Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson College of Health Professions

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Medical Laboratory Science


To properly diagnose and treat patients, physicians and caregivers depend on data produced in medical laboratories. In fact, 70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory testing conducted by medical laboratory scientists, such as:

  • conduct health screening tests for diabetic and cardiac risk
  • examine patient specimens for the presence of infectious microorganisms
  • type and cross-match blood for transfusion
  • detect specific blood cells to reveal leukemia and measure a patient’s response to medications and therapies
  • develop and manage the highly complex technical systems that assist in the performance of these tests

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Medical Laboratory Science at Jefferson (course highlights)

As an academic health center Jefferson offers a collaborative environment that includes basic science research, cancer treatment, biomedical research, primary care, nursing care and trauma care. Jefferson students learn to connect technology with its importance in the lives of people.

The laboratories offer the latest testing and communications technology, so students learn on the equipment used in clinical practice. Gain a solid understanding of the principles of professional practice, laboratory outcomes management and laboratory administration.
Gain classroom, laboratory and practical experience in five areas:

  • clinical chemistry
  • normal and abnormal hematology and serology
  • immunohematology (also called blood banking or transfusion medicine)
  • clinical microbiology, including parasitology, virology, bacteriology
  • research theory and quality control principles for clinical laboratory procedures.

As students, you will:

  • prepare and interpret lab tests from real patient specimens
  • perform chemical tests to analyze blood and body fluid for specific markers of disease
  • match blood for patient transfusion
  • use a microscope to identify and count cells and look for cellular abnormalities
  • detect and identify bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms that cause infections
  • operate sophisticated technology and develop analytic systems
  • utilize information systems and design interfaces to relay test results to physicians
  • work with other healthcare professionals to monitor quality and improve patient care

Students acquire broad exposure to diverse career options which helps them carve out unique roles in traditional and non-traditional laboratory science careers. The curriculum fosters independent thought, teamwork and the ability to take responsibility for crucial diagnostic decisions.

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Jefferson’s medical laboratory science graduates have a high job placement rate and a median salary of $46,000. Graduates work in clinical laboratories in hospitals, reference labs and doctor’s offices.

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Career Options

Clinical Staff Positions

  • medical technologist generalist
  • clinical chemistry technologist
  • immunohematologist
  • immunology technologist
  • microbiology technologist
  • research assistant/associate
  • forensic medicine laboratory technologist
  • veterinary laboratory staff technologist
  • hematology technologist

Non-Clinical Positions

  • government inspector
  • quality assurance specialist
  • sales or technical representative
  • customer service representative
  • information systems specialist

Leadership and Management Positions

  • laboratory supervisor and manager
  • department manager
  • college and university faculty

Administrative Positions

  • hospital administrator
  • marketing and sales manager
  • technical administrator
  • training manager

Workplace options

  • labs in hospitals or physician offices
  • medical & academic health centers
  • colleges and universities
  • medical equipment companies
  • commercial clinical laboratories
  • federal & state government agencies
  • biotech & pharmaceutical research labs
  • computer & information systems companies


National certification in a specialty area of laboratory practice is not only proof of knowledge and competence in a field; it demonstrates value-added expertise that employers seek today. Visit the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification for more information.

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