Medical Laboratory Sciences


Our Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) degree program prepares you for one of health care’s most fascinating roles – scientifically evaluating and analyzing medical samples. We offer a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences to prepare you for this science-based profession that is critical to health maintenance as well as disease diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.

Earning a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences from NIU sets you on a path for success. You’ll develop the analytical expertise to become a vital team member with physicians, nurses, health care professionals, patients and their families.

Our MLS program graduates have a higher than average pass rate on the Board of Certification exam, as well as a 90 percent employment rate in the field after graduation.

We also offer an MLT to MLS degree completion program.

MLS Application

View more admission requirements.

We are accepting applications for fall 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in your MLT-MLS Program and have an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) not an Associate Degree (AA or AS). Can I still apply to this program?

Students can apply, but may need to complete additional general education and/or prerequisite coursework before starting the program. The MLS Program Coordinator will advise you after review of your transcript.

How do I know if my credits will transfer or if I need additional courses?

The best way to determine this is by applying to the university. Upon acceptance, your transcript(s) will be reviewed for credit. Once this is done, an advisor will look at the coursework to determine whether any courses can be substituted to apply to the major and degree requirements.

Can I take courses part-time and in which semester?

MLT degree completion students wanting to pursue a BS in MLS have the option of starting courses in the fall or spring and may take courses part-time.

Traditional students pursuing a degree in MLS start in the fall semester only.

Do I have to apply to the university before applying to the program?

Yes. There is a separate application for the MLS major.

Are all courses online for the MLT to MLS option?

All program didactic courses are online for MLT to MLS students, but not all general education or prerequisite courses are online. If it is determined that you lack a required lab course or experience, then you may need to take a lab course. This would be determined on a case to case basis.

Will I get credit for my work experience?

Yes. Students that have at least one year of full-time work experience before starting the program will receive 13 semester credit hours for a number of lab courses and upon successful completion of all MLS requirements maybe awarded up to an additional 17 credit hours of proficiency credit for the learning experiences leading to the A.A.S. in CLT/MLT. Students are also exempt from the 30 semester hour university graduation residence requirement.

If I’m an MLT, will I have to do another practicum at a hospital?

Yes, a one semester (15 week) practicum is required at one of our Chicagoland or Rockford, IL hospital affiliates and is tailored to the student’s needs and experiences.

If I’m an MLT with greater than one year of full-time work experience living outside of Illinois, will I need to come to Illinois to do my practicum? Or can I do my practicum at my place of work?

Currently, we still require a practicum at a hospital that is affiliated with NIU.

Do I need to take a state licensure exam?

The state of Illinois does not have a licensure law. You will need to decide whether this program meets the requirements of your state.

If I would like more information about the program, who should I contact?

Please contact Ellen Olsen, Program Coordinator for more information. Call: 815-753-6300 or email: