Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Lab Student with Beaker

In order to be considered for admission to The Methodist Hospital Medical Laboratory Science Program, the student must have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses listed below or have completed all undergraduate courses required by a university with which we hold an affiliation agreement and be eligible for a baccalaureate degree in Medical Laboratory Science or Clinical Laboratory Science from that institution at the completion of the 12 month hospital program. Also, all prerequisite courses listed must have been completed before admission into the program.

Credit in the following courses is required and considered to be the minimum qualification.

Prerequisite Courses Semester Hours
*Biological Sciences including: 16 (total hours)
Microbiology 4
Immunology 3
*Chemistry including: 16 (total hours)
Organic Chemistry I 4
Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry II 4
Mathematics 3
Recommended electives:  
Molecular Biology  
Analytical Chemistry  

Note: The math course must be college level - remedial mathematics courses will not satisfy this requirement. Required courses must be acceptable toward a major in the respective fields or for the degree in medical technology. Survey courses do not fulfill these requirements.

A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale is required. Grades obtained during the final two years of college receive the greatest consideration.

*Candidates who have completed prerequisite biology and chemistry courses seven or more years before admission must update their academic skills by taking:

Courses Semester Hours
Upper Division Biological Science 4
Immunology (if not taken previously)  
Microbiology is recommended  
Upper Division Chemistry Course 4
Biochemistry or Analytical Chemistry is recommended  

Non-Academic Requirements

As part of the admission process, every student will be required to complete a drug screening. Any student found to have a positive drug screen will be denied admission to the Program. Also, students accepted to the program must:

  • Demonstrate written and oral proficiency in the English language
  • Communicate effectively to transmit information to faculty, fellow students , physicians, and all members of the health care team.
  • Read and apply appropriate written instruction
  • Maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress while also maintaining appropriate performance standards.
  • Additional requirements are listed in the Essential Functions given to all students accepted to the program.

Essential Functions for MLS

Students enrolling in and graduating from a Medical Laboratory Science program must meet the essential function requirements of the academic program and of the corresponding MLS profession. They must complete programs consisting of academic study, simulated laboratory practice, and clinical laboratory experience. Students must be able to contribute to colleagues' progress, to their professor's or supervisor's completion of appropriate tasks, and, above all, to render services that contribute to the well-being of patients.


The MLS student must be able to:

  • Observe laboratory demonstrations in which biologicals (i.e., body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens) are tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, and histochemical components.
  • Characterize the color, consistency, and clarity of biologicals or reagents.
  • Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine differences in structure and color (hue, shading, and intensity) in microscopic specimens.
  • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor.


The MLS student must be able to:

  • Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting, over several hours.
  • Reach laboratory benchtops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  • Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to collect laboratory specimens from patients.
  • Control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
  • Manipulate an electronic keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.


The MLS student must be able to:

  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
  • Follow oral and written instructions in order to correctly perform laboratory test procedures.
  • Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection.
  • Effectively, confidently, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests.
  • Communicate with faculty members, student colleagues, staff, and other health care professionals orally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).


The MLS student must:

  • Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
  • Be able to exercise sufficient judgement to recognize and correct performance deviations.


The MLS student must:

  • Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
  • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively use her or his intellect and to exercise appropriate judgement. The candidate must be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. “stat” orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, complex visual stimuli).
  • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to self and nearby personnel.
  • Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.
  • Be capable of supporting and promoting the activities of colleagues and health care professionals. Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. The candidate must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. The candidate must be able to critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in continuing education activities). The candidate must be able to evaluate the performance of colleagues and professionals and tactfully offer constructive comments.