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Frequently Asked Questions

woman in lab with gloves

What is the cost of tuition and fees?

Please refer to Tuition& Fees page.

Are there opportunities to attend the program at night, on the weekends or part time?

The 12 month track is full-time, in-person, Monday-Friday for one year.

The 18 month track offers a more part-time, hybrid option. The first 16 weeks of the program are full-time, in-person. Clinical rotations are full-time. The remaining terms are part-time.

Most learning experiences occur during the day, Monday-Friday. Shifts can start as early as 5am. Students may be required to rotate on an evening shift, but currently are not rotating on night shift. Students must complete the entire training to graduate and be eligible to take the national certification exam. Please inquire as to the availability of learning tracks prior to applying.

Are there opportunities to work while in the program?

Students who choose to work usually do not work over 10-15 hours per week, and typically work on the weekends. Entry level jobs in the laboratory may be available for student hire depending on regional needs. Tuition reimbursement may be available to current, qualified Providence caregivers.

What are some of the rotations offered by the program?

Clinical rotations are offered in all core disciplines required for generalist training, including chemistry, microbiology, hematology, and blood banking. Clinical rotations are offered at urban, rural and reference laboratories. Depending on regional rotation availability, students may be able to rotate in specialty laboratories such as molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry, special chemistry, advanced coagulation, virology, parasitology and mycology.

When are students notified of the selection decision?

Qualified students receive notification of acceptance two months after the application is due.

Can I request a phone interview or does it have to be in person?

Interviews must be in person and are required as part of the selection process. Interviews are held two to six weeks after the application is due.

What is the difference between a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) and a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)?

Medical Laboratory Scientists have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Medical Laboratory Technicians have, at minimum, an associate’s degree or technical certificate. Some institutions or states limit the type of testing MLTs can perform. Generally, a MLS performs more highly-complex testing, requiring interpretations and correlation of data, as well as more intense trouble-shooting processes.

For more information on MLT programs operating in Spokane, WA region, please visit the following schools:

Is there a difference between a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS), Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS), or Medical Technologist (MT)?

No, these are all titles given to scientists who work in medical laboratories. In 2009, the two major national certifying agencies (ASCP and NCA) joined as one under the ASCP Board of Certification, thus combining titles of laboratory scientists/technologists. Now the official title from ASCP is Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS). In 2012 our school’s name changed to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center School of Medical Laboratory Science to help mainstream the terminology associated with our profession.

What is the difference between a 3+1 or 4+1 applicant?

3+1 refers to an applicant who enters a training program and completes their last year of college in a hospital-based MLS program. An affiliation agreement must be established between your university and our MLS program in order for you to enter the program as a 3+1 student. We currently have a 3+1 agreement with Eastern Washington University. 4+1 refers to a student who already has a bachelor’s degree upon entering the hospital-based MLS program.

If not selected for the program, what options are available to me?

  • You are welcome to improve upon your qualifications and reapply to our program the following year.
  • Consider applying to other schools in our region.
  • Occasionally an accepted student declines their position. If this happens you may be selected as a student prior to the start of the program. In this case we would contact you.

What is the national certification exam or BOC?

Since 1928, ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) Board of Certification (BOC) (formerly the ASCP Board of Registry) has been widely recognized as the preeminent leader in the certification of medical laboratory professionals. The majority of employers hire only certified staff.

If you have questions regarding additional policies or procedures that govern students while attending the School of MLS, please contact us for further information.