HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – Centenary University has introduced a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science, the only degree of its kind in northwestern New Jersey. The program responds to skyrocketing market demand for trained professionals to work in hospitals, forensic labs, and medical research facilities.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that job opportunities in this field will expand up to 13 percent, with 42,700 more jobs to fill by 2026.
“A large number of individuals working in labs are of retirement age,” explained Craig Fuller, Ph.D., director of the program. “Centenary’s program provides great opportunities for students who love medicine, but don’t necessarily want to be a doctor or treat patients.”
Centenary has developed an innovative academic program and has partnered with several regional health systems to provide training on the most cutting edge instrumentation in the industry. “These clinical opportunities will provide our students the technical training needed to be ready to start working directly after graduation,” said Dr. Fuller.
“In addition to healthcare systems, New Jersey is home to the largest concentration of biotechnology and pharmaceutical labs in the country,” added Krassi Lazarova, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and chair of the Centenary University Science Department. “These employers are struggling to find qualified employees.”
The University has applied for initial accreditation with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), an important credential that will permit Centenary’s graduating seniors to sit for certification exams with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Centenary’s medical laboratory science major is part of a broader initiative at the University to expand offerings in the health sciences. Centenary is developing plans for a new Bachelor of Science in Health Science, which could begin enrolling students as early as next fall, and a master’s program in occupational therapy has a preliminary target launch date of 2026. In response to increasing requests from student-athletes, the University is also exploring the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science.
The Science Department at Centenary has had an impressive record of student education and research. “We will draw on our strengths in the sciences to develop career-focused, health science degrees to improve the lives of our students,” Dr. Lazarova said.