
The goals of the University of Tennessee Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Science program are to
It is only through clinical experience, with gradual reduction of supervision, that students develop the ability to organize work, make judgments and evaluations, handle problems and embrace professional responsibility. It is the obligation of the student to attain and maintain the expected competency in all areas pertinent to medical laboratory science.
There are two paths to admission into the UT Medical Center MLS / CLS program.
Students must complete all required preparatory coursework with a grade of "C" (not "C-") or higher prior to beginning the MLS program.
Admission into the program is competitive. Meeting the minimum criteria or being admitted into the University of Tennessee does not guarantee admission into the program.
To be considered for admission into the program beginning in January, all application materials, along with a $25 nonrefundable application fee, must be received in the UT Medical Center CLS Program Office by May 15 of the previous year. Applicants meeting the admission requirements will be invited to interview with the Admissions Committee. All interviews are completed by June 30. Students are notified of their admission status by July 15.
University of Tennessee 3+1 students must complete all prerequisite requirements as specified by the university. In addition, they must fulfill all UT graduation requirements to qualify for a B.S. degree upon completion of the CLS certificate program at UT Medical Center.
4 + 1 students are eligible to apply if they have completed or will have completed a B.A. or B.S. in a biological, chemical, or physical science before the program begins, and meet all academic prerequisite requirements of the program.
Click here for the program application packet, including a checklist and all forms.
Following the May 15 application deadline, the Admissions Committee reviews all applications. The program director schedules all qualified applicants for interviews with the committee. The Admissions Committee considers the following criteria when reviewing applications and selecting the class:
Acceptance letters are sent by July 15. Each student accepted into the program must accept or decline the offered position in writing by July 31, accompanied by a nonrefundable $250 admissions fee to secure his or her position in the program. Application eligibility does not guarantee acceptance.
Students experience individualized instruction in the clinical laboratory at UT Medical Center. The state-of-the art laboratory, managed by Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), is the largest clinical laboratory in the East Tennessee region. With an extensive test menu, the laboratory reports an average of two million billable laboratory tests every year to help diagnose and treat patients in a seventeen-county region in East Tennessee. Students work one-on-one with experienced instructors in the clinical laboratory to gain valuable knowledge and experience performing a wide variety of tests. For more information about LabCorp, click here.
The MLS program employs a full-time program director and one part-time instructor. In addition, highly-skilled medical laboratory scientists, laboratory supervisors and managers instruct students in the classroom and clinical laboratory, providing them with an exceptional level of personalized instruction and clinical expertise. For a list of the faculty, click here.
Students who complete the UT Medical Center certificate program have the knowledge and clinical experience to become medical laboratory scientists. Upon receipt of their certificate, students are eligible to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology national board examination to become board-certified as medical laboratory scientists. After successful completion of the state-recognized national certification exam and completion of all State of Tennessee application materials, the graduate can receive a license from State of Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board through its Department of Public Health.
Granting of the B.S degree or CLS / MLS Certificate of Completion is not contingent upon successful completion of the national board examination.
Medical laboratory scientists are currently in demand across the nation. Graduates of the medical laboratory science program at UT Medical Center will find career opportunities in medical centers, independent laboratories hospitals, regional blood centers, research laboratories, blood centers, state and national government laboratories, and university programs. Faster-than-average job growth is expected as current medical laboratory scientists retire and as the population ages, increasing the need for skilled laboratory scientists. For job descriptions, earnings data, and the job outlook for medical laboratory scientists, go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The program has an exceptional job placement rate. Since 2007, the UT Medical Center Medical Laboratory Science Program boasts a 100% job placement rate within three months of completion of the program.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the following sources:
LeeAnne Briggs, MPH,MLS(ASCP)
Program Director, CLS Program
University of Tennessee Medical Center
1924 Alcoa Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920
Mary Anne Hoskins, MS
Arts and Science Advising Services
313 Ayres Hall
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37998-1325
Dr. Jeff Becker, PhD
Head, Microbiology Department
Walters Life Science Building, F339
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0845
American Society of Clinical Pathologists
P.O. Box 4872
Chicago, IL 60880
5600 N. River Road
Rosemont IL 60018