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 four categories that reflect the major testing areas of the clinical laboratory.
- Clinical Chemistry (and Urinalysis)
- Clinical Hematology (including Hemostasis)
- Clinical Immunohematology (Blood Banking)
- Clinical Microbiology
Graduate Prepared for Employment
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
- Clinical Hematology
- Clinical Immunohematology
- Clinical Microbiology
- All 4 Categorical Certificates (listed above)
ASCP BOC Exam Eligibility
- Chemistry (C)
- Hematology (H)
- Blood banking (BB)
- Microbiology (M)
- Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Exam
Frequently Asked Program Questions
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.
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.
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).
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.
Please check with your individual state's licensure board regarding this matter.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Contact Chris Triske, the categorical coordinator, for the most up-to-date and accurate tuition estimates.
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 six credit hours/semester) to qualify, be sure to let your advisor know so that your Program of Study can be set-up appropriately.
If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact the MLS categorical program coordinator at:
Chris Triske, M.S., MT(ASCP)
UND Medical Laboratory Science Program
1301 N Columbia Rd Stop 9037
Grand Forks, ND 58202