Clinical Laboratory Science

What is Clinical Laboratory Science?

The Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science provides students with extensive preparation for work in the clinical laboratory performing procedures on biologic samples from patients.  This program serves new incoming students to the campus, transfer students, and students with an earned associate degree.  The objective of this program is to graduate competent, entry-level clinical laboratory scientists to work in the various departments housed in clinical laboratories (e.g., blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology, phlebotomy, and molecular diagnostics). The program was designed using the philosophy of an educational and career ladder.

It must be noted that the first step on that ladder will be the option for students to earn a phlebotomy minor and progress into the proposed Clinical Laboratory Science program as they seek to pursue careers in the clinical laboratory.  This means that this proposal also includes the ability to earn a phlebotomy minor.  In addition, recent regional analysis has indicated a strong local need for CLS personnel with expertise in molecular diagnostics.  Therefore, a minor in molecular diagnostics will be offered as well. 

Face-to- face classes and clinical laboratory sessions will be offered at the IU South Bend campus, The Medical Foundation, and other health care agencies.

Employment opportunities

Employment opportunities exist not only in hospitals and clinics, but also in physician offices, government agencies, industry, research, the armed forces and health related facilities. A workforce shortage of medical laboratory scientists exists and has generated a large demand for new graduates. Currently, only 6.4% of laboratory professionals are in the 21-29 year old category and average salaries have been calculated at roughly $76,000 per year (Advance/Laboratory 2016 Laboratory Salary Wage Survey).  In addition to immediate employment opportunities, many graduates attend medical school or pursue graduate degrees in science, management or education.

The Role of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist

The clinical laboratory scientist (also known as medical laboratory scientist or medical technologist) is qualified by academic and applied science education to provide service and research in clinical diagnostic laboratory science and related areas of the rapidly changing and dynamic delivery of healthcare. Medical laboratory professionals perform, develop, evaluate, correlate, and assure accuracy and validity of laboratory information; direct and supervise medical laboratory resources and operations; and collaborate in diagnosis and treatment of patients. The medical laboratory professional has diverse and multi-level functions in the areas of analysis and clinical decision-making, information management, regulatory compliance, education and quality assurance wherever laboratory testing is researched, developed, or performed. Clinical laboratory professionals practice independently and collaboratively, being responsible for their own actions as defined by the profession. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to educate laboratory professionals and other health care professionals as well as the general public.

Clinical laboratory scientists must be able to relate to people, have a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and demonstrate a commitment to the patient. Communication skills extend to consultative interactions with other members of the health care team, external relations, customer service and patient education. Laboratory professionals demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes along with principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates and the community (NAACLS, 2008).

Program Goals

The CLS program at IUSB has the following program goals:

  • To provide qualified clinical laboratory science professionals to meet the needs of the state, city, and rural communities.
  • To train graduates to work in large and small clinical laboratories.
  • To increase the depth of learning in various major fields of Clinical laboratory science.
  • To prepare the student to take the national certification exam offered by ASCP in Medical Laboratory Science.
  • To provide instruction and evaluation based on identified competencies and content of the clinical discipline that is responsive to individual student needs.
  • To provide the student with adequate knowledge and background experience to qualify for national certification examinations appropriate to their level of training.
  • To provide the student with the entry level competencies needed to work as a Bachelor of Science degreed medical laboratory scientist.
  • To further knowledge in many subspecialties of clinical laboratory science through active student/faculty research efforts.
  • To provide continuing education for area medical laboratory scientists in the form of seminars, workshops, and college coursework; to provide these programs to the clinical laboratory scientist at their place of employment or personal residence without significant loss of work time and money, to provide learning programs that are asynchronous for clinical laboratorians; and to provide an opportunity for the advancement of laboratory personnel from one level of education to another without the repetition of previously learned skills.
Program Design

The degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences is developed as a traditional 4 year curriculum with one and a half years dedicated to CLS specific coursework, including diadactic, laboratory and onsite practical components. Courses will be taught in the newly renovated Riverside Hall, where a state-of-the-art teaching laboratory and cell culture facility has been designed and constructed. Students entering as freshman will be coded as pre-CLS majors to complete general education and core requirements before applying for acceptance in the selective CLS program. Transfer students and second degree students with the appropriate prerequisites are welcome to apply as well.

Classes Begin Fall 2017!

For more information contact Program Director Ian Clift, PhD, MLS(ASCP)cm(