MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Northern Michigan University’s Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) bachelor’s degree program, specifically designed for working medical laboratory technicians seeking career advancement, ranks as the 20th best online clinical research degree in the nation by OnlineSchoolsReport.

“In the middle of the COVID outbreak, to be recognized as a high quality medical lab science program is really quite a novelty,” said Paul Mann, Associate Dean and Director, Associate Professor, Clinical Education Coordinator at Northern Michigan University.

According to Mann, most students fulfill the MLT to MLS degree requirements in two years around their current laboratory job schedules. The coursework can be completed entirely online.

“I do believe that our administration is really supportive of this program and have been really supportive of all of the different educational programs within the school of clinical sciene,” said Mann.

“This program is in it’s third year of online program and it really evolved out of the fact that our MLT and our MLS program are laddered curriculum and our MLS courses, the 300 and 400 level, have historically have been online for the past ten or so years. So what we did was strengthen that by adding additional online courses for students that weren’t able to come here to campus from elsewhere to support things like their understanding of chemistry and biology.”

Medical laboratory professionals are in great demand, the description states. 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.

“The medical lab science field is one of those unheralded fields,” said Mann.

“It’s the profession when you go to the hospital and you have a blood sample drawn or you get a COVID test, for example. Their the people who actually perform the testing in the lab. We’re educating people who are out there, who in the future will be doing those tests in a laboratory setting.”

OnlineSchoolsReport synthesizes data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statics, Payscale and the College Scorecard.

Ultimately, colleges are scored based on their commitment to online education, admission rates, student satisfaction, alumni debt and specialty in the program in question.

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