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 / Essential Functions

A student must possess the following skills and abilities to accomplish the essential requirements of the hospital-based program either with or without reasonable accommodations. An applicant must attest his/her personal
capabilities to meet these standards; utilization of a proxy or intermediary is not permitted.

Communication standards:

  1. In Standard English, read, comprehend and interpret technical, instructional, professional and informational
    materials in printed text, hand-written, and video-based presentation utilizing a variety of platforms, including
    textbooks, journals, procedure manuals, and computer graphics.
  2. Follow verbal and written instructions, and record/report information and results legibly and accurately.
  3. Utilize verbal, written and social communication skills, to effectively and concisely interact with patients,
    physicians, health care providers, hospital personnel, fellow students, instructors and coworkers through
    both direct and indirect contact with clarity.

Visual acuity and psychomotor standards:

  1. Visual acuity necessary to discriminate color, intensity, fine details and characteristics with or without visual
    aid. Quickly read and interpret written signs, fine print and video displays, and accurately estimate depth
    and distance.
  2. Auditory acuity necessary to safely interact and react in a noisy environment with or without aid-able
  3. Employ fine motor skills and coordination necessary to perform the intricate manipulations and repetitive
    tasks required to handle and utilize laboratory equipment, reagents, and patient specimens with speed and
    accuracy without compromising the safety of self and others.
  4. Ability to move safely within the hospital and laboratory environments, reaching benchtops, shelves, and
    patients in hospital beds or seated in a collection chair, lifting and carrying moderately heavy objects, and
    sitting, standing, or walking for extended periods of time.

Intellectual and cognitive standards:

  1. Utilize cognitive abilities and interpretive skills to analyze, apply, calculate, interpret, problem solve, and
    exercise sound judgement.
  2. Demonstrate independent judgement and critical thinking skills, including asking productive questions.
  3. Prioritize and complete tasks safely and efficiently in the time allotted with full comprehension of required
    processes and conditions.
  4. Complete assignments independently or with a team as directed, including participating in classroom
    discussion, team problem-solving, research projects, and oral/written presentations.

Behavioral and ethical standards:

  1. Adhere to strict policies related to patient confidentiality, academic honestly and professional code of ethics
    in all actions, conduct and required work.
  2. Recognize potential hazards and comply with the rules, policies and guidelines for laboratory and hospital
    safety related to working with sharp objects, potentially hazardous chemicals and infectious materials
    without incurring injury to self or other.
  3. Demonstrate personal responsibility to maintain emotional, mental and physical health.
  4. Possess the mental and emotional health to effectively tolerate, adapt and function within the stresses of the
    hospital and laboratory environment, responding with a professional attitude to everyday workplace
    stresses, including emergency situations, time constraints, noises, smells, various distractions, and
    encounters with incorrigible individuals.
  5. Be ethical, honest, and compassionate. Willingly take responsibility for one’s 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. Respectfully interact with peers, faculty, health
    care members, patients and the public with compassion and understanding of diverse persons and