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MLS Categorical Program
The UND Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Categorical program is an undergraduate certificate program designed to prepare students for employment in a specific area in the clinical laboratory setting. The program was created by taking the curriculum for the traditional baccalaureate MLS degree and separating it by content into 4 categories that reflect the major testing areas of the clinical laboratory: Clinical Chemistry (and Urinalysis); Clinical Hematology (including Hemostasis); Clinical Immunohematology (Blood Banking); and Clinical Microbiology.
Upon completion of a categorical certificate, you are qualified for employment at the level of a Medical Laboratory Scientists within the specific category or domain. You would also be eligible to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) exam in the corresponding area as follows:
UND MLS Categorical Certificate Completed
Clinical Chemistry / Urinalysis
All 4 Categorical Certificates (listed above)
ASCP BOC Exam Eligibility
Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Exam
When a student is registered in 300 and 400 level MLS courses, a specific MLS tuition is assessed. Additional information is available in the Medical Laboratory Science Program office, 1301 N Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND, 701-777-2634 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thus far (to our knowledge), all students who have successfully completed a categorical certificate and have taken the corresponding ASCP BOC exam have passed.Gainful Employment Statistics - Categorical Certificate
Frequently Asked Program Questions
What is the difference between a categorical certificate and the traditional BS in MLS degree?
Traditional MLS certification qualifies students for the ASCP BOC Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) exam. Successful completion of the ASCP MLS BOC exam qualifies individuals to work as a generalist (in all areas of the clinical laboratory). A categorical certificate qualifies the student for the ASCP BOC exam in the corresponding area such as Hematology (H). Successful completion of the ASCP BOC Hematology Categorical exam would qualify an individual to work as the same level as a generalist - but only in the areas related to hematology.
Will I be able to find a job with categorical certification?
In general, there are many job openings in the laboratory profession. This is due in part to massive retirement of the current workforce and low numbers of new graduates. However, it is important to think about the type of lab that you plan to seek employment. For example, a smaller laboratory may not be accepting of categorical certification because it might need its employees to be able to work in all four areas.
Does completion of a categorical certificate prepare me for an ASCP BOC specialist certification?
No. The categorical certificates are at an undergraduate level - the same level as the MLS Bachelor of Science degree. A categorical certificate is designed to prepare students for the ASCP BOC categorical exam, which is at the same level as the generalist (MLS) exam (but only in the specific area).
Will my employer accept categorical certification?
Typically, ASCP categorical certification is recognized by most facilities. However, because it can vary from one institution to the next, it is highly recommended that you check with your employer prior to beginning the program.
I live in a state that mandates a license of laboratory professionals. Will categorical certification be accepted for my license?
Please check with your individual state's licensure board regarding this matter.
What is the approximate cost of the program?
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Contact Chris Triske, the categorical coordinator, for the most up-to-date and accurate tuition estimates.
As a student in the categorical program, would I qualify for financial aid?
Please contact the University of North Dakota Student Financial Aid Office for complete and accurate financial aid information and policies. If there are financial aid requirements that you must meet (for example, that you must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours/semester) to qualify, be sure to let your advisor know so that your Program of Study can be set-up appropriately.
How do I find out if I qualify for the program? How do I apply?
See the Eligibility & Admissions section.