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Laboratory Animal Science (MLAS) Program Curriculum


The Master of Laboratory Animal Science program combines the following areas of training: basic science, laboratory animal science and a hands-on practicum. The basic science courses are designed to build a solid foundation required for a successful career in laboratory animal science. The laboratory animal science courses focus on all aspects of laboratory animal science and animal facility management. Most classes are scheduled in the late afternoon and early evening to accommodate working professionals.

Pre-Veterinary Graduate Minor

Students desiring to attend veterinary medical school will have the option to elect to complete a pre-vet minor within the Master of Laboratory Animal Science (MLAS) program. The addition of these courses to the MLAS program will help to further enhance the student's application to veterinary medical school by providing additional rigorous and relevant graduate level coursework.

Program Requirements
Choose 9.0 credits from the following;

NEW! MLAS 504S - Public Outreach for Animal Research 2.0 Credits

This course will provide a solid foundation about animal research and its role in producing new knowledge and discoveries that benefit the public, other animals, and the environment. Students will learn about the range of outreach tools and techniques for engagement with the broader public, including how to speak about the important role they play in the laboratory animal environment.

IHS 514S - Molecular Biology & Biochemistry of the Cell - 3.0 Credits

Modern cell biology combines genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology with traditional morphological descriptions to study how cells function at the molecular level. This course will introduce students to the dynamic relationships between the structure of cellular organelles and the numerous biochemical reactions that are necessary for cell growth, development, communication, motility, and survival with an emphasis on eukaryotic cells.

MLAS 500S - Animal Nutrition - 3.0 Credits

This course will provide an overview of the basic principles of animal nutrition including nutrition concepts and related historical/current research. Upon completion, each student should understand the digestion, absorption and metabolism of the various food nutrients, characteristics of the nutrients, measurement of body needs, and ration formulation.

MLAS 545S - Fundamentals of Histology - 3.0 Credits

This course is a survey of the basic tissues of the body with an emphasis on the structure of normal cells, their specializations and methods of acting together to form tissues and organs. The normal structure-function relationships at the subcellular, cellular and tissue levels are emphasized. This course provides students with a framework for recognizing and interpreting the changes seen in disease states.

MSPP 511S - Concepts in Biochemistry and Cell Biology - 4.0 Credits

This course introduces structure and function of the major groups of biomolecules (proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates) and essential structures that constitute a cell. Also discussed are basic biochemical and molecular mechanisms/pathways that contribute to homeostasis, such as protein synthesis, cellular energetics, signal transduction, and techniques to study cells and their constituents.

PHGY 503S - Graduate Physiology - 4.0 Credits

This lecture course is designed to introduce graduate students to the major organ systems of the body and their integration. A major focus will be on the basic biological/biophysical processes that underlie the integration functioning of these systems. The focus is on general principles, and examples will be drawn from both human and animal physiology.

PHRM 512S - Graduate Pharmacology - 3.0 Credits

This team taught course provides a basic knowledge of the pharmacologic mechanisms of action, effects on organ systems, routes of administration, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic uses, adverse reactions, contraindications, and drug interactions of drugs.

Experiential Learning

Hands-on learning plays a significant role in the MLAS program curriculum. The practicum experience allows the student to gain "real world experience" within a controlled learning environment. Students are free to choose the type of institution and also the location of where they want to complete their experience. Students wishing to find full-time employment opportunities find that the practicum enables them to build their professional network prior to earning their degree.

Practicum Description

The practicum experience allows students to translate their academic training into "real world" applications. Because of this exposure, students are better prepared to enter the current job market within the field of laboratory animal science.

Practicum Structure

Students are only permitted to register for the practicum during their final spring or summer semester.

The practicum experience should last 12 weeks and should focus on the following four areas:

  • Laboratory animal care
  • Facility management
  • Veterinary care
  • Research

The student is required to keep a daily journal, but is instructed not to include any proprietary information. This journal is turned in at the end of the practicum, and is evaluated by the MLAS faculty.

Students complete their practicum at many well-known research institutions across the United States.

Program Level Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Laboratory Animal Science program will achieve six program level outcomes that describe the skills, competencies and knowledge gained through completion of the program curriculum.

  • Demonstrate mastery of the laboratory animal science field including: regulations, animal models, diseases, husbandry methods, procedures, facilities and equipment
  • Exhibit professionalism
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability
  • Solve complex problems via the collaboration with others
  • Exhibit leadership potential
  • Participate in local and national professional organizations and assist in biomedical research outreach efforts
Animal science laboratory technician looking at vials.