Clinical Laboratory Science program

Undergrad major Graduate degree

Use your lab skills to help physicians diagnose and treat patients.

A clinical laboratory scientist, also called a medical technologist or medical laboratory scientist, is a vital and in-demand member of the healthcare team. These professionals perform tests on patient samples to determine the presence or absence of disease, as well as its severity and the effectiveness of treatment. 

UWL's Clinical Laboratory Science program has a track record of success. In each of the past three years, 100% of program graduates passed the national certification exam and the program had a 100% job placement rate for those entering the profession. Admission to the clinical laboratory science major is on a competitive basis. 

Medical technologist jobs

As molecular diagnostics expand in the clinical setting, the healthcare industry is experiencing greater demand for highly-educated and skilled individuals in clinical laboratory science. Nationwide the vacancy rate is 12%. CLS training is also excellent background for continuing education in graduate or medical school.


  • Clinical laboratory scientist/medical laboratory scientist
  • Laboratory supervisor/manager/director
  • Quality assurance coordinator
  • Infection control practitioner
  • Laboratory information systems specialist tech
  • Health educator
  • Fertility/transplant/bone marrow scientist
  • Laboratory equipment/pharmaceutical sales and development
  • Research scientist
  • Forensic laboratory technologist

Further education

  • Physician assistant school
  • Medical school
  • Veterinary school
  • Dental school
  • Pathologist assistant school
  • Clinical laboratory science
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Business
  • Management
  • Education

What distinguishes UWL's Clinical Laboratory Science program?

Stellar certification and job placement rates

Over the past three years, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam pass rate for UWL students has been 100%, with a 100% job placement for those entering the profession. ASCP certification is widely accepted as the most influential leader in the field of certification of medical laboratory professionals.

Practice with technology used in the field

Students learn methods and procedures on equipment and instruments similar to what is found in the clinical setting. Once in the clinical setting, students will apply the theoretical knowledge gained on campus and advance to competencies required for entry into the profession.

Gain professional experience

Students spend three years on campus and their fourth working alongside professionals in lab settings located throughout the Upper Midwest:

  • Mayo Clinic Laboratories (Rochester, MN)
  • Hennepin Healthcare Laboratories (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Marshfield Laboratories (Marshfield, WI)
  • Aspirus Wausau Hospital Laboratories (Wausau, WI)
  • Ascension/St. Elizabeth Healthcare Laboratories (Appleton, WI)
  • University of North Dakota Medical Laboratory Science Program
Robust program creates options for future career growth

The program education is so broad that the required courses to enter the program are similar to medical, dental and veterinary schools. This allows program graduates to easily transition into careers requiring additional education such as physician assistant, medical doctor, veterinarian, dentist and more.

Graduates are eligible to take certification exam

Once the CLS degree is obtained, the graduate is eligible to sit for the national certification examination through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Dedicated faculty

Program majors receive instruction from outstanding professors during both the pre-professional and professional phases of their education. The faculty share current clinical, research and publication experiences with students.

In-demand profession

The demand for clinical laboratory scientists/medical technologists continues to increase. As molecular diagnostics expand in the clinical setting, there is a greater demand for highly educated and skilled individuals in this field. Nationwide the vacancy rate is 12%.

Choose your path

Students can either earn their bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science or, if they are planning to pursue an advanced degree, they can select the dual degree option, which enables them to earn both a bachelor of science degree in clinical laboratory science (CLS) and a master of science degree in microbiology with emphasis in clinical microbiology in six years.

Areas of study

Clinical Laboratory Science

Medical technologists, medical laboratory scientists, or clinical laboratory scientists are different titles to describe the same profession. These professionals examine and analyze body fluids, tissues and cells. They detect and identify bacteria, parasites, or other microorganisms; analyze the chemical content of fluids; select blood for transfusion; and run tests to see how patients are responding to treatment. 

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Clinical Laboratory Science Catalogfor Clinical Laboratory Science Learn more for Clinical Laboratory Science

Undergrad + graduate dual degree

Clinical Laboratory Science and Clinical Microbiology Dual Degree program enables a UWL student to earn both a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science (CLS) and a master's degree in microbiology with emphasis in clinical microbiology in six years.

Undergrad major Graduate degree View a sample plan for Undergrad + graduate dual degree Catalogfor Undergrad + graduate dual degree

Sample courses

CLI 395 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 Clinical Lab Science Program. Offered Spring, Summer.

CLI 410 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 Clinical Lab Science Program. Offered Fall.

CLI 420 Immunohematology 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. Prerequisite: admission to Clinical Lab Science Program. Offered Summer.

CLI 450 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 to Clinical Lab Science Program; acceptance to a NAACLS accredited clinical lab science program. Offered Fall.

CLI 455 Clinical Hematology/Hemostasis Course extends concepts and skills learned in CLI 395 and CLI 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: CLI 395 and CLI 410; admission to Clinical Lab Science Program; acceptance to a NAACLS accredited clinical lab science program. Offered Fall.

CLI 460 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: CLI 420; admission to Clinical Lab Science Program; acceptance into a NAACLS accredited clinical lab science program. Offered Spring.