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
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.
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).
Practitioners, called medical laboratory scientists, 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.
Medical Technology Programs
Years of Schooling Required to Become a Medical Laboratory Scientist:
4+ years of education:
- Bachelor’s Degree (4-5 years).
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.
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!
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 100 or ESL 100||Composition I or Expository Writing||3 cr.
|MATH 103 or higher*||Fundamentals of College Algebra||3 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 161/161L||General Chemistry I||4 cr.|
|MLT 100||Introduction to the Clinical Laboratory||2 cr.|
A grade of C or higher must be maintained in all required courses to continue in 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 162/162L||General Chemistry II||4 cr.|
|MICRO 130||General Microbiology||3 cr.|
|Arts and Humanities||3 cr.|
|Social Sciences||3 cr.|
Check with a Medical Technology academic advisor to make sure your courses are applicable towards UHM General Education, graduation and degree requirements.
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. 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:
- application form
- a personal statement
- two personal evaluations
- an interview
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 Hawai`i, 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.).
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.
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
Sheri M. Gon, MPH, MT
*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.
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 Department of Medical Technology||www.hawaii.edu/medtech/Medtech.html|
|American Medical Technologists||www.amt1.com|
|American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science||www.ascls.org|
|National Specialties Credentialing||http://thefsab.org|
|American Society for Clinical Pathology||www.ascp.org|
|National Accrediting Agency for CLS||www.naacls.org|
|Current Opportunities||Health – Current Opportunities|
|Engagement||Health – Clubs and Organizations|