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The background image is A researcher is seen at a lab bench at Penn State College of Medicine. The researcher is wearing appropriate protective equipment and holding a test tube.

Training the next generation of skilled laboratory workers

One of Penn State Health’s missions is “the professional preparation of those who will serve the health needs of others.” As part of that mission, the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Program in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center prepares individuals for the practice of medical laboratory science.

The 11-month training program results in a certificate in medical laboratory science from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center while fulfilling requirements for a bachelor’s-level degree in a Medical Laboratory Science-related major from the affiliating college or university.

The program typically fulfills the student’s senior year of college (3+1 option), but applicants with a BS degree (4+1) who meet the entrance requirements will be considered.

Apply today See program details

Explore Program Details

The Medical Laboratory Science Program curriculum encompasses didactic and clinical experiences; the development of professional and leadership skills; and a commitment to life-long learning.

The program promotes the values of respect for others, integrity, teamwork, and excellence in providing the high-quality care patients need and deserve.

The program culminates with the student attaining career-entry competence as a medical laboratory scientist.

Learn more about curriculum

See How to Apply

The Medical Laboratory Science program admits eight students per year.

Admission to the program is determined by an Admissions Committee, which will offer admission to those students whose academic performance, recommendations by references and attributes in the affective domain indicate the highest probability of success.

Applicants for admission to the program will receive equal consideration regardless of race, color, religious or sexual preference, ethnic or national origin, age or sex.

Apply now

Contact the Program

For details, contact:

Mary Beth Miele, PhD
MLS(ASCP)CM, RM(NRCM)
MLS Program Director
Instructor, Department of Pathology
Penn State Health
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Dr.
Mailcode H160
Hershey, PA 17033-0850

Phone: 717-531-7461
Fax: 717-531-0154

Email the Director

The background image is The campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is seen from the air on a sunny day.

Program Training Facilities

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

    Penn State Health Milton S. Medical Center was founded in 1963 through a gift from The Milton S. Hershey Foundation and opened its doors in 1967. Since then, it has become a leading teaching and research hospital.

    The Medical Center includes six institutes − a Cancer Institute, Heart and Vascular Institute, Bone and Joint Institute, Neuroscience Institute, Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Institute for Personalized Medicine.

    Hershey Medical Center is the only medical facility in Pennsylvania to be accredited as both an adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma center.

    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier academic health centers, Hershey Medical Center recruits faculty members who are internationally known for their accomplishments in research, education and patient care. Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center faculty and physicians integrate the latest biomedical knowledge and technology with compassionate care of patients, while educating the next generation of scientists, physicians and health care professionals.

    The medical center employs more than 10,000 people and has an annual budget of approximately $1.7 billion dollars, 548 licensed beds, and approximately 28,000 hospital admissions (adult and pediatric), 32,000 surgical procedures and 75,000 emergency room visits annually. Each year, more than 1 million outpatient visits occur within the Penn State Health system, and this number is likely to grow as new regional and community partners join the system.

    Learn more about the Medical Center

  • Pathology Department Laboratories

    Within the Department of Pathology, laboratories serve the needs of both clinicians and patients.

    Anatomic pathology services include decedent care, cytopathology, histology, surgical pathology, hematopathology and dermatopathology.

    Clinical pathology services include specimen processing, phlebotomy, client services, and patient laboratory test results reporting.

    Transfusion medicine and transplantation support services encompass blood donation, blood typing, compatibility testing, antibody identification, stem cell collection and pre- and post-transplant histocompatibility testing, and therapeutic apheresis services.

    Testing of human samples to identify infectious agents that impact patient treatment is performed in microbiology and virology by manual and molecular methods.

    In the molecular pathology laboratory, genetic sequences associated with high-risk human papillomaviruses, chronic myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, thrombosis risk and cystic fibrosis are sought to support the diagnoses or aid in the monitoring or treatment of these diseases.

    The automated testing laboratory provides hematology, coagulation, clinical chemistry and urinalysis testing. Billable test volumes for all clinical pathology laboratories exceed 2 million annually.

    Explore pathology laboratories

  • Classroom and Training Spaces

    The Medical Laboratory Science training program has a separate classroom dedicated to Phase One didactic instruction and a student laboratory that allows students to gain the technical skills necessary to perform laboratory testing on clinical specimens.

    Phase Two of the training program will take place within the clinical pathology laboratories, which occupy more than 18,000 square feet.

    Daily Phase One activities will focus on building foundational knowledge of clinical laboratory practice and obtaining technical skills essential for good laboratory practice in both classroom and student laboratory settings.

    In Phase Two, students will work side-by-side with certified laboratory professionals in our Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified, College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratories to perform waived to high-complexity laboratory testing of clinical samples. The test results obtained provide objective data to aid clinicians when making diagnostic, prognostic and treatment decisions critical to good patient outcomes and excellent patient care.

    Curriculum activities promote the development and mastery of laboratory skills. Acquiring this knowledge and perfecting these skills enables program graduates to function in many laboratory settings, including hospital, physician office, reference, research, forensic and industrial laboratories.

  • Harrell Health Sciences Library

    Medical Laboratory Science students have free, unlimited access to Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons resources.

    Library collections and services support the informational needs of Hershey Medical Center users engaged in patient care, research and education, including interlibrary loan, search services and instruction. Students have on-site access to more than 6.9 million books, almost 400,000 ebooks, 110,000 online full-text journals and 706 databases. Most digital platforms are compatible with mobile devices.

    Each MLS student will be issued a laptop computer for use during the 11-month training period. Penn State provides access to many of the major scientific journals, highly used scholarly databases and point-of-care clinical tools. The first floor of the library features a mix of lounges, study carrels, group study rooms, the One-Button Studio for presentation recording and a technology sandbox for experimentation with emerging technologies, including new software and 3D printing.

    The library is open every day except major holidays, and the study room and computer lab are available 24 hours a day.

    Learn more about the library

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Penn State Health Milton S. Medical Center was founded in 1963 through a gift from The Milton S. Hershey Foundation and opened its doors in 1967. Since then, it has become a leading teaching and research hospital.

The Medical Center includes six institutes − a Cancer Institute, Heart and Vascular Institute, Bone and Joint Institute, Neuroscience Institute, Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Institute for Personalized Medicine.

Hershey Medical Center is the only medical facility in Pennsylvania to be accredited as both an adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma center.

Recognized as one of the nation’s premier academic health centers, Hershey Medical Center recruits faculty members who are internationally known for their accomplishments in research, education and patient care. Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center faculty and physicians integrate the latest biomedical knowledge and technology with compassionate care of patients, while educating the next generation of scientists, physicians and health care professionals.

The medical center employs more than 10,000 people and has an annual budget of approximately $1.7 billion dollars, 548 licensed beds, and approximately 28,000 hospital admissions (adult and pediatric), 32,000 surgical procedures and 75,000 emergency room visits annually. Each year, more than 1 million outpatient visits occur within the Penn State Health system, and this number is likely to grow as new regional and community partners join the system.

Learn more about the Medical Center

Pathology Department Laboratories

Within the Department of Pathology, laboratories serve the needs of both clinicians and patients.

Anatomic pathology services include decedent care, cytopathology, histology, surgical pathology, hematopathology and dermatopathology.

Clinical pathology services include specimen processing, phlebotomy, client services, and patient laboratory test results reporting.

Transfusion medicine and transplantation support services encompass blood donation, blood typing, compatibility testing, antibody identification, stem cell collection and pre- and post-transplant histocompatibility testing, and therapeutic apheresis services.

Testing of human samples to identify infectious agents that impact patient treatment is performed in microbiology and virology by manual and molecular methods.

In the molecular pathology laboratory, genetic sequences associated with high-risk human papillomaviruses, chronic myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, thrombosis risk and cystic fibrosis are sought to support the diagnoses or aid in the monitoring or treatment of these diseases.

The automated testing laboratory provides hematology, coagulation, clinical chemistry and urinalysis testing. Billable test volumes for all clinical pathology laboratories exceed 2 million annually.

Explore pathology laboratories

Classroom and Training Spaces

The Medical Laboratory Science training program has a separate classroom dedicated to Phase One didactic instruction and a student laboratory that allows students to gain the technical skills necessary to perform laboratory testing on clinical specimens.

Phase Two of the training program will take place within the clinical pathology laboratories, which occupy more than 18,000 square feet.

Daily Phase One activities will focus on building foundational knowledge of clinical laboratory practice and obtaining technical skills essential for good laboratory practice in both classroom and student laboratory settings.

In Phase Two, students will work side-by-side with certified laboratory professionals in our Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified, College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratories to perform waived to high-complexity laboratory testing of clinical samples. The test results obtained provide objective data to aid clinicians when making diagnostic, prognostic and treatment decisions critical to good patient outcomes and excellent patient care.

Curriculum activities promote the development and mastery of laboratory skills. Acquiring this knowledge and perfecting these skills enables program graduates to function in many laboratory settings, including hospital, physician office, reference, research, forensic and industrial laboratories.

Harrell Health Sciences Library

Medical Laboratory Science students have free, unlimited access to Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons resources.

Library collections and services support the informational needs of Hershey Medical Center users engaged in patient care, research and education, including interlibrary loan, search services and instruction. Students have on-site access to more than 6.9 million books, almost 400,000 ebooks, 110,000 online full-text journals and 706 databases. Most digital platforms are compatible with mobile devices.

Each MLS student will be issued a laptop computer for use during the 11-month training period. Penn State provides access to many of the major scientific journals, highly used scholarly databases and point-of-care clinical tools. The first floor of the library features a mix of lounges, study carrels, group study rooms, the One-Button Studio for presentation recording and a technology sandbox for experimentation with emerging technologies, including new software and 3D printing.

The library is open every day except major holidays, and the study room and computer lab are available 24 hours a day.

Learn more about the library