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College of Science and Health
Department of Microbiology
Program Director: Michael Lazzari
3003 Cowley Hall, (608) 785-6479
e-mail: mlazzari@uwlax.edu


Lecturers: Lazzari,

Clinical laboratory scientists perform complex biological, microbiological, and chemical tests on patient samples. They also use, maintain, and troubleshoot sophisticated laboratory equipment that is used to perform diagnostic tests. Clinical laboratory scientists analyze these test results and discuss them with the medical staff. They also possess the skills required for molecular diagnostic tests based on DNA and RNA technologies. In addition, they find opportunities in test development, experimental design, administration, and education.

The curriculum requires a minimum of six semesters and a summer session on campus to complete the pre-professional and pre-clinical courses. Students spend an additional nine months of clinical education in a hospital-sponsored, accredited program during their senior year. A bachelor of science degree is awarded at the satisfactory completion of all required course work.

Admission to the clinical laboratory science major is on a competitive basis. Students apply for admission early in the spring semester of the academic year just prior to the beginning of their professional studies, typically in the sophomore year. Formal acceptance into the major, effective at the beginning of the fall semester is based on the submission of an application for admission to the major, personal recommendations, review of academic performance, and an interview with the program admission committee. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 is strongly recommended. The application process for the clinical year in the hospital-sponsored program is similar to the process required for acceptance to the clinical laboratory science major. Acceptance into the hospital program is not guaranteed by the university. The hospital programs affiliated with UW-L are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). 

During the clinical component, in an accredited hospital program, students will register for (or be allowed to transfer in from Mayo's CLS program) the equivalent of, at minimum, 31 UW-L credits. The clinical phase routinely begins in late August with anticipated graduation the following spring. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for certification examinations offered by national certification agencies.

NAACLS accredited hospital affiliates of UW-L:
• Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
• Saint Joseph's Hospital/Marshfield Laboratories, Marshfield, Wis.
• Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, Wis.
• Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Wausau, Wis.
• Affinity Health, Appleton, Wis.
• Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Rochester, Minn.

Note: Clinical Laboratory Science students who select to complete the required year-long clinical at the Mayo School of Health Sciences (MSHS) enroll at MSHS rather than at UW-La Crosse.  The courses taken during the year-long clinical at MSHS meet UW-La Crosse CLI program requirements. The student must request an official transcript be sent to UW-La Crosse from MSHS. Upon successful completion of the clinical and all other graduation requirements, the students are awarded the Bachelor of Science degree from UW-La Crosse. The Mayo School of Health Sciences (MSHS) grants a Certificate of Completion in Clinical Laboratory Science.

UW-L is affiliated with the University of North Dakota, an accredited program, which provides access to many other hospital affiliates throughout the upper Midwest.

Core courses in the pre-professional curriculum must be completed with a grade of 'C' or above. Students must meet all university graduation requirements including those for General Education, college core, and university degree requirements.

Note: Students in the clinical laboratory science major are exempt from the College of Science and Health core requirements.

Clinical Laboratory Science Major

93-105 credits including clinical phase
(Science and Health)

I. Pre-professional Curriculum (39-46 credits)
All pre-clinical lab science program majors are strongly encouraged to take CLI 120, Introduction to Clinical Laboratory Science.
   A. Biology Core (16 credits): BIO 105*, 306, 312, 313
   B. Chemistry Core (15-18 credits): CHM 103, 104, 300 (or 303, 304 and 305).
   C. Microbiology Core (4 credits): MIC 230
   D. Mathematics Core (4-8 credits): MTH 145 and MTH 150 or placement above MTH 150.

*BIO 103 may be substituted for BIO 105

Pre-clinical lab science program students must have completed substantial portion of these requirements in the semester that they apply for formal admission to the clinical lab science program major. Students who lack only a few credits are encouraged to consult the clinical lab science program adviser to determine when they should apply.

II. Professional curriculum (54-59 credits)
   A. Preclinical phase (23-28 credits on campus): CLI 395, 410, 420, 440 (or BIO 406), 461; MIC 310, 407, 410; CHM 325 (or 417 & 418).
   B. Clinical phase (31 credits at an accredited hospital): CLI 450, 455, 460, 465, 470, 480.

The following courses are recommended to complement the clinical laboratory science major: BIO 413, 424, 435, 436, 466; MIC 416, 420, 421, 454; CLI 495, 496; ECO 110; PHL 201.

The clinical laboratory science program incorporates a significant amount of writing throughout the required courses instead of identifying particular courses as writing emphasis courses. Students who complete the major will fulfill the university writing emphasis requirement through this writing-in-the-major program.


+ next to a course number indicate a GENERAL EDUCATION course

CLI  120  Cr.1

Introduction to Clinical Laboratory Science

An introductory course designed for students who are interested in a profession in clinical laboratory science. The course will introduce the students to the technical and clinical functions of the profession as well as to the professional aspects of clinical laboratory science. An introduction to the profession, basic laboratory math, medical terminology, and diagnostic tests evaluated in the clinical laboratory will be discussed. Students will develop an understanding for the critical role clinical laboratory scientists play in the health care arena. Seven-week course.   Offered Spring.

CLI  395  Cr.2

Urinalysis and Body Fluids

This course introduces the formation, distribution, and function of urine and other nonblood body fluids. Instruction in the handling and analysis of these fluids will be given based on their chemical, physical, and cellular composition in health and disease. The laboratory focuses on performing and interpreting results from the clinical laboratory procedures performed in the lab. Lect. 1, Lab 2. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program.  Offered Spring, Summer.

CLI  410  Cr.3

Clinical Hematology

Introductory course in hematology which examines normal hematologic physiology, cellular development, and hemostasis in the human. Introduction to pathophysiology, with emphasis on clinical and laboratory evaluation of hematologic status. Theory and background of laboratory procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic and other diseases are included. Emphasis is on peripheral blood cell morphology, hematopoiesis, maturation, and kinetics. Pathophysiology of hematologic disorders, including anemias and hematologic malignancies are explored. Manual laboratory techniques as well as instrumentation will be included in the laboratory portion. Complete blood counts, correlation of automated and manual differentials and routine coagulation testing also will be performed. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program.  Offered Fall.

CLI  420  Cr.3


Course covers the general aspects of the Blood Group System, red cell types and group systems, antibody screening, compatibility testing, blood donor service, selection of donors, blood drawing, storage, and preservation, components, records, and regulations for blood banks. The laboratory section includes performance of blood bank procedures, donor processing, compatibility testing, component preparation, antibody screening, and antibody identification. Lect. 4, Lab 6. Admission to CLS program.  Offered Summer.

CLI 440/540  Cr.1

Clinical Parasitology

Course covers important parasites of humans including zoonoses, emerging parasitic diseases. Life cycles, clinical features and infective diagnostic stages will be included in the lecture component. The laboratory will include demonstrations and diagnostic procedures. This course will provide the necessary pre-clinical competencies required for advancement to the clinical education component of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program or the clinical microbiology MS program or consent of the instructor; MIC 230. Not open to students who have earned credit in BIO 406/506.  Offered Spring.

CLI  450  Cr.6

Clinical Chemistry

This course focuses on chemical analysis performed in the clinical laboratory. The correlation between the organ systems, the clinical laboratory procedures, and human disease states is presented. Discussion of areas unique to clinical chemistry laboratory related to evaluation and validity of test results is emphasized. Laboratory rotation applies the principles of clinical chemistry and their relationship to the performance of analytical procedures and management of the clinical chemistry laboratory. Six-week rotation. Prerequisite: Admission into the CLS program, and acceptance to a hospital NAACLS accredited CLS program.  Offered Fall.

CLI  455  Cr.6

Clinical Hematology/Hemostasis

Course extends concepts and skills learned in CLI 395 and 410. Advanced theory in hematology to include abnormal and malignant processes, applications of flow cytometry and special stains, the diagnosis of classification of leukemias, troubleshooting instrumentation and interpretation of scatterplots. Hemostasis concepts, selection of appropriate tests and interpretation of results and diagnosis of coagulation disorder as well as advanced body fluid morphology will be covered. Students will gain experience processing and analyzing patient specimens with a wide variety of complex procedures as well as instrumentation. Students will also expand their identification and diagnostic skills on microscopic analysis of hematology and body fluid specimens. Six-week rotation. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program; CLI 395, 410; acceptance to a hospital NAACLS accredited CLS program.  Offered Fall.

CLI  460  Cr.6

Clinical Immunohematology

Course extends concepts and skills acquired in CLI 420. Performance and interpretative skills in ABO and Rh typing, antibody detection and identification techniques, hemolytic disease problems, quality assurance management, solving patient's blood compatibility problems, histocompatibility techniques and selection of appropriate blood products for various bleeding disorders will be expanded. Six-week rotation. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program; CLI 420; acceptance into a hospital NAACLS accredited CLS program.  Offered Spring.

CLI  461  Cr.1

Capstone in Clinical Laboratory Science

The course covers topics of current interest in the field such as emerging infectious diseases and testing, new concepts in instrumentation, and evolution of new tests from basic research to clinical application. Students also will learn and practice basic skills such as resume and cover letter writing. Students will participate in curriculum selection for part of this class to help them prepare for pre-clinical competency exams at their hospital sites. Prerequisite: Acceptance to an internship site, senior standing and CLS major.  Offered Summer.

CLI  465  Cr.2

Clinical Immunology

Course in the application of immunologic and serologic techniques used for the specific diagnosis of immunodeficiency diseases, malignancies of the immune system, autoimmune disorders, hypersensitivity states and infection by specific microbial pathogens. Laboratory rotation applies concepts from lecture. Experience is gained in clinical immunological techniques, methods, and management of antigen-antibody reactions and identification of the relationship to disease states. The rotation also includes the fundamentals of HLA testing and Flow Cytometry techniques with interpretation of results. Two-week rotation. Prerequisite: admission to CLS program and acceptance into a hospital NAACLS accredited CLS program.  Offered Fall, Summer.

CLI  470  Cr.8

Diagnostic Microbiology

Course provides an in depth study of the major groups of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses and their relationship to human disease. Topics include clinical signs and symptoms of these diseases, proper method of collecting, transporting, and processing appropriate clinical specimens, modes of transmission, and state-of-the-art laboratory methods used for the identification of these pathogens and diagnosis of the diseases they cause. Principles of theory will be applied in rotation. Rotation provides students with opportunities to process a variety of patient specimens and gain experience with a wide variety of state-of-the-art procedures and equipment for the isolation and identification of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminths, and viruses. Molecular diagnostic procedures will also be employed. Eight-week rotation. Prerequisite: admission to CLS program; CLI 440; acceptance into a hospital NAACLS accredited CLS program.  Offered Spring.

CLI  480  Cr.3

Laboratory Management and Education

A course designed to introduce senior students to skills and knowledge required to manage a clinical laboratory and educate future clinical laboratory scientists. Students will participate with lab managers in activities such as ordering supplies, quality control, quality management and quality improvement. They will be introduced to human resource management, financial management, scheduling issues, instrument selection for profitability and the processes involved in preparing for laboratory inspections and maintaining JCAHO and CAP laboratory accreditation.   Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program and acceptance to a hospital NAACLS accredited internship site.  Offered Fall.

CLI  495  Cr.1 - 3

Independent Study in Medical Laboratory Science

Individual reading or research under the guidance of a CLS instructor. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program and approval of program director and instructor.  Offered Occasionally.

CLI  496  Cr.1 - 3

Special Topics in Clinical Laboratory Science

Workshop or seminar on selected topics in the practice of clinical laboratory science.  Student may select seminar based upon objectives and needs. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Prerequisite: Admission to CLS program and approval of program director.  Offered Occasionally.

CLI  499  Cr.1 - 3

Independent Research in Clinical Lab Science

An opportunity to pursue individual research topics under the direction of a faculty member. Depending on the nature of the research project, study is expected to involve substantial laboratory or theoretical work in addition to literature review and instruction. Students are expected to develop research skills related to clinical laboratory science. In addition to a written report to the supervising faculty member, expected outcomes may include: laboratory notebooks, experimental devices, software, papers and presentations to department and regional meetings. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.   Offered Occasionally.