The certifying agencies have developed preparation routes and categorical examinations for graduates who wish to become certified only in one discipline of clinical laboratory science.
Students who earn a minor are not eligible for these exams as there is a clinical internship as well as additional coursework required. If clinical internship slots are available once all the needs of the MLS majors are met and minors students meet the appropriate criteria, the MLS faculty will facilitate providing the appropriate courses/internships in order for students to sit for categorical exams in one of the following areas: clinical microbiology, clinical biochemistry, hematology or transfusion services. It is important to note that while the SU MLS faculty has prior experience in evaluation of the coursework necessary to take these exams, the certifying agencies are independent of SU and make the final determination as to what is acceptable. Certifying agencies change their requirements infrequently, but students should still always make sure they have accessed the most current requirements prior to embarking on an academic program of study.
Current examination requirements are at www.ascp.org.
Per the certifying agencies, mere completion of a checklist of courses does not meet the requirements for exam eligibility. Students must meet approval criteria and must not have a history of behavior that contraindicates effective, safe clinical practice. Students who want to take a categorical examination must be admitted to and complete a structured program in the discipline of their choice, so an approval process is required which closely mirrors that for the full MLS major. Students who are admitted as full MLS majors, therefore, are not simultaneously enrolled in any of the structured programs for the categorical exams and will not automatically be eligible retroactively for enrollment in a categorical program if they cannot complete the MLS program. Similarly, per the certifying agencies who wish to prevent "double dipping" students who choose to earn the categorical exams are not automatically eligible to sit later for the MLS generalist exams.