Admission Requirements

Candidates considered for admission must have: 

  • High school diploma (or equivalent) 
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
    Eligibility to receive the bachelor’s degree from one of the program’s academic affiliated schools upon successful completion of the clinical year in the Medical Laboratory Scientist program
  • A minimum of three years (90 semester or 136 quarter hours) of college credits. The three-year applicant must submit verification that all academic requirements for graduation have been met at an accredited college or university.

After successful completion of the clinical year, the student will receive a certificate of completion from Vanderbilt University Medical Center Programs in Allied Health.  3+1 students from an accredited affiliate school will be also awarded a baccalaureate degree from the accredited college or university. 

The content of courses must be applicable towards a major in that area or in medical laboratory science. Survey courses or courses designated for non-science majors are not accepted towards the requirements. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the beginning of the MLS program in order to be considered. Out of the 90 total semester hours (136 quarter hours) required for acceptance into the program, a minimum number of classes and hours is required in the following concentrations:

  • A minimum of 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours of Chemistry
  1. Required: Organic or Biochemistry
  2. Recommended: Quantitative Analytical Chemistry, Clinical Instrumentation
  • A minimum of 16 semester or 24 quarter hours of Biological Sciences
  1. Required: Microbiology, Immunology (these are separate courses)
  2. Recommended: Genetics, Anatomy & Physiology
  • A minimum of 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hour of College Mathematics (at College Algebra level or higher)
  1. Recommended: Statistics, Physics, and Computer courses
  • A minimum overall and science academic average of 2.5 (4.0 scale) The overall GPA of 2.5 includes all coursework taken; the science GPA of 2.5 includes biology and chemistry.​
  • Individuals who meet the minimum requirements but have coursework seven years or more prior to application are requested to update their coursework in Immunology. Other areas suggested for updating include Microbiology, Genetics and Organic and or Biochemistry

Essential Functions Standards

Essential Functions

Students must possess, and maintain throughout their time in the program, the ability to perform and interpret routine laboratory procedures. The actions required to do so include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical capability and manual dexterity required to perform laboratory procedures, including repetitive hand motions, such as pipetting and typing, and lifting of materials up to 25 pounds
  • Differentiation of colors and images for interpretation of colorimetric reactions and cellular morphology
  • Effective communication through written and verbal language with instructors, classmates, medical laboratory personnel, patients, physicians, and other health care professionals
  • Utilize critical thinking and deductive reasoning through application of previously-learned information and assimilation of new information
  • Perform tasks without outside guidance or assistance within given time constraints and within changing environments

If a student is unable to perform any function during the program without assistance or accommodations, s/he must self-identify the issue to the program director in writing. Once the student has identified the issue, the program director will work with the student, the Center for Programs in Allied Health, and other necessary parties to provide reasonable accommodations for the student.

Students who are admitted into the Medical Laboratory Science program must submit a record of medical history and complete physical evaluation to be conducted by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner. The medical history and physical evaluation form will be sent to admitted students prior to the start of the program. 

Health Insurance and Immunizations

Students must provide the following documentation upon acceptance into the program:

  • Verification of health insurance coverage (ALL Allied Health Students are required to be covered by health insurance during their training. Students should seek private healthcare insurance options, or enroll via the government healthcare exchanges.)
  • Health Records and Immunizations
    • Provide written documentation of two tuberculin skin test results during the 12 months prior to beginning practice, one of which needs to be within the past 3 months. If previous tuberculin skin test result is positive, documentation of a chest x-ray within the past 6 months is needed. Thereafter, if working in a department or job in a patient care area, a tuberculin skin test is required annually for all negative reactors.
    • Provide proof of varicella (chickenpox) immunity via a blood test or documentation of two doses of Varicella vaccine
    • Provide proof of one immunization for rubella (MMR) given after the first birthday or immunity via a blood test*
    • Anyone born in 1957 or later needs two immunizations for measles, like the MMR (and they need to be at least one month apart, given after your first birthday). (Persons born before this date are considered immune to measles)**
    • If born on or after January 1, 1957, provide proof of one immunization for mumps (MMR) given after the first birthday or immunity via a blood test. (Persons born before this date are considered immune to mumps)*
    • The hepatitis B vaccine is strongly encouraged for those who may be exposed to blood, body fluid, or human tissue. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)- mandated educational materials can be provided. Employees (Students) who choose to decline this vaccination must sign a statement to that effect.
    • All employees (students) in the Children's Hospital (including MCJCHV clinics), Women's Health, and Emergency (including LifeFlight) are required to have documentation of one booster dose of pertussis vaccine in the form of Tdap. Routine adult Td boosters and the childhood DTP/DTaP vaccines do not satisfy this requirement.**
    • Provide written documentation of an annual influenza vaccination (flu shot). This may be obtained at VUMC during the annual Flulapalooza event.
  • Verification of completion of all course work excluding the clinical year required for the baccalaureate degree.