Medical Laboratory Science

Composite Major

Department Chair: Dr. Andre DeLorme,, (701) 845-7573
Faculty Contact: Dr. Hilde van Gijssel,, (701) 845-7337
Department Office: 203 Rhoades Science Center, (701) 845-7452
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major trains essential members of the health care team. Graduates of this major study and practice diagnostic medicine and generate accurate and reliable test results in chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, and microbiology. Results of these tests provide key information to help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. This major at VCSU is meant to give students career opportunities particularly in rural areas. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in this field are expected to be excellent. Employment of medical laboratory workers is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2018–2028, faster than the average for all occupations (

Pre-Professional Club

The Pre-Professional Club is for students interested in continuing their education in the medical field (including nursing), law, accounting, and graduate school. This club provides support for students going through the application process and provide opportunities to practice aptitude tests such as the GRE, mCAT, LSAT, and DAT. Volunteer work, job shadowing, and educational & leadership opportunities are also part of the club’s activities. The goal is for students to support each other, learn from other students’ experiences, thus making your applications stronger, and increasing your chance for successful admission into your program of choice.

Western College Alliance

Valley City State University has an affiliation agreement with the University of North Dakota  for  this  major. This is considered the 3+1 track, and students in this track are from affiliated universities in the Western College Alliance for Medical Laboratory Science. Each of the affiliated colleges have aligned specific curriculum content in their first three years with UND’s MLS program. The universities that do not offer the professional  courses such as hematology, clinical immunology, or medical microbiology contract with the University  of  North Dakota  to  deliver  these  courses  by  distance  learning.

Medical Laboratory Science Certificate

Students in this major take part in a very prescribed program. The first six semesters for the  MLS  degree are completed at VCSU in the pre-professional phase. Upon successful completion of all required prerequisite coursework, the student applies to UND to complete the professional phase. This consists of a summer practicum experience at the UND campus in Grand Forks, ND, followed by two semesters in a clinical setting at a UND MLS clinical affiliate. The student will graduate in the MLS major with a degree from Valley City State University and a certificate from UND.

General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III: Persuasive Writing
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Precalculus 1
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I 1
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I 1
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Cognition and Brain Science
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Select one of the following:2
Concepts of Fitness and Wellness
Introduction to Stress Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Required Courses
BIOL 151General Biology II4
BIOL 220Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 221Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOL 310Microbiology4
BIOL 441Cell Biology4
or CHEM 360 Elements of Biochemistry
CHEM 122General Chemistry II5
CHEM 341Organic Chemistry I5
MGMT 330Principles of Management3
MLS 234Human Paracitology (University of North Dakota)2
MLS 301Immunology (University of North Dakota)3
MLS 325/325LHermatology & Lab (University of North Dakota)4
MLS 336Laboratory Calculations (University of North Dakota)1
MLS 394Medical Microbiology (University of North Dakota)2
Directed Electives
Select 4 hours from the following:4
Quantitative Analysis I
Organic Chemistry II
Calculus I
MLS certificate at UND (University of North Dakota). Students are required to spend the summer of their senior year at UND and their senior year in a hospital-based clinical laboratory.
MLS 471Clinical Chemistry I2
MLS 472Pre-Analytical Skills1
MLS 473Clinical Hemostasis2
MLS 474Clinical Urinalysis2
MLS 477Clinical Immunohematology I1
MLS 477LClinical Immunohematology I Lab1
MLS 478Clinical Microbiology I2
MLS 479Clinical Hematology I2
MLS 480Clinical Immunohematology II2
MLS 481Clinical Chemistry II2
MLS 483Clinical Hemostasis II1
MLS 484Clinical Microbiology II2
MLS 485Clinical Urinalysis II1
MLS 487Medical Mycology1
MLS 488Clinical Hematology II2
MLS 489Clinical Bodily Fluids1
MLS 490 Financial & Quality Management of the Clinical Laboratory3
MLS 491Clinical Chemistry III2
MLS 492Clinical Immunohematology III2
MLS 494Clinical Immunology1
MLS 495Clinical Microbiology III2
MLS 498Clinical Hematology III2
Total Credits86

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 86 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 126 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.

Plan of Study

Fall start - even years

First Year
Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2BIOL 1514 
BIOL 150 (Gen Ed)4CHEM 1225 
CHEM 121 (Gen Ed)5COMM 110 (Gen Ed)3 
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3 
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3 
 17 18 
Second Year
BIOL 2204BIOL 2214 
CHEM 3304BIOL 3104 
MATH 107 (Gen Ed)3BIOL 4414 
SOC 110 (Gen Ed)3HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2 
 14 14 
Third Year
BIOL 4912Art and Music (Gen Ed)3MLS 325L1
CHEM 3415BIOL 3154MLS certificate courses (offered through UND)13
MLS 234 (offered through UND)2MGMT 3303 
MLS 301 (offered through UND)3MLS 325 (offered through UND)3 
Social Science (Gen Ed)3MLS 336 (offered thought UND)1 
 15 14 14
Fourth Year
MLS certificate course affiliated hospital12MLS certificate courses affiliated hospital12 
 12 12 
Total Credits 130

Fall start - odd years

First Year
Additional Humanities or social Science (Gen Ed)2BIOL 1514 
BIOL 150 (Gen Ed)4CHEM 1225 
CHEM 121 (Gen Ed)5COMM 110 (Gen Ed)3 
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3 
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3 
 17 18 
Second Year
BIOL 2204BIOL 2214 
CHEM 3415BIOL 3104 
MATH 107 (Gen Ed)3BIOL 315 or CHEM 3424-5 
SOC 110 (Gen Ed)3HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2 
 15 14-15 
Third Year
BIOL 4912BIOL 315 or MATH 1654MLS 325L (offered through UND)1
CHEM 3604MGMT 3303MLS certificate courses (offered though UND)13
Literacies (Gen Ed)3MLS 300 (offered through UND)3 
MLS 234 (offered through UND)2MLS 325 (offered through UND)3 
MLS 301 (offered through UND)3MLS 336 (offered through UND)1 
 Social Science (Gen Ed)3 
 14 17 14
Fourth Year
MLS certificate course affiliated hospital12MLS certificate courses affiliated hospital12 
 12 12 
Total Credits 133-134

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of the Medical Laboratory Science Program the students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the major concepts in chemistry and biology
  2. Exhibit critical thinking skills by applying the scientific method to solve problems
  3. Exhibit the entry level competencies needed to work as a Bachelor of Science degreed medical laboratory scientist.
  4. Exhibit adequate knowledge and background experience to qualify for national certification examinations appropriate to their level of training.