Medical Laboratory Science Major

Are you interested in a career in health-care and like doing experiments but not sure if you like working extensively with patients? We have a career for you! The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major trains essential members of the healthcare team. Graduates of this major study and practice diagnostic medicine and generate accurate and reliable test results in chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, and microbiology. Results of these tests provide key information leading to the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in this field are expected to be excellent. Employment of medical laboratory workers is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008–2018, faster than the average for all occupations especially in rural areas. ( This major at VCSU will give you career training in rural areas and make you a well-rounded Medical Laboratory Scientist. However, if you prefer to specialize in a particular diagnostic area, bigger hospitals in urban centers are an option.

Western College Alliance & Medical Laboratory Science Certificate

The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major at Valley City State University is part of the Western College Alliance for Medical Laboratory Science. This means that you take three years of classes at VCSU. Upon completion of these courses you move to Grand Forks for a summer of courses at the University of North Dakota (UND). During the Fall and Spring semester of your senior year, you will learn on the job by working in actual clinical laboratory at UND’s MLS clinical affiliate. Students from Valley City have been placed at CHI Mercy Health in Valley City and Presentation Medical Center in Rolla, ND. You will graduate in the MLS major with a degree from Valley City State University and a Medical Laboratory Science Certificate from UND.

I chose the MLS program at VCSU because the medical lab technologist has a very important part in the diagnosis of the patient by running and scientifically analyzing test results that are pertinent to the physician’s decision on how to accurately treat patients. I’m glad I chose the MLS major because although I am not directly working with patient, I still play a very important role in maintaining their health. As a commuting student at VCSU, I never felt alone or without encouragement in preparing for the MLS program through UND. My advisor helped me choose the best courses that would provide me with the needed education and experience to proceed to the online MLS courses and then the summer practicum in Grand Forks, ready and prepared. Jessica Hennings, Class of 2018

Contact Information

Hilde van Gijssel, Ph.D
Professor of Science
Health Science and Medical Laboratory Science
701-845-7337 or

Nicholas Galt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Science
Health Science
701-845-7459 or
Becky Pfennig, PN
Dakota College at Bottineau – Valley City site
701-845-7682 or

Susan Ashline, RN
Dakota College at Bottineau – Valley City site
701-845-7681 or