Program Details

3+1 Drake University Health Sciences - Mercy College of Health Sciences MLS Certificate Program



Mercy College of Health Sciences offers a certificate program in Medical Laboratory Sciences that can be added to a Bachelor of Science degree earned from their institution or others. This certificate program offers an opportunity for health sciences students to develop an area of health care expertise during their Drake academic career, rather than after graduation. In addition, these certificates are helpful for students applying to graduate programs that require a large amount of patient care hours.


The MLS Program is dedicated to providing students with the educational foundation required to become Medical laboratory scientists through an intensive classroom and clinical curriculum. Guided by the mission of Mercy College, the philosophy of the School of Allied Health, and in compliance with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Standards of Accredited Educational Programs for the Medical Laboratory Scientist, the primary purpose is to facilitate the personal and professional development of students. The MLS Program provides students with the academic and clinical experiences needed to become caring, ethical, and competent members of the health care team.

    1. Prepare individuals to become laboratory professionals who perform a great variety of laboratory analysis accurately, timely, and efficiently

    2. Develop professionals who think logically, creatively, critically, responsively, and exercise good judgment.

    3. Prepare individuals to become leaders in clinical laboratory science/medical laboratory science and the health care community.


MLS students complete a total of 750 clock hours of clinical rotations in a large medical center laboratory in the following areas: Blood Bank, Chemistry, Hematology, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Diagnostics, Phlebotomy, and Urinalysis. Students perform actual patient testing under the supervision of a preceptor. Students also gain ~15 hours of experience at various other optional sites such as a small hospital, fertility clinic, public health lab, and/or shadowing various levels of management.

MLS students complete a large patient case study project in the last semester of the program. The project pulls together material they have learned in all of the courses throughout the MLS Program. Cases are presented to the class, instructors and preceptors. Students in the MLS Program collaborate throughout on case studies and problem-based learning scenarios in the didactic and clinical courses. They write reflection papers in several MLS program courses regarding their experiences.


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First Year
BIO 012/LPre-professional Biology I & Lab (LIFE AOI)4 CR
CHEM 001/3General Chemistry I & Lab (PHSC AOI)4 CR
ELEC ---Drake Curriculum/Gen Elec./Honors3 CR
FYS First Year Seminar3 CR
INTD 025Blueprint for Success1 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

BIO 013/LPre-Professional Biology II & Lab4 CR
CHEM 002/4General Chemistry II & Lab4 CR
MATH 050Calculus I3 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

Second Year
CHEM 097/98Org Chem/Lab I OR PHY 0114 CR
HSCI 141/LHuman Anatomy/Lab4 CR
HSCI 025*Introduction to the US Health Care System3 CR
HSCI 060Stats in Health Sciences2 (CRIT AOI)3 CR
P-ELEC ---Professional Electives (BIO 165: Cell Bio)4 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

ELEC ---Drake Curriculum/Gen Elec./Honors3 CR
HSCI 106*Culture Care & Hlth Lit3(GLOB/CITZ AOI)3 CR
HSCI 125/LPhysiology/Lab14 CR
P-ELEC ---Professional Electives (Org Chem II & Lab)4 CR
PSY 001Intro Psychology4 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

Third Year
ELEC ---Drake Curriculum/Gen Elec./Honors3 CR
HSCI 055*Innovation & Leadership in Health Sciences3 CR
HSCI 095Medical Terminology1 CR
P-ELEC ---Professional Electives (PHAR 130: Biochem)4 CR
P-ELEC ---Professional Electives (BIO 182: Immunology)3 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

ECON 002Microeconomics43 CR
ELEC ---Drake Curriculum/General Electives/Honors6 CR
HSCI 105*Values & Ethics in Health Sciences (VE AOI)3 CR
P-ELEC ---Professional Electives (BIO 103/103L)5 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

Fourth Year
MSL ---Certificate Coursework14 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

MLS ---Certificate Coursework14 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

MLS ---Certificate Coursework13 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

Total Program Hours: 141

Program Notes:

Bolded courses must be taken in the designated semester, unless prior approval by the College is provided.
*Asterisked courses are recommended to be taken in the designated semester, but may be offered in alternative semesters.
1 = BIO 129/L – Mammalian Physiology or PHAR 125 can be substituted for requirement (courses offered only in fall semester)
2 = STAT 060 – Statistics for the Life Sciences can be substituted for requirement
3 = HSCI 106 - Culture Care is requirement for HSCI degree, and may be completed in J-term or Spring, based on availability.
4 = HSCI 102 – Health Economics can be substituted for requirement (course offered only in fall semester)

Drake Curriculum/General Electives (min 27 credits): Drake Curriculum requirements not fulfilled by required course - Artistic Literacy AOI, Engaged Citizen AOI, Historical Foundations AOI (2 courses), and Written Communication AOI. Additional General Electives will be fulfilled by coursework completed at Mercy College.

Professional Electives (min 22 credits): Courses below may be used to fulfill the elective categories; other courses may be used as approved. A minimum of 16 credits are required at Drake to meet the pre-requisite requirements for MLS. Remaining professional electives are fulfilled by coursework completed at Mercy College. If admitted to Mercy College, required credit minimums in Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences Professional Electives are waived.

Biomedical Sciences Electives: (min 3 credits)

*BIO 095-199

*CHEM 100-199

*NSCI 001-199

*PHY 001-199

Health Science Electives (min 6 credits)

*PHAR 100-199
*HSCI 100- 199
*EDUC 172

*SPAN 135

*SPAN 136

*SPAN 137

*SPAN 138

*SPAN 139
*SPAN 154

*SCSA 175

*SCSS 081

Business Electives: (no min credits)

*ACCT 040-199

*BLAW 060-199

*ECON 003-199

*FIN 095-199

*INS 051-199

*MGMT 110-199

*MKTG 101-199

*BUS 006-199

Psychology Electives: (no min credits)

*PSY 002-199

Leadership Electives: (no min credits)

*LEAD 050-199

Professional Electives Policy: Core curricula of CPHS degree programs may require professional elective courses that permit exploration of and/or advanced study in areas of professional interest within the student’s primary degree. Professional electives provide the student with an opportunity to not only pursue areas of intellectual interest, but also to develop an individual “brand” that may benefit them in their professional or academic future. Students who desire to have a non-approved electives count toward professional elective credit should apply for an exception to program policy prior to taking the course whenever possible. Professional electives must be taken for a grade unless the course is designed as credit/no credit. Students should refer to their degree audit for determination of the total number of required professional electives. Students should review the student handbook for the complete professional elective policy and details specific to their degree program.

**If not admitted to the MLS program at Mercy College, all credit minimums for Drake Curriculum/General Electives and Professional Electives must be fulfilled. The senior capstone, HSCI 155, HSCI 156, HSCI 196 and HSCI 197, must also be completed at Drake to earn a Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences.

Experiential Program Notes:

Course Requirements for Accelerated Partner Program and International Internship Students
  • • The Health Sciences Senior Internship includes the following courses:
  • • HSCI 155: Guided Research I (2 credits)
  • • HSCI 156: Guided Research II (2 credits)
  • • HSCI 196: Health Sciences Internship I (3 credits)
  • • HSCI 197: Health Sciences Internship II (3 credits)
  • • Students intending to apply to an accelerated partner program must inform the Health Sciences Experiential Director prior to November 15. If the notification deadline is not met, the student will be required to complete HSCI 196 and 197 in consecutive fall and spring semesters. No other scheduling options for internships or research will be considered following the deadline.
  • • Any deviation from the above course requirements must be planned in conjunction with the Health Sciences Department Chair and Associate Dean of Curriculum and Assessment (via the Exception to Program Policy Request Form) by November 15 of the student’s junior year.
  • • If alternative arrangements for research courses and/or internships are made, the student is committed to the arranged schedule even if the student is not admitted into the accelerated program.

  • International Internships
  • • Students completing internships at international sites may take HSCI 196 and/or HSCI 197 during the summer before senior year.
  • • Students seeking to complete internships at international sites should contact the Health Sciences Experiential Director no later than November 15 of their junior year.