Share Tweet Share Email

Medical laboratory technicians can take careers to the next level at NIU

March 29, 2021

When Terros Dilworth was considering a degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences, he researched available programs and talked to people he trusted.

Terros Dilworth

“A lot of my co-workers went to Northern Illinois University and they all had good things to say about the program,” said Dilworth, who is currently a Medical Laboratory Scientist for Hematology at Northwestern Medicine. “When I researched it myself, I learned that they had a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) to Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) fast track program that I was interested in.”

NIU’s MLT to MLS degree completion program is designed to take a medical/clinical laboratory technician’s career to the next level. In as little as three semesters, students in the program can complete a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) – completely online – while they continue to work in the field.

“The program has professors who really prepare you to be successful,” Dilworth said. “They are certified to work in their area of expertise, and really take the time to make sure you understand the knowledge required for the profession.”

Ellen Olsen, Medical Laboratory Sciences program coordinator, said NIU’s program was further enhanced in 2021 to meet the needs of today’s students, and includes a new online course that replaces the clinical lab practicum component.

“This enhancement allows students who work full-time or work different shifts to still be able to take the courses they need to complete their bachelor’s degree,” Olsen said. “This will allow students across the nation to complete their degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences here at NIU.”

Olsen said in prior years, students found it difficult to complete a practicum during the week when they also had to work full-time.

“Students would often have to use accrued vacation days or work every weekend at their place of employment to complete their clinical practicum at the NIU affiliate clinical site,” Olsen said. “Now they won’t have to do this; students can study and learn anytime and anywhere.”

Dilworth shared the sentiment.

“If you want a program that works with your schedule and has people who care about your success as an MLS, NIU is definitely the program for you,” Dilworth said.

Learn more about the MLT to MLS online degree completion program at NIU.