The B.A. degree in medical laboratory science at Blackburn is a demanding program that draws heavily on the College’s excellent biology and chemistry departments.
As a medical laboratory science student, you will spend your first three years at Blackburn where, in addition to general education college requirements, you will take courses in human anatomy and physiology, zoology, botany, evolution, microbiology, immunology, cell biology, genetic, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, and pre-calculus or calculus. Courses in biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and statistics are also strongly recommended.
Points of Distinction
Each of our affiliate hospital labs is fully accredited through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). They provide a quality program utilizing the most modern equipment available in well-staffed laboratories. Once enrolled in a hospital-based program, you will attend approximately 3 hours of lectures each day in medical laboratory related content and the remainder of the day on actual hands-on experiences in the laboratory.
Should you want to get laboratory experience before enrolling in a hospital program, you may elect to take a semester internship at a local hospital such as Carlinville Area Hospital.
Why this Major?
Students interested in this field of study must have a deep curiosity and love of science. The MLS program offers a solid curriculum in several areas of science (biology and chemistry) and the MLS career opportunities are nation wide. MLS also opens up other doors to further your career in medical field, such as becoming a physician, physician assistant, dentist, podiatrist, or forensic scientist.
The faculty works side by side with students in the classroom and labs. Students have the opportunities to directly apply the knowledge they are gaining in lectures through experimental and practical applications in the laboratory or in the field
The laboratory experience at Blackburn College is unparalleled as each course in the sciences has a lab associated with it. Therefore, once you begin the clinical portion of your degree at the affiliate hospital lab, you will be well prepared for laboratory experiences.
Activities & Events
The hospital laboratory experience is a combination of lectures and laboratory experiences that ultimately lead to certification by NACCLS as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
All biology majors have the opportunity to participate in specific course related field trips, campus science projects promoting plants and their pollinators and sustainability, and research experiences with mentoring professors.
Clubs & Organizations
All biology majors have the opportunity to participate in the Sustainability Club and the Pre-Healthcare Professions Society.
The entire fourth year (senior year) is a clinical internship at one of the affiliate hospital labs.
We encourage and assist our biology majors who seek summer internships or professional shadowing prior to graduating from Blackburn College. Local physicians, optometrists, physical and occupational therapists, veterinarians, and dentists welcome our students to shadow their professions within a few miles of campus. The Biology Department has several ongoing opportunities for internships, for example; University of Missouri Kansas City Medical Center, Macoupin Watershed Project, Bayer (formerly Monsanto), Pollinator Project, and McCully Heritage Project.
Work Program Opportunities
Through the work program students assist faculty with laboratory preparation and delivery, tearing down the labs, and conducting evening tutor session. Biology majors will receive ample opportunity to put their learning to practical use, through fieldwork, research, and Work Program positions within the department.
Hot Job Outlooks
With a B.A in medical laboratory science from Blackburn College, graduates may begin work in a large hospital laboratory. Such graduates may want to specialize in areas such as clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, or immunology. MLS grads may select to work in a small rural hospital lab as a generalist. The B.A. degree in MLS is also a starting point for supervising or directing a clinical hospital lab and for teaching medical laboratory science students. The combination of a solid liberal arts degree (BA) and rigorous clinical and laboratory training (MLS degree) will give Blackburn College students a real competitive edge in their career. There is a national shortage of MLS.
3 Blackburn alumni are members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Blackburn students have planted more than 10,600 walnut trees as part of the Mahan Forestry Project. Read more about the project here.
Our graduates who have followed our advice have all entered the graduate program or professional school in the field of their choice including MLS. These have included programs leading to a doctoral degree in human medicine, veterinary medicine, podiatry, physical therapy, optometry, dentistry, pharmacy, molecular biology, virology, neurobiology, and developmental biology.
Our graduates with at least two years of chemistry have been hired by many science and tech industries large and small. These have included positions at Bayer/Monsanto, Millipore/Sigma, Anheuser Busch, and Boeing.
The healthcare and the biotech industries are rapidly expanding as the population ages and technology improves. The job outlooks for students with a MLS, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or chemistry degree are very promising.
The Marvin and Ingrid Mahan Science Laboratory Wing is a state-of-the-art, 28,000 square foot facility with nine dedicated teaching laboratories for biology, chemistry, and physics. Off the spacious lobby are science faculty offices with a large outer office area for those students who need tutoring and assistance or may be working on projects. The Mahan Wing is one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rated buildings in central Illinois.
Alumni Hall and the Olin Science Building offer several research laboratories, two lecture rooms, a vivarium, three greenhouses, a herbarium, a math and science teaching laboratory, and a science library.
Dedicated, award-winning faculty members are actively involved in the classroom, in research projects and mentoring students so they thrive at Blackburn and after graduation.
Three of the current biology faculty have each received the Outstanding Teaching and Leadership Award from Blackburn College.
Dr. Edward Zalisko was named the Illinois Professor of the Year 2000 by the Carnegie Foundation for Education/CASE.
All biology faculty have terminal degrees (Ph.D.) in their chosen and related field of study.
The biology department has not used an adjunct instructor for majors courses in more than 30 years. Instead, all biology faculty teach all of their own laboratories and lectures and are available for advice, career counseling, and general discussion for many hours throughout each week.
All biology freshmen have a biology faculty instructor five days a week (every weekday) of their freshman year. Biology faculty are deliberately available every weekday to assist freshmen students with coursework or for general advice and counsel.
We understand that many of our students require regular advice throughout the freshman year as they adjust to the unique circumstances of the college experience.