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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Laboratory Science

Majors Overview March 16, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in laboratory science and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Laboratory Science

Schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in clinical laboratory science for those seeking a career as clinical laboratory scientists. These professionals, who are also often referred to as clinical laboratory or medical technologists, work within medical teams, and their job responsibilities require them to analyze samples in diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease.

Coursework in a clinical laboratory science degree program includes completion of clinical practicums to augment standard coursework. Students enrolled in clinical lab science programs can choose from areas such as hematology, histology, clinical chemistry, and transfusion medicine.

State licensure norms for those seeking jobs as medical lab technicians and technologists typically include a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, this degree usually satisfies qualification requirements for those that seek optional certification in laboratory sciences.

Education Requirements

Prospective students seeking admission to baccalaureate programs in clinical laboratory science are often required to complete various prerequisite courses, such as organic chemistry, chemistry, microbiology, and biology. Satisfactory college entrance exam scores and GPA aside, incoming students are typically required to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Students seeking admission to most programs are required to submit to criminal background and immunization checks.

Coursework

Coursework in a clinical laboratory science degree program combines numerous medical science courses and lab-specific coursework. Core coursework may include the following areas of study:

•Cell biology
•Microbiology
•Physiology
•Serology
•Human anatomy
•Clinical laboratory management and administration
•Molecular biology
•Immunology
•Biochemistry
•Genetics

Job and Wage Outlook

Clinical and medical laboratory technologists are expected to see a job growth rate of 22% over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, clinical and medical laboratory technologists brought in an average annual wage of $47,820.

Continuing Education Choices

Licensure is compulsory in some states for clinical laboratory scientists; licensure can be obtained through continuing education. Regular continuing education opportunities and annual symposiums are offered through the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Medical Technologists, among numerous other professional organizations. Bachelor’s program graduates may also earn advanced degrees in order to pursue careers in academia or research.

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