Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Houston Methodist Hospital Medical Laboratory Science Program, you 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. In addition, you must be eligible for a baccalaureate degree in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) or Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) 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 field(s) or for the degree in medical technology. Survey courses do not fulfill these requirements.

A minimum grade point average of 2.75 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 the following courses:

Course 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/tobacco screening. Any student found to have a positive drug/tobacco screen will be denied admission to the program. There are additional requirements for students accepted to the program:
  • 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 section given to all students accepted to the program

Essential Functions for Medical Laboratory Science

Students enrolling in and graduating from a Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) 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 the 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 show the following advanced observation skills:
  • 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 (i.e., 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 meet certain movement requirements:

Move freely and safely about a laboratory
  • Perform moderately taxing, continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting, over several hours
  • Reach laboratory bench tops 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 meet certain communication requirements:
  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e., textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals)
  • Follow oral and written instructions 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 meet certain intellect requirements:
  • Analysis
  • Comparison
  • Comprehension
  • Criticism
  • Integration
  • Mathematical calculation
  • Measurement
  • Reasoning
  • Self-expression

Students should also be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.


The MLS student must exhibit proper behavior:
  • Manage their use of time and be able to systematize actions to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints
  • Possess the emotional health necessary to use her or his intellect effectively and to exercise appropriate judgment
  • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely to minimize risk of injury to self and nearby personnel
  • Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals
  • Support and promote the activities of colleagues and health care professionals
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical and responsible
  • Accept constructive criticism and look for ways to improve (i.e., participate in continuing education activities)
  • Evaluate the performance of colleagues and professionals and tactfully offer constructive comments