The Exam

Application Requirements

Certification for both the Medical Laboratory Technician and Medical Laboratory Scientist exams are governed by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. The ASCP has a specific method of ensuring individuals are eligible for the exam and achieving MLT or MLS certification.

You can submit your application by mail or online. However, the ASCP is heading to an exclusive online application process so it may be better to focus on the online application. Before you can submit your application you need to be aware of the eligibility requirements for both the MLS and MLT certifications.

Medical Lab Technician Exam Requirements

Application Cost: $215

There are four different options available to qualify to apply for the Medical Laboratory Technician:

  1. An associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) from a college or university and completion of MLT program within last 5 years.
  2. Associates degree or at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of academic credit including 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) in both chemistry and biology and CLA certified. The CLA (ASCP) certificate was discontinued in 1982 and is no longer available through the ASCP. (EVAN EXPLAIN MORE)
  3. Associate degree with at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university with 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) in both chemistry and in biology. Also, completion of a 50 week US Military medical lab training course within last ten years.
  4. Associate degree with at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) including 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) in both biology and chemistry. Also, three years of work experience focused on Blood Banking, Chemistry, Microbiology, Hematology, Immunology and Urinalysis/Body Fluids within the last 10 years.

You must be able to show proof of completion of one of these options in order to take the exam. The ASCP will also require official documentation to accompany the path you choose. Be prepared to send an official transcript from your accredited college or university and a letter of verification from your employer demonstrating your work experience.

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Medical Laboratory Scientist Exam Requirements

Application Cost: $225

There are four different options available to qualify to apply for the Medical Laboratory Scientist:

  1. Bachelor’s degree including courses in biological science, chemistry, math and completion of a Medical Laboratory Science program within the last five years.
  2. MLT certified and a Bachelor’s degree with 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry and biological science. One semester of microbiology and one semester (one quarter) of math. Two years of experience working in the lab with experience in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Urinalysis/Body Fluids and Immunology within last 10 years (Starting in 2017 it will change to 4 years).
  3. CLA certified (Discontinued in 1982) and Bachelor’s degree with 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry and biological science. One semester of microbiology and one semester (one quarter) of math within last 10 years. Four years of experience working in the lab with experience in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Urinalysis/Body Fluids and Immunology within last 10 years (starting in 2017 it will change to 8 years).
  4. A Bachelor’s degree including 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry and biological science. Also, one semester of microbiology and one semester (one quarter) of math. Five years of clinical laboratory experience in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunology and urinalysis/body fluids within the last ten years.

In order to be eligible for the Medical Laboratory Scientist exam I pursued option 2 since I already had my Bachelor’s degree and was MLT certified. I had taken most of the classes that were necessary so that made the most sense for me. Whichever route you choose, you will need to show proof of transcripts and/or work experience. Please consult with the ASCP website for the most current information.

What Classes Count Towards the Exam?

Figuring out which classes count towards the required qualifications was difficult. If you apply without having the correct classes you will not be refunded the application fee. There is no master list of classes you can take or what courses will count to satisfy the admission requirements. I called the ASCP several times to see what classes were applicable, but I felt like they did not give me a straight answer. I finally was able to connect with the registrar and asked her about the classes I was concerned with. She helped me understand what I was lacking in order to apply. Call 1-800-267-2727 if you need questions answered.

Courses must be taught through an accredited college or university and you must have passing grades. The college I attended for my bachelor’s degree operated on a semester system, while the second college I attended functioned on a quarter model. Semester hours count at 1.5 times what quarter hours are. So a 3 credit class in the quarter system would be a 4.5 credits in a quarter model. If you have a combination of semester and quarter hours, you can make that work as well. When planning, convert all semester hours to quarter hours to keep track of your progress. Through my MLT program I had an internship at a hospital. Your internship credits will not count towards credits needed to apply. Below is a list of the MLS requirements for credit and what I took that satisfied those requirements.

Biological Science – 24 Quarter Hours

Listed below were the classes that I submitted and were accepted, in order to qualify for option 2 for the MLS. The classes I used to meet the biological science were:

  • Ecology of Ecosystems – 3 semester hours (Bachelor’s Degree)
  • Intro to Bio-Psych – 4 semester hours (Bachelor’s Degree)
  • Clinical Blood Banking – 5 quarter hours (MLT Degree)
  • Immunology – 7 quarter hours (MLT Degree)
  • Hemostasis – 5 quarter hours (MLT Degree)
  • Immunohematology – 5 quarter hours
  • Hematology – 10 quarters hours

Chemistry – 24 Quarter hours

These are the classes that I submitted in order to be qualified in order to take the test. Any chemistry class will count. I took five chemistry classes at two different colleges:

  • Chemistry 104 – Allied Health – 5 quarter hours
  • Chemistry 105 – Allied health – 5 quarter hours
  • Chemistry 110 – Chemical Concepts – 5 quarter hours
  • Chemistry-121 – Intro to Chemistry – 5 quarter hours
  • Clinical Chemistry – 8 quarter hours (MLT program)

Microbiology – One Semester

  • MLT 215-Microbiology 10 quarter hours (MLT program)

Math – One Semester

  • Math 105-Intermediate Algebra – 3 semester hours (Bachelor’s Degree)
  • Math 140-Intro to Statistics – 3 semester hours (Bachelor’s Degree)

Even though I talked to the registrar on the phone I was not confident that my classes would count. I applied for exam in July and found out in August that I was eligible. They say it could take up to 45 days but I found out in about three weeks. They will send you an email and mail you information regarding your approval to take the exam. You can also check your status by signing into your account. I suggest calling to schedule a test appointment as soon as you become eligible to take either of the exams. You are only given a three month window to take the test once you have qualified and depending on the time of year and where you live in the United States it might be difficult to schedule. There is only one testing center within driving distance from where I live. The other two testing centers in my state were over two hours away. So, by calling early to schedule my exam day I was able to test at the center that was closest to me. I was eligible from September 1st until December 1st, I scheduled it out as far as possible to ensure proper study time.