Undergraduate - Abingdon Location

Distance Education

The Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences has partnered with the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in Abingdon, Virginia to successfully deliver its entire didactic B.S. in MLS curriculum to qualified residents of Southwest Virginia and the surrounding area using state-of-the-art telecommunications technology.  These technologies include two-way synchronous video-conferencing, satellite downlinks, and web-based lessons.

The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) was established by the General Assembly in 1991 to strengthen the economy of southwest Virginia through education and training of the workforce.  Through partnership agreements, the SVHEC provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as professional development courses through distance technologies.  Please see below to find out more information on applying to the VCU Medical Laboratory Sciences program at the Abingdon location.


Students with no previous clinical laboratory training must have completed at least 60 semester hours at an accredited college or university.  The basic requirements for admission to the baccalaureate program are as follows:

  • Biology: 12 hours to include general biology.  Human physiology anatomy recommended.
  • Chemistry: 12 hours to include 8 hours of general chemistry.  The remaining 4 hours can be quantitative analysis or organic chemistry.
  • English: 6-9 hours of composition. (*VCU: UNIV 111-112 and UNIV 200 or their equivalents.)
  • Mathematics: 3 hours (Algebra or higher)
  • Humanities/Arts: 3 hours (selected from courses in history, philosophy, political science, religion, foreign languages, literature, art history, or art appreciation).
  • Social sciences: 3 hours (selected courses in anthropology, economics, geography, psychology, or sociology)

NOTE: Survey courses in Biology or Chemistry are NOT acceptable.

All pre-professional course requirements must be completed before enrolling in the fall (preferably in July).  Your admission materials must show how you will complete all of the following courses and credits.  Questions regarding validity or suitability may be investigated by submitting a course description.  Please note that the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences will accept a grade of “D” in a maximum of one prerequisite course.  A grade of “C” must be obtained in all other courses in order to receive transfer credit. 

For current VCU students, an excellent source of advice is the pre-health science advisors through VCU University College Academic Advising.  They may be contacted at (804) 827-UNIV (8648). 

Students completing course work at other institutions other than VCU should consult with their institution’s academic counselor and use the VCU Transfer Website to make decisions regarding course enrollment. 

Technical Standards

The VCU Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences is responsible for providing education without regard to disability while assuring that academic and technical standards are met.  Academic standards are met by successfully completing the Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS).  Technical standards represent the essential non-academic requirements that a student must demonstrate to successfully participate in the MLS degree program.  The technical standards for each category identified below are consistent with the expectations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.  Applicants should possess the following essential technical abilities and skills for admission consideration:

1.  Manual dexterity: Ability to use hand(s) or prosthetic devices with coordination.
2.  Fine motor: Ability to manipulate small objects with fingertips or adaptive devices.
3.  Mobility: Ability to maneuver in the laboratory, around instruments, and in patient-care settings.
4.  Vision: Ability to distinguish green, red, yellow, and blue colors; to distinguish clear from cloudy; and to distinguish objects through a microscope.
5.  Hearing: Ability to hear with assistive devices (i.e. phone receivers, hearing aid, etc.)
6.  Speech: Ability to verbally communicate in English.
7.  Writing: Ability to communicate effectively in written form in English.
8.  Reading: Ability to read, understand, and following directions printed in English.
9.  Emotional and physical stability: Ability to work accurately and safely under stress, adapt to changing environments, and prioritize tasks.
10.  Personal attributes: Must demonstrate integrity, responsibility, tolerance, and respect.


Criteria used in the selection of the entering class include:

    • Cumulative GPA in all college-level courses (all attempts)
    • GPA in science/math courses (all attempts)
    • Completion of prerequisite courses
    • Number of credits of science/math courses with a minimum grade of “C”
    • Communication skills assessed by means of applicant’s writing sample and interview
    • Recommendations provided by references
    • Motivation to become a clinical laboratory scientist
    • Knowledge of the profession as assessed during the interview

Application Process

The electronic portions of the application procedures (including letters of references) must be submitted no later than midnight on March 15. In addition, all transcripts must be received (not postmarked) in the Office of Admissions on or before March 15. We will continue to accept applications until we have reached capacity.

Following review of admission credentials, some applicants may require an interview with the admissions committee. If an interview is needed, the department will contact you. Applicants are notified of committee decisions at the earliest possible date. 

To apply, please visit Admissions at VCU.

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