Perform tests as part of a team to help diagnose disease in a lab-based healthcare role

The Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science at St. Edward’s prepares you to become a laboratory professional that detects the presence or absence of disease. 

Medical Laboratory Scientists analyze blood, urine, and other body tissues and fluids in order to detect and diagnose disease. This major employs exploratory project-based learning to prepare students for careers in the health field. The degree involves a minimum of six semesters of coursework at St. Edward’s University and one year of clinical training at an affiliated MLS program (currently Austin State Hospital). Over the course of your studies as a Medical Laboratory Science major, you will …

  • Master complex medical testing procedures
  • Learn to perform clinical lab procedures
  • Perform tests that lead to disease diagnosis
  • Study advanced science protocols
  • Participate in hospital-based training methodologies

The Medical Laboratory Science degree provides insights into the world of healthcare and seeks to prepare students for excellence in their chosen professions. Through coursework, experimentation and research, students will acquire unique skill sets and invaluable perspectives. 

Degree Requirements

Coursework establishes fundamental knowledge in such disciplines as microbiology, hematology, immunology, clinical chemistry and molecular biology. Research and clinical training at the Austin State Hospital allow students to pursue personal interests and develop skill sets that align with professional objectives. 

Major Requirements: The BS in Medical Laboratory Science requires 82 hours of major courses. Requirements include a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Math. In addition, 30 hours of coursework is taken at Austin State Hospital, including microbiology, hematology, clinical chemistry, coagulation, phlebotomy, blood bank/immunology/serology, and urinalysis.

General Education Requirements: 57 hours of general education courses are required and completed over four years in addition to major courses.

View and download the full degree plan for the Medical Laboratory Science major (PDF).

A few examples of courses students in this major take:             

  • Microbiology - Microbiology is the study of microorganisms with an emphasis on their structure, function, and role in sickness, health andresearch. Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 3139 or instructor approval is required. Prerequisites: Eight hours of Biologynumbered BIOL 1307 or above and BIOL 2334
  • Immunology - Immunology is the scientific discipline that seeks to understand the nature of the human immune system. The immune system is of paramount importance to the success of humans,
    as the human body is inundated daily by a multitude of potentially pathogenic microorganisms that left unchallenged would quickly destroy all human bodies. Throughout this course the student will discover the molecular nature of the human immune system including the cellular and noncellular components involved and how these factors interact to combat disease. Prerequisites: BIOL 2334. Spring, odd-numbered years.

Interested in earning a Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science? Learn more about our dual degree program

Our Faculty and Student Support Services

Dr. Trish Baynham, professor of biological sciences

"Laboratorians are essential members of the healthcare team.  They receive the latest training and provide evidence that is necessary to make diagnoses.  These professionals are very much in demand and frequently hired before they finish their degree."

– Dr. Trish Bayham, Advisor for Medical Laboratory Science

Student Support Services

Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:

  • Academic counseling and advising
  • Supplemental instruction and tutoring
  • Career preparation and advising 
  • Writing Center consultation
  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Student disability support



Learn more about these services.

Outside the Classroom

Students majoring in Medical Laboratory Science can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through internships and interactions with the greater Austin community.

Research Courses

Students in this major have a chance to enroll in research courses and join a student-faculty research group with the goal of producing and presenting professional-level work. 

Student-Faculty Initiatives

Student-faculty initiatives are a hallmark of this program. Meaningful, constructive interactions build significant relationships and propel students to pursue opportunities that align with their passions and career objectives. As a result, our students are often hired before graduation. Students may apply to Austin State Hospital in the fall of the junior year. Qualified applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA to be granted an interview.


Students will complete internships through their work at Austin State Hospital.

Alumni Outcomes

Medical Laboratory Science program graduates will be qualified for employment in a variety of fields including:

  • Hospital laboratories
  • Clinical research laboratories
  • Government agencies
  • Forensic laboratories
  • Biotechnology firms

Read about our successful alumni. See what they have to say about life after St. Edward’s.

Open for Discovery

Open for Discovery

The new John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center–South is a hub for student exploration and collaboration. See how students of all majors benefit from the center's technology and shared spaces.