BS in Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences

The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory & 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 BLCS program is a joint effort between the BU School of Medicine and Metropolitan College (MET). Students take classes in the evenings (Mondays through Thursdays) or Saturday mornings at a reduced rate of tuition. 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 (74 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 26 specialization credits. Courses taken at other institutions may satisfy some of these requirements.
  2. Specialization Electives (30–36 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 and 36 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 (10–16 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. Students must earn a minimum of 10 credits through the externship program, and may earn up to 16 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. Externship projects must be approved before the student registers. A Memo of Understanding is completed by the student, detailing the responsibilities of the student, the externshp site and the program. Upon completion of the project, the student gives a PowerPoint presentation which is factored into the grade.

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

Distribution Requirements

A total of 48 credits are required.

  • MET EN 104 English Composition
  • MET EN 201 Intermediate Composition
  • GMS BT 208 Essential Math for Biotech
Computer Science
  • GMS BT 280 Computing for the Lab or
  • MET CS 101 Computers and Their Applications
Natural Science
  • MET BI 105 Biology I
  • MET CH 171 or 101 Chemistry I
  • Four credits in a 100- or 200-level MET EN literature course or 
MET HU 221
  • Four credits
  • Four credits

Additional Courses

  • Four credits in the humanities (H)
  • Four credits in the social sciences (S)
  • Four credits in the humanities (H) or social sciences (S)

Specialization Requirements

A total of 26 credits with a grade of C or higher are required. (Courses are four credits unless otherwise indicated.)

  • GMS BT 104 Medical Terminology (2 cr)
  • GMS BT 110 Introduction to Biomedical Laboratory Sciences
  • GMS BT 208 Essential Math for Biotech
  • GMS BT 342 Cell Biology
  • GMS BT 405 Biochemistry
  • GMS BT 413 Techniques in Molecular Biology
  • MET CH 172 Life Science Chemistry II or MET CH 102 General Chemistry II 
or MET PY 105 Elementary Physics

Specialization Electives

Choose 30–36 credits, depending on the specialty and length of the externship. A grade of C or higher is required.

  • GMS BT 106* Medical Terminology 2
  • GMS BT 160* Biotechnology 1
  • GMS BT 170* Biotechnology 2
  • GMS BT 201 Anatomy & Physiology 1
  • GMS BT 202 Anatomy & Physiology 2
  • GMS BT 210 Technical Writing for Clinical Research
  • GMS BT 220 Principles of Instrumentation
  • GMS BT 240 Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Quality Assurance
  • GMS BT 290 Disease & Public Health
  • GMS BT 305 Introductory Biochemistry
  • GMS BT 320 Laboratory Automation and Robotics
  • GMS BT 330 Medical Devices
  • GMS BT 336 Bioinformatics
  • GMS BT 360 Auditing in Clinical Research
  • GMS BT 404 Medical Virology
  • GMS BT 406 Cytogenetics
  • GMS BT 407 Molecular Genetics
  • GMS BT 408 Immunology
  • GMS BT 411 Protein Purification and Analysis .
  • GMS BT 426 Medical Microbiology
  • GMS BT 432 Basic Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease
  • GMS BT 436 Human Genetics
  • GMS BT 440† Genetics, Ethics, and the Law
  • GMS BT 442† Issues in Assisted Reproduction
  • GMS BT 443 Advanced Molecular Biology Lecture
  • GMS BT 450 Forensic Toxicology
  • GMS BT 454 Cell Culture Techniques
  • GMS BT 456 Endocrinology
  • GMS BT 460 Drug Discovery
  • GMS BT 462 Drug Development
  • GMS BT 465 Cell Signaling in Health and Disease
  • GMS BT 470 Technologies in Clinical Research
  • GMS BT 475 Infectious Diseases
  • GMS BT 480 Planning and Operations in Clinical Research
  • GMS BT 484 Advanced Cell Culture Techniques
  • GMS BT 510 Ethico-Legal Issues in Bioscience
  • GMS BT 520 Biology of Cancer
  • GMS BT 530 Intro. Pharmacology
  • GMS BT 532 Histopathology
  • GMS BT 540 Regulatory and Compliance Issues
  • GMS BT 550 Clinical Data Management
  • GMS BT 560 Good Clinical Practices (GCP) in Clinical Research
  • GMS BT 575 Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials
  • GMS BT 580 Legal and Ethical Issues in Clinical Research

Free Electives

Students may take 8 credits in courses of their choice, but may be more or less depending on transfer credit. Transfer credits from another accredited institution may also be taken as free elective credits.


A minimum of 10 credits is required.

Required Courses

  • GMS BT 591/592 Directed Study Biomed Externship (total 10–16 cr)
  • GMS BT 594/595 Clinical Research Practicum (total 10–16 cr)

All externships and practica are arranged according to the area of concentration. Biotechnology firms, clinical research organizations, and biomedical research facilities will accommodate students according to mutual needs.

The Externship/Clinical Research Practicum

As an integral component of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences degree requirements, the externship or clinical research practicum 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. A presentation on the directed study concludes the externship or clinical research practicum and is factored into the grade.

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 Directed Study Biomedical Externship (GMS BT 591/592) or Clinical Research Practicum (GMS BT 594/595).

Recent Externship Sites

  • Biogen Idec, Inc., Cambridge
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge
  • Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), Department of Human Genetics
  • BUSM, Department of Pharmacology
  • BUSM, Department of Infectious Diseases
  • Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge
  • Shire Pharmaceuticals, Lexington
  • STC Biologics, Cambridge