May 19, 2024  
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Medical Laboratory Science

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Faculty and Fields of Interest

David Cabral, Lecturer, hematology

Elizabeth Hart, Senior Lecturer, immunohematology, immunology, genetics

Ali Hasaba, Lecturer, clinical chemistry

Caterina Miraglia, Associate Professor, osteopathic medicine, physiology, microbiology

James March Mistler, Lecturer, clinical chemistry, Program Director

Melissa Norfolk, Lecturer, hematology, body fluids

Yun (Melody) O’Donnell, Lecturer, medical laboratory science, Program Manager

Kimberly Ouellette Lecturer, immunohematology

Nathan Rubien, Lecturer, microbiology

Frank J Scarano, Professor (Chairperson), molecular epidemiology, clinical microbiology, pre-med director


The Department of Medical Laboratory Science offers a degree option in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS). This course of study provides students with the concepts, professionalism, scientific theory and skills essential for practicing in clinical laboratories.

Medical laboratory science enables students to understand the health care delivery system and roles in it of clinical laboratory scientists. Students learn to function as professionals and gain the skills and attitudes necessary for entering the practice field. All CLS graduates are eligible for national certification and licensure. The earning of the baccalaureate degrees in the CLS option is not contingent on a student’s passing any external certification or licensing examination.

Students may use state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory methods in a modern laboratory facility. The faculty are professional laboratory scientists and leaders in local, regional and national professional and scientific organization who influence the practice of the profession by serving on committees and as consultants.

Mission Statement

In accordance with the mission statements of the University system and UMass Dartmouth campus and standards of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), the Department of Medical Laboratory Science perceives its mission to be the education of professional clinical laboratory scientists as defined by the following attributes:

  • ability to relate knowledge and skills to other fields of endeavor
  • competency in the chosen practice area
  • ability to appropriately communicate orally and/or in writing with scientists, health care professionals, and the patient public
  • development of a broad understanding of the issues that underscore the imperatives of our times
  • commitment to life-long learning and professional competence
  • development of professionalism


The Department goals for students focus on education in clinical laboratory science plus those that (1) help students identify their personal goals and development with a sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and capacity to have an impact on events in their lives, (2) involve students in professional organizations and activities that support their personal and professional development, (3) develop students’ scholarly and intellectual capacities to the fullest and instill in them a permanent commitment to learning, (4) interrelate subject matter throughout their academic career, and (5) raise the students’ awareness of their role as competent, ethical, and caring healthcare practitioners.

Entrance to Medical Laboratory Science

In addition to the general course requirements for admission, the Department of Medical Laboratory Science requires 3 units of laboratory sciences and 4 units of college preparatory mathematics, which must include algebra I & II, geometry or trigonometry, and a mathematics course in the senior year.

Admission of Transfer Students and Certified Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Credits earned at another institution are evaluated for their equivalence to existing UMass Dartmouth courses. Unless approved by the department, all required medical laboratory science courses must be taken at UMass Dartmouth.

Health Policies

Students admitted to medical laboratory science programs must have a complete physical examination and appropriate immunizations. For each item listed below students must show evidence of vaccination and documentation or history of disease.

• Hepatitis B vaccine
• Tetanus/diphtheria
• Measles/mumps, rubella
• Polio
• Varicella (chicken pox)
• Mantoux test (PPD)

Clinical Laboratory Science Option

The option in clinical laboratory science is an integrated program, accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119 (847-939-3597)). Academic and technical competence is developed in major areas of clinical laboratory practice: hematology, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology and immunohematology. During the second semester of the senior year, clinical laboratory theory and methods culminate with a clinical practicum in an affiliated hospital. Laboratory instrumentation, use of computers in laboratories and quality assurance are emphasized throughout.  A capstone project is also completed during the clinical practicum.

Medical Laboratory Science leads to careers as scientists and researchers in hospital, independent, public health, industrial, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and private settings; some clinical laboratory scientists work as educators, administrators and consultants. With their backgrounds in science, analytical skills, and problem-solving, medical laboratory science students are ready for post-graduate studies in the sciences; including chemistry, microbiology and pathology; administration, including human resource management, health service administration and business administration; and professional schools, including medical, osteopathy and as physician’s assistants.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this program, graduates will be able to demonstrate entry-level competence in:

  • scientific content in major disciplines: clinical biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, genetics, hematology, immunohematology, hemostasis, statistics, phlebotomy, urinalysis/body fluids, and molecular diagnostics
  • collecting and processing biological specimens for analysis
  • performing analytical tests on body fluids, cells, and other samples
  • make critical judgments by integrating and relating data generated by the various clinical laboratory departments
  • evaluating quality control, instituting corrective procedures, and developing a quality assurance plan
  • performing preventive and corrective maintenance on equipment and instruments or referring to appropriate sources to repair
  • evaluating new techniques and procedures for their applicability to a given laboratory
  • demonstrating concern for patients and cooperating with laboratory personnel and other health care professionals
  • communicating effectively and professionally with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals and the public
  • applying principles of safety, management and supervision, governmental regulations and standards related to laboratory practice
  • being familiar with education methodologies, current information systems, and research methodology
  • interpret clinical data as it relates to patient diagnosis and treatment
  • assessing critical pathways and performing outcome analyses

Progression Through the Major

Because of the integrated curriculum and importance of student mastery of key diagnostic information, students must achieve a C minus (C-) or better to progress to the next course levels. Pre-requisite courses are listed in COIN. Failure to achieve a C- grade requires the student to repeat the course. Courses may only be repeated once. Each semester students must maintain a 2.0 GPA within the major. The first failure to achieve the minimum will result in an academic warning, the second instance will result in academic probation and a third instance will result in dismissal from the major.

Courses used for GPA calculation includes: MTH 147 and CHM 151, 152, 161, 162, 251, 263, and the remaining MLS required courses. Additional class requirements, particularly in laboratory courses, may apply and are listed on the individual course syllabus.

Admission to the upper division of the option in clinical laboratory science requires:

  • completion of all prerequisites
  • a minimum cumulative science grade point average of 2.0 in all completed courses required by the major
  • evidence that the student is making satisfactory progress toward satisfying degree requirements and certification requirements
  • the student’s signed statement indicating understanding that the following non-academic criteria (essential functions including those at an assigned affiliate or enrichment site) will be met:
  • Observation: ability to participate actively in laboratory exercises and clinical experiences
  • Communication: ability to independently communicate with fellow students, faculty, staff and members of a health care team in English
  • Motor: having sufficient motor skills to independently perform basic diagnostic tests and meet the minimum affiliate standards
  • Intellectual/conceptual, integrative, and quantitative competence: ability to problem solve and comprehend spatial relationships of structures
  • Behavioral and social attributes: ability to interact appropriately in a professional manner with fellow students, faculty, staff and members of a health care team and to demonstrate honesty and integrity by adherence to MLS, UMD and affiliate’s code of conduct and academic honesty policies

A more detailed listing of the essential functions and the necessary signature form are available from the CLS Program Director.

Clinical Practicum

The faculty assigns available practica seats to student at the following affiliates:

  • Baystate Medical Center
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Hospitals: Boston, Milton, Plymouth
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Cape Cod Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Milford Regional Medical Center
  • MIT Medical Laboratory Department
  • New England Baptist
  • Signature Healthcare - Brockton Hospital
  • Southcoast Hospital Group (Charlton Memorial and St. Luke’s Hospitals)
  • South Shore Hospital
  • Steward Hospital Group (Morton, Norwood, and St. Anne’s Hospitals)
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • VA Healthcare System (Boston and Providence)
  • Women and Infant’s Hospital

In the unlikely event placement cannot be made in one of the above institutions or other appropriate affiliate, students will be placed in the next available clinical site. Should an affiliate be unable to fulfill its obligations, the CLS program director will make every attempt to find an alternative assignment.

Students are responsible to fulfill all of the regulatory requirements of the clinical affiliate to which they are assigned, which may or may not include demonstrating proof of malpractice insurance coverage, providing health record documentation, undergoing a CORI screen, and updating immunization status.

Outcomes Measures

Students are evaluated throughout their academic career through the use of graded projects, examinations, reports, capstone projects, laboratory exercises and practical examinations as well as observations by clinical and academic faculty throughout the clinical practica. Student assessment is based on stated learning objectives provided by university faculty for each MLS course offering.

MLS Pre-Health/Pre-Med

The Department of Medical Laboratory Science has an excellent track record of successful medical school applicants and enjoys a very close working relationship with area medical and physician’s assistant programs.

Students interested in pursuing graduate professional  degrees in patient care practice fields such as medical, osteopathic, dental, physician’s assistant, or physical therapy programs may do so as a medical laboratory science major.  The Pre-Health program  at UMass Dartmouth is an advising program.  Once accepted to their Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major option, students can also register as pre­ health students with the MLS secretary. Once done, students will be assigned a special Pre-Health MLS Advisor to help them navigate the necessary requirements for such graduate programs.

In addition  to the MLS courses, students generally take a year of physics (PHY101,103,102,104), and a second semester of Organic Chemistry (CHM 252,264). Students interested in physician’s assistant program may take Anatomy and Physiology (Bio 221,222)  in lieu of MLS 211.


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