• Certifications and Licenses
  • MLS (ASCP) - Medical Laboratory Scientist

    • $240
    • Renews every 3 years
    • Requires a bachelor’s degree
    • Computer Adaptive Testing makes each 100-question test different

    COURSE FORMAT

    About

    The American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) grants the Medical Laboratory Specialist (MLS) certification to recognize healthcare professionals in medical laboratory science. The certified Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) conducts routine to complex laboratory tests in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, biology, and urinalysis to diagnose and treat diseases. MLS certification requires critical thinking skills to solve specimens, tests, and instrumentation problems. Medical Laboratory Scientists work with physicians and other healthcare professionals to determine courses of action when treating patients.

    Course Format

    Test Format: The exam costs $240.

    The MLS(ASCP) examination is a timed (2.5 hours), computer-based exam consisting of 100 multiple-choice items. The certification exam is administered using the format of Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). Test takers cannot skip items because the CAT algorithm measures the individual’s ability level each question is answered. Each exam adjusts to the test takers’ knowledge level, and every exam is unique. 

    The exam content covers areas within Medical Laboratory Science, including blood banking, urinalysis, chemistry, hematology, immunology, and lab operations. 

    Examinations are scored on a scale of 0-999. A minimum passing score is 400.  

    Results

    The computer-based exam is scored electronically. Pass/Fail results are provided immediately at completion, and a detailed score report is emailed within 24 hours. 

    Certificates are mailed within 3-5 weeks of successful completion.

    Certification

    Obtaining This Certification Steps to Obtain the MLS Certification

    1. Confirm eligibility requirements

    2. Log in or create an ASCP account

    3. Submit online application and fee

    4. Monitor application status

    5. Await Admission Notification email

    6. Schedule your exam date

    7. Prepare for exam day

    8. Await official exam results

    Eligibility Requirements: 

    As of January 2022, the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) offers six options to meet eligibility requirements:

    1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree from a medical laboratory scientist program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

    2. Certification as a medical laboratory technician, plus a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution plus two years of full-time clinical lab experience

    3. Certification as a clinical laboratory assistant, plus a bachelor’s degree, plus four years of professional experience 

    4. Hold a Bachelor’s degree plus five years of related work experience

    5. Current ASCP medical technician (MT)/medical laboratory science (MLS) certification, plus a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university, plus five years of full-time clinical experience

    6. Completion of a 50-week US military medical laboratory training course in the past ten years, plus a bachelor’s degree plus one year of full-time clinical experience

    Once eligibility is met, candidates must apply for the certification exam. The application for MLS certification is completed online through an ASCP account. MLS candidates must submit the application fee within 90 days of the application start date. 

    Renewing MLS Certification

    Certified medical lab scientists must renew MLS certification every three years. 

    MLS Renewal fee is $95.

    MLS certification renewal requires 36 points in continuing education activities defined by the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP)

    Other Resources

    Related Jobs

    View job details for Medical Technologist

    Medical Technologist

    • Hendrick Medical Center
    • Abilene, TX
      • evenings
    Permanent
    9 days ago
    From the web

    $11-30/hr
    local avg.

    View job details for Medical Technologist

    Medical Technologist

    • Hendrick Medical Center Brownwood
    • Brownwood, TX
      • days
    Permanent
    9 days ago
    From the web

    $15-33/hr
    local avg.

    View job details for Medical Technologist

    Medical Technologist

    • Hendrick Medical Center
    • Abilene, TX
      • days
    Permanent
    9 days ago
    From the web

    $11-30/hr
    local avg.

    View job details for Medical Lab Scientist

    Medical Lab Scientist

    • Katy Hospital
    • Katy, TX
    Permanent
    9 days ago
    From the web

    $9-100/hr
    state avg.

    View job details for Medical Technologist

    Medical Technologist

    • Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Ctr
    • Houston, TX
      • nights
    • Sign-On Bonus
    Permanent
    9 days ago
    From the web

    $15-39/hr
    local avg.

    Frequently asked questions

    Is the MLS exam difficult?

    According to ASCP’s 2020 exam statistics, 84% of people passed the MLT exam on their first try.

    How long should you study for MLS?

    A medical laboratory scientist (MLS) career requires a 4-year degree and up to five years of relevant work experience, depending on the education path. Achieving the MLS certification may take 4-9 years to study medical laboratory science.