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Lab Competency Requirements

Most of the MLS online theory courses have two major components:

  1. The didactic ("lecture") content, which is delivered online using various instructional approaches.
  2. The laboratory component, which is to be completed concurrently with the class in the laboratory where you are employed, or have found clinical support. The Statement of Support will need to be filled out and submitted with your application. 

A detailed list of laboratory competencies is provided for each course listed below. You will work closely with a mentor in your laboratory who has agreed to be available to answer questions, evaluate core laboratory competencies and assist you as needed. Laboratory competencies should not be performed during your working hours but on your own time.

The role of the mentor is not to serve as a full-time clinical instructor. Various mentors may be utilized depending on the size of the laboratory. At the end of each course, the mentor provides the MLS department with a completed competency list, including comments on your performance.

Click on each course below for a PDF file that lists the corresponding lab competencies:






Breakdown of the minimum total required hours for each MLS class:

Students enrolled in this program may (dependent on the program of choice) complete various projects emphasizing workload recording, test method validation, procedure manual evaluation, CAP and CLIA requirements, and instrument selection.  To complete these projects, the student will need access to procedure manuals, laboratory data, instrument validation data, and on occasion utilize laboratory instruments from the supporting facility.  Students should not work on these projects as a part of their regular work duties.

Minimum Clinical Competency Hours required for each WSU MLS Course: Please note that hours listed are a minimum and that the goal of the clinical experience is for the laboratory mentor to feel comfortable with the student’s performance at the entry level. Students must pass the competency checklist in order to be deemed competent and pass their courses. If more time is needed than the minimum – the student should expect to spend additional time. Competency checklists may be accessed above.


AAS Program Courses: Credits Minimum required lab hours over semester
MLS 1113 Introduction to Laboratory Practices 4 64 hours minimum
MLS 1114 Principles of Hematology & Hemostasis 4 64 hours minimum
MLS 2211 Principles of Clinical Chemistry I 5 80 hours minimum
MLS 2213 Principles of Clinical Chemistry II 5 80 hours minimum
MLS 2212 Principles of Clinical Microbiology I 4 80 hours minimum
MLS 2214 Principles of Clinical Microbiology II 4 80 hours minimum
MLS 2210 Principles of Immunohematology 5 80 hours minimum


BS Program Courses: Credits Minimum required lab hours over semester
MLS 3310 Advanced Immunohematology 4 64 hours minimum
MLS 3313 Advanced Clinical Hematology and Hemostasis 4 64 hours minimum
MLS 3316 Advanced Clinical Micro and Molecular Diagnostics 4 *80 – 120 hours minimum

*Note: if the student is currently working in microbiology, they may complete the laboratory competency in 80 hours. However; if they have not been working in microbiology, they may need to spend a minimum of 120 hours.