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Bachelors (BHS) in Medical Laboratory Science (MLT to MLS)

Designed for working medical laboratory technicians (MLT), this accredited online program will prepare you for clinical practice in a variety of medical laboratory settings. Our 100% online MLT to MLS program can be completed in as little as one year. At the end of the program, graduates will receive a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science and will be eligible to sit for the certification examination (ASCP) at the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) level.

This program accepts up to 80 transfer credit hours toward the degree. To earn your bachelor's degree (BHS) students must complete 120 credit hours.

Coursework can be completed in as little as one year (full-time enrollment), and a part-time enrollment plan is also available (24 months). 

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At a Glance

Fall 2024 - application opens Jan 1 - June 1

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024)

Credits Required: 120
Cost Per Credit: $611.00


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Bachelors in Medical Laboratory Science (MLT to MLS) overview

Program format
Fully Online
Total credits
Total Credits
Available Pathways
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Accelerated Option
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Degree awarded
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Learn More About This Program

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What You'll Learn


Upon graduation from our NAACLS accredited program, you will be qualified to sit for the ASCP board of certification exam at the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) level. As a graduate of our program, you will be able to:

  • Work independently in a laboratory setting and perform high complexity testing.
  • Sign off on calibrations, quality control, and method validation.
  • Deploy expertise in a wide variety of areas, including hematology, clinical chemistry, toxicology, virology, microbiology, immunohematology (blood banking), and/or molecular biology.
  • Facilitate the reporting of accurate and precise laboratory results that contribute to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of medical conditions.


Course Credit for Experience

Students with comprehensive work experience in hematology, chemistry, blood banking, or microbiology have the ability to test out of a clinical practicum course. MLT students must meet core technical proficiencies and pass a special examination in each area to be awarded two tuition-free credits for each associated practicum course for a maximum award of eight tuition-free credit hours.

Course Examples

  • MLS 410 Medical Laboratory Biochemistry
  • MLS 420 Immunology & Serology
  • MLS 460 Clinical Hematology
  • MLS 461 Clinical Microbiology
  • MLS 430 Clinical Mycology, Parasitology
  • MLS 462 Clinical Chemistry
  • MLS 463 Immunohematology
  • MLS 464 Body Fluids & Hemostasis
  • MLS 440 Molecular Techniques
  • MLS 450 MLS Education & Management
  • MLS 470 Clinical Correlations
  • MLS 471 Professionalism in MLS
  • Work experience or practicums: MLS 480, MLS 481, MLS 482, MLS 483
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How to Apply

Application Requirements

Standard undergraduate application requirements apply.​​​

Have your direct supervisor complete a statement of support form. Also, provide three recommendation forms.

Your current direct supervisor MUST complete the statement of support form and a recommendation form. The other two recommendation forms should be completed by professionals (additional laboratory administrator, pathologist, co-worker external to the laboratory, educator) who are familiar with your abilities. 


  • Provide Proof of being an MLT/CLT. This may include any one of the following items:
    • Copy of MLT/CLT degree
    • Documentation of MLT/CLT certification
    • Letter from MLT/CLT program director

Qualified applicants may be asked to participate in a brief phone interview with MLS faculty member(s).

There are TWO steps in our application process.
Step 1: Students must apply to UK Admissions
Step 2: Complete the College of Health Sciences and MLT to MLS application.

A separate application fee of $25.00 is required for admission to the MLT to MLS online program. Your application will not be processed without the $25.00 fee. Pay the $25 application fee online.

  • The application fee cannot be waived nor deferred, and is non-refundable.
  • We accept Visa, Discover, American Express and MasterCard. Credit/debit cards are also accepted.

Admissions Criteria

  • Students must achieve an overall (cumulative) GPA of 2.5 and successfully pass all program pre-requisite courses
  • An associate degree from a MLT program
  • Meet the UK general education courses requirement. If you already have an A.S. from a MLT program, you fulfill the general education requirements for this degree. If you have an A.A.S degree from a MLT program and do not also have an A.S., A.A., or A.G.S. degree from a community college, you should meet with the program director to review the most advantageous way for you to meet general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Certification (BOC preferred) - if uncertified, then you must have documentation of 5 years of work experience in a MLT position within a multidisciplinary laboratory
  • Current and continued employment in a clinical laboratory – prefer laboratory that offers testing in all major disciplines

Prerequisite courses

The following pre-requisite courses (or those that are approved as equivalent) must be completed prior to acceptance into the program. Courses taken in your associate degree program can count toward this requirement. 

  • 1 semester of general biology with laboratory
  • 2 semesters of general chemistry with laboratory
  • 1 semester of statistical methods
  • 1 semester of human physiology (or combined course in physiology and anatomy)

Program Contact

Chad Gulliams
Program Director


Fall 2024 - application opens Jan 1 - June 1

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need an associate degree to be admitted?

An associate of science in medical laboratory technology (MLT) is the preferred degree for admission into the program. An associate of applied science is also acceptable, but may require additional coursework to complete the program. Please talk with the program director if you have concerns about your previous degree.

Do I need to take more courses before being admitted?

We no longer require Organic Chemistry for admission.

You must have taken the following courses (or an approved equivalent):

  • General Biology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Statistics
  • General Chemistry I & II

Can my work experience count for credit?

Your work experience can qualify for up to 8 tuition free credit hours towards your degree. This is dependent on the number of specialty areas you are trained in, and pass the assessment for. These specialty areas include:

  • Blood Banking - 2 credits
  • Clinical Microbiology - 2 credits
  • Clinical Hematology - 2 credits
  • Clinical Chemistry - 2 credits

Please speak with the program director if you have questions about how your training can qualify for these tuition free credits. 

Program Specifics

How long is the program?

The program can be completed in one year if enrolled fulltime. A part time option is also available, and students typically complete the part-time program in 2 years.

Do I need to complete a capstone or research project?

We do not require a capstone or research project for graduation.

Is the program really 120 credits? How many credits will I need to take to graduate?

The program requires only 32-40 credit hours for graduation depending on how many credits you obtain for your work experience. The remaining credits for graduation are fulfilled by your previous collegiate coursework.

Career Outlook

What is the demand for MLS grads?

The demand for MLS grads is high and a bachelor’s degree in MLS will create more professional opportunities for you in healthcare management, education, sales, and consulting.

What's the difference between MLT and MLS?

MLT grads perform much of the same work as MLS grads. However, an MLS degree is required for approval of quality control logs in upper level healthcare management and is required for jobs in sales, consulting, and education. An MLS provides more career opportunity in the field of medical laboratory science. 


What clinical rotation/practicums are required?

Students with comprehensive work experience in hematology, chemistry, blood banking, and/or microbiology can receive tuition free credit to fulfill the practicum/clinical rotation requirement. MLT students must meet core technical proficiencies and pass a special examination for each associated practicum course for a maximum award of eight tuition-free credit hours. For those areas you do not have experience, you will need to do a rotation. These rotations are not as in depth as the student’s MLT rotations, as they should be a review of the course material and their prior MLT rotations.

The four required practicums/clinical rotations include:

  • Blood Banking - 2 credits
  • Clinical Microbiology - 2 credits
  • Clinical Hematology - 2 credits
  • Clinical Chemistry - 2 credits



Accredited by the NAACLS

Our program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. This reflects our commitment to contemporary and quality education. Medical laboratories seek graduates of NAACLS programs.

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

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University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online

UK degree

Degrees are conferred by the University of Kentucky, an accredited university.

Flexible schedule

Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.

Be Supported

Access supporting services and success coaches to help you succeed.

Tuition Assistance

Explore the many options available to help fund your education.


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