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Online Students

The ISU MLS online program is designed for remote, or out-of-state students, who cannot reasonably attend one of our 3 college campuses located in Pocatello, Meridian, and Idaho Falls. 

Frequently Asked Questions

YES! Both the Bachelors and Masters level programs can be completed 100% remotely as long as the following two criteria are met:

  1. The applicant has laboratory sponsorship 
  2. There is an affiliation agreement between ISU and the sponsor laboratory

Sponsorship indicates that a clinical laboratory has agreed to be responsible for the online student's hands-on instruction. This includes:

  1. Weekly laboratory instruction (typically 6-8 hours a week) during the Fall and Spring semesters.
  2. Sponsor the 12-week clinical rotations at the end of the MLS professional block of courses (typically the third and final summer semester).

Sponsor laboratories must have the capability to cover all areas of instruction, including Hematology, Chemistry, Urinalysis, Microbiology, and Blood Bank.

All other course work in the program is 100% online. 

Any clinical laboratory may serve as a sponsor, under two conditions:

  1. Sponsor laboratories must have the capability to cover all areas of instruction, including Hematology, Chemistry, Urinalysis, Microbiology, and Blood Bank.
  2. A successful affiliation agreement must executed between the sponsor laboratory and Idaho State University.



Sponsorship indicates that a clinical laboratory has agreed to be responsible for the online student's hands-on instruction. This includes:

  1. Weekly laboratory instruction (typically 6-8 hours a week) during the Fall and Spring semesters.
  2. Sponsor the 12-week clinical rotations in all subject areas at the end of the MLS professional block of courses (typically the third and final summer semester).

For more information on the specifics of sponsor laboratory duties, please contact Rachel Hulse at rachelhulse@isu.edu

The sponsor laboratory must have a formal affiliation agreement with Idaho State University which describes the educational duties of the student.

An affiliation agreement is a legal document between Idaho State University and the sponsor laboratory that details:

a. the relationship of the entities

b. the roles of the entities

c. the responsibilities of the sponsor and Idaho State University

d. the assurance for completion of students assigned clinical requirements in the event that an affiliation is discontinued

Idaho State University has a standard affiliation agreement, although site-specific agreements are also allowed. In order to obtain an affiliation agreement, please contact Rachel Hulse rachelhulse@isu.edu.


In order to become an online student in the Idaho State University Medical Laboratory Science program, a student must:

  1. Have clinical sponsorship. 
  2. Apply directly to the ISU MLS Program.
  3. Apply to Idaho State University


Applications instructions for the undergraduate (first and second BS students) students:

Applications for graduate students:


As long as the applicant has the necessary sponsorship, affiliation agreement, program prerequisites, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, you will be guaranteed to have a spot in the next ISU MLS cohort.

The MLS program is one-year (3 semesters) in length, with each cohort running from August to August. 

The curriculum is as follows:

Fall semester- 16 credits

MLS 4410 Phlebotomy Practicum 1 cr
MLS 4412/5512 Urinalysis and Body Fluids 1 cr
MLS 4414/5514 Hematology and Hemostasis 3 cr
MLS 4416/5516 Medical Microbiology I 3 cr
MLS 4418/5518 Medical Chemistry and Instrumentation 3 cr
MLS 4420/5520 Medical Immunology 2 cr
MLS 4422/5522 Basic Concepts Transfusion Medicine 2 cr
MLS 4424/5524 Medical Laboratory Fundamentals 1 cr

Spring semester- 16 credits

MLS 4431/5531 Medical Microbiology II 3 cr
MLS 4433/5533 MLS Management and Education 2 cr
MLS 4435/5535 Molecular Diagnostics 3 cr
MLS 4437/5537 Critical Analysis of Lab Information 3 cr
MLS 4439/5539 Advanced Concepts in Transfusion Medicine 2 cr
MLS 4441/5541 MLS Research 1 cr
MLS 4455/5555 MLS Student Laboratory Practices 2 cr

Summer semester-6 credits

(These are clinical rotations, for a total of 12 weeks)

MLS 4491 Microbiology Practicum 2 cr
MLS 4492 Hematology and Urinalysis Practicum 2 cr
MLS 4493 Transfusion (Blood Bank) Practicum 1 cr
MLS 4494 Chemistry and Automation Practicum 1 cr

Upon successful completion of the above courses, students will gain eligibility for the ASCP Board of Certification MLS exam.

Graduate students will have an additional 16 credits and project work before their graduate degree is completed, but they are eligible for the ASCP BOC exam at the conclusion of the first year, as listed above.



  1. Completion of the University general education requirements (see Academic Information and Graduation Requirements). The following objective courses also satisfy specific program requirements:
    • Objective 3: MATH 1153 – Introduction to Statistics
    • Objective 5: BIOL 1101,1101L – Biology I, and Lab, CHEM 1111, 1111L, and CHEM 1112, 1112L plus additional chemistry courses to total a minimum of 16 credits and may include inorganic/organic/ biochemistry/analytical chemistry
  2. Completion of the following required courses:
    • MATH 1143 College Algebra 3 cr
    • BIOL 2206,2207 Cell Biology, and Lab 4 cr
    • BIOL 2235,2235L General Microbiology, and Lab 4 cr
    • BIOL 3301,3301L, 3302 3302L Anatomy and Physiology, and Labs 8 cr
    • BIOL 3358 Genetics 3 cr
    • BIOL 4451 Immunology 3 cr
    • BIOL 4463 Pathophysiology 4 cr OR BIOL 3305 Introduction to Pathobiology 3 cr

For transfer equivalences from other universities, please see visit ISU's transfer equivalent site

If you have questions about course equivalences or prerequisites, please email a copy of your unofficial transcripts to Dr. Rachel Hulse at hulsrach@isu.edu

Tuition and fee information can be found here:


Our program qualifies for discounted tuition through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), and Western Graduate Regional (WGRP) for students located in the following states/regions:

Furthermore, fully online, out-of-state students may qualify for further tuition discounts. Contact the Financial Aid Department for more details:

Website: https://www.isu.edu/financialaid/ 

Email: finaidem@isu.edu

Phone:  (208) 282-2756

Fax: (208) 282-4755

For further questions, please contact us:

Dr. Rachel Hulse (hulsrach@isu.edu). 


“I cannot begin to describe what a pleasure it was to be a graduate of ISU's 2018 online MLS program. All the professors and staff went out of their way to make sure the education I received was not in any way hindered by distance. They were all eager to help with any questions, and excelled at involving everyone in the classroom. The program excels not only in the academic field, but at caring for each student as an individual. I can say without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without the support and mentoring of the program faculty. I would enthusiastically recommend this program to anyone who has a passion for the healthcare field, and wants to make a positive impact on peoples' lives.”
-Seth G. | Sponsor: St. Mary's Hosptial, Cottonwood, ID


"Being an online student in the Medical Laboratory Science 2020 program at ISU was the perfect opportunity for me because I didn't have to move states or fully quit my job. I was worried about being an online student at first since I had never done online classes before. These worries quickly diminished once I started the program. The courses were very well organized and getting to watch the exact same lectures as the on-campus students, I didn't feel like I was "online". All of the instructors were great, they replied to my questions in a timely matter and individually checked up on me throughout the program. I even got to meet on Skype with instructors to help prepare for midterms. I feel very prepared to take the Board of Certification and start my career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist after this program."

-Libby R. |  Sponsor: St. Charles Hospital, Bend, OR

"I worked full time as a MLT in a CAP accredited lab while attending ISU MLS online program.  I got 4.0 GPA and 744 out of 999 on BOC which is about 2 SD above the mean (only need 400 to pass).  This is the best program for you if you are willing to put in the extra work."

-Jimmy G. | Sponsor: Interpath Laboratory, Pendleton, OR

"Being a graduate of ISU's Medical Laboratory Science program has positively changed the trajectory of my career in ways that I would never have imagined. After working in the lab for many years, I decided to apply to PA school; however, I needed to finish my Bachelor's degree. I choose ISU's program. My acceptance into a Physician Assistant program came after only one application cycle. Program faculty told me that they were impressed with my ability to manage numerous roles while maintaining the self-motivation to complete a rigorous program. There is absolutely no way that I could have done it without the support of the faculty. Their wealth of knowledge was priceless, and their willingness to be flexible with my work schedule also proved to be valuable. I knew that they cared about my well-being and my success, both in and out of the classroom. I loved being able to listen to the lectures on my own time. It was incredible to hear the questions and learn the answers given. I always felt like part of the classroom. 

Fast forward to today, I am a Physician Assistant in a Bone Marrow Transplant clinic. The hiring team credits my laboratory experience as a main selling point. Once again, ISU laid a solid foundation of medical knowledge that has helped me reach my professional goals."

-Jennifer M. | Sponsor: Jordan Valley Hospital/St. Mark's Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT

"A few friends and I were able to participate in the Medical Lab Science Program while living in Alaska where no comparable programs are offered. It was awesome to be able to pursue a career in science and healthcare without having to relocate. Idaho State University offered us in state scholarships, and because we had previously completed the prerequisites, we were able to complete the bachelor’s program in just one year and sit for our licensing examination. We were all offered careers as medical lab scientists before we even finished the program.    Before taking online science courses at ISU, I would have never wanted to take a science course online-but these courses are well-organized and offer many resources. The ISU online teachers are knowledgeable, responsive, and interactive. Many times, I would receive a response e-mail from my ISU professor, before I could expect a response e-mail from my in-state professor. They work hard to make sure that you understand everything. The online courses platform called Moodle is very easy to navigate and allows you to link the due dates to your smart phone for reminders to keep you on track. During the initial COVID-19 crisis, when many other programs may have been compromised or put on hold, ISU was able to offer us virtual clinicals so that we could continue to move forward in our program without putting our health at risk. I am grateful for the dedication of the ISU MLS staff and associates that have made the program so well organized and accessible to out of state students. And I am profoundly grateful for the dedication, care, and service the ISU MLS professors have provided us. We could not have done it without you!"

-Cassandra D. | Sponsor: Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Fairbanks, AK

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