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Medical Laboratory Science Program

Admission Requirements

UPMC Chautauqua WCA

UPMC Chautauqua WCA does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran's status, national origin, color, creed or handicap in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its program or activities.  To be considered for admission, students must comply with the program's established admission requirements and meet the minimum technical prerequisites.  Special circumstances may be addressed on an individual basis by the Program Director and Admissions Committee.

Academic Prerequisites for Admission

To be eligible to attend the UPMC Chautauqua WCA program, (1) a student must continue to be enrolled in his/her university, (2) the university must record the clinical experience credits on the student’s university transcript, and (3) the student must graduate from the university with a Bachelor of Science (or Advanced Certificate) upon successfully completing the medical laboratory program year.  Students typically apply to our hospital program at the beginning of the fall university semester, one full year prior to the start of the hospital program year.  It is understood that prerequisites might not be finished yet; however, the applicant must clearly prove that all prerequisite courses will be successfully completed prior to the start of the program year for which he/she is applying.  Prior to commencing the program year, a student must have a minimum of three years of college/university education (90 semester hours or more), meeting all of the graduation requirements of the university (sans the hospital program year).

The following specific course requirements must be satisfied prior to the start of the student's year of clinical experience in order to be eligible:

Biological Sciences: a minimum of 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours
Required prerequisites: (1) microbiology & lab, (2) physiology & lab (with anatomy), and (3) immunology.
Recommended coursework: genetics and/or molecular biology are highly recommended; aspects of these subjects will be included in the hospital program year, but it is recommended a student take foundational courses at their college/university. The remaining courses may be selected from upper level courses offered within the biology department. The content of these courses must be acceptable toward the college/university's requirements of the degreed major. Survey courses are not acceptable.

Chemistry: a minimum of 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours
Required prerequisites: (1) one full academic year of inorganic/general chemistry & lab (may include either quantitative or qualitative analysis), (2) organic chemistry, and (3) biochemistry & lab (highly recommended) and/or analytical chemistry & lab. The content of these courses must be acceptable toward the college/university's requirements of the degreed major. Survey courses are not acceptable.

Mathematics: a minimum of one semester or one quarter hour
Required prerequisite: one course in statistics is required.

Recommended Elective Courses:

  • Genetics and/or Molecular Biology
  • Parasitology
  • Hematology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Mycology
  • Instrumentation
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Management/Supervision
  • Business/Administration
  • Education

 

Work done at each institution attended by the applicant is closely examined and handled similarly to the current university transcript.  No credit is given for non-traditional education unless it has been previously accepted by the degree-granting institution.

Transcript Evaluation

In order for a potential applicant to be eligible to apply for our clinical program, he/she must meet the following minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements (out of a possible GPA of 4.0):

Cumulative university GPA ≥2.5
Biology GPA ≥2.5
Chemistry GPA* ≥2.3

To determine if you meet these minimum GPAs, complete the Transcript Evaluation form (see Downloads) including all courses within each discipline and calculating your overall GPA in each section. Utilize this form to also verify you will be completing all prerequisite courses prior to beginning a clinical program year. This Transcript Evaluation form must be completed correctly and in its entirety prior to submission. At any time that your calculations do not meet the minimum GPA requirements, you are ineligible to apply to the UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program.

Applicants who meet these minimum GPA levels may apply and will have their credentials further evaluated by program officials and the Admissions Committee of the UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program.  Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and an overall science GPA of 3.0 or better will receive first consideration.

A student who receives any grade less than a “C” (C– or below) in any junior year (for 3+1) or senior year (for 4+1) course must re-take that course.  The student may still apply for an internship position, but must show when the course(s) will be repeated prior to the start of the program year.  Contact the Program Director with any questions.
*UPMC Chautauqua WCA includes biochemistry in the calculation of the chemistry GPA.

Post-baccalaureate Degreed Applicants

In order to be eligible to apply to the UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program, individuals who have already obtained their Bachelor degree (U.S. or foreign) MUST be enrolled (re-enroll) in internship-related credit-bearing U.S. university course(s) leading toward an additional degree or advanced certificate from that U.S. university.  Therefore, upon successful completion of the internship year, credits and grades obtained for the clinical experience must appear on the student’s college/university transcript (NY State Department of Education licensure requirement, www.op.nysed.gov).

Seven Year Limit for Prerequisites

Students who have completed the academic prerequisites seven or more years ago are required to complete current credit-bearing courses in Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry prior to acceptance into the program and must score a minimum of 2.7 (B-) in each course.  These applicants are further encouraged to acquire more current coursework in other core sciences (ie. anatomy, physiology, genetics, statistics, chemistry) as they meet the university’s requirements for the Bachelor degree.

Foreign Students Currently Enrolled in a US University

In order to be granted an interview, foreign students must submit the following with their application:

  1. A letter from the Registrar, Dean or other official of your baccalaureate university attesting to:
    1. Your full-time student status
    2. Your financial good standing with the university
  1. Photocopies of residency status:
    1. Your passport
    2. Your VISA
    3. Your I-20 form issued by your university
  1. Report of an English language proficiency exam, if applicable (see English as a Second Language, below)

English as a Second Language

Students for whom English is a second language are required to submit as part of their application an official report of recent results, within the last 2 years, from one of the following English language proficiency examination options (no other test-options accepted).

Approved exam options:    

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL-iBT)
  2. The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with the oral/speaking portion
  3. Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE-academic)
  4. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

You must include the original score report (a report copy will only be accepted if it is made and signed by a notary public who authenticates the photocopy from the original document) with your application for admission.

Applicants must obtain the following scores or better for whichever test-type is taken as shown in the tables, to be considered eligible to attend the UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program:

  1. Minimum Required Scores on TOEFL-iBT
Skill: Reading Listening Speaking Writing TOTAL
Minimum score: ≥23 ≥23 ≥26 ≥23 ≥100
  1. Minimum Required Scores on MELAB with oral exam
Skill: Written composition Listening comprehension GCVR Overall Speaking test
Minimum score: ≥80 ≥80 ≥80 ≥85 4
  1. Minimum Required Scores on PTE-academic
Skill: Communicative skills Enabling Skills Overall score
Minimum score: Each individual score ≥59 Each individual score ≥59 ≥68
  1. Minimum Required Scores on IELTS (Academic modules)
Skill: Listening Academic Reading Academic Writing Speaking Overall Band Score:
Minimum score: ≥7.0 ≥7.0 ≥7.0 ≥7.5 ≥7.5

A foreign student currently enrolled in a U.S. university does not need to have his/her foreign transcripts evaluated by a secondary agency since the university has verified the non-U.S course(s) and accepted those which meet the requirements for completion of the U.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Science.

Medical Laboratory Technician

Individuals who hold an MLT degree and wish to gain their 4-year medical laboratory science degree must enroll in a Medical Laboratory Science degreed program at an academic institution (see College and University Affiliates) and apply to the UPMC Chautauqua WCA program as a 3 + 1 student (or 4 + 1) proving prerequisite course work for both the baccalaureate degree requirements and UPMC Chautauqua WCA’s application requirements will be met.  No credits are awarded for work experience or credits earned in an MLT program unless those credits were accepted by the baccalaureate degree-granting institution.  The UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program does not offer testing to allow a student to “opt out” of any aspect of its program year; enrolled students must complete the clinical year in its entirety.

Acceptance Criteria

A numerical ranking of applicants created using science GPAs, reference scores and interview scores is utilized by the Admission's Committee to help direct decisions, but is not the sole basis of student selection.
Students are selected on the basis of:


Technical Prerequisites for Admission

An applicant must have the following abilities in order to accomplish the essential requirements of the program.

  1. Effective oral, written and social communication skills in Standard English language.
    1. be able to read and comprehend technical, instructional, professional and informational materials.
    2. follow written and verbal instructions.
    3. have social and communication skills to effectively and concisely interact with patients, physicians, health care providers, hospital personnel and coworkers in both direct and indirect verbal contact and in written format.
  2. Physical and behavioral skills.
    1. be able to sit, stand or walk for moderate periods of time, lift and carry moderately heavy objects, and reach bench tops, shelves and patients in hospital beds or collection chairs.
    2. have manual dexterity necessary to perform phlebotomy and the fine manipulations required to safely and accurately perform and report laboratory tests.
    3. be able to distinguish color, clarity, odor and special characteristics of clinical specimens. Have visual acuity necessary to use a microscope and distinguish colors of the spectrum and discriminate fine cellular details. Be able to read graphs, fine print and video displays to adequately perform laboratory tests.
    4. be aware of and recognize potential hazards and adhere to the rules and guidelines for laboratory and hospital safety .
    5. be able to effectively tolerate the stresses of the hospital/laboratory environment, responding professionally to everyday workplace stresses, including STAT situations, noise, smells and encounters with incorrigible personnel. Work well with others and share knowledge and problem solving skills in a positive manner.
    6. be ethical, honest, and compassionate. Follow hospital rules for patient confidentiality. Willingly take responsibility for ones own actions and be forthcoming about errors or areas of inadequacy. Critically evaluate ones own performance and accept constructive criticism as a mode of professional and personal growth.