Medical Laboratory Science Program


The Medical Laboratory Science Program


The Austin State Hospital Program in Medical Laboratory Science, established in 1957, is an integral part of the Regional Clinical Laboratory of DSHS (Department of State Health Services), which serves the clinical needs of DSHS consumers throughout the state of Texas. The Clinical Laboratory is located in Bldg. 635 on the Austin State Hospital campus and is directed by a consulting pathologist who is Board Certified in Clinical and Anatomical Pathology.


The practice of modern medicine would be impossible without the tests performed in the clinical laboratory.  The Medical Laboratory Scientist helps determine the presence, extent, or absence of disease and provides data needed to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.  Laboratory procedures require an array of complex precision instruments and a variety of automated and electronic equipment.  Medical Laboratory Scientists must be accurate, reliable, have an interest in science and be able to recognize their responsibility for human lives.


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 certifying examination given by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) Board of Certification.  Issuance of a degree or certificate IS NOT contingent upon the student passing an external certification examination.  From 2007-2012 the Austin state Hospital Medical Laboratory Science program has had a 100% graduation rate and a 5% attrition rate.


Admission Requirements

General academic requirements for admission are those specified by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).  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: A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university including courses in biological science, chemistry and mathematics.  Recommended coursework includes Immunology, Statistics, anatomy/Physiology, Genetics/Molecular Biology and Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry. Other course work may 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 at this site:


Applicants should:

  • be in good health and highly motivated

  • be fluent in written and spoken English

  • be able to discriminate between colors

  • possess manual dexterity

  • possess good near vision



Students enrolled in the program spend approximately eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, in clinical instruction.  Supplemental training occurs at our affiliates, Brackenridge Hospital, DSHS Laboratory Services section (formerly Texas Department of Health), Clinical Pathology Laboratories and the Texas Blood and Tissue Center. 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 six major areas of study.  These departments and the approximate times are as follows:


Clinical Chemistry - 13 weeks (includes general chemistry, toxicology, & special chemistry); Microbiology - 12 weeks (includes bacteriology, mycology, and parasitology); Hematology, Coagulation & Phlebotomy – 11 weeks; Blood Bank Immunology– 8 weeks; Serology- 3 weeks and Urinalysis - 3 weeks.

Essential Requirements for MLS



Under the direction of the Medical Director, Program Director, and Education Coordinator, 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). The Clinical Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).


*Contact information for NAACLS is:

5600 N. River Rd. Ste.720

Rosemont, IL 60018 

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 in the program are classified by the State of Texas as Professional Trainees and are eligible, after 90 days of employment, 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.


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:



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:


Program Director Medical Laboratory Science

Austin State Hospital Laboratory

4110 Guadalupe

Austin, Texas 78751


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Last updated June 14, 2013