Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Sciences

Training Boston residents for biotech jobs connects young people with great opportunities, and it helps to drive the growth of this sector that is so important to Boston’s future.
—Mayor Thomas M. Menino

The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Sciences (BLCS) combines general undergraduate education with special technical preparation for the biomedical field in order to train students for positions in biomedical research laboratories or clinical research units. The time required to earn the degree varies based on individual schedules, transferable credit, and the pace students establish for themselves to complete the program.The BLCS curriculum consists of 128 credits, to be earned in four distinct components:

1.Distribution/Specialization Requirements (70 credits):
Distribution requirements comprise the basic science and liberal arts courses for all Metropolitan College degree candidates, while specialization requirements are drawn from specified courses in the biomedical sciences taught at Boston University’s School of Medicine.Students must complete 48 distribution credits and 22 specialization credits. Courses taken at other institutions may satisfy some of these requirements.

2. Specialization Electives (30-40 credits):
Specialization electives provide a working knowledge of a range of relevant fields, including cell culture, molecular biology, immunology, and clinical laboratory genetics. Students select their electives from a wide range of offerings, and may concentrate on an area of their choosing.Students must complete between 30–40 credits of specialization electives—the total number of credits required will vary depending upon the number of credits earned through the externship component.

3. Free Electives (8 credits):
Free electives allow students to complement and broaden their academic background. Students should consider their career objectives and personal interests when selecting free elective courses.

Eight credits of free electives are required; approved transfer credits from another accredited institution may be applied toward this requirement.

4. Externship/Clinical Practicum (10-20 credits):
Students gain hands-on experience in their chosen field by working as interns in a laboratory environment. Externships are available in clinical, industrial, and university settings, and assist students in meeting individual goals while earning credit toward their degree and adding valuable professional experience to their résumé. At the conclusion of their externship, students present an overview of their externship to Biomed faculty. This PowerPoint presentation also serves as a document for their externship site as well as for future potential employers.

Students must earn a minimum of 10 credits through the externship program, and may earn up to 20 credits with the director’s approval. The total number of credits earned in the externship will determine the number of specialization elective credits required of students.

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in specialization courses. To graduate, students need a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

Course Listings and Descriptions

A comprehensive list of courses, course descriptions, and requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Sciences can be found in the Metropolitan College Bulletin or online at Course schedules for specific semesters can be found on the website or in the Metropolitan College Schedule, available prior to the start of registration. See page 6 for details and registration procedures.

The Externship/Clinical Research Practicum

As an integral component of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Sciences degree requirements, the externship provides a valuable opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Externships can take place in biotechnology firms, clinical laboratories, and biomedical research facilities—students have also been able to arrange externships at their own workplace. A contract signed by the student, laboratory supervisor, and program director is required. At the conclusion of the externship, the student must give a PpowerPoint presentation to BLCS staff. This presentation will be factored into the grade given by the student’s externship supervisor.

A minimum of 10 externship credits is necessary for a degree, though with approval students may earn up to 20 credits. Every 15 hours of supervised laboratory work equals one credit. Students pay regular tuition charges for externship credits. Students completing their externship should enroll in  Biomedical Externship (GMS BT 591/592) or Clinical Research Practicum (GMS BT 594/595).

The Clinical Research Practicum is the same hands-on component of the degree and is done within the clinical research field.  As with the externship, students choose their placement based on their academic/professional background and goals in consultation with the program director. Four credits requires 100 hours of work. A resume, contract and presentation are all required.

Recent Externship Sites

  • Biogen Idec, Inc., Cambridge
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge
  • SkinCare Physicians, Chestnut Hill
  • Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), Department of Human Genetics
  • BUSM, Department of Pharmacology
  • BUSM, Department of Infectious Diseases
  • Trace Analysis Unit, State Crime Laboratory, Sudbury
  • Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge

Laura Maroun, BT Certificate student, and Stefan Doerre, BLCS Instructor, BIOMED NIGHT, 2012

Laura Maroun, BT Certificate student, and Stefan Doerre, BLCS Instructor, BIOMED NIGHT, 2012


February 26, 2013
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine