MLT to MLS Online Bachelor's Degree - An Overview

This program was specifically designed to fit into the busy lifestyle of a working clinical laboratory technician. With the ability to complete all coursework online, most students will be able to complete their bachelor’s degrees in two years.

Medical laboratory professionals are in great demand. Graduates from NMU’s programs have a job placement rate of nearly 100% and more than a 95% passing rate on national certification exams. Many also pursue advanced degrees.

Program highlights:

  • 100% of didactic course is online
  • Complete the program at your own pace
  • Designed to fit into the busy lifestyle of a clinical lab technician
  • Ability to complete a workplace leadership minor (fulfills general education credits)
  • NAACLS accredited program

Program Details

This major incorporates didactic and clinical education throughout an online curriculum that will take two years for most students who already have an associate degree to complete.

Northern’s online CLS program is unique in that in addition to high-quality CLS coursework, you will take workplace leadership courses as part of your minor to satisfy general education requirements. These classes are designed to prepare you for supervisory roles in clinical settings. 

Where a future with an MLS degree can take you

A degree in medical laboratory science prepares you to perform a variety of laboratory assays on human and other types of specimens in clinical, research, commercial and forensic laboratories. Our graduates will be equipped with the tools to provide diagnostic data and the information necessary to support health care, ensure quality control, facilitate product development and solve problems.

Program admissions requirements:

  • Enrolled in NMU’s Global Campus
  • ASCP MLT certification, current and unencumbered
  • Associate degree from a NAACLS accredited MLT program or equivalent
  • Attestation Form completed that demonstrates one of the following requirements have been met:
    • Two years full-time* medical laboratory technician experience in an accredited clinical laboratory** within the last four years to include:  blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology and urinalysis/body fluids 
    •       OR
    • Agrees to enroll in a full or partial clinical practicum if missing experience in any or all laboratory areas:  The clinical practicum includes up to 20 weeks total: 4 weeks in hematology, 4 weeks in clinical chemistry, 5 weeks in microbiology, 5 weeks in blood bank (with serology), and 2 weeks discretion of Supervisor with Program Director approval.
  • Completed attestation form and copy of ASCP MLT certification submitted to or via online form


Enrollment eligibility is based on CLS Advance Placement Criteria. AP credit may be given for clinical experience in accordance with program policies.  See Policy Manual for Senior Practicum Advanced Placement:  Laboratory Medicine requirements. 

*Full time experience is defined as a minimum of thirty-five (35) hours per week.  Individuals who have part-time experience may be permitted to utilize prorated part-time experience to meet the work experience requirements.  For example, if you are employed 20 hours per week for one year, your experience would be computed as 20 divided by 35 multiplied by 52 weeks, or the equivalent of 29.7 weeks of full-time employment. 

**CMS CLIA certificate of registration, compliance, accreditation; OR TJC accreditation; OR CAP Accreditation; OR COLA Accreditation; OR Accreditation under ISO 15189

To qualify for the bachelor’s degree, students must fulfill the following requirements: Complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in residence at Northern Michigan University, excluding advanced placement credit. Transfer students must earn a minimum of eight credits in each major and four credits in each minor.  For additional bachelor's degree requirements, click here.