Advances in testing and rapidly improving technology make first-year graduate student Matthew Landry particularly excited about the impact he will one day have on patient care as a medical laboratory scientist. Landry is one of 16 students in the inaugural year of the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences.
“You want to provide the patients with the most accurate and the quickest results,” he said. “Being the scientist that puts them into action, to be able to help patients—that's pretty exciting in my opinion.”
Landry, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Louisiana State University, said his upper-level biology laboratory courses there fueled his interest in working in a hospital laboratory or possible even managing a laboratory one day.
The master’s program spans six semesters, including summers, and includes an 18-hour clinical practicum.
“We really designed the master’s in MLS for those students who already have a bachelor’s degree but have decided what they really want to do is work in the lab,” program director Cheryl Burns said.
The Medical Laboratory Sciences program also offers a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences, which has 14 new students this year.
Almost 100 percent of the program’s graduates obtain jobs within three months of graduation, with positions in hospital laboratories the most common first job, Burns said. Graduates also work in reference laboratories, public health and specialty laboratories.
Burns noted the shortage of medical laboratory scientists nationwide.
“Someone needs to be providing that,” Landry said of the work of medical laboratory scientists. “I’d be happy to fill that role.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the master’s program in April. Visit Medical Laboratory Sciences for more information.