Thirty-four new Medical Laboratory Science professionals are entering the region’s workforce after completing a rigorous bachelor’s degree program at Oregon Tech and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) this month. The Medical Laboratory Science program has a stunning job placement rate of nearly 100% within three to six months of graduation. Many graduates are offered immediate positions from their externship sites.

Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) is a health profession that provides laboratory information and services needed for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Medical laboratory scientists are the individuals that detect changes in biological specimens that enable other health care providers to make diagnostic and treatment decisions for patients.

The nationally accredited MLS program established by OHSU in 1933 is today a joint Oregon Tech-OHSU program. It is the only four-year degree program of its kind in the state, and one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Located at Oregon Tech’s Portland-Metro campus in Wilsonville, the program trains students in labs designed to replicate the medical environments in which the students will eventually work.

The MLS program prepares students through an intensive curriculum that is strong in biology and chemistry emphases. Students also participate in labs that include analysis of human samples on the latest equipment, and conclude their 15-month professional program with a 12-week externship at one of more than 60 medical facilities that partner with Oregon Tech.

Graduates pictured left to right:
Teo Le, Valentina Cingel, and Afrah Ahmed

Valentina Cingel is a first-generation college student who spent two years at Oregon Tech completing prerequisites before beginning the MLS program. She celebrated the end of her studies at Oregon Tech on Dec. 10 with a 3.9 grade point average.

“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of working in a career where I could help people. Now about to graduate with my bachelor's in medical laboratory science, I can confidently say I have achieved the goals of my younger self and made her proud,” Cingel said. “I am indebted to the incredible MLS program faculty for providing me with an outstanding education. I want to thank my family for supporting me through this journey, and I hope to inspire and motivate the next generation of medical laboratory scientists.”

MLS graduates have a wide choice of practice settings: hospitals; independent laboratories; clinics; public health facilities; sales and marketing of diagnostic instruments and reagents; and federal and state regulatory agencies. In addition, a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science provides an excellent background for admission to other healthcare professional programs, such as medicine and physician assistant.