Statistics have changed little for UMass Dartmouth’s Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major over the last several years, and that’s the best possible news for this successful program.
When including recently released data for the Class of 2021, MLS graduates have achieved 100% graduation and employment rates for at least 20 years, according to MLS faculty. A bonus to those perfect scores is a 100% national certification exam pass rate for this class while the national pass rate was 69%. UMassD MLS graduates have regularly exceeded the national exam pass rate.
"All of us in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science are extremely proud of our students for working so hard to be successful, especially when their education was disrupted for almost two years by the pandemic,” said Department Chair and Professor Frank Scarano. “In addition to the longstanding 100% graduation and employment rates for our graduates, we are thrilled with the 100% pass rate on the national certification exam. This is evidence of our excellent faculty, program, the dedication of our students, and how well we prepare them for the certification exam and their future careers."
Considered a human-based life science program, the Medical Laboratory Science major at UMass Dartmouth is one of the largest in the nation and is a university-based integrated clinical medical laboratory science program. Students attend on-campus classes for 3.5 years and complete a one-semester clinical laboratory rotation at an affiliated hospital during their senior year.
Students learn to analyze blood, body fluids, cells, tissues, and other specimens to determine both the causes of diseases and their appropriate treatments. At UMass Dartmouth, MLS majors learn to use state-of-the art equipment, which prepares them for their practicum and their future careers.
“We are thrilled with the most recent outcomes report for our Medical Laboratory Science graduates, which proves what we have always known," said College of Nursing & Health Sciences Dean Kimberly Christopher. "Our rigorous program and our dedicated faculty prepare our students extremely well for national certification and employment. Within six months of graduation, 100% of our alumni begin their careers in excellent positions or are enrolled in graduate school. Many of our graduates have multiple job offers before graduation. These are some of the best indicators of the strength of our program.”
As “medical detectives,” medical laboratory scientists strive to solve medical mysteries and answer medical questions
Medical laboratory scientists are essential members of the healthcare team who play a central role in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of disease with minimal direct patient interaction. As they perform and interpret laboratory testing, more than 70% of all medical decisions are based on data that medical laboratory scientists provide to the healthcare team.
The major prepares students for a range of life sciences careers in health care and medicine as well as graduate study. Graduates are qualified for careers in clinical laboratories, hospitals, physicians' offices, and health departments as well as positions in research, medicine, management, industry, education, and public health.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a current shortage of medical lab scientists and technicians in many parts of the country guarantees ample employment opportunities and sometimes higher salaries for graduates. With the volume of laboratory tests continuing to increase, due to both population growth and the development of new tests, job opportunities are expected to grow faster than average with more than 24,000 new positions available by 2029.
Medical laboratory science alumni are also well qualified for professional and graduate studies in specialty areas of microbiology, hematology, immunohematology, and clinical chemistry. The program helps prepare students for a variety of graduate and professional programs. UMassD MLS graduates have gone on to medical, optometry, chiropractic, podiatry, dental, and physician assistant schools.
UMass Dartmouth’s program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, which makes our students eligible for national certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Data for MLS graduates is always released one year after graduation. Outcomes for the Class of 2022 will be available next spring.