Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Education Program

About the Medical Laboratory Science Education Program

This is an exciting time for medical laboratory scientists and the field of medical laboratory science (MLS). Advancements in technology and research are revolutionizing diagnostics, and there is growing recognition of the critical role that medical laboratory scientists play in healthcare systems worldwide.

MLS is the healthcare profession that provides laboratory information and services that aid in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Medical laboratory scientists perform laboratory tests on patient biological specimens, playing an integral role in patient care by providing timely and accurate test results in collaboration with the clinical care team.

The MLS education is built on a biology and chemistry foundation. Through a combination of traditional classwork and robust clinical experiences, the Medical Laboratory Science Education Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will prepare students for entry-level career opportunities upon completion. All in-person education and training will be completed at the main hospital located in University City Philadelphia.

The MLS curriculum at CHOP is meticulously crafted with emphasis placed on the practical application of theoretical principles in conducting medical laboratory procedures. Moreover, it aims to cultivate in students a profound appreciation for their professional obligations, ensuring the delivery of top-tier, outcome-driven clinical laboratory services across all stages of the testing process, with a focus on disease prevention, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.

Our program endeavors to produce competent medical laboratory scientists equipped with a robust knowledge base, adept skills and practical experience, empowering them to pursue diverse career paths within the profession. The program promotes CHOP’s values and service standards including Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence.

The MLS Education Program is supported by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine which performs three million laboratory tests per year.  The department consists of twelve different labs, ranging from routine chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunohematology to more advanced diagnostics such as immunogenetics, molecular diagnostics, and stem cell therapy. The Program offers enriching elective rotations in the advanced diagnostic laboratories, in addition to the comprehensive routine MLS clinical training. MLS students will have access to cutting-edge technology and expert faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields. This exposure will not only enrich their academic journey but also prepare the MLS graduate to meet the evolving demands of the healthcare industry. 

CHOP is deeply dedicated to maintaining exceptional standards in patient care, education, and research. This dedication to education is demonstrated through robust internship and residency training, competitive fellowship opportunities, teaching medical students, and providing nursing education. This commitment extends to the training program in medical laboratory science, ensuring the same level of excellence is upheld throughout all educational endeavors.

MLS program curriculum (32 credit hours)

Didactic courses (with number of credit hours)

  • (3) Clinical Chemistry
  • (4) Hematology & Coagulation
  • (3) Immunohematology (Blood Bank)
  • (2) Immunology
  • (3) Laboratory Operations/Clinical Seminar
  • (4) Medical Microbiology
  • (2) Urinalysis & Body Fluids

Clinical rotations (with number of credit hours)

  • (3) Clinical Chemistry & Urinalysis & Blood Gas
  • (2) Hematology & Coagulation
  • (2) Immunohematology (Blood Bank)
  • (4) Microbiology & Serology

The medical laboratory science course curriculum provides students with comprehensive training in laboratory techniques and procedures incorporating didactic theory essential for diagnosing diseases and monitoring patient health. The curriculum includes courses in clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology and transfusion medicine, among others. Students learn to perform a variety of laboratory tests using state-of-the-art equipment and technologies, interpret results accurately and adhere to quality control and safety standards. Hands-on clinical rotations in the CHOP laboratories allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, gaining practical experience under the supervision of seasoned professionals. Additionally, students receive instruction in professional ethics, communication skills and the importance of teamwork in healthcare settings, preparing them for successful careers as medical laboratory scientists in under 10 months.

Application and admission

All application materials are found online and must be submitted electronically.

Application materials must be completed by November 1.

All applicants must submit:

  • Application for admission form
  • Official transcript from a matriculating college or university, and from any other accredited institution where a college science course has been completed. Transcripts must be submitted electronically to
  • Letters of reference:
    • Select three (3) individuals who can evaluate you. These individuals should not be related to you but can attest to your academic and personal qualifications. Two (2) of these should be college references.
    • Evaluators may include: college course instructor, college advisor, employer/manager, volunteer/coordinator, coach/mentor, etc
    • Complete the “References” section on the Application form. Be sure to add the correct email address for all evaluators listed. Once the application with the evaluators’ email addresses is received, an email will be sent from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s MLS Program including a link to the reference form. Additionally, the applicant will be sent an email with a link to a “Right of Access” waiver form. This form must be completed by the applicant prior to evaluator notification by the program. This could delay the reference process if not completed in a timely manner.
    • Reference forms must be received by the MLS Program prior to your interview date. Please follow up with your evaluators to ensure references have been completed. Failure to comply with deadlines will delay interview and program acceptance dates.
    • For your evaluators: For verification purposes, evaluators must use their professional email address. They may also write a Letter of Recommendation to include with the reference form, but this must be on business letterhead and sent directly to the MLS Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ( from the same professional email address. Please notify the program if unable to submit electronically or if using a personal email. No forms will be accepted by US mail.
  • Self-evaluation form
  • All forms are electronic and include submission confirmation

Once the applicant file is complete (all the above materials have been received) and evaluated by the program, the student may be contacted for an in-person interview during the fall semester.

Interview process

  • A mutually agreeable date and time will be selected for an interview and laboratory tour.
  • The interview and tour will be conducted by the program director and members of the Admissions Committee.
  • The applicant will be evaluated based on communication skills, learning ability, poise and self-confidence, personality traits, motivation and knowledge of profession, adaptation to the laboratory environment, attitude and promptness, and responsibility and commitment to MLS.
  • The interview will take approximately two hours and will be scheduled on a weekday during normal business hours from September through November at the main hospital located in University City Philadelphia. Transportation and parking are the responsibility of the applicant.

Technical program requirements

The applicant must, with or without reasonable accommodation, have sufficient:

  • Visual acuity to be able to identify microscopic structures, cells and organisms; to operate analytical instruments appropriately and safely without substantially endangering students, co-workers and/or patients.
  • Fine motor skills and manual dexterity to obtain and manipulate specimens, reagents, instruments, and analytical equipment according to established guidelines with speed, accuracy, precision, and in a manner that does not endanger others.
  • Communication skills to effectively convey and/or explain results to other healthcare personnel, both within and outside the laboratory.
  • Interactive skills to maintain cooperative and productive working relationships with patients and/or other healthcare personnel.
  • Emotional stability to exercise appropriate judgment in responding to emergency situations that may present in the healthcare environment.
  • Ability to effectively handle stressful situations.
  • Ability, with or without reasonable accommodation, to safely perform all core tasks required of a medical laboratory scientist.

These requirements were formulated to be in compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Program acceptance

  • Acceptance into the MLS Education Program is based on a weighted admission system; this includes overall grade point average, as well as science grade point average, personal references, interview scores, and the applicant self-evaluation. Previous work experience in the field and association with an affiliated university will be taken into consideration.
  • The process is competitive and only those applicants with the highest composite scores will be admitted.
  • The MLS program operates on a rolling admission basis and once maximum enrollment is met, applicants will be put on a wait list. 

MLS Program timeline

  • Application cycle – May 1 through November 1, 2024
  • Interview & Admission period – September 9 through November 29, 2024
  • Hospital on-boarding – June and July 2025
  • Program Orientation – August 2025
  • Classes begin – August 2025
  • Clinical rotation period – October 2025 – April 2026
  • Graduation – May 2026
  • ASCP BOC exam and job placement – June 2026


Please contact the MLS Program Director, Susanne Dannert.

Additional information

Nondiscrimination statement

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia complies with applicable civil rights laws and prohibits unlawful discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information, victim of domestic or sexual violence status or other protected classifications.

Eligible students

The MLS Education Program at CHOP accepts the traditional 3+1 student from an affiliate university to receive a bachelor’s degree, or the non-traditional 4+1 student who already has a bachelors. Both types of applicants require the appropriate prerequisite education prior to admission.

Pre-requisite coursework

As a college-level internship program, there is prerequisite coursework required prior to enrollment:

  • A minimum of 16 credit hours of Biology to include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology
  • A minimum of 16 credit hours of Chemistry to include Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry
  • A minimum of 3 credit hours of college-level Mathematics, preferably statistics

Additional courses are recommended but not required:

  • Genetics, Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology, Parasitology, Medical Terminology, Hematology

Admission requirements

The inaugural class of MLS students will start their journey by applying online for admission to the Program over the summer followed by an in-person interview during the fall semester of 2024. The MLS education at CHOP will begin in August 2025 and commence in May 2026.

Students are expected to have completed at least 90 college credits including all pre-requisite coursework, and all requirements from the matriculating university prior to entry into the Program. A minimum 2.80 overall grade point average (GPA) and 2.80 science GPA, averaged from all college coursework, are required.

Prospective students

Program policies and other information are available upon request by emailing Susanne Dannert, MLS Program Director, at


As a new MLS training program, we are pleased to announce that the first academic year will be tuition-free. This nine-month college internship program offers students an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience without the financial burden of tuition costs. We believe in providing accessible education and are committed to supporting aspiring medical laboratory professionals in their academic and career pursuits.

Program accreditation and MLS certification

The Medical Laboratory Science Program at CHOP is submitting the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Initial Accreditation Application. Once the Program has achieved “serious applicant” status, the students are eligible to receive college credit to graduate and to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification exam. The Program should reach serious applicant status by summer 2025, just prior to beginning the 2025-26 academic year.

Program mission

The MLS Education Program at CHOP will provide a transformative educational experience for aspiring medical laboratory scientists, preparing them to excel in the dynamic and essential field of healthcare diagnostics. Through rigorous academic curriculum, hands-on clinical training and interdisciplinary collaboration, we aim to cultivate a diverse community of learners dedicated to excellence, integrity, and innovation. Our internship program is committed to fostering critical thinking, technical proficiency, and professional competence, empowering students to contribute meaningfully to patient care. By instilling a culture of lifelong learning, collaboration and service, we aspire to graduate compassionate and competent leaders who will positively impact the future of healthcare.