Black male scientist in overall, smiling to the camera in the lab

Picking an Accredited Medical Laboratory Science University in Nigeria

The Path to a Career in Medical Laboratory Science

MLS is a detailed four to five-year course, culminating in a one-year internship and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service. With 48 universities across Nigeria offering accredited MLS programs, this article aims to provide a comprehensive breakdown of these institutions by location and region, guiding prospective students through the diverse educational landscapes of the country. Recognized and regulated by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), these programs prepare students for significant roles in hospital laboratories, public health, disease surveillance, and epidemiology. This guide serves as your gateway to understanding the MLS education system in Nigeria and its far-reaching impact on public health and medical diagnostics.

Recognized Universities Offering MLS

The universities offering Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) in Nigeria are spread across various regions of the country, reflecting its diverse geographical landscape. This distribution provides students with opportunities to study in different cultural and environmental settings.

North Central Region

S/NoNameState
1University of JosPlateau
2Kwara State University, MaleteKwara
3Al-Hikmah University, IlorinKwara
4Thomas Adewumi University, OkoKwara
5Federal University LafiaNasarawa
6Baze University, AbujaFCT
Table listing 6 universities accredited by the MLSCN in the North Central Region of Nigeria

North East Region

S/NoNameState
1University of MaiduguriBorno
Table listing 1 university accredited by the MLSCN in the North East Region of Nigeria

North West Region

S/NoNameState
1Usmanu Danfodiyo University, SokotoSokoto
2Bayero University, KanoKano
3Ahmadu Bello University, ZariaKaduna
4Al-Istiqama University, SumailaKano
Table listing 4 universities accredited by the MLSCN in the North West Region of Nigeria

South East Region

S/NoNameState
1Ebonyi State University, AbakalikiEbonyi
2Nnamdi Azikiwe University, NnewiAnambra
3University of Nigeria, Enugu CampusEnugu
4Imo State University, OwerriImo
5Abia State University, UturuAbia
6Enugu State University of Science & TechnologyEnugu
7Evangel University, AkaezeEbonyi
8Rhema University, AbaAbia
9Gregory University, UturuAbia
Table listing 9 universities accredited by the MLSCN in the South East Region of Nigeria

South South Region

S/NoNameState
1Madonna University, EleleRivers
2University of Calabar, CalabarCross River
3Ambrose Alli University, EkpomaEdo
4University of BeninEdo
5Niger-Delta UniversityBayelsa
6Rivers State University of Sci and TechnologyRivers
7Igbinedion University, OkadaEdo
8Edo University, IyamhoEdo
9Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Port HarcourtRivers
10Benson Idahosa University, Benin CityEdo
11Novena University, Ogume KwaleDelta
Table listing 11 universities accredited by the MLSCN in the South South Region of Nigeria

South West Region

S/NoNameState
1University of LagosLagos
2Babcock University Ilisan-RemoOgun
3Ladoke Akintola University, OsogboOsun
4Achievers University, OwoOndo
5Afe Babalola University, Ado-EkitiEkiti
6University of IbabanOyo
7Lead City University, IbadanOyo
8University of Medical Sciences, OndoOndo
9Elizade University, Ilara-MokinOndo
10Adeleke University, EdeOsun
11Bowen University, IwoOsun
12Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-ArakejiOsun
13Fountain University, OsogboOsun
14Atiba University, OyoOyo
15Ajayi Crowther University, OyoOyo
16Osun State University, OsogboOsun
17Trinity University, YabaLagos
Table listing 17 universities accredited by the MLSCN in the South West Region of Nigeria

Studying MLS in different regions of Nigeria provides students with varied experiences, each offering its unique advantages. From exposure to diverse health conditions and patient populations to access to different healthcare systems and practices, these regional variations enrich the educational journey of MLS students.

General Admission Requirements

Gaining admission into Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) programs in Nigerian universities requires meeting both academic and procedural criteria. Here’s a detailed look at what prospective students need to know:

  • Educational Background: Applicants should have completed their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or its equivalent, such as the National Examination Council (NECO) exams, with credit passes in at least five subjects including English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
  • Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME): Prospective students must register and sit for the UTME conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), selecting MLS as their desired course and achieving the requisite score.
  • Direct Entry: Some universities accept Direct Entry candidates who may have completed a relevant diploma program or A-levels with appropriate grades.

Application Process

  1. UTME Registration: Start by registering for the UTME through JAMB, ensuring to select MLS at your chosen institution.
  2. UTME Examination: Sit for the UTME and aim to score above the minimum cut-off mark required for MLS at your chosen university.
  3. Monitoring Admission Cut-off Marks: Following the UTME, universities will announce their cut-off marks for different courses. Keep abreast of this information to gauge your standing.
  4. Post-UTME Screening: If your UTME score meets or exceeds the cut-off mark, you will need to apply for the post-UTME screening exercise, which may involve additional testing or interviews.
  5. Application for Direct Entry: For those applying through Direct Entry, ensure you submit the required diploma or A-level results alongside your application.
  6. Awaiting Results: If you’re awaiting final results, some universities allow you to apply, but you must provide the results before a specified deadline.
  7. Admission Lists: Check the university’s admission lists when they’re released to see if you’ve been offered a spot in the MLS program.
  8. Acceptance of Admission: If offered admission, follow through with the acceptance procedures, which typically involve paying an acceptance fee and completing registration formalities.
  9. Registration and Orientation: Once you have accepted the admission offer, you will undergo registration, providing necessary documentation like your birth certificate, secondary school results, and UTME results. Attend orientation programs to familiarize yourself with the university’s environment and policies.

It’s important for applicants to regularly visit the university’s official website or the JAMB portal for updates on the admission process and requirements, as they can vary from year to year. Staying informed and preparing documents in advance can help streamline the admission process.

How to assess a university offering MLS

Embarking on a journey in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) is a decision that sets the stage for a fulfilling career in the health sciences. Choosing the right university for studying MLS is pivotal, as it influences the quality of education, the breadth of practical experience, and the networking opportunities available to students. There are several factors to consider that can affect the educational experience and the preparedness of graduates entering the workforce. Here’s how we can compare MLS programs:

Curriculum Focus

  • Theoretical Instruction: The balance between classroom instruction and hands-on laboratory work can vary. Some universities may place a heavier emphasis on foundational sciences in the early years, while others may integrate clinical subjects earlier in the program.
  • Specialized Courses: Certain institutions might offer specialized courses that cater to emerging fields within MLS, such as molecular diagnostics or biomedical research, which could appeal to students with specific career goals.

Look at the curriculum offered by the university to see if it aligns with your career goals. Some universities may offer specializations or electives that particularly interest you.

  • Integrated Learning: Programs may differ in how they integrate learning with real-world scenarios. For example, some might use case studies and problem-based learning as a significant part of their curriculum.

Practical Training Opportunities

  • Laboratory Facilities: The availability and sophistication of on-campus laboratory facilities for student use can greatly enhance practical learning. Some universities may have more modern or better-equipped labs than others. Investigate the university’s laboratory facilities and equipment, as hands-on experience is critical in MLS.
  • Clinical Rotations: The structure and duration of clinical rotations or internships can vary. Some programs have strong affiliations with multiple hospitals or laboratories, offering a broader range of clinical experiences.
  • Research Projects: Opportunities for undergraduate research, including participation in faculty-led projects, can differ, providing students with varying levels of exposure to research methodologies and scientific inquiry.

Faculty Expertise

  • Academic Qualifications: Faculty qualifications can vary, with some universities boasting staff with higher degrees, specialized certifications, or international experience. Consider the expertise and qualifications of the faculty, as well as the student-to-teacher ratio, which can affect the quality of instruction and mentorship.
  • Industry Experience: The practical experience of faculty members, such as time spent working in clinical laboratories or in the MLS industry, can influence the practical knowledge imparted to students.
  • Research Output: The research output and academic contributions of the faculty can indicate the university’s standing in the scientific community, which can be an important consideration for students interested in research. If you’re interested in research, explore opportunities for undergraduate research and collaborations with faculty.

Program Accreditation and Reputation

  • Accreditation Status: The accreditation status of a program by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) can affect the program’s quality and the recognition of the degree. Ensure the university’s MLS program is accredited by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), as this impacts the recognition of your degree and your eligibility to practice.
  • Alumni Success: The success of a university’s alumni in the job market and in further studies can be a testament to the quality of the MLS program. A strong alumni network can provide mentorship opportunities and open doors to jobs after graduation.

Location, location, location

Consider the university’s location, as it can affect your lifestyle, cost of living, and access to relevant work experiences during your studies.

By examining these factors, you can gain insights into the strengths and potential limitations of MLS programs at various universities. This comparison can inform their decision-making process, helping them choose a program that aligns with their career aspirations and learning preferences.

Student Activities

Campus life and the overall student experience can significantly enrich a student’s time during their Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program. Each university in Nigeria offers a unique campus atmosphere, with various activities, facilities, and support services that contribute to the educational and social experience of students. Here’s an insight into what students can expect:

  • Academic Societies: Most universities have MLS student societies or associations which organize academic events like seminars, workshops, and guest lectures that complement classroom learning.
  • Social Clubs and Societies: Beyond academics, universities typically have a range of clubs and societies that cater to diverse interests, from arts and culture to sports and recreation, allowing students to pursue their passions and develop new skills.
  • Community Service: Opportunities often exist for students to engage in community service and outreach programs, fostering a sense of social responsibility and civic engagement.

To gain a real understanding of campus life and the student experience, prospective MLS students should consider attending university open days, connecting with current students and alumni through social media groups, and reading university-published testimonials and interviews. These firsthand accounts can provide valuable insights into what to expect and how to make the most out of their university years.

Career Opportunities for MLS Graduates

Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) graduates in Nigeria have a wide array of career opportunities, as their expertise is crucial across various sectors of the healthcare industry. Their education provides a strong foundation for both employment and further academic pursuits.

Med Lab Scientist Odinaka Kingsley Obeta shares some potential specializations.

The scope for career growth in MLS is vast and continues to expand with advancements in medical technologies and methodologies. Graduates who keep abreast of these developments and continue to upskill themselves will find that their services remain in high demand both within Nigeria and internationally.

Encouragement for Prospective Students

As you stand on the brink of choosing a path in MLS, remember that your decision is more than just an academic choice; it’s a step towards a career that can impact the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Medical laboratory science is a field that offers both challenges and rewards, with the potential for life-long learning and professional growth.

Prospective students should carefully consider their options, visit campuses if possible, speak with current students and faculty, and review the program specifics to make an informed decision. This is a time to reflect on your interests and career aspirations, seek advice from professionals in the field, and ultimately, choose a program that resonates with your passion for science and your desire to contribute to healthcare.

By pursuing a degree in MLS, you’ll be joining a community of scientists on the frontline of medical discovery and patient care. Your work will be integral to diagnosing diseases, advancing medical research, and enhancing the quality of healthcare services. Embrace the journey with enthusiasm and an open mind, and prepare to make a significant impact in the world of medicine and beyond.

Call to Action

As you stand at the crossroads of your educational and professional journey, the field of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) in Nigeria beckons with a promise of a rewarding and impactful career. It’s an invitation to be at the forefront of healthcare, playing a crucial role in patient diagnosis, treatment, and research. Here’s your call to action:

  1. Explore and Research: Delve into the various universities offering MLS in Nigeria. Visit their websites, read up on their MLS programs, facilities, faculty, and alumni achievements. Gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision.
  2. Connect with Professionals: Reach out to current students, alumni, and faculty members of these programs. Social media platforms, university forums, and open days are great avenues to gain insights into the MLS experience and career prospects.
  3. Attend Open Days and Webinars: Many universities organize open days and webinars for prospective students. Participate in these events to get a feel of campus life, academic atmosphere, and to ask questions directly to the faculty and current students.
  4. Prepare for Entrance Examinations: If you’re yet to take your JAMB UTME or post-UTME exams, start preparing earnestly. Aim for scores that exceed the cut-off marks for your preferred universities.
  5. Consider Your Interests and Career Goals: Reflect on what aspects of MLS excite you the most. Whether it’s research, clinical practice, or diagnostics, align your university choice with your career aspirations.
  6. Apply: Once you’ve made your choice, proceed with the application process. Be mindful of deadlines and ensure you submit all required documentation.
  7. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with any changes in admission processes or program structures due to policy changes or global health developments.

A career in Medical Laboratory Science is not just about what you learn in the classroom and labs; it’s about growing into a healthcare professional who contributes significantly to society. Whether diagnosing diseases, conducting vital research, or managing healthcare data, your role as a medical laboratory scientist will be pivotal in shaping the future of healthcare in Nigeria and beyond.

Take the first step towards this fulfilling path today. Explore, connect, prepare, and apply. The journey to becoming a medical laboratory scientist is rich with opportunities for growth, discovery, and making a difference in countless lives.

Author

  • Robertson Klaingar

    With over a decade of experience in the field of bioanalysis and medical laboratory science, Robertson Klaingar has developed an expertise in laboratory testing, data analysis, and biomedical research.

    View all posts

2 thoughts on “Picking an Accredited Medical Laboratory Science University in Nigeria”

  1. Akinyele David

    Please if I have an awaiting result in one of my courses will I be allowed to write the first professional exam

    1. Generally, universities require that all prerequisite courses and assessments be completed and passed before you can sit for professional exams, but ultimately it would be dependent on the particular university’s policies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.