Pre-Medical Technology at UH Mānoa

Text compiled from the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) website, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) website, the UHM 2013-2014 Catalog, and UHM’s Medical Technology website.

Medical Technology Programs in Hawai`i: Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology at UH Mānoa

Medical Technology Programs
Prerequisites for Admission
The Application Process
Contact Information
Additional Information


Field Description:

Medical technology (MT), also known as clinical laboratory science (CLS), is a healthcare profession in which practitioners help diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases by performing laboratory procedures such as venipuncture and microscopic examinations. The field encompasses many disciplines, including microbiology (isolating and identifying organisms and testing antimicrobial agents); immunohematology (blood banking); clinical chemistry (measuring chemical components of blood and bodily fluids, such as urinalysis, immunology, serology); and hematology and hemostasis (diagnosing disorders using a microscope and cell analyzers).

Work Setting:

Practitioners, called medical technologists, medical laboratory scientists, or clinical laboratory scientists, often work in hospital or clinic laboratories, but many also work in reference labs, physicians’ offices, research and DNA laboratories, medical examiners’ offices and crime labs, veterinary clinics, and laboratory industries. Some practitioners go on to pursue careers as forensic scientists, researchers, educators, or health administrators.

Related Careers: medical laboratory technician (MLT), forensics, pathology (MD or DO), and biomedical research.

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Medical Technology Programs

Years of Schooling Required to Become a Medical Laboratory Scientist:

4+ years of education:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (4-5 years).
  • Certificate (1 year, optional);
  • Master’s Degree (2-3 years, optional).

Degree Conferred:

Medical laboratory technicians (MLT), related professionals under the umbrella of clinical laboratory science, complete an associate’s degree (2 years) prior to certification. Medical laboratory scientists (MLS), however, complete a bachelor’s degree prior to certification. Some programs, including UHM’s, offer articulated degrees in which students with an MLT degree and/or certification can complete a bachelor’s degree without retaking overlapping courses.

Post-Baccalaureate Program/Options:

Post-baccalaureate certificates and master’s degrees are available for medical technologists who desire advanced training. A Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) is currently under discussion but is not yet a reality. Becoming a laboratory director usually requires a doctorate in a related field, such as the biological sciences, chemistry, management, or education.

The Licensing Examination(s):

Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to sit for the national certification exam, offered by both the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Some states, including Hawai`i, also require professional licensure. State laws on licensure vary but usually include minimum competency requirements, continuing education requirements, and licensing fees. In Hawai`i, all medical technologists must be licensed to practice!

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Prerequisites for Admission

Most importantly, remember that requirements vary from school to school! You must research to create a list of all the prerequisites you will need to apply to the schools you are interested in attending.

UHM’s medical technology program accepts students at the junior level following a competitive application process. To be eligible for admission, students must have completed an associate’s degree from an accredited MLT program, such as Kapi`olani Community College’s MLT program.

The following courses are required for admission to KCC’s MLT program:

ENG 100Composition I3 cr.
MATH 103 or higher*Fundamentals of College Algebra3 cr.
BIOL 103, or BIOL 171, or ZOOL 141 and 142*Anatomy & Physiology, General Biology I, or Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II 3-8 cr.
CHEM 161/161LGeneral Chemistry I4 cr.
MLT 100Introduction to the Clinical Laboratory1 cr.

* MATH 140 and BIOL 171/171L are highly recommended for students intending to continue on to UHM’s medical technology program.

The following courses are recommended for KCC’s MLT program:

CHEM 162/162LGeneral Chemistry II4 cr.
MICRO 130General Microbiology3 cr.
Arts and Humanities3 cr.
Social Sciences3 cr.

In addition to an associate’s degree and certification in MLT, the following courses are required for admission to UHM’s MT program:

MICR 130General Microbiology3 cr.
BIOL 171/171LIntroduction to Biology I4 cr.
CHEM 162/162LGeneral Chemistry II4 cr.
MATH 140Precalculus3 cr.
ENG 100Composition I3 cr.

Note: Students from MLT programs other than KCC’s must have equivalent course work.

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The Application Process

UHM’s Department of Medical Technology is housed under the John A. Burns School of Medicine. To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • associate’s degree in MLT from KCC or equivalent
  • national MLT certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • minimum 2.5 GPA at KCC (*for transfer students, GPA will be calculated based on relevant MLT courses only)
  • submission of a complete application before the deadline

For those who earned the MLT degree from institutions other than KCC, eligibility will be determined based on course work, GPA (overall and math/science), interviews, essays, and external evaluations.

You must also be able to perform the following essential functions:

  • manipulate labware to transfer or prepare reagents and samples (e.g., pipet, charge hemocytometers, preparing blood smears)
  • operate simple instruments according to instructions (e.g., cell counter, centrifuge, spectrophotometer)
  • perform microscopic examination on various specimens and report the results (e.g., leukocyte differential counts, cell morphology, urinary sediments)
  • follow written and verbal directions to perform laboratory tests and report results

Students may apply for admission in the fall or spring semesters. Because some courses are offered sequentially, the curriculum is generally completed at the end of the spring semester. Applications are available through the MT office. Applications require:

UHM’s medical technology program is looking for students who enjoy science, are detail-oriented, are able to multi-task and prioritize, and are well-organized. Criteria for admission are listed on their website.

A six-month clinical training course (MEDT 591) follows graduation. After clinical training, students are eligible to take an exam administered by a national certification agency. In Hawai`i, both certification and state licensure are required for employment. Alternatively, students with an MLT certification, bachelor’s degree, and two years of work experience are qualified to challenge for MLS national certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Contact the MT academic advisor or the certification agency for detailed information.

Additional requirements include professional liability insurance, which costs about $40 per year, and immunizations (immunization for Hepatitis B virus is highly recommended). Clinical affiliates for MEDT 591 may have additional requirements (e.g., specific immunizations, TB clearance, CPR/AED training, criminal background check, etc.).

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Contact Information

UHM’s Department of Medical Technology
Office: Biomedical Sciences C-206
Phone: (808) 956-8557
Fax: (808) 956-5457
Mailing address: 1960 East-West Road; Honolulu, HI  96822

KCC’s Medical Laboratory Technician Program
Health Sciences Department
Phone: (808) 734-9270
Mailing address: 4303 Diamond Head Road, Kauila 122; Honolulu, HI 96816

For advising at UHM, contact:
Dick Y. Teshima, MPH, MT, Department Chair
Biomed C-201

Sheri M. Gon, MPH, MT
Biomed C-206

*Students interested in the BS in Medical Technology are urged to contact the Department advisor to learn about the new 2+2 MLS curriculum. There is a nation-wide shortage of qualified medical laboratory professionals. Please call or drop by the office to make an appointment with an advisor.

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Additional Information

UH Mānoa’s Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center (PAC) has reference books, lists of volunteer opportunities, academic planning worksheets, and one-on-one advising by peers who can help you prepare you to apply to medical technology programs.

UHM’s Division of Medical Technology
American Medical Technologists
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
National Specialties Credentialing
American Society for Clinical Pathology
National Accrediting Agency for CLS
Current OpportunitiesHealth – Current Opportunities
EngagementHealth – Clubs and Organizations

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