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Master of Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Science

At Tarleton, we prepare graduate students for clinical laboratory leadership roles and increasing levels of laboratory management responsibilities through extensive training and experience. Start the accredited MLS graduate program in the spring or fall, and complete your master’s degree in two years. Courses meet face to face on the Fort Worth campus and are held in the evenings.

Choose from the following program options:

  • Thesis track, with a concentration in Molecular Diagnostics
  • Non-thesis track, with a concentration in Molecular Diagnostics
  • Non-thesis track, with a concentration in MLS certification
  • Non-thesis track, with a concentration in Laboratory Management

The molecular diagnostics concentration, with or without a thesis, qualifies you to sit for the Molecular Biology American Society for Clinical Pathology national board exam and earn professional certification in molecular biology.

Earn an accredited master’s degree in medical laboratory science to advance your education and career in molecular diagnostics.

What is Medical Laboratory Science?

Medical laboratory science is also known as clinical laboratory science or medical technology and encompasses laboratory professionals such as clinical pathologists and educational diagnosticians. Instead of providing direct patient care, medical laboratory scientists work in labs, conducting scientific tests, analyzing biological specimens and reporting results for medical diagnosis and treatment. Medical laboratory science provides an alternative to medical school for an impactful career in health care.

Across Texas and in the United States, the health care industry is experiencing a shortage of laboratory professionals that is expected to continue for the next several decades. Tarleton’s laboratory department has a long history of academic excellence in preparing graduate students for addressing laboratory leadership challenges. With professionalism and competence, they serve the health care provider demands in North Central Texas and the United States. Our accredited master’s degree in medical laboratory science is an affordable program that provides an excellent return on your investment in graduate school — and your future.

What Can You Do With Your Master's Degree in Medical Laboratory Science?

With theoretical knowledge, practical clinical training and instrumentation skills, our graduates are able to find MLS jobs in molecular diagnostic laboratories or clinical research laboratories. You may also continue your education to earn a doctorate.

Job opportunities for laboratory professionals that are well-paying and in diverse settings have never been better. Within six months of graduation, 100% of our graduates accept job offers or enroll in PhD programs. Most find MLS jobs in molecular diagnostics or laboratory management, but you may also be able to work in clinical research, industry, sales, medicine, hospital administration or public health.

Many of our graduate students are hired by the hospital in which they complete their practicum rotations. Due to the outstanding reputation of our graduates, hospital laboratories from across the United States have traveled to our department to recruit for jobs such as:

  • Lab Director
  • Lab Data Analyst
  • Supervisor
  • Technician

Careers in Medical Laboratory Science

Tarleton master’s program graduates boast a 100% pass rate on the Molecular Biology (MB) American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) national board exam.

Our graduates are prepared for success: 100% of them are placed in jobs or continue their education.

How Much Do Medical Laboratory Science Graduates Make?

The average starting salary for associate-, bachelor’s- and master’s-level medical technologists is $52,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Why Study Medical Laboratory Science?

We strive for excellence and professionalism in classroom, clinical and community settings through academic instruction, research and service.

a group of three Tarleton State University students working on samples

Earn an accredited master's degree in two years

The Tarleton State University Diagnostic Molecular Scientist (DMS) program is fully accredited by NAACLS, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. This means we’re held to the highest standards in our industry and expect the same from our program faculty and students. Program accreditation also helps you qualify for professional certification.

female student working on a sample

Gain hands-on, real-world training and experience

In addition to coursework and labs, you’ll have opportunities for practicum placements, clinical rotations and internships in the field. For example, MLS graduate students have worked with the Fort Worth Medical District, Medical City Dallas, ProPath, Quest Diagnostics and Veteran's Affairs of North Texas. Clinical pathologists and medical laboratory scientists from affiliated clinical laboratories such as these also assist graduate students in the classroom.

male student working in a laboratory

Gain valuable for future research endeavors

Graduate research opportunities with highly qualified faculty through both thesis and non-thesis degree program options enhance student engagement in the scientific community. You’ll also be encouraged to participate in research symposiums and conferences through the university and professional organizations. These events offer valuable networking opportunities for future job prospects and continuing education.

Tarleton State University study abroad student group in Spain

Enhance your experience outside the classroom

Join professional organizations such as ASCLS and ASCP for additional career development and networking opportunities. Graduate students can also study abroad in destinations such as Spain to learn more about differences in health care systems in other countries.

male student holding up a sign for scholarships

Apply for scholarships and financial aid

The Richard C. Schaffer Scholarship and the Dr. May Owen Foundation Scholarship Program offer scholarships for students in medical laboratory sciences, including graduate students. You may also qualify for scholarships through the College of Graduate Studies, as well as ffederal financial aid.

Professors and students working in a classroom

MLS Labs and Facilities

Medical laboratory science is housed in the Schaffer Building in the Central Hospital District of Fort Worth, which features three lecture rooms, a computer lab, a library and specialty laboratories, including:

  • Hematology, Hemostasis & Urinalysis/Body Fluids
  • Chemistry
  • Immunohematology & Immunology/Serology
  • Microbiology/Parasitology/Mycology
  • Histology
  • Molecular Diagnostics – Pre-amplification, Amplification and NGS
  • Protein Laboratory-Blotting Techniques

What Classes Will You Take as a Medical Laboratory Science Graduate Student?

Perform, monitor and interpret standard quality control procedures by applying principles of medical laboratory science and molecular diagnostics in coursework and labs. Study topics in statistical methods, immunopathology, body fluids analysis, laboratory management, clinical laboratory science problems, literature review, health care law and more. You’ll also have opportunities to gain experience in the field through a practicum, field experience or internship.

View all required classes for the medical laboratory science master’s degree.


How Do You Get Started on Your Master's Degree in Medical Laboratory Science?

Take the next step toward earning your master's degree in medical laboratory science. We have the resources to help you get started.

Two female students and a male student talking

MLS Master's Open House

Meet us on campus in Fort Worth and learn more about the accredited medical laboratory sciences master’s degree program. The College of Graduate Studies hosts a departmental open house on the first Friday of every month, where you can get your transcripts evaluated and questions answered.

female Medical Laboratory Science student

MLS Dual Degree

The MS in MLS ASCP Certification track requires application for admission to the program. In order to qualify, you must have been accepted into the bachelor’s in medical laboratory science and certification program and successfully completed the introductory portion of the undergraduate degree program.

three medical laboratory science students

Benefit from small class sizes and a diverse learning environment

All faculty members in our accredited MLS master’s degree program have a terminal degree and current certification in their fields. Our wide range of experience, research interests and teaching methods enhance learning and opportunities for graduate students.

What Master's Degree Programs are Related to Medical Laboratory Science?