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Undergraduate Programs

There are two undergraduate majors that lead to the Bachelor of Science degree.

These majors provides a solid biomedical science education and also prepare students for advanced study in the medical laboratory sciences. Additionally, in meeting the pre-professional requirements for careers in a variety of medical and medically-related fields.

What is the difference between the two majors?

Biomedical Laboratory Science (BLS)

Medical Laboratory Science (MLS)

Academic Component

Open admission to all students in good academic standing

Formal application and competitive admission process (2.5 GPA required) Limited Enrollment Major

Flexible course sequencing and content, various concentrations to choose from. Medical Laboratory Science concentration is most appropriate if seeking post – baccalaureate accredited MLS internship

Structured course sequencing and content

120 credit program

134 credit program

Elective credits—can include premedical requirements

14 additional course credits in clinical experience

Education focuses on general preparation in human life sciences with orientation toward medical laboratory application

Education focuses on general preparation for laboratory science with emphasis on laboratory courses

Excellent preparation for post-BS accredited clinical experience, pre-health, graduate school, biology work force, etc.

Professional program leading to certification and careers in medical laboratories, public health laboratories, pharmaceutical industry, etc.

4 year program

4 + ½ year program

Accredited Clinical Component for Certification

Completed after graduation

Included in the degree requirements

Modest tuition may apply

Stipends or work opportunities may be available

MSU Tuition applies to 14 credits for clinical rotation courses

No stipends; work opportunities maybe available

6-12 months (no federal tuition assistance)

6 months (financial aid applicable)

In state internships at Michigan Hospitals: Corewell Health Beaumont Hospital, Detroit Medical Center and Ascension (Detroit)


Out of state internships available nationwide at over 200 sites

Internships available at 19 sites in Michigan: Corewell Health Beaumont Hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI, Covenant HealthCare Lab, Saginaw, MI, Henry Ford Jackson Hospital, Jackson, MI, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, MI, Trinity Health Muskegon Hospital, Muskegon, MI, Trinity Health Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, MI, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, Memorial Healthcare Lab, Owosso, MI, Promedica Toledo Hospital, Toledo, OH, University of Michigan Health- Sparrow, Lansing, MI, Corwell Health Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, MI, Trinity Health Ann Arbor Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI, Trinity Health Chelsea Hospital, Chelsea, MI, Trinity Health Livingston Hospital, Howell, MI, Trinity Health Oakland Hospital, Pontiac, MI, Trinity Health Livonia Hospital, Livonia, MI. 


One site in Ohio: Promedica Toledo Hospital

Student arranges clinical experience independently; assistance provided by BLD Program

Clinical experience incorporated into curriculum of MLS program

Lectures provided by hospital staff and cover material similar to campus courses

No formal lectures; Students must retain and review material from campus lectures


Eligible after post-baccalaureate accredited clinical experience **

Eligible after graduation

** Students who complete a BS in Biomedical Laboratory Science can arrange a clinical laboratory experience by applying to a NAACLS-accredited program either in the State of Michigan, or elsewhere in the United States. Other BLS majors use their degrees to work in pharmaceutical, research, clinical laboratories or they go on to graduate school and seek professional degrees (medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmaceutical, etc.).

The Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science, (5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Illinois 60018; phone (773) 714-8880) and includes the necessary clinical experience required to be eligible for the national certification examination. Following completion of their course work and practicum, they can sit for the national certification exams through the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Sample Curriculum

Below, you will find a sample of a typical curriculum for the BLS and MLS majors and Categoricals. Categoricals are designed for students who already have a Bachelor's Degree, and want to become certified to work in a particular section of a clinical laboratory. At Michigan State University, the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics program offers Categoricals in Blood Bank (Immunohematology), Chemistry, Hematology, and Microbiology. Completion of a laboratory internship is required in these programs.

Sample BLS Curriculum Sheet

Sample MLS Curriculum Sheet