Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Medical Laboratory Science, Bachelor of Science (5004)


Program Coordinator

Kerrie L. McDaniel, kerrie.mcdaniel@wku.edu, (270) 745-3696

With the aging of our population, it is estimated that health care will be a major service industry in our country. An important part of health care is Medical Laboratory Science, formally known as Medical Technology, a profession that includes well-trained, highly educated individuals who are the fact-finders of the medical world. Medical Laboratory Scientists typically analyze body fluids, examine tissues, and identify specific microorganisms to find evidence for and the cause of specific diseases such as AIDS, Diabetes, and Cancer. Some of the exciting new demands of the profession include tissue typing for organ transplantation, chromosomal studies as a basis for genetic counseling, identification of environmental pollutants, and screening tests for accidental poisoning and drug abuse. The demand for Medical Technologists is very high. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to project a need for new Medical Laboratory Scientists to meet medical demands of an aging population.

Although two-thirds of Medical Laboratory Scientists work in hospital laboratories, new sources of employment include laboratories in physician’s offices, research facilities in universities and industries, public health centers, and veterinary clinics.

Medical Laboratory Science program combines a minimum of three years (96 semester hours) of college courses at Western Kentucky University with a minimum of 12 calendar months (36 semester hours) of satisfactory clinical training in a school of Medical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology). This school must be approved by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the American Medical Association and by the medical technology coordinator at Western Kentucky University.

Coursework for this major requires a minimum of 83 hours (36 of which are completed at a Medical Laboratory Science school and transferred back to the Department of Biology) and leads to a B.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Science. No minor is required. A student must meet all of the Colonnade Requirements for the bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky University before admission to the school of medical technology. Upon satisfactory completion of the course requirements in medical laboratory science, the Bachelor of Science degree will be awarded by Western Kentucky University. Graduates of the medical laboratory science program are eligible to take national credentialing examinations for medical technologists which result in membership in the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (A.S.C.P.).The program is affiliated with the following schools of medical technology: Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY; Owensboro Medical Health System, Owensboro, KY; Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, TN; and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Covington, KY.

Program Requirements (83 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

Required Courses:
BIOL 120
BIOL 121
Biological Concepts: Cells Metabolism and Genetics
and Biological Concepts: Cells, Metabolism, and Genetics Lab
4
BIOL 122
BIOL 123
Biological Concepts: Evolution, Diversity, and Ecology
and Biological Concepts: Evolution, Diversity, and Ecology Lab
4
BIOL 224
BIOL 225
Animal Biology and Diversity
and Animal Biology and Diversity Lab
4
BIOL 226
BIOL 227
Microbial Biology and Diversity
and Microbial Biology and Diversity Lab
4
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Molecular and Cell Biology
and Introduction to Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory
Genetics
and Genetics Laboratory
BIOL 328Immunology4
CHEM 120
CHEM 121
College Chemistry I
and College Chemistry I Laboratory
5
CHEM 222
CHEM 223
College Chemistry II
and College Chemistry II Laboratory
5
BIOL/CHEM 446Biochemistry I3
CHEM 340
CHEM 341
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
MATH 118College Algebra and Trigonometry5
or MATH 116
MATH 117
College Algebra
and Trigonometry
Clinical training at a Medical Laboratory School36
Total Hours83

More detailed information including Colonnade (general education) requirements can be obtained from the coordinator. Students must consult the coordinator regarding applying for admission to the medical technology schools. Application is made 9 to 12 months in advance of the beginning date for the medical technology school. Admission to these schools is on a competitive basis, and maintenance of a good academic standing is required. Students are required to have liability insurance for their clinical years.

Finish in Four Plan

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
BIOL 120
BIOL 121
4BIOL 122
BIOL 123
4 
MATH 116 (or higher)3MATH 117 (or higher)3 
ENG 1003Colonnade - Explorations3 
Colonnade - Explorations3 
Colonnade - Explorations3CHEM 120
CHEM 121
5 
 16 15 
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
BIOL 224
BIOL 225
4BIOL 3284 
ENG 2003BIOL 226
BIOL 227
4 
BIOL 327
BIOL 337 (or BIOL 319/322)
4COMM 1453 
BIOL upper-division Elective3CHEM 222
CHEM 223
5 
Colonnade - Explorations3BIOL upper-division Elective3 
 17 19 
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
CHEM 340
CHEM 341
5CHEM 446 or BIOL 4463BIOL 4924
BIOL upper-division Elective3HIST 101 or HIST 1023 
World Language or Elective3BIOL upper-division Elective3 
Colonnade - Writing in the Disciplines3Colonnade - Connections3 
Colonnade - Connections3Colonnade - Connections3 
 17 15 4
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
BIOL 49314BIOL 49414BIOL 4924
 14 14 4
Total Hours 135