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 2017-2018 Catalog, and UHM’s Medical Technology website.

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

NOTE: Pre-Medical Technology is not a degree program that you can major in. Consult with a Medical Technology academic advisor regarding how to become a major in Medical Technology, or to discuss related academic and career options.

Field Description

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

Work Setting

Practitioners, called medical laboratory scientists (MLS),  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.

For more information on job outlook, click here.

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

Medical Technology Programs

Years of Schooling Required to Become a Medical Laboratory Scientist:

4+ years of education

  • Bachelor’s Degree (4-5 years).

Degree Conferred

Medical laboratory technicians (MLT), related professionals under the umbrella of clinical laboratory science, complete an associate’s degree (2 years) prior to earning a national certification as MLT. Medical laboratory scientists (MLS), however, complete a bachelor’s degree prior to earning a national certification as MLS. 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. Consult with a Medical Technology academic advisor regarding the step required for you to become an MLS.

Post-Baccalaureate Program/Options

In some universities, post-baccalaureate degrees (masters and doctorate) are available for MLS who desire advanced training. 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 organizations such as 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!


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.

KCC MLT Pathway

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 100 or ESL 100Composition I or Expository Writing3 cr.
MATH 103 or higher*Fundamentals of College Algebra3 cr.
BIOL 130, or BIOL 171, or ZOOL 141 and 142*Anatomy & Physiology, General Biology I, or Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II 3-6 cr.
CHEM 161/161LGeneral Chemistry I4 cr.
MLT 100Introduction to the Clinical Laboratory2 cr.

A grade of C or higher must be obtained in all required prerequisite courses before applying to the MLT program.

*MATH 140 and BIOL 171/171L are recommended for students intending to continue on to UHM’s Medical Technology program to meet the UHM General Education,  graduation, and degree requirements.

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

CHEM 162/162LGeneral Chemistry II4 cr.
MICR 130General Microbiology3 cr.
MICR 161 at KCCImmunology & Protein Chemistry2 cr.
Arts and Humanities3 cr.
Social Sciences3 cr.

Recommended courses listed above are support courses and completing them before applying to KCC’s MLT program will award points in the application process.

Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology Degree from UHM through this MLT pathway may take a total of 5 years to complete. One year of prerequisite and recommended courses for admissions into KCC’s MLT program, two years of KCC’s MLT Program, and two years of UHM’s Medical Technology Program. It is highly recommended to see a KCC advisor and attend an informational session/orientation to ensure you are on track!

Second Degree Pathway

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, UHM’s Medical Technology program will be accepting “Second Degree” seeking students. The following courses are the prerequisites for this route.

Prerequisite courses for second degree MLS admissions.

CHEM 161/161L and 162/162L General Chemistry I and II8 cr.
CHEM 272/272L and 273Organic Chemistry I and II8 cr.
BIOL 171/171L and 172Introduction to Biology I and II7 cr.
BIOL 275Cell and Molecular Biology3 cr.
MATH 140 or higherPrecalculus or higher3 cr.
MICR 351/351LBiology of Microorganisms5 cr.
MEDT 151, 251Intro to Medical Technology6 cr.

Check with a Medical Technology academic advisor to make sure your courses are applicable towards UHM General Education, graduation and degree requirements.

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 from a MLT program
  • submission of a complete application before the deadline

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 once they are qualified. Because some courses are offered sequentially, the curriculum is generally completed at the end of the spring semester. Applications are available through the Medical Technology 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 4½ month clinical training course (MEDT 591) follows graduation. MEDT 591 is not a requirement for graduation, but most graduates need it to become eligible to take an exam administered by a national certification agency. In Hawaiʻi, both certification and state licensure are required for employment.

The certification agency (e.g., ASCP) has alternative qualification routes. Contact the Medical Technology academic advisor or the certification agency for detailed information on qualification for national certification.

For MEDT 591, rather than a graduate-level tuition for 28 credits, students are assessed a much smaller “administrative fee.”

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.).

For candidates who already have a Bachelor’s degree
If you already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to obtain a second degree in Medical Technology, you may qualify for admission through the “Second Degree” route. Minimum qualifications:

  • Earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative and math/science GPA
  • Completed required courses (up to 2 may be taken while on probationary status): CHEM 161/L, 162/L, 272/L, 273, BIOL 171/L, 172, 275, MATH 140 (or higher), MICR 351/L, MEDT 151, 251 (includes phlebotomy training).
  • Apply to be admitted through the “Second Degree” route


Upon admission, students will be classified as undergraduate students in Medical Technology, and must complete the major and graduation requirements plus MEDT 302.

Financial Aid

Financial Planning is a crucial step in applying to medical technology programs. It is important for students to create a plan and make decisions in their educational expenses. Students are highly encouraged to budget their finances before, during, and after a medical technology program. To learn more about financial planning, click here.

WRGP: Hawai`i residents are eligible to participate in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), a service of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). WRGP enables qualified residents from WICHE participating states affordable access to enroll in selected out of state master’s, graduate certificate and Ph.D programs at participating WICHE institutions. WRGP selected students pay the resident tuition rate at the WICHE participating institution. No payments are made directly to students.

To be considered for the WRGP resident tuition rate, apply directly to the department or graduate studies department of the institution where you want to enroll, and identify yourself as WICHE WRGP applicant. WGRP students must fulfill the usual admission requirements and deadlines of the department and institution concerned. Contact each school you are interested in for more information. To view a list of schools that may be participating, click here.

For more information on the Hawai’i WICHE WRGP program, please visit

Contact Information

UHM’s Department of Medical Technology
Office: Biomedical Sciences C-206
Phone: (808) 956-8557
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 (ASCP), Department Chair
Biomedical Sciences C-206
Phone: (808) 956-8557

*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 stop by the office to make an appointment with an advisor.


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 for applying to medical technology programs.

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