A licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) performs the full spectrum of diagnostic tests in hospital clinical laboratories, in commercial reference laboratories, or in research and development for biotech companies. The Cal State LA CLS Training Program consists of two components, a didactic component and a clinical practical training component. The CLS Training Program provides both didactic and practical clinical training in hematology, clinical chemistry, blood banking, microbiology and immunology to prepare students to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology Medical Laboratory Scientist certification exam. Passage of this exam is required to obtain a California license as a CLS. A CLS license is required to work as a CLS in California. Eligibility to take the exam requires a full academic year of clinical training for 52 weeks, 4 days/week, 8 hours/day as well as one 8-hour day/week of face-to-face classes (19 units in total distributed over 3 terms of which one has 7 units and two have 6 units each). Clinical Training Affiliates for the CLS program have been approval by California Laboratory Field Services.
The Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Clinical Laboratory Science is the didactic component of the Cal State LA CLS Training Program. The lecture courses required for this program are offered through the College of Extended Studies and International Programs in Special Sessions to students accepted into the Post-baccalaureate CLS Training Program. The program has been approved as a Gainful Employment Program by the Department of Education. This means that eligible trainees can apply for Federal Financial Aid to support them during the year that they are in the program.
The courses required in this certificate program provide students with the technical knowledge, critical thinking, and management skills needed to pass the American Society for Clinical Pathologists certification exam for Medical Laboratory Scientists. All students admitted to the program must have obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology or related sciences, and have completed the following required courses: inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, hematology, medical microbiology, and physics.
Prerequisites for Admission to the Program
- A bachelor’s degree in biology or related science, received prior to admission to the program.
- 16 semester units (24 quarter units) of chemistry that must include general chemistry (inorganic chemistry), analytical chemistry (quantitative analysis), organic chemistry, and biochemistry.
- 18 semester units (27 quarter units) of biological sciences that must include immunology, hematology, and medical microbiology.
- 3 semester units (4 quarter units) of physics that must include instruction in the principles of light and electricity.
- Prefer at least 4 units of upper division biology laboratory instruction and at least one, and preferably all, of the following courses: physiology, genetics, biostatistics, and a lab class that includes molecular biology techniques.
- A minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4-point scale in the required courses listed above. International students must have their transcripts evaluated by the AACRAO transcript evaluation service and their grades must be converted to a 4-point scale.
- These courses must have been completed in last 7 years.
- For candidates with foreign degrees whose language of instruction was not English, a minimum 90 IBT, 230 CBT, or 575 PBT TOEFL score is required. IN ADDITION, an upper division course in hematology (with lab) or medical microbiology (with lab) taken in the U.S.A. with a grade of B or better IS REQUIRED.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation from upper division/graduate course instructors or work supervisors, with at least two letters from instructors.
- Pending application to Laboratory Field Services (http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/lfs) for a Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee License. Final acceptance for admission to the program is contingent upon receiving this license.
- A signed Statement of General Health form from the student’s primary healthcare provider.
- Candidates with foreign degrees must have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the U.S. to be admitted to the program.
U.S. Department of Education