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Scholarships for MLS Students

Pathways Scholarship Program for Medical Laboratory Sciences

Pathways Scholarship Funded by HRSA by SDS program logo

The Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) Program is excited to offer the Pathways Scholarship Program to qualified applicants and current students who are accepted into the MLS Program.

With grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) to support students from economically disadvantaged, or historically underrepresented/underserved populations, these scholarships make the dream of obtaining a degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences a reality. The program targets an important barrier to students’ success by providing significant financial support while attending the MLS program, and by minimizing and hopefully eliminating the need to work while attending school.

Through this scholarship program, the grant will help provide a pathway to a stable and well-paying career in healthcare, as well as help to add socio-economic and cultural diversity to the medical laboratory workforce.

In addition to addressing financial need, the program also helps ease critical shortages of medical laboratory scientists by expanding the pool of candidates who are able to afford and thrive in the MLS Program.

See our Pathways flyer for information on eligibility.

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Pathways Scholarship Program Description

  • HRSA: Health Resources & Services Administration
    The MLS Pathways Scholarship Program was developed with a grant from the HRSA by SDS program which supports our ongoing efforts to recruit, prepare and retain talented, economically and ethnically diverse students, and students from underserved populations for careers in MLS.
  • The Scholarship is designed for students who are pursuing a BS degree in MLS.
  • The Scholarship is for students who have documented financial need.
  • The Scholarship can help cover tuition, fees, and some costs of attendance (which include tuition expenses for which you are billed, housing and food expenses, transportation, and additional expenses such as books and travel) while completing the MLS degree plan.
  • Full-time enrollment is required
  • For students in good standing with the Program, funding will continue until completion of the degree plan.

Students with demonstrated financial need, who are from historically underrepresented populations--including racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, and students from underserved populations—are encouraged to apply for these scholarship funds.

Eligibility FAQs

What are the requirements for receiving an MLS Pathways (HRSA) Scholarship?

Eligible students must:

  • be in good academic standing within the MLS Program (please see Student Handbook for details)
  • be enrolled full-time within the MLS Program
  • have demonstrated financial need (Free Application for Federal Student Aid required)
  • be a US citizen or national of the United States, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or a foreign national having in their possession a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States, or a non-citizen national. Please contact [email protected] for details or if you have questions.
  • complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application (
  • complete the MLS Program Pathways Scholarship Application form

How are the scholarship amounts determined?

The scholarship amount is based on demonstrated financial need and covers the estimated Cost of Attendance (which include tuition expenses for which you are billed, housing and food expenses, transportation, and additional expenses such as books and travel).

How many MLS Pathways students were sponsored in 2021-2022?

We provided scholarships to 24 MLS students--seven who were completing their clinical semester, thirteen in their Senior Year, and four in their Junior Year.

What was the average award amount MLS Pathways students received in 2021-2022?

The average award was $16,800!

What are the MLS Pathways Program Requirements

If you receive an MLS Pathways scholarship, you will be required to:

  • Maintain academic Good Standing within the MLS Program
  • Meet monthly with your Center for Allied Health Programs (CAHP) Student Advisor
  • Meet once each semester with alumni mentors to facilitate professional development
  • Maintain full-time enrollment status
  • Maintain contact with the MLS Program and respond to all required surveys for 5 years after graduation.

* This project is offered through a funding award from the HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Project. Award No: 1 T08HP392850100 / Grant No: T08HP39285

Additional MLS Program Scholarships

The undergraduate and Master in Medical Laboratory Sciences programs award scholarships on the basis of need, academic achievement and future potential in the MLS profession. All MLS and MMLS students are eligible to apply for all MLS Program Scholarships. The majority of these scholarship funds come from the generosity of our alumni and friends of the MLS program and employers, and on average, range from $500 to $3,000 per year.

For University of Minnesota MLS Program scholarship consideration:

  • Complete the application by the deadline of May 15th.
  • Priority for undergraduate scholarships is given to Year 4, Affiliate, Certificate, and Clinical Year students.
  • Year 3 students may be eligible if they are enrolled at full-time status and if funds are available.
  • International students should consult the MLS scholarship advisor.
  • When you receive your letter offering admission to the program you will receive a scholarship application form.

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Alumni Scholarship Fund

The Alumni Scholarships are made possible by generous donations from our past graduates and other friends of the program. These are not necessarily large donations, but collectively they can make a big difference in the lives of our students!

Constance Bakken Scholarship Fund

The Constance Bakken Scholarship Fund was given in honor of Constance Bakken, a 1946 graduate of the program. Mrs. Bakken has been a generous supporter of the MLS program, having also established the Karen Karni Scholarship Fund, and also is a strong supporter of other University of Minnesota programs. This scholarship has been established to help outstanding MLS students with demonstrated financial need.

Karen Karni Scholarship Fund

The Karen Karni Scholarship Fund was established through the generous contributions of Constance Bakken to honor her friend, Dr. Karen R. Karni, a member of the Medical Technology faculty from 1970-2000 and Medical Technology Program Director from 1984-2000. The scholarship honors the lifework of Dr. Karni, a 1963 alumna of the program, and provides scholarships to outstanding students with demonstrated financial need.

Yvonne Chenoweth Cooke Scholarship Fund

The generous donations of Yvonne Chenoweth Cooke, a 1937 graduate of the Medical Technology Program, established both the Yvonne Chenoweth Cooke Scholarship Fund and the Yvonne Chenoweth Cooke Endowed Professor in Medical Technology. A strong supporter of the MLS program and the University of Minnesota, she enjoyed hearing about the lives of the students who benefitted from her generosity.

Gonyea-Stewart Scholarship Fund

The Gonyea-Stewart Scholarship Fund was established in 1986 by Lorraine Gonyea-Stewart, a former member of the Medical Technology Program’s chemistry faculty, using funds from the sale of ferritin she had purified. The purpose of this fund is to provide scholarships for Medical Technology undergraduate students.

William A. O’Brien Scholarship Fund

The oldest scholarship fund in the MLS Program, this scholarship was established in 1939 in honor of Dr. William O’Brien who was the first director of Medical Technology from 1925 to 1939. The scholarship fund was established to help needy and deserving students in Medical Technology.

Hovde-O’Brien Scholarship Fund

Hovde-O'Brien Scholarship Fund. In 1984, it was renamed to also honor Ruth Hovde, Director of the Medical Technology Program from 1964 to 1984.

McConnell Scholarship Fund

The McConnell Scholarship was established in 1992 in memory of Betty Rae Kramer McConnell, a 1945 graduate of the Medical Technology Program. Her husband wrote of her that “The knowledge, skills and techniques received by her in the Medical Technology Program reinforced her innate integrity and constantly emphasized the scientific method with its stress on observational skills.”

Abner Neeley Scholarship Fund

Abner Neeley was a 1938 graduate of the Medical Technology Program. Mr. Neeley wanted to help students in need have the same opportunity that he had to obtain a quality MLS education. With that in mind, Mr. Neeley left funds to establish this endowed scholarship as part of his estate.

Clarice Olson Scholarships

This scholarship was established in the memory of Clarice J. Olson, a 1947 graduate of the Medical Technology Program, by her son, David Stearns. When Mrs. Olson entered the program, she was a young widow and mother, having lost her husband in World War II. She loved her profession and her alma mater. The establishment of this fund recognizes her contribution to the field of laboratory science and her love of working with laboratory science students. Preference for this scholarship will be given to students who have primary parenting responsibilities during the course of their education.

Ruth Stavitsky Memorial Scholarship

The Ruth Stavitsky Memorial Scholarship provides support to the Medical Laboratory Sciences (a program formerly known as Medical Technology and Clinical Laboratory Sciences). The Donor's lifelong interest in equal opportunity is reflected in this scholarship's preference to increase student body diversity. In evaluating student body diversity, a plus factor will be given to under-represented students if they are underrepresented in the University or in the applicable major or program at the time of the award.

Grace A. Byers Scholarship Fund

The Grace A. Byers Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Grace A. Byers, a 1969 graduate of the program. Her family made the gift after her passing in 2018 and shared that her time at the U "was the happiest time of her life." This scholarship provides financial support to students who are studying towards a Baccalaureate or a Professional Masters degree in the area of Medical Laboratory Sciences and who demonstrate financial need and academic merit.

Professional Society Scholarships

There are also several national and state level scholarships available to MLS students. Please review the scholarship criteria for the scholarship links listed below. These scholarships require application through these societies at their web site.