Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science
Frequently Asked Questions
What coursework must be completed before applying?
Applicants should be within 1-2 semesters of completing pre-requisite coursework before applying. Courses in progress can be listed on the application form and must be completed prior to enrollment. The following pre-requisite coursework is necessary before enrolling: 16 semester hours of biology, including one course in microbiology (pathogenic microbiology is strongly recommended) and one course in immunology, 16 semester hours of chemistry, including one course in either biochemistry or organic chemistry, and one college level math course. These courses must qualify toward degrees in either chemistry or biological science. Science courses for non-science majors are not acceptable. All courses in progress must be successfully completed (grade of C or above) prior to enrollment.
If I am taking coursework in chemistry or microbiology to meet the admission requirements, do I need to take a lab course in addition to the lecture course?
Because the focus of professional practice is laboratory science, taking laboratory coursework is a way for applicants to demonstrate strength in the pre-requisite curriculum. A minimum of 3 chemistry courses with laboratory and 3 biology courses with laboratory are required. Applicants must also have one upper division chemistry course preferably with laboratory and one upper division microbiology course with laboratory within seven years prior to enrollment completed at an accredited four year college/university. It is recommended but not required that courses in biochemistry and/or organic chemistry, microbiology, and immunology include both lecture and laboratory components.
I would like to schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor and tour your facilities.
The Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science does not offer formal on-site advising sessions. The "Minimum Application Requirements" document serves as a self-evaluation checklist for interested applicants to determine their minimum eligibility for admission consideration. Queries regarding advising by e-mail or phone should occur after applicants have completed the self-evaluation checklist. When eligible applicants come for their formal interview, they have an opportunity to tour our student lecture/laboratory facilities.
Does the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science grant the baccalaureate degree?
Students that attend the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science enter the professional curriculum after completing the baccalaureate degree. Upon successful completion of the CCMLS curriculum, graduates receive the professional certificate from CCMLS.
If I make application, will I be admitted?
Making application is a 2 step process: 1) submission of required documentation by the applicant, and 2) invitation for formal interview by the Admission Committee. Applicants should review the "Minimum Application Requirements" before submitting documentation for application. Only the top eligible applicants - from those who meet the minimum application requirements and have submitted all the required application materials - will be invited for an interview. The application process is competitive. There are more applicants than class positions; application does not guarantee admission. The Admission Committee advises applicants to apply early and to give close consideration to the admission requirements.
Do I need to complete a particular major before attending the professional curriculum at the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science?
No, but all applicants must complete the required pre-requisite coursework. Most applicants have degrees in biology, microbiology, biochemistry, or chemistry. Occasionally, we receive an application from a student with a degree in another discipline who has completed the pre-requisite coursework for admission.
If I have been out of college for several years, do I need to take updated coursework?
Applicants must update coursework by taking one upper division chemistry course with laboratory and one upper division microbiology course with laboratory at an accredited four year college/university, if previous coursework was completed more than 7 years prior to enrollment. The update courses must qualify toward a degree in either chemistry or biological science.
With what universities is the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science currently affiliated?
- Colorado State University – Ft. Collins
- Colorado State University – Pueblo
- Metropolitan State University of Denver
- Montana State University
- North Dakota State University
- University of Montana
- University of Northern Colorado
The Center also admits baccalaureate degreed students from other colleges and universities.
Does the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science offer on-line courses?
As of January 2019, CCMLS is not offering a full on-line curriculum. The Center is currently working with innovative curriculum components.
Am I able to advance place out of coursework offered during the professional curriculum by CCMLS since I have taken many science courses?
The MLS curriculum is very specialized. Science courses taken at a university are required prerequisite courses and do not substitute for courses in the professional curriculum. All applicants must meet all `Minimum Application Requirements' or coursework must be in progress at the time of application. The Center does not make exceptions or allow substitutions for required pre-requisite coursework. Applicants with phlebotomy certification or experience may place out of the phlebotomy portion of the curriculum. Individuals with previous MLS coursework in a NAACLS approved professional curriculum may be eligible for advanced placement as determined by the course instructor.
Is there an application deadline?
There is no application deadline. Applications are accepted year round. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply one year prior to the June start date.
When do classes begin and what is the course schedule?
Classes begin in early June and students complete the program the following May. During the Summer and Fall Semesters, students are in lecture and laboratory classes Monday through Friday for 7-8 hours per day; most class days begin at 8:00 or 9:00am and finish at 4:00pm. During the Spring Semester, students enroll in five 4-week clinical courses which run from January through May. Clinical courses take place in one of our community partner laboratories; clinical rotation assignments are Monday through Friday, starting between 6:00 and 8:00am and continuing for an 8.5 hour block depending on the course assignment.
The curriculum consists of classroom, student laboratory and clinical experiences. How do these experiences all fit together?
In the summer and fall semesters students enroll in lecture and laboratory courses. These are held in the program classroom and student laboratory facilities. Lecture and student laboratory courses are preparatory for clinical coursework which occurs during the spring semester. Students are assigned to clinical rotation experiences in one of our partner clinical affiliate laboratories. During clinical coursework the knowledge and techniques learned during classroom courses are further developed in preparation for entering the workplace upon graduation.
What is the salary range for a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
In the Denver-metro area, the average-starting salary for clinical laboratory scientists is approximately $46,000-56,000 depending upon the facility and the shift worked. Some graduates receive sign-on bonuses. In this geographic area, staff technologists with experience can earn up to $70,000. The salaries of supervisors and managers range from $60,000 to $90,000 depending on the size of the facility they manage and the level of responsibility of the manager. The American Society for Clinical Pathology, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publish national statistics on salaries for the nation’s medical laboratory scientists.
Exactly what are the job responsibilities of a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
The Medical Laboratory Scientist works in hospital laboratories performing diagnostic laboratory testing in Hematology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Immunohematology (Blood Bank), and Molecular Diagnostics. Laboratory procedures provide physicians with accurate, reliable data necessary for medical diagnosis. Certified MLS professionals are also employed in reference laboratories, physician offices, research facilities, clinics, public health facilities, business, education, and industry.
Does the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science have a job placement service?
Because there is a serious shortage of MLS professionals, there are many job opportunities in the state of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. Most CCMLS graduates have multiple job offers by graduation. Students make employment contacts through the Center's clinical affiliates and during clinical rotation experiences.
Are there jobs available for Medical Laboratory Scientists?
The need for certified laboratorians is great throughout Colorado and the United States. There are more MLS jobs than educated practitioners to fill these positions.
What type of financial aid is available to students?
Information on the following types of financial aid is made available to admitted students:
- Private Loans
- National Scholarships and grant opportunities as available
- Hospital Tuition Support as available.