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Laboratory Education

The laboratory programs at Hennepin Healthcare are conducted under the guidelines of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS, 5600 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018; phone 773-714-8880). NAACLS is an international agency for accreditation and approval of educational programs in the medical laboratory sciences and related health professions.

About Our Programs

Laboratory Program Policy Handbook, 2020-21
Laboratory Program Academic Calendar, 2020-21
Laboratory Program Academic Calendar 2021-22

Our Laboratory Programs

The Medical Laboratory Science program accepts students from MLS programs at 5 affiliated universities.  Students spend 9 months in our clinical laboratory training and earning college credit at their university.  The Phlebotomy Technician program accepts students for a 12-week certificate program including both lecture and practical training.

Both programs are licensed by the Minnesota State Office of Higher Education (1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108, 651-259-3976) and accredited or approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).  The MLS program received a ten-year NAACLS accreditation during its most recent on-site inspection in 2017.  The Phlebotomy Technician program NAACLS approval was renewed in 2017 for an additional 5 years.

Programs must meet or exceed national benchmarks related to outcomes for students in order to receive accreditation by NAACLS.  Both programs far exceed the national standards in the identified areas.  Outcome measures for the MLS and Phlebotomy Technician programs over the past 3 years of complete data are as follows:

New for 2020

Medical Laboratory Science Applicants for Fall, 2021 and later program start dates:

The new Dual Start Schedule will be in effect for students starting the program in Fall, 2021 or later.  Prospective students now have more flexibility with options for either a fall start or winter start!  Select the Medical Laboratory Scientist section to learn more.

Phlebotomy Technician Applicants for 2020 and later start dates:
The next class is planned for Summer, 2021. Applications are due between January 1, 2021, and April 15, 2021.

Summer Phlebotomy is here! Beginning in 2020, phlebotomy technician students will be able to choose either a January and June start date!  View the Phlebotomy Technician section to learn more.

Program Outcomes

HCMC MLS Program
HCMC Medical Laboratory Science program measures exceed the national benchmarks established by NAACLS of 70% for Graduation and Placement rates and 75% for the Board of Certification exam pass rates.

  • Graduation rate: 100%. Graduation rates are defined by NAACLS as graduation by students who began and completed the second half of the program.
  • Board of Certification Exam Pass Rate within 1 year of graduation: 96%
  • Rate of Job Placement or continued education within 1 year of graduation: 100%

HCMC Phlebotomy Technician Program
HCMC Phlebotomy Technician program measures exceed the national benchmarks established by NAACLS of 70% for Graduation and Placement rates and 75% for the Board of Certification exam pass rates.

  • Graduation rate: 89%. Graduation rates are defined by NAACLS as graduation by students who began and completed the second half of the program.
  • Board of Certification Exam Pass Rate within 1 year of graduation: 100%
  • Placement rate: 100%
Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science Program

Program Requirements

Medical Clinical Laboratory Science
Download the Medical Laboratory Science Application Form.


Lynn Poth, MS, MT (ASCP)
MLS Program Director
[email protected]

The Medical Laboratory Science Program is a nine-month clinical internship with intensive study in chemistry (including toxicology and instrumentation), coagulation, hematology, immunohematology (blood bank), immunology, microbiology (including parasitology, mycology, mycobacteriology, and virology), urinalysis, management, and education. Most areas of instruction include practical laboratory experiences in addition to the lectures and/or workshops, self-instruction learning modules, patient case studies, and exams found in the curriculum in all content areas.

Students receive individualized instruction as they learn and work with teaching technologists in the laboratory. Students perform tests on patient blood and body fluid specimens and, under supervision, report results. General hours for the internship are 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. One to two weeks of evening-shift experience, from 3 p.m. -11 p.m., is required. Clinical enrollment is limited to a maximum of 8 students per year. An academic calendar can be found in the School of Laboratory Medicine policy manual located in the About Our Programs tab.

Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate that is not contingent on passing a certification examination. Graduates are then eligible to take the national MLS Board of Certification Exam through the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Affiliated University Programs for Medical Laboratory Science

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato, MN 56001
Program Director: Lois Anderson, M.A., MT (ASCP)
(507) 389-2417

St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Program Director: Louise Millis MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse
La Crosse, WI 54601
Program Director: Michael A. Lazzari, DHEd, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

Winona State University
Winona, MN 55987
Program Director: Lisa Jordan, MS, MT(ASCP)SMcm

Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI 49931
Program Director: Karyn A. Fay MS MT(ASCP)SH

Phlebotomy Technician

Download the Phlebotomy Application Form (PDF).

The Phlebotomy Technician program is a twelve-week, hands-on program that trains students to collect blood from a variety of patients in different settings.  The training combines hands-on practice with classroom lectures and workshops.  In addition to basic blood collection, topics such as medical terminology, quality assurance, and legal concerns, safety and infection control, specimen processing, point of care testing, anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system, and arterial puncture are covered.  Students are introduced to the healthcare environment where they interact with other healthcare professionals.

Students use Hennepin Healthcare equipment in their training.  They begin with artificial practice blocks in a workshop setting and progress to clinical areas where they learn the skills they need directly from experienced phlebotomists.  Throughout the training process, patient interaction and providing an excellent outcome and experience for our patients and their families is a top priority.

The course is offered twice each year.  One class starts in January, the second class starts in June.  Students attend training from Monday thru Friday with hours that vary from 7 or 9 am to 3:30 pm during the first four to five weeks, to an early start of 4 or 5 am to 12:30 or 1:30 pm during the inpatient phase of training for the last 7 to 8 weeks of the program.  This course is not offered either in the evening or part-time.

Medical Laboratory Science

MLS Program Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the options for start dates for the HHS MLS program?
    Beginning in Fall, 2021, students will be able to choose to start the program either during the last week of August or the second week of January.  Students who start in August will graduate during the last week of May and those who start in January graduate from the program the second week of October.
  2. How many MLS students are accepted at each of the program start dates?
    Students are accepted for each program start.  The two groups with a total of 8 students are scheduled to be in the lab at the same time for stretches during spring and early fall, which provides new students with the opportunity to interact with and learn from the “upperclassmen” who are finishing the program as well as the staff and, of course, from each other!
  3. Can I apply if I have already completed my Bachelor's degree?
    Students who have graduated from one of our affiliated universities and completed the MLS pre-requisite requirements are eligible to apply as 4+1 students.  Most of the students we admit are in need of their senior year of coursework (3+1 students).  They are formally enrolled in the MLS program for one of the 5 programs that we are affiliated with.
  4. When should I apply?
    One round of applications will be held in the fall of the year prior to the program start dates.  For example, Students who wish to enroll in the program during August, 2021 or January 2022 should apply during the fall, 2020 application cycle.  Applications are due by October 15 of each year.  The second round of applications may be accepted during the spring semester.  If the second round of applications will be opened, affiliated university MLS Program Directors will be notified.  The due date for second round applications would be set for March 15.

Pre-Requisite Requirements

To qualify for entrance into HCMC's Medical Laboratory Science Program, the following classes or their equivalents are required:

  • Biological Sciences: A minimum of 16-semester credits is required. The required courses are general biology, hematology, immunology, microbiology, anatomy/ physiology, genetics/molecular biology. Recommended courses include medical laboratory science, medical or pathogenic microbiology, parasitology, mycology, and virology.
  • Chemistry: A minimum of 16-semester credits is required. The required courses are general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Recommended courses include analytical chemistry and instrumentation.
  • Mathematics: A college math course is required. Remedial math courses are not acceptable. In addition to a college math course, statistics is required, either as a separate course or included in a relevant course (e.g. biostatistics)
  • Required pre-clinical courses: hematology with lab experience and immunohematology with lab experience. Introduction to clinical chemistry and urinalysis are highly recommended
  • Suggested electives: physics, computer science, advanced math, or management.

Application Instructions

    1. Application forms are available from affiliated universities (Check with the MLS/CLS Program Director), the Hennepin Healthcare Program Director, or you may download an application.
    2. Application deadlines: Round 1 applications should be completed by students interested in either the August start date or the January start date.  Round 2 applications may be opened, but there is no guarantee that they will be available.
      • Round 1 application deadline – October 15
      • (If Available) Round 2 application deadline – March 15
        Contact the HCMC Program Director to find out if the second round of applications is being accepted before completing the application process.
    3. Required documents: The following must be submitted by October 15 to be considered for admission to the HCMC Medical Laboratory Science Program:
      • A complete application form, including signature form and biographical sketch.
      • The application fee is $50.00. Make checks payable to "HCMC MLS Program"
      • Official transcripts from all universities and/or colleges attended. Students must have a cumulative and science GPA of 2.6 or higher to be eligible for the program.
      • Two recommendation forms, to be completed by a science professor and the affiliated university’s MLS/CLS/MT program director.
    4. Hennepin Healthcare tours: Tours are required as part of the application process. All tours must be completed by Oct 1. No tours will be scheduled after that date. Students may tour the fall, spring, or summer prior to applying, but must be completed no more than 2 years before the application is submitted. Please contact the Program Director for scheduling.
    5. The ability to follow detailed directions correctly and completely is an essential characteristic when determining suitability for the laboratory science profession. A complete application is a requirement for admission and students with incomplete applications will not be considered for an interview.

Pre-Clinical Requirements

A student must complete the pre-clinical curriculum or equivalent at an affiliated university with letter grades of C or better in each course.  The pre-clinical curriculum consists of the biological science, chemistry, mathematics, and pre-clinical courses listed under Pre-Requisite Requirements.

A student must complete a Minnesota Department of Human Services background study (as required by Minnesota state law) and receive clearance for direct patient contact.

A student must be able to satisfy the Technical Standards for the Medical Laboratory Science program at Hennepin Healthcare based on existing skills and abilities, or through the use of corrective devices. A copy of the Technical Standards is included with the application form.

A student must complete the HCMC pre-clinical competency objectives for each major laboratory area.  Students demonstrate their readiness for the program through responses to each of the stated objectives. The responses will be evaluated for completeness by the Hennepin Healthcare education faculty. Feedback will be provided to both students and their affiliated universities in order to plan for improvements in the university curriculum.

Updated Pre-Clinical competency objectives, along with instructions on their completion, will be provided to accepted students in late spring for each upcoming fall program start.  Further instructions on their completion will be provided at that time.

Phlebotomy Technician

Phlebotomy Technician Program Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do HHS Phlebotomy Technician program classes begin and end?
    Beginning in 2020, students will be able to choose between a winter class that starts in January and ends in early April or a summer class that begins in June and ends the week before Labor Day.
  • How many Phlebotomy students are accepted in each class?
    Between 2 and 4 students are accepted for each class.  Keeping the classes small lets us provide more one on one attention to students and maximize access to practice time and resources.
  • Can I transfer college credits into the program when I enroll?
    College credits are not accepted into the HHS Phlebotomy Technician program.  No reduced training is available for students with prior training or credits.  They must complete the full program to earn their certificate and be eligible for the ASCP Board of Certification PBT exam.
  • What kind of records will I need to provide to be accepted?
    Students need to provide official college transcripts.  If no college work has been completed, high school graduation records or GED completion records should be provided.
    Official means that they come directly from the college or high school to the Hennepin Healthcare Program Director or are provided in an envelope sealed by the college or high school.
    Documentation of vaccinations or immune status for diseases including Rubeola (childhood measles), Rubella (German measles), Varicella zoster (chickenpox). Students will need to complete a criminal background study with the MN Department of Human Services that shows they are eligible to work with patients in a hospital setting.
  • What is the deadline for my application?
    The application deadline for the January class is November 15.  The application deadline for the June class is April 15.  All application materials should be received by that date.

Pre-Requisite Requirements

To qualify for entrance into Hennepin Healthcare's Phlebotomy Technician Program, the following is required:

  • High school graduation or equivalent; college courses and related healthcare experience are not required but preferred (official transcripts required).
  • Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (on their most recent transcript) will be considered first.
  • Fluency in English (verbal and written).
  • Flexibility to attend training activities Monday through Friday in 6-8 hour blocks of time. Schedules are set based on hospital needs and have start times that vary from 4 am to 9 am.
  • A student must be able to satisfy the Technical Standards based on existing skills and abilities, or through the use of corrective devices. A copy of the Technical Standards is included with the application form.
  • At least 18 years of age or older.

Application Instructions

Download the application form. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this document. The deadline for submitting applications for the course that starts in January is November 15th. The deadline for submitting applications for the course that starts in June is April 15th.

Required Documents

  • At least two letters of recommendation from an academic instructor, volunteer coordinator, or employer mailed directly to the Program Director or delivered to the Program Director by the applicant in a sealed envelope.
  • A complete application form including the signature form and biographical sketch.
  • Official transcripts from the last college attended or if no college work has been completed, from the high school showing graduation.

The Application Process

Once applications have been received, they will be reviewed by the education team. Eligible applicants with complete applications will be invited to an interview. Following the interview process, students will be offered seats in the program.

About Our Facility

The HCMC Laboratories provide comprehensive laboratory services in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology. The state-of-the-art laboratories are staffed by more than 180 FTEs, plus 10 medical staff members (pathologists/PhDs), who perform and analyze more than 3 million lab tests per year. The central lab supports several ancillary labs (off-site and on-site clinics and point-of-care settings), offering students outstanding educational environments in both large and small laboratory settings.



Sarah Drawz, MD, PhD

Medical Director
[email protected]

Fedlu Awol, MLS(ASCP)CM

Medical Lab Scientist – Molecular Diagnostics
[email protected]

Karen Nelson, MT (ASCP)

Phlebotomy Supervisor
Phlebotomy Program Faculty
[email protected]

contact photo only marianne knutson lab manager

Marianne Knutson, MBA, MT(ASCP)

Laboratory Manager

Clinical and Anatomic Laboratory
[email protected]

Vinh Nguyen, MLS (ASCP)CM

Medical Lab Scientist - Chemistry/Urinalysis
B.S., Marshall University, Huntington, WV
MLS (ASCP), North Memorial Hospital, Robbinsdale, MN
[email protected]

contact photo only lynn poth

Lynn Poth, MS, MT (ASCP)

Lab Education Program Coordinator
Immunology Instructor
MLS and Phlebotomy Program Director
[email protected]

contact photo only johanna henly

Johanna Henly, MLS (ASCP)CM, SMCM

Medical Lab Scientist – Microbiology
[email protected]

contact photo only lisa totzke

Lisa Totzke, MLS (ASCP)CM

Medical Lab Scientist – Hematology
[email protected]

contact photo only taylor nelson

Taylor Nelson, MLS (ASCP)CM

Medical Lab Scientist - Immunohematology
[email protected]

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