ASCP BOC MLS Routes: Discover Eligibility Requirements & Career Pathways

The ASCP BOC (American Society for Clinical Board of Certification) is the oldest and independent certification agency that offers many certificates to lab candidates including medical lab scientists.

The ASCP certification process specifies certification routes including ASCP BOC MLS routes.

MLS career paths require some educational experience to match ASCP BOC established routes.

This organization came into being in 1928.

From its establishments, it has been awarded more than six hundred and ten thousand certificates to medical professionals.

In this article, we will offer clear explanations of board certification pathways including ASCP BOC MLS routes.

This information will be valuable for you to get the best idea about your eligibility for medical lab scientist certification.

ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology)

In 1922, the ASCP started its organization.

At this time, there were no qualifications and experience measurements for the lab technician.

The director of the ASCP Board held a committee.

The main mission of this committee is to inform lab technicians about their registration before performing the job.

The current ASCP board was launched in 1928 with the name “ Registry of Medical Technologists”. 

Now it has changed its name: ASCP BOC. Over time, it added many certificates.

It developed Computer Adaptive Testing in 1994 and the CMP program in 2004.

It began an international certification program in 2006, only for a few categories.

Between 2016 and 2018, the board added many certificates.

Now, it is the world's biggest credential organization that grants many certificates (many are the same and few are changed) credentials to U.S. and international candidates.

The ASCP Board of Certification has a great mission of providing patients with the best treatment.

This is why, it is struggling to add excellence into medical lab professional certifications including ASCP medical lab scientists.

BOC (Board of Certification)

The Board of Certification is an autonomous agency for all its works-related credentials or governance.

The BOC is very cooperative with ASCP for operational and financial purposes.

The board holds multiple exams for various fields of the lab, including medical laboratory scientists.

To take part in the ASCP MLS certification exam, you have to meet some eligibility prerequisites mentioned in the ASCP BOC MLS routes.

These prerequisites are specified for U.S. and international applicants by the BOC organization.

BOC uses computer adaptive testing to observe the candidates' commands.

This computer exam is designed to detect the examinee's knowledge by showing easy or difficult questions based on prior answers.

MLS (Medical Laboratory Scientist)

MLS (ASCP) is the BOC's most important certificate that goes to highly qualified and well-experienced medical laboratory scientists.

Candidates who are experts in immunology, chemistry, laboratory operation, microbiology, body fluids/urinalysis, hematology, and blood bank are eligible for this certificate.

The candidates with ASCP medical laboratory scientist certificates have vast experience performing routine and complex laboratory tests related to areas of interest, including hematology, blood banks, and others.

They are also responsible for examining cells, tissues, and all body fluids, including blood and urinalysis.

They are masters in using lab equipment, including microscopes, cell counters, etc.

Medical laboratory scientists offer the best results to physicians to treat patients' diseases.

Certification Routes

The following are the certification routes for U.S. (MLS ASCP) & international candidates (MLS ASCPi).

MLS Career Routes for U.S. Candidates

Route one Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an acceptable institution
  • MLS( medical laboratory scientist) program by NAACLS
  • NAACLS program for medical laboratory scientists is only allowable within five years of the period from the end date of getting it.

Route Two Requirements

  • ASCP medical laboratory technician credentials
  • Bachelor's degree with a 16-hour combination of chemistry and biology (microbiology and biochemistry one semester)
  • Two years of relevant subjects clinical experience including hematology, blood banks, immunology, and others from acceptable labs.

Route Three Requirements

  • ASCP CLA certification was valid for this. But at this time, there are no credentials or experience set for this route by the Board of Certification.

Route Four Requirements

  • Accredited institution’s bachelor's degree with 16 semester hours in biology along with microbiology one semester and 16 semesters in chemistry with biochemistry one semester.
  • Relevant subjects of five years of clinical experience in required subjects.

Route Five Requirements

  • Urinalysis/body fluids, hematology, chemistry, blood banking, and immunology full-time completed clinical experience from an authorized college or university within the prior five years
  • U.S. baccalaureate degree
  • Medical lab scientist ASCPi certification

Route Six Requirements

  • U.S. military medical laboratory training course that must be obtained within the previous ten years
  • Relevant subjects(chemistry, blood banking, immunology, etc) clinical experience of one year
  • Baccalaureate degree with 16-hour semesters in chemistry and biology (microbiology one semester)

Acceptable Clinical Laboratory and Educational Program for MLS ASCP

The following are the acceptable laboratories.

  • CMS CLIA certificate of registration, compliance, accreditation
  • JCI accreditation
  • DoD CLIP certificate of registration, compliance, accreditation
  • Accreditation under ISO 15189

NAACLS-licensed MLS program, or NAACLS licensed MLT program, or ABHES licensed MLT program or foreign MLS clinical training program is also acceptable in place of clinical experience of one year.

ASCP BOC MLS Routes for International Applicants

Route One Requirements

  • MLS training program in chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, and hematology
  • Baccalaureate degree in chemistry, medical lab science, or biological science

Route Two Requirements

  • Clinical experience in chemistry, blood banking, microbiology, and hematology from an accredited laboratory. This experience must be of three years.
  • Bachelor's degree in medical lab science

Route Three Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an approved college or university.
  • MLS program (two years) in microbiology, chemistry, blood banking, and hematology.

Route Four Requirements

  • Hematology, chemistry, blood banking, and microbiology clinical experience of five years
  • Bachelor's degree in chemistry or biological science.

Route Five Requirements

  • Biological science or chemistry two-year diploma from an approved institution
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Clinical experience of five years in hematology, microbiology, chemistry, and blood banking

Educational Program and Acceptable Clinical Lab for MLS ASCPi

  • MLS degree or MLS diploma includes Clinical Laboratory Science, Medical Technology, Biomedical Laboratory Science, and Medical Laboratory Science.
  • Clinical lab authorized by the Ministry or licensed by CAP, JCI under ISO 15189 or certified by the governing regulatory association. If any country does not have any accreditation prevalent system, the experience must be obtained from the International Advisory Board selected by ASCP BOC or transcript evaluation will be used to determine eligibility.

Career Opportunities

According to Tiffany Channer, MPH, ASCP Medical Lab Scientist

“When I realized all of the opportunities that being a medical lab scientist provides- the versatility you get with only one degree. I said sign me up. It is a really wonderful career.”

You will get many career opportunities with an ASCP MLS certificate, including medical lab scientist, immunology technologist, blood bank technologist, microbiology technologist, and many more.

Educational Programs and Institutions

Complete details about the best education programs and accreditation institutions are given below for ASCP/ASCPi MLS.


It stands for National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Lab Sciences.

It is very famous for the following program.

  • Pathologist’s Assistant
  • Medical Lab Scientist
  • Medical lab Technician
  • Cytogenetics
  • Histotechnologist/Histotechnician
  • Diagnostic Molecular Science


It represents the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

It offers cytotechnologist and blood bank specialist programs.


It stands for Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Medical Laboratory Technician is its best program.

Professional Organizations

Many other organizations are included to meet the MLS's needs and interests.

Some organizations are listed below:

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)

It was established in 1933 for both state and national chapters.

Clinical Lab Science journals are published by it.

American Medical Technologist (AMT)

It was organized in 1939.

It holds many certification exams for health professionals.

American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)

Its members are researchers, lab professionals, and physicians in clinical chemistry.

It prints Clinical Chemistry every month.

ASCP BOC Continuing Education Program

The Credential Maintenance Program is an ASCP Board of Certification continuing education program.

This program never stops learning the ways of ASCP-certified candidates.

The goal of ASCP BOC is to introduce the latest technology in the healthcare sector into clinical pathology certification.

After three of getting the ASCP certificates, including MLS (ASCP), the candidate has to take part in a certification renewal program.

The CMP program also has some requirements, like ASCP BOC MLS routes.

Meeting these requirements is vital to participate in the ASCP BOC continuing education program.

For CMP MLS, 36 is the total points (2 points in hematology,  blood banking, microbiology, and hematology, medical ethics 1 point, patient safety 1 point, and 26 points in lab-related work including, management,  lab specialty, etc.).

Impact on Patient Care

ASCP medical laboratory scientists are vital members of medical lab work. Because they monitor, detect, and make effective plans to treat diseases.

We can call them “detectives” of the healthcare sector.

By detecting fatal diseases early, like cancer, they can start patient treatment on time and make some changes in patients' lifestyles to combat disease in better ways.

Conclusion for ASCP BOC MLS Routes

The ASCP BOC offers better opportunities for medical lab scientists to flourish professionally and financially.

A luxurious life is awaiting you that you can get with better job chances, higher salaries, and a top seat with this certificate.

The Board set some prerequisites for all certificates, like ASCP BOC MLS routes to approach only the perfect person.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and pass the ASCP medical laboratory exam with a good score, no one can stop you from sitting at the top among your colleagues.

FAQs for ASCP BOC MLS Routes

What are ASCP BOC MLS routes?

ASCP BOC MLS routes are eligibility prerequisites that the Board of Certification has fixed for the MLS ASCP exam. You have to satisfy these requirements before applying for the exam.

What is the duty of ASCP MLS certified?

ASCP medical lab scientists are responsible for doing all simple and complex lab experiments to get the best results for patient care.

What are some eligibility requirements that I must have before applying for the ASCP MLS exam?

You must have relevant bachelor's degrees, especially in biology and chemistry, with 16 semester hours for both, the required clinical experience, and a training program from an approved institution.

What is ASCP BOC continuing education program?

The Board of Certification adds the latest technologies to ASCP-certified candidates’ certificates after three years of greeting them. This renewal certificate process is called the ASCP BOC continuing education program.

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