UPMC Chautauqua does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran’s status, national origin, color, creed or handicap in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its program or activities. To be considered for admission, students must comply with the program’s established admission requirements and meet the minimum technical prerequisites. Special circumstances may be addressed on an individual basis by the Program Director and Admissions Committee.

Academic Prerequisites for Admission

To be eligible to apply the UPMC Chautauqua program an applicant must:

  1. meet the course requirements listed below and
  2. meet one of the following three criteria:
    1. an applicant must be currently enrolled in a BS (or BA) degree in a medical laboratory technology major (or a similarly named major) in which the college/university will award credits (30-32) for the year of clinical training resulting in the granting of the BS degree upon successful completion of the program year,
    2. an applicant must be currently enrolled in a BS degree in biology, chemistry, or the physical sciences in which the college/university will award credits (30-32) for the year of clinical training resulting in the granting of the BS degree upon successful completion of the program year,
    3. an applicant must have a bachelor’s (or master’s) degree in biology, chemistry, or the physical sciences.

Students typically apply to our hospital program one full year prior to the start of the preceptorship year. It is understood that prerequisites might not be finished yet; however, the applicant must clearly prove that all prerequisite courses will be successfully completed prior to the start of the program year for which he/she is applying. Prior to commencing the program year, an undergraduate student must have a minimum of three years of college/university education (90 semester hours or more), meeting all of the graduation requirements of the university (sans the hospital program year).

The following specific minimum course requirements must be satisfied prior to the start of the year of clinical experience in order to be eligible to apply:

Biological Sciences: a minimum of 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours

Required prerequisite courses:

  • microbiology & lab
  • immunology
  • anatomy & physiology & lab (or human biology or animal form and function)

Highly recommended:

  • genetics & lab, and/or cell biology & lab, and/or molecular biology & lab
Chemistry: a minimum of 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours

Required prerequisite courses:

  • inorganic/general chemistry I & lab
  • inorganic/general chemistry II & lab (or either quantitative or qualitative analysis)
  • organic chemistry & lab or biochemistry & lab

Highly recommended:

  • biochemistry & lab
Mathematics: a minimum of one semester or one quarter hour

Highly recommended:

  • statistics
Recommended Electives:
  • anatomy & physiology I and II
  • genetics
  • cell biology, molecular biology
  • parasitology
  • hematology
  • pathophysiology
  • instrumentation
  • statistics

Work done at each institution attended by the applicant is closely examined and handled similarly to the current university transcript. No credit is given for non-traditional education unless it has been previously accepted by a degree-granting institution.

Transcript Evaluation

In order for a potential applicant to be eligible to apply for our clinical program, he/she must meet the following minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements (out of a possible GPA of 4.0):

Cumulative university GPA≥2.5
Biology GPA≥2.5
Chemistry GPA*≥2.3
*UPMC Chautauqua includes biochemistry in the calculation of the chemistry GPA.

To determine if you meet these minimum GPAs, complete the Transcript Evaluation form (see Admissions Process) including all courses within each discipline and calculating your overall GPA in each section. Utilize this form to also verify you will be completing all prerequisite courses prior to beginning a clinical program year. This Transcript Evaluation form must be completed correctly and in its entirety prior to submission. At any time that your calculations do not meet the minimum GPA requirements, you are ineligible to apply to the UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program.

Applicants who meet these minimum GPA levels may apply and will have their credentials further evaluated by program officials and the Admissions Committee of the UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and an overall science GPA of 3.0 or better will receive first consideration.

A student who receives any grade less than a “C” (C– or below) in any junior year (for 3+1) or senior year (for 4+1) course must re-take that course. The student may still apply for an internship position, but must show when the course(s) will be repeated prior to the start of the program year. Contact the Program Director with any questions.

Seven Year Limit for Prerequisites

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree are to have completed the required coursework within seven years of their application.  If not, the applicant must update his/her academic preparation to the approval of the program (grade B or better).  Newly completed courses in Microbiology and Immunology are required with additional coursework in Anatomy & Physiology (Human Biology), Genetics and Biochemistry/Organic Chemistry encouraged to ensure academic preparedness.

International Students

International Students

In order to be granted an interview, foreign students must also submit the following with their application:

  1. Proof of residency status (photocopies of each):
    1. Your passport
    2. Your student (F-1) VISA
    3. Your I-20 form issued by your university, if applicable
  2. Report of an English language proficiency exam, if applicable (see English as a Second Language, below)
  3. Academic standing:
    1. For undergraduates: obtain a letter from the Registrar, Dean or other official of your baccalaureate university attesting to (1) your full-time student status and (2) your financial standing with the university.
    2. For post-graduates:  submit a course-by-course evaluation of your international transcripts including a conversion of the GPA to the U.S. grade point average system.  In addition, transcript in a language other than English must be translated into English.  It is highly recommended that all international transcripts be evaluated by either the World Education Services, Inc. (WES Basic Course-by-Course Evaluation) or International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (Standard Application).

Note: A foreign student currently enrolled in a 4-year baccalaureate U.S. university does not need to have his/her foreign transcripts evaluated by a secondary agency since the university has verified the non-U.S course(s) and accepted those which meet the requirements for completion of the U.S. degree.

English as a Second Language

All students who are not native or primary speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency by providing an official report of recent (within 2 years of application date) test results from one of the English language proficiency exam options listed below (no other test options are accepted).  Photocopies of score reports will not be accepted; exam scores should be sent directly to the UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program.  Due to the diagnostic focus and rapid learning pace of our preceptorship, applicants must obtain the following minimum scores for the test taken, as shown in the tables, to be considered eligible to apply to the UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program:

Reading Listening Speaking Writing Overall Score
(no grade below 18)
≥ 18
≥ 18
≥ 18
≥ 80
(no grade below 6.0)
≥ 6.0
≥ 6.0
≥ 7.0
≥ 6.0
≥ 6.5
Medical Laboratory Technician

Individuals who hold an MLT degree and wish to gain their 4-year medical laboratory science degree must enroll in a Medical Laboratory Science degreed program at an academic institution (see College and University Affiliates) and apply to the UPMC Chautauqua program as a 3 + 1 student (or 4 + 1) proving prerequisite course work for both the baccalaureate degree requirements and UPMC Chautauqua’s application requirements will be met. No credits are awarded for work experience or credits earned in an MLT program unless those credits were accepted by the baccalaureate degree-granting institution. The UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program does not offer testing to allow a student to “opt out” of any aspect of its program year; enrolled students must complete the clinical year in its entirety.

Acceptance Criteria

A numerical ranking of applicants created using science GPAs, reference scores and interview scores is utilized by the Admissions Committee to help direct decisions, but is not the sole basis of student selection.
Students are selected on the basis of:

  • Science (Biology & Chemistry) grade point average
  • Cumulative grade point average
  • Curriculum preparation/related coursework
  • Personal interview
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Related work/volunteer experience
  • Ability to accomplish essential functions of the program
Technical Prerequisites for Admission

An applicant must have the following abilities in order to accomplish the essential requirements of the program.

  1. Effective oral, written and social communication skills in Standard English language.
    1. be able to read and comprehend technical, instructional, professional and informational materials.
    2. follow written and verbal instructions.
    3. have social and communication skills to effectively and concisely interact with patients, physicians, health care providers, hospital personnel and coworkers in both direct and indirect verbal contact and in written format.
  2. Physical and behavioral skills.
    1. be able to sit, stand or walk for moderate periods of time, lift and carry moderately heavy objects, and reach bench tops, shelves and patients in hospital beds or collection chairs.
    2. have manual dexterity necessary to perform the fine manipulations required to safely and accurately perform and report laboratory tests.
    3. be able to distinguish color, clarity, odor and special characteristics of clinical specimens. Have visual acuity necessary to use a microscope and distinguish colors and discriminate fine cellular details. Be able to read graphs, fine print and video displays to adequately perform laboratory tests.
    4. be aware of and recognize potential hazards and adhere to the rules and guidelines for laboratory and hospital safety .
    5. be able to effectively tolerate the stresses of the hospital/laboratory environment, responding professionally to everyday workplace stresses, including STAT situations, noise, smells and encounters with incorrigible personnel. Work well with others and share knowledge and problem solving skills in a positive manner.
    6. be ethical, honest, and compassionate. Follow hospital rules for patient confidentiality. Willingly take responsibility for one’s own actions and be forthcoming about errors or areas of inadequacy. Critically evaluate one’s own performance and accept constructive criticism as a mode of professional and personal growth