Students that are planning to complete the Medical Laboratory Sciences submajor enroll in all Year 3 Semester 2 courses listed in the Plan of Study page (unless otherwise determined by the Program Director and/or Program Advisor). Students that are accepted/denied entry in to the program will be notified by the Program Director in early January prior to the start of Spring courses. Acceptance to the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program does not guarantee a clinical placement or graduation from the Medical Laboratory Science submajor. Completion of the program is contingent upon the following:
- Clinical site availability – The BMS department provides clinical rotations at a variety of hospital locations (due to affiliation agreement requirements, students are prohibited from finding their own clinical locations at this time). The number of students that graduate as Medical Laboratory Scientists is dependent on the number of clinical placements available at our current clinical affiliates. This number varies from year to year, and is typically not determined until the end of Year 3 Semester 2. We strive to place all qualified applicants at a clinical site, but in cases where there are more applicants than available rotations, students will be ranked and given placements based on science GPA. Students will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on where they would like to complete rotations, but the final decision for clinical placements will be made by the BMS Department. Though the majority of clinical sites are located in the greater Milwaukee area, students may be placed in more remote locations such as Madison, Fort Atkinson, Racine/Kenosha, and Manitowoc (see the Clinical Affiliates page for a list of current clinical sites). Long transit times and/or relocation may be necessary, depending on your clinical placement, and these should be considered when making housing decisions leading up to your clinical placement. The BMS Department will do its best to accommodate students, but due to the limitation of clinical site availability, students applying for the Medical Laboratory Sciences program should be prepared to complete rotations at any of our clinical affiliates. If a student is offered a placement and determines that they can not complete their rotation due to the site location, it may be necessary to switch to a submajor that does not include a clinical rotation.
- Minimum Grade and Course Requirements – Students must complete all required courses and continue to meet minimum grade requirements throughout the spring semester, summer session, fall semester, and during their clinical rotations. Students that do not meet minimum grade requirements during this time may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program at the discretion of the Program Director. Students that meet the minimum grade requirements, regardless of Science GPA, will be given priory for a clinical placement over students that do not meet minimum grade requirements and/or are in a probationary status. See the Requirements page for more information on minimum grade and course requirements.
NOTE: Students in a probationary status will remain on probation unless/until the infraction has been resolved. Examples include:
- If a student is on probation due to a grade lower than a C, they will remain on probation unless/until that course has been retaken and a C or better has been achieved.
- If a students is on probation because they have a GPA <2.5, they will remain on probation unless/until their GPA has risen to 2.5 or higher.
- Completion of all clinical site on-boarding requirements – Students attending clinical rotations will be required to complete a health screening, complete required vaccinations and submit proper documentation, complete a background check, complete and pass a drug screen, maintain health insurance during the professional training experience, meet any additional requirements set by their assigned clinical site, and will need to be cleared/accepted by a clinical site for training. Information on specific requirements can be found on the Year 4 Summer Session page.
Immunization/Infectious Disease Requirements
There are several vaccinations that will be required prior to the start of clinical rotations in November. Though vaccinations for infectious diseases are not a requirement of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, students that plan to complete rotations at one of our clinical affiliates are required to comply with all immunization requirements of their site in order to attend a rotation. Submission of official documentation will not take place until the summer session, but we encourage students to review the Immunization/Infectious Disease Requirements for Clinical Placement page as soon as possible and identify any testing/vaccinations that may need to be completed. Depending on current records or immune status testing, additional vaccinations or booster shots may be needed. Of note, the Hepatitis B vaccine series takes up to six months to complete, so we encourage students to speak to their health care providers or the Norris Health Center as soon as possible about your current status. Though we recommend that you begin these vaccinations as soon as possible, they will not be a requirement until clinical placements are finalized prior to the start of the summer session. It is at the students discretion if they choose to receive any vaccinations prior to finalization of clinical placements.
Students that do not plan to complete one or more of the vaccination requirements listed on the Immunizations/Infectious Disease Requirements for Clinical Placement page should contact the Clinical Education Coordinator (email@example.com) no later than April 1st to discuss options. Waivers for medical or religious reasons may be available, but this is at the discretion of our clinical affiliates. If a waiver is not granted by a clinical affiliate and the student does not comply with all requirements, a switch to a major that does not include a clinical rotation may be necessary.
Clinical Site Tours (January-March)
Tours of our clinical affiliates are typically offered to new applicants in January, February, and March of each year. These tours may be in-person or virtual, and give students the opportunity to meet site educational coordinators, see the lab space, talk to current employees, talk to current and former students, and learn more about each clinical site. This also allows the clinical sites to meet and get to know our students. One factor that the BMS department considers when determining clinical placements is student preference, and these tours are intended to help students decide where they would prefer to complete rotations.
See the MLS Clinical Tour Information page for dates/times of clinical tours
Clinical Site Interviews (March-April)
Clinical site interviews with students are typically conducted in March and April of each year. Interviews are not a requirement of the BMS department, but many clinical affiliates require interviews prior to placement. Though most sites offer interviews to all students, some may not offer interviews, and others may determine interview eligibility based on the initial applications to the MLS program submitted by students in December. These interviews are typically conducted by the clinical site education coordinators and should be treated as job interviews. These give students the opportunity to ask questions, get to know the education coordinators for each site, and make a good impression. One factor that the BMS department considers when determining clinical placements is student rankings that are submitted by each clinical affiliate, and these interviews are utilized by the clinical sites when they are determining their student rankings.
See the MLS Clinical Site Interview Sign-Up Forms page for dates/times of clinical site interviews
Student Preference Forms (April-May)
After touring clinical sites, completing interviews, and learning more about each clinical affiliate, students are offered the opportunity to provide feedback to us regarding where they would like to complete their clinical rotation. Students will be asked to “rank” sites in the order that they would prefer, and provide information to us that they think may help us to determine final placements. The BMS Department will do its best to accommodate students, but due to the limitation of clinical site availability, students applying for the Medical Laboratory Sciences program should be prepared to complete rotations at any of our clinical affiliates. If a student is offered a placement and determines that they can not complete their rotation due to the site location, it may be necessary to switch to a submajor that does not include a clinical rotation.
You can submit your preferences to us by completing the MLS Clinical Training Site Preference Form
Things that students commonly consider when ranking sites include:
- Site location
- Do you live close to a site?
- Can you drive there or commute via bus?
- Is it easy to move near the location? This is especially valuable to us if you could easily move near the more remote sites (Madison, Fort Atkinson, Manitowoc, Kenosha, Racine).
- NOTE: Site location ALONE will not factor in to how we determine your clinical placement (i.e. you could commute, but it’s inconvenient for you).
- The hospital organization
- Do you already work at one of these hospitals? Many students like to complete rotations where they work, and many sites like this because you’re more likely to stay with them after graduation
- Chemistry with the site coordinator
- You will be working closely with this person. Did you get along well with them?
- Size of the site
- Large, medium, small, fast-paced, etc.
- Every student will get the same basic training, but sites have different advantages. Larger sites may offer more variety of what you’ll see beyond what is required, while smaller sites may offer more one-on-one training and individual attention
- Your personality
- Are you more shy? Maybe a smaller site that can dedicate more time to you individually is best
- Are you more outgoing? Maybe a larger, more fast paced site that offers more independence is best
- Future with the company
- Do you want to work for them after graduation? Rotations are like long job interviews – sites will try their best to retain you once you’re done
- Ask us if you have any other questions!
Information that would be helpful to include on student preference forms include:
- If you are undecided between several sites, tell us in the comments!
- If you are happy to be placed at multiple sites, tell us which ones. We can use this information to prioritize sites for other students.
- If there is a good reason why you would like to be placed a certain clinical site, tell us!
- You may live very close, may need a site on a bus route, may already work at the site or for the same organization, or may be interested in a more remote location because you plan to move there or have family that you could stay with.
- If there is a good reason why you feel you can NOT attend certain clinical sites, let us know!
- We cannot guarantee that you will not be placed at these sites, but we will consider this information
- Factors that may be considered to avoid placement may include:
- Transportation issues – If you don’t drive or don’t have a car
- If you have an extenuating circumstance that would prohibit you from completing rotations at a site, such as:
- You have previously worked at a site and were fired
- You have issues with current employees
- You have issues with the clinical education coordinator of the site
- You have physical limitations and believe the lab layout may be prohibitive for you
- You are the direct caregiver for someone and relocation/long transportation times would be extremely challenging
- Long commutes and/or the need for relocation alone will not be considered as a reason to exclude students from a clinical location
- Even if a remote site is not your top choice, if it would not be difficult for you to go to a more remote site, please let us know!
- This does not mean you definitely WILL go there, but we understand that completing rotations at these sites may be more difficult for some students than others. We ask that you consider other students that would have a more difficult time completing rotations when filling out your preference forms.
- Ideally, we hope to have enough interest for sites outside of the greater Milwaukee area that we do not need to place someone remotely that would have an extremely challenging time completing their rotation.
Determination of Clinical Placements
Clinical placement decisions are ultimately determined by the BMS department, and are made in two phases. Students that have been dismissed from the MLS submajor due to academic reasons or capacity issues will be notified prior to the start of the Year 4 Summer Session courses, and final clinical placements are typically posted to the Year 4 Summer Session page on or before the first day of classes (late May/early June).
First – Who is offered a clinical placement?
We strive to grant rotations to all qualified applicants, but the total number of clinical placements offered is dependent on availability of our clinical affiliates. These numbers are communicated to the BMS department near the end of the spring semester, and placement decisions are made once final grades from spring are submitted and the total number of placements is known. In most cases, all students that meet the minimum requirements are granted a clinical placement.
If the number of students that meet the minimum requirements is greater than the number of placements available, students will be ranked by Science GPA (including spring semester courses), and placements will be granted based on those rankings. This phase does not typically include factors such as student preference or student rankings by sites and is purely dependent on academic performance.
Students that do not meet minimum grade requirements for all courses and/or are in a probationary status may be granted a clinical placement if there are still placements available after placing those that met the minimum requirements. A decision to grant clinical placement when the minimum requirements were not met and/or the student is in a probationary status is dependent on the infraction, and is at the discretion of the Program Director and BMS Department. Students that meet the minimum grade requirements, regardless of Science GPA, will be given priory for a clinical placement over students that do not meet minimum grade requirements.
Where will you get placed?
The final decision for clinical placements will be made by the BMS Department, and placements are typically finalized and released at the beginning of the Year 4 Summer Session. Placement locations will be based on several factors, including information provided to us on the student preference forms, site student rankings, and science GPA. Locations in the greater Milwaukee area are more commonly ranked high on student preference lists, but due to the limitation of clinical site availability, students applying for the Medical Laboratory Sciences program should be prepared to complete rotations at any of our clinical affiliates. Long transit times and/or relocation may be necessary if placed at a site outside of the greater Milwaukee area.
If a student chooses not to complete a rotation at their assigned location and we are unable to accommodate a change to another site, the student may be required to switch to a submajor that does not include a clinical rotation. Students that have concerns regarding clinical placement should contact the Program Director to discuss available options.