Clinical Laboratory Science FAQ


Prospective CLS students have a wide variety of background questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked.

LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION FOR THE PROFESSION

COURSES AND ATTENDANCE

EMPLOYMENT

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

What CPR and First Aid certifications are required by the program?  You must have current CPR and First Aid certification cards before the start of the program. All students are required to have both of these certifications from the American Heart Association:

  • CPR - BLS for Healthcare Providers
  • Heartsaver First Aid

NOTE: We only accept the certifications from the American Heart Association. We do not accept certifications from online courses. 

What are my chances of being admitted into the on-campus programs? What about the off-campus/distance programs?  The programs are fairly competitive, favoring those students with higher GPAs and for the master's students, high GRE scores. An interview is also required and may be a determining factor in your admission process. The only sure way to determine your chances are to apply...and apply early for the on-campus and distance programs.

When is the cutoff date for applications? Applications are accepted until the classes are full. However for the best chance of acceptance is to have your application in by June 1 for our web-based programs and June 1 for our main campus program.  Please note: A complete application must be on file in admissions by the application deadline.  A complete application consists of your application, all transcripts, two references for the BS program; three references for the MHS program, and a transcript evaluation.

What is the minimum SAT, GPA?

  • BS-CLS - GPA: 2.5 Math/Science, 2.5 Overall
  • MHS-CLS GPA: 2.75 Math/Science, 2.75 Overall; GRE: 1000 combined verbal and quantitative  

 NOTE:  Grades of D and F are NOT accepted for transfer credit. SAT scores are no longer required.

What is required for international students?  Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an agency in the United States. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) must be taken by applicants whose first language is not English. A minimum score of 550 paper-based or 213 computer-based is required. Click here for admissions information.

What if I have a transcript or degree from a non-U.S. college or university?  Your transcript must be evaluated by a professional agency in the U.S. prior to admission. Click here for admissions information.

Can I attend the program part-time?  Part-time attendance is discouraged but applicants may request special consideration in writing. Preference is given to full-time students for placement in clinical settings.

We require students to take at least Introduction to Clinical Laboratory Science Practice and Clinical Biochemistry lecture and lab the first semester for the BS students.  MHS students are required to take at least Introduction to Clinical Laboratory Science Practice, Clinical Biochemistry lecture and lab and Introduction to Epidemiology and Statistics the first semester.

Can I take just one or two courses without being enrolled as a student in the program?  You may take some didactic courses as a special student, but this only applies to lecture courses, as laboratory and clinical space is reserved for fully enrolled students.

What about exemptions for coursework if I already work as a laboratory technician or have laboratory experience?  Up to 10 semester hours (laboratory courses) may be awarded as experiential credit for certified MLTs. Each applicant must be evaluated individually on a case-by-case basis.

Can I be accepted into the last year of study in your program if I already have some coursework from another Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science program and just need my clinical internship?  We are not accredited for this type of program, which in reality is a 3 + 1 program. You might be able to exempt some of the junior level courses on transfer, but you would have to apply to the BS-CLS program. Internship spaces are limited and preference is given to those students already enrolled in our regular programs.

What graduate programs are available?  Our department offers the MHS-CLS (Master of Health Science in Clinical Laboratory Science) for those students who already have a baccalaureate degree in a related science and who wish to obtain entry into the profession. Upon graduation, the student would be eligible to sit for the national certification examinations.

 What are the admission requirements for graduate programs?  Our Masters programs require a GRE score of 1000, baccalaureate degree, TOEFL of 550 for all international students from non-English speaking countries. Grade point averages (GPA), letters of recommendation, and an interview are also considered in admissions decisions. International transcripts must be evaluated by a U.S. professional evaluation agency prior to application. 

When should I apply for admission to graduate programs?  You may apply any semester, but for best chance of acceptance, application should be made by June 1st. Classes begin Fall semester, mid-August.

 

LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION FOR THE PROFESSION

Do I have to take a licensing exam after I graduate?  National certification examinations are given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and several other professional organizations. States vary as to licensing exams.

What's on the national exams?  National certification exams are comprehensive and have basic knowledge recall, computation, and problem solving questions in all five major areas: blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology as well as laboratory practice and management.

Do all your students pass the national exams?  The December 2013 BS-CLS class had a 92 percent pass rate.  The May 2013 MHS-CLS class had a first-time pass rate of 100 percent. 

 

COURSES AND ATTENDANCE

Where do I take my courses?  On campus students take most didactic and laboratory courses in the Health Sciences Building. Clinical internships are interspersed throughout the curriculum. The program currently has nearly 30 clinical affiliates throughout Georgia and the nation.

Off-campus/distance students will take didactic courses by electronic interactive audio/video systems, satellite systems, and/or computer and e-mail systems. For students in the Atlanta, Georgia area, clinical laboratories are held at our state-of-the-art mobile laboratory at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, GA. Clinical/internship training will take place at our hospital affiliates

Am I guaranteed to be placed for clinical internship?  Yes, you will be placed for internship. However, the specific location is not guaranteed.

What degree do I receive at the end of my studies?  Students enrolled in the BS-CLS program will receive a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science degree. Students enrolled in the MHS-CLS program will receive a Master of Health Science in Clinical Laboratory Science degree.

 

EMPLOYMENT

Will I get a job after graduation?  The clinical laboratory science profession is experiencing critical shortages which are only expected to worsen over the next 5-10 years. It is rare for a student to not have a job offer at the time of graduation.

What kinds of jobs am I qualified for after graduation?  You can work in hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, research laboratories, reference laboratories, manufacturing and industry, veterinary clinics, forensic serology laboratories, private pathology laboratories and public health clinics.

What kind of job security will I have?  No one can say for certain, but your education gives you a broad base for employment in a variety of settings and prepares you for further education in science, medicine, education, management, law, or business. Your degree is very versatile and allows you wide flexibility in career choices. A variety of career choices will continue to be available to qualified individuals.