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Medical Laboratory Science

Student using microscope

Medical Laboratory Science is currently the "Highest Need" healthcare career field in South Dakota. The annual national projection for employment is approximately 13,000 openings, and academic programs currently graduate about 5,000 across the United States. The average pay in this region, as projected by the South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Initiative, is approximately $23.00 per hour for a nationally certified Medical Laboratory Science professional.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected 22% increase in employment for laboratory science professionals between 2012 and 2022—twice the rate of all other occupations. The salary for laboratory professionals varies with geographical location and training level; however, the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 2013 wage survey in the United states indicates that the national average for a staff level MLS B.S. level professional is $56,430 per year and $77,113 per year at the supervisory level. Nationally salaries are considerably higher for those individuals who are lab directors or faculty members.

The South Dakota State University Medical Laboratory Sciences Program is a two-year upper division Bachelor of Science degree program that prepares students for careers in medical laboratory science or related fields. SDSU is the only university NAACLS-accredited program in SD!  The curriculum in the program emphasizes basic sciences, medical laboratory sciences, critical thinking skills and communication skills, including structured learning in the laboratories of clinical affiliated hospitals.

In order to receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in MLS, a student must successfully complete at least 120 semester credit hours. In addition to all of the required courses for the program, the student must complete all university general education requirements. If you have already completed 90 credits or graduated from another program and have completed the necessary pre-requisite courses, you can complete the accelerated MLS program.

The SDSU Medical Laboratory Science program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science NAACLS, 5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119.

Program Outcomes Information

ASCP Board Examination Pass Rate (2015-2018)96%
Job Placement Rate (2015-2018)100%
Graduation Rate (2015-2018)99%


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