Balancing Life and School in the Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science Leadership Program

Starting a graduate degree is a significant career step that requires careful consideration. Deciding to pursue more education to broaden your career prospects means that you’ll likely have challenges that an undergraduate student wouldn’t typically have to consider like working full-time and taking graduate courses at the same time. These challenges could be a family that depends on you, a career that requires your attention for continued success, and the additional life commitments both can create. Balancing all these things can seem daunting, especially if your current career is in the intricate field of laboratory science. Jobs in this field can be all-encompassing, requiring precise attention to detail to ensure that the laboratory runs smoothly, and remains organized. Laboratory science has an impact that benefits the entire healthcare industry by providing crucial results that doctors and caregivers need to diagnose and treat illnesses.

If you’re a laboratory science professional seeking to advance your career, you’re already aware of how involved this field is, and so is the University of Cincinnati. The online Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science Leadership (MS-MLSL) program is designed by laboratory professionals for laboratory professionals. The program is entirely online, making it easier to balance life and school.

UC Online’s Asynchronous Format

Have you thought about this? According to a recent article from, time management is the most common challenge faced by students in graduate school. This sentiment is echoed by the University of Cincinnati Graduates, including Karrie Wetzell, who completed the MS-MLSL program in 2023.

Balancing my time was my biggest concern when I enrolled online at UC. I knew this program would be challenging because I have a demanding full-time job working ina hospital and a family.” – Karrie Wetzell, MS-MLSL Graduate

Fortunately for Kerrie and so many others, this program at UC Online follows a fully asynchronous. This means that there aren’t designated times when you will be required to log onto the program to complete the assignments. You can complete your assignments at a time that works best for you if the assignments are finished by the specified due date.

With this class structure, most graduates of the program find the material manageable no matter how complex it may be. Karrie Wetzell told UC Online that after graduating, she didn’t feel like she missed the college experience by enrolling in the online program.

The online learning experience is great! It allows me the flexibility to watch lectures, submit assignments, and virtually meet with professors and fellow students whereever I am. I suppose you could say I had the full college experience from a distance!” – Karrie Wetzell, MS-MLSL Graduate

Your Dedicated Online Support System

Enrolling in an online program can be a daunting experience for students, as they often fear feeling isolated due to the lack of in-person lectures. As a result, the program’s workload may seem intimidating. However, the University of Cincinnati provides an unparalleled student support system that you can always rely on.

The faculty and staff of UC Online work together to make sure that every student gets the help that they need. Let’s break these two groups down:

  • Staff: You’ll start interacting with the staff at UC Online immediately upon completing a form on the MLSL program webpage, which begins the application process. The different teams work together to ensure that you’re never straying from your desired learning path. From there you will meet:
    • Enrollment Service Advisor or “ESA”: These team members will answer any questions you may have about the program from the beginning. They will also guide you through the process of completing the application and help you adjust your planned path through the program so that you meet your education goals!
    • Student Success Coordinator or “SCC”: Your SCC is specifically assigned to you once you are accepted into the program. From there, they will be your primary point of contact for any help you need throughout the rest of your time at UC Online. Your SCC will help to connect you with the resources you need and explain what you can expect from the online learning environment.
  • Faculty: The University of Cincinnati prides itself on its world-class faculty. The MS-MLSL program is directed by the current president of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, Dr. Patricia Tille. She, like many other faculty at UC Online make communication with students a priority and encourages that you reach out directly.

We tell our students to email us if they need something, and we always try to answer within 24 hours. Honestly, it never takes us that long. The master’s program is a great opportunity for working professionals who have a family to get a quality education that balances with their life.” – Dr. Patricia Tille, Ph.D. MLS (ASCP) AHI(AMT) FACSc

With a faculty and staff support system like the one you’ll find at UC Online, you’ll never be alone while you work to advance your career. The University of Cincinnati is proud to live up to its reputation of “application to graduation” support for all students so they can focus on completing their coursework knowing that help will be there whenever they need it.

Completing the Program at a Steady Pace:

While having a dedicated support system and being able to complete your assignments when it’s convenient for you is important, it’s also crucial to remember that this program is on a part-time schedule. See below for a full breakdown of the program by credit hour.

MS-MLSL Curriculum Breakdown by Credit Hour

The Master’s in Medical Laboratory Science Leadership consists of 30 total credit hours. These include core credits, a capstone which is completed in the final semester, and a concentration. Unlike most laboratory science graduate programs, classes can be mixed and matched from the various concentration options to help you get the exact experience that benefits your career.

  1. Advanced Practice in Micro/Molecular Diagnostics
  2. Advanced Practice in Immunoheme/Cell Therapy/Transfusion Medicine
  3. Higher Education
  4. Health Care Administration

All the courses in this program are worth three credit hours and take seven weeks to complete. This means if you took two courses per 14-week semester for Spring, Summer, and Fall, you could finish the program in less than two years. Fortunately, the University of Cincinnati doesn’t require you to enroll year-round. You can complete assignments at your own pace, as long as you meet the submission deadline!

Getting Your Graduate Degree Journey Started

The laboratory science industry has a high demand for qualified leaders to become managers, educators, and administrators to ensure that labs continue to operate efficiently. This means now is a great time to advance in your laboratory science career! By earning the additional qualifications to fill these roles, you’ll be setting yourself up for even more success in the future without jeopardizing any of your current commitments in life.

Even as an online student, you’ll still have access to all of the university’s resources including the writing center and libraries. You will also have opportunities to network with our faculty and gain new professional connections that will serve you well in your future career. As a strong finish to your graduate school experience, you’ll also have the opportunity to walk during the graduation ceremony and receive your diploma in person!

If you’re ready to get started with UC Online, please visit our Master’s in Medical Laboratory Science program page to fill out our form and start the application process. One of our ESA’s will be in contact with you to assist you with any questions. You can also contact an advisor online or call (833) 556-8611 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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