Medical Laboratory Science Program

Medical Laboratory Science Program Student Brochure

Medical Laboratory Science Program Student Handbook

The Austin State Hospital Program in Medical Laboratory Science is an integral part of Regional Clinical Laboratory at Austin State Hospital (RCLA) which is a Department of State Health Services (DSHS) facility. DSHS, an agency of the Texas Health and Human Services System, provides programs that help protect all Texans from illness, prevent the spread of disease, provide direct health services and promote emergency preparedness. RCLA is located in building 635 on the Austin State Hospital campus and is directed by a consulting pathologist who is Board Certified in Clinical and Anatomical Pathology.

The Medical Laboratory Science Program is designed for the instruction of students in both academic and practical phases of laboratory medicine. Graduates are eligible to take the MLS Board of Certification examination given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). 

Austin State Hospital Program Outcomes

As a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), the Austin State Hospital Medical Laboratory Science Program must make outcome measures for the past three years available to prospective and enrolled students. The outcome measures defined by NAACLS include: ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) Exam pass rates, graduation rates and graduate placement rates for students entering the final half of the MLS Program. 

 Year NAACLS Requirement 2014  2015 2016 Three Year Average
 Completion Rate    70%  100%  100% 100% 100%
 Placement Rate  70% 100%  100% 100% 100%
 BOC Pass Rate  75% 100% 100% 100% 100%
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Students enrolled in the program spend approximately eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, in clinical and didactic instruction. Supplemental training occurs at our affiliates, Brackenridge Hospital, Clinical Pathology Laboratory and DSHS Laboratory Services section (formerly Texas Department of Health). Clinical instruction includes training under direct supervision of Medical Laboratory Scientists as well as daily group lectures given by supervisory instructors in their specialty areas.

Students rotate on an individual basis through five major areas of study. These departments and the approximate times are as follows:

• Clinical Chemistry - 13 weeks (includes general chemistry, toxicology and special chemistry)
• Microbiology - 12 weeks (includes bacteriology, mycology, and parasitology)
• Hematology, Coagulation and Phlebotomy - 11 weeks
• Blood Bank Immunology - 7 weeks
• Serology/Molecular Diagnostics - 3 weeks
• Urinalysis - 3 weeks


Under the direction of the Medical Director and Program Director, a staff of thirteen certified Medical Laboratory Scientists are actively involved in the supervision and training of the students.


Practical examinations are given in each department and periodic written examinations are given over the laboratory training and the lecture series. 


The Medical Laboratory Science Program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Regional Clinical Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

Contact information for NAACLS is:
5600 N. River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
Telephone: 773-714-8880

Financial Information

Students are required to purchase approximately $450 worth of books. A nominal tuition of $300 is charged. Students are required to purchase personal liability insurance - approximate cost $25.00. Currently students receive a monthly stipend. Students should arrange for housing before reporting for training. Apartments or rooms are generally available in neighboring areas.


Students are classified by the State of Texas as Professional Trainees and are eligible, after two months in the program, for the state of Texas group health insurance. Students are allowed to take major state holidays and have limited vacation and sick leave available.

Rules And Regulations

Failure to maintain a grade average of 75 or above in each department may result in dismissal from the school. Violation of the school's honor system, misconduct, or any abuse or violation of state regulations will be grounds for dismissal. ASH is a drug and smoke free facility. 

Admission Requirements

General academic requirements for admission are those specified by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Students with a Bachelor's degree and all required courses will be given equal consideration with undergraduates who meet all requirements.

Minimal Prerequisites:
Baccalaureate Degree Program: Completion of all prerequisite academic courses (90-100 semester hours), as outlined in the Medical Laboratory Science degree program at each respective university. Check with the registrar of your school for exact degree requirements and school affiliations. Students from an affiliated university will receive 30 semester credit hours upon completion of the program.


Baccalaureate Degree in related science with a minimum of 16 semester hours of biological sciences (including courses in immunology, anatomy, physiology, genetics, molecular biology and microbiology), 16 semester hours of chemistry (including organic/biochemistry), and one semester of statistics. Other course work can be substituted for required courses if deemed equivalent by the University or Program Director.


Foreign Baccalaureate Degree: Must submit a transcript evaluation verifying U.S. baccalaureate degree equivalency. This evaluation must accompany the application form and will be required to determine the applicant's initial eligibility. The evaluations may be obtained from one of the evaluation agencies listed on the insert.

Applicants should be:
• in good health and highly motivated
• fluent in written and spoken English
• able to discriminate between colors
• possess manual dexterity
• possess good near vision

Essential Functions for Medical Laboratory Sciences

Application Procedures

Applications should be filed nine to twelve months before training is to begin. Deadline for applications is December 1st of each year. An Admissions Committee considers each application after the following requirements are met:

1.) Completed application form
2.) An official College Transcript
3.) Certification of degree status from the Registrar or faculty advisor
4.) A minimum of two letters of recommendation from curriculum advisors, instructors or former employers
Austin State Hospital MLS Program Application

Completed applications are reviewed by the admissions committee after the deadline and personal interviews are scheduled for the best qualified applicants. Final selections are made shortly thereafter. 

Factors taken into consideration in selecting applicants for admission include grade point averages, references supplied, and the personal interview. Special academic honors or experience working in a laboratory are also considered.

Four students are admitted each year with a starting date of September 1.

Further information can be obtained by writing: 

Medical Laboratory Science Program Director
Austin State Hospital Laboratory
4110 Guadalupe
Austin, Texas 78751


Last updated November 14, 2017