Medical Laboratory Science Program

The Austin State Hospital Program in Medical Laboratory Science is an integral part of the Regional Clinical Laboratory at Austin State Hospital. The state hospital is a facility within the Health and Specialty Care System of the Texas Health and Human Services agency. RCLA is located in building 635 on the Austin State Hospital campus and is directed by a consulting pathologist who is board certified in clinical and anatomical pathology.

The program is designed to instruct students in academic and practical phases of laboratory medicine. Graduates are eligible to take the MLS Board of Certification examination given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

MLS Program Application Packet

Deadline Dec. 1

Please print out the Instructions for Completing the MLS Application (PDF). Review and follow the instructions carefully. Points will be deducted from the rating score for failure to follow instructions. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. Transcripts must be sent electronically.

The following forms must be completed and saved as separate documents:

NAACLS Program Outcomes

As a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the Austin State Hospital Medical Laboratory Science Program must make outcome measures for the past three years available to prospective and enrolled students. The outcome measures defined by NAACLS include: American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification Exam pass rates, graduation rates and graduate placement.

Outcome NAACLS Requirement 2018 2019 2020 Three Year Average
Number of Grads NA 4 4 4 4
Completion Rate 70% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Placement Rate 70% 100% 100% 100% 100%
BOC Pass Rate 75% 100% 75% 100% 92%


Students enrolled in the program spend approximately eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, in clinical and didactic instruction in all areas of the RCLA clinical laboratory. Students are additionally assigned outside rotations to expose them to a variety of equipment and/or procedures not performed at RCLA. The following affiliates are used for these rotations:

  • Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas – teaching hospital with 211 beds in operation, the region’s only Level 1 trauma hospital, provides a wide variety of services.
  • Clinical Pathology Laboratories – large reference laboratory offering services to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Employees over 1850 people at the 100,000 square foot main laboratory facility in Austin.
  • DSHS Laboratory Services– the largest volume state public health laboratory in the United States.
  • We are Blood – blood collection and processing facility providing blood and blood products to over 40 medical facilities in a 10 county region.

Clinical instruction includes training under direct supervision of qualified laboratory staff as well as daily group lectures given by qualified instructors in their specialty areas.

Students rotate on an individual basis through six major areas of study of the laboratory. These departments and the approximate times are as follows:

  • Clinical Chemistry - 13 weeks (includes general chemistry, toxicology and special chemistry)
  • Microbiology - 12 weeks (includes bacteriology, mycology and parasitology)
  • Hematology and Coagulation - 11 weeks
  • Blood Bank and Phlebotomy - seven weeks
  • Immunology, Serology and Molecular Diagnostics - three weeks
  • Urinalysis - three weeks


Austin State Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission.

The Regional Clinical Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

The Medical Laboratory Science Program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. 

Contact information for NAACLS is:

5600 N. River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
Phone: 773-714-8880

Program Costs

Students are required to purchase approximately $800 worth of books. Students will receive a list of required textbooks after accepting their position in the class so they can begin the process of purchasing them.

A nominal tuition of $500 is charged. Tuition is due Oct. 31.

Students are required to purchase personal liability insurance that costs approximately $45.

Students should arrange for housing before reporting for training. Apartments or rooms are generally available in neighboring areas.


Students are classified by the State of Texas as Professional Trainees. As state employees students will receive a small, monthly stipend.

After two months in the program students are eligible for the state of Texas group health insurance at no cost.

Students are allowed to take major state holidays, spring break and earn limited vacation and sick leave. Part of the vacation time accrued will be used for spring break.

MLS Student Handbook

The MLS Student Handbook (PDF) provides prospective and current students with detailed information regarding the program’s policies and procedures.

Students are state employees and will be required to attend a comprehensive orientation covering the hospital’s policies and procedures.

Students may be dismissed from the program due to failure to follow the rules and regulations of the organization and/or the MLS program or for failure to maintain a grade of 75 or above in lecture or clinical.

Program Contact Information

Carrie Dillon, Education Coordinator