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CLS Overview

The Profession

The medical laboratory scientist, also known as a medical technologist, or clinical laboratory scientist, plays a major role in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medical laboratory scientists use sophisticated laboratory instruments to perform tests in microbiology, immunology, immunohematology, hematology, and clinical chemistry. 
 

Major

Texas State University offers a four year curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, (773) 714-8880.

The Texas State CLS program is a 2+2 program.  This means that the first two years of your education are core courses and prerequisites.  The requirements during the first two years of study include courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics along with courses in the humanities and social and behavioral sciences.

The junior and senior years combine clinical experiences in the affiliated clinical laboratories with advanced academic study in the CLS disciplines.  You will have five (5) mandatory clinical preceptorships in the areas of Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, Immunohematology, General, and Microbiology.Since class size is limited due to the availability of space in the clinical affiliates, admission to the program is competitive and not all who apply will be accepted.

Time Requirements

If accepted into the CLS program, be prepared for an interesting, rigorous and time-consuming degree. 

  • Students are in the Texas State Health Professions Building in their junior fall and spring semesters roughly from 8am-5pm. 

  • There are currently no CLS classes required during the junior summer semester. 

  • During the fall semester of their senior year, students are on-campus roughly from 8am-5pm most days.

  • During the Senior Spring and Summer, the students' time will be split between clinical affiliates and campus.  The student must be able to travel to locations in the Central Texas area. The students have five mandatory rotations that are each 3 weeks in duration.  Between rotations the students will return to campus for additional coursework and testing.

The Texas State Facilities

The CLS Program has two teaching laboratories, a computer laboratory, and a molecular diagnostics laboratory. The program has a LabDaq laboratory information system, Beckman-Coulter CQ genetics analyzer, Cell-Dyn 3200 hematology analyzer, Selectra Pros S chemistry analyzer, and other laboratory instruments found in a modern clinical laboratory. However, our most important resources are our faculty who have educational and clinical experience in a variety of settings.

Certification

Graduates are eligible to take a national certification examination as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) of the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or a Medical Technologist (MT) through the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Careers

The medical laboratory scientist has a broad background in the sciences and may find employment in hospital and clinic laboratories, public health laboratories, and research laboratories. With experience, the medical laboratory scientist becomes an indispensable top level laboratory worker, a supervisor, a specialist, a researcher, a salesperson, or an educator.


Job Outlook

Job opportunities for clinical laboratory scientists are excellent, with more openings than available job seekers. Employment is expected to grow at a faster than average rate. (Reference: United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics,Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 edition). Our students frequently have job offers prior to graduation.  Evening and night shifts are in high demand and may be the first acute care positions open for new graduates.

**It is important to note that while this degree is an excellent foundation, it is not the preferred undergraduate degree for those interested in biomedical research or forensic science.

 

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