Become a healthcare detective.

As a Medical Laboratory Science major, you’ll learn to analyze blood, urine, and other body tissues and fluids to diagnose disease. Your work as a laboratory professional will help people take control of their health and contribute to vital research. Don’t be surprised if you’re hired before graduation — this is a career field in high demand.

Pair courses like microbiology, clinical chemistry and molecular biology with clinical training at the Austin State Hospital. There, you’ll learn medical testing procedures like phlebotomy, immunology and urinalysis. Get hands-on experience that prepares you to immediately start your career in a hospital or clinical research laboratory, or at a biotechnology firm, government agency or forensic laboratory. You’ll use your scientific knowledge to help advance human health — at the individual and societal level.

What do our graduates do?

With a Medical Laboratory Science major, you can go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools. Here’s a sample.

  • Research coordinator
  • Lab manager
  • Consumer-product tester
  • Research developer
  • Crime lab specialist

8 Reasons to Choose St. Edward’s

8 Reasons to Choose St. Edward’s

St. Edward’s is the No. 8 Best Regional University in the West in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report college ranking. In honor of our ranking, we share the top reasons to become a Hilltopper.

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 and research. Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 3139 or instructor approval is required. Prerequisites: Eight hours of Biology numbered 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.