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Concentration Options

Learn about the concentration study options for bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science at KU.

Two Concentrations

You can choose to complete the clinical concentration, the molecular diagnostics concentration or both. The two concentrations offer numerous job options in health care and industry.

The medical laboratory scientist certification, MLS(ASCP), is required by most hospitals to work in a clinical laboratory. Those with the diagnostic molecular scientist certification, MB(ASCP), are highly sought after for molecular-based positions.

One or Both Concentrations?

Students in both concentrations take the same courses for the first three semesters of the program. During the final semester, students enroll in courses directly related to either the molecular biotechnology concentration or the clinical concentration.

Students opting to complete both concentrations will take the molecular biotechnology courses first (in the final spring semester) followed by the clinical concentration during the summer and fall semesters. Graduation is delayed until December for those students completing both options because it requires an additional 16 weeks to complete the clinical courses.

A second bachelor's degree is NOT awarded to the student, but the courses taken do appear on the official KU transcript. Students completing both concentrations can sit for both certification exams to earn the MB(ASCP) and MLS(ASCP) credentials.

Clinical Concentration

The clinical concentration (PDF) is designed for students interested in working in a hospital clinical laboratory in areas such as hematology, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology and immunohematology (blood bank). Certification as an MLS(ASCP) is required for most positions in these areas with eligibility for this examination received upon graduation from KU.

This is our NAACLS-accredited medical laboratory scientist program.

Graduates holding the MLS(ASCP) certification have many options for work environments such as hospital, public health or reference laboratories.

The clinical concentration students spend their final semester at an affiliated clinical laboratory. They are able to apply the knowledge acquired at KU in a real-world setting. Students work directly with practicing medical laboratory scientists to gain on-the-job experience prior to entering the job market.

Molecular Biotechnology Concentration

The molecular biotechnology concentration (PDF) combines diagnostic skills with entry-level research skills. Students choosing this option will learn molecular diagnostic techniques. This is a good choice for students interested in research and diagnosis of genetic and infectious diseases.

This is our NAACLS-accredited diagnostic molecular scientist program.

Work environments for graduates with MB(ASCP) certification include top research facilities, hospital molecular labs, and companies that combine diagnostic testing with research to create new testing methodologies.

The molecular biotechnology students complete practicum courses that provide an in-depth application of their knowledge and on-the-job experience in the molecular biotechnology and molecular genetics fields.

Advising and Questions

photo of Alex LopezWe're here to answer questions and provide assistance as you explore the field of clinical laboratory science! It is very important to contact us for advising as early as possible in your college career.

High school students, counselors and those in their early years of college study may contact Alex Lopez, our school's outreach and recruitment specialist, with questions at or 913-588-1743 (711 TTY).

photo of Leah AdeIf you're interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science at KU, please contact Leah Ade, MPH, MLS(ASCP)cm, a clinical assistant professor in our program, to schedule an advising session.

Students from institutions other than the University of Kansas: please provide your information online to schedule an advising session.

KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Clinical Laboratory Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4048
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5220 • 711 TTY