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Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College: College of Nursing and Health Professions

Department: Clinical Lab Science


The field of clinical laboratory science offers opportunities for students who are interested in the biological and chemical sciences. Clinical laboratory scientists are academically prepared, skilled laboratory workers who perform a variety of analyses which aid the physician in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

The Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences degree is a 4-year program which provides an understanding of the theoretical and scientific fundamentals underlying the procedures involved, which include a broad based knowledge in the principles of human biology, chemistry, analytical instrumentation, and a familiarity with the educational and managerial aspects associated with one who occupies a professional role in a wide variety of settings.

  • Prerequisites

    Required Courses

    In order to be considered for admission into the CLS program, candidates must have completed or be currently enrolled in:

    • Basic Principles of CLS
    • General Chemistry I & II
    • Anatomy & Physiology I & II
    • Microbiology

    Admission Criteria

    Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

    The minimum cumulative grade point average for admission to the 4-year CLS Program is 2.50. The CGPA is a better statistical indicator for success in which applicant will have a higher success rate in meeting the academic standards for successful completion of the baccalaureate program and to score a passing grade on the national registry exam.

    If seats are available in an application year, those applications with a CGPA of 2.0 to 2.49, with a demonstration of science proficiency, will be reviewed and evaluated on an individual basis.

    English Language Proficiency Requirements

    The Clinical Laboratory Science Department requires a high level of proficiency in English so that all students will be able to fully meet academic and clinical objectives as well as meet criteria for professional licensure/certification.

    International Students

    Students from non-English speaking countries or for whom English is not a native language must take one of the following tests:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 79 on the preferred internet-based test (iBT), 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of at least 6.5 and a spoken band score of 7.
    • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a score of 56.
    TOEFL Information

    The TOEFL is available at the ASU Testing Center. When taking the exam off campus, the report code for ASU is 6011.

    English as a Second Language Program

    Students who do not meet the required English language proficiency may enroll in ASU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program in the International Center for English. Potential CLS students enrolled in the ESL program must maintain an average of 85 or higher in levels 0 through 4. In the final or 5th level of the ESL program an average of 90 or higher must be maintained. Upon completion of the ESL program, the potential CLS student must take the internet based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Upon successfully meeting the proficiency requirement, potential students are eligible to apply to the Clinical Laboratory Science Program.

    Physical and Mental Requirements

    Applicants to the Clinical Laboratory Science Program are expected to meet certain physical and mental requirements to ensure safe performance in clinical laboratory procedures by students in the clinical education affiliates.

    These technical standards of performance include the following six criteria:

    • Visually inspect medical test requests, medical test results, condition of medical reagents, equipment, and devices, and work in low light environments. Corrective glasses are approved.
    • Hear colleagues, instructors, patients, and other health care providers both face-to-face and with the back turned. Hearing aids are approved.
    • Communicate effectively and sensitively with instructors, colleagues, patients, and other health care providers. Verbalization is essential under stress and emergency situations.
    • Orthopedic functions to include reaching, manipulating, and operating necessary clinical laboratory equipment and instrumentation. Ability to respond to stressful and emergency
    • circumstances.
    • Intellectual and conceptual integrative and quantitative abilities that enable one to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information. One must understand three-dimensional relationships and have problem-solving skills.
    • Behavioral and social attributes that demonstrate the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities, and development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships.
  • Selective Admission Process

    Applying to the Program

    The submitted application packet is to consist of a completed application form, two completed reference forms (one from a personal, non-relative reference, and one from a professional or instructional reference), and college/university transcripts of all college work attempted. Applications are not reviewed on a first come/first served basis.


    Application materials must be received by April 15 for consideration for fall semester admission. Letters of official admission into the CLS Program will be mailed by May 1.

    Application and Selection Process 

    1. The submitted application packet is to consist of a completed application form, two completed reference forms (one from a personal, non-relative reference, and one from a professional or instructional reference), and college/university transcripts of all college work attempted.  If applying directly from high school for the AAS in CLT, please provide high school transcripts and a copy of your ACT scores. 
    2. Applications are not reviewed on a first come/first served basis.
    3. The minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for admission is 2.50. 
    4. Factors considered in the application process include the following:
    • Cumulative grade point average:
      • Worth up to 56 points of possible 156 points for BS in CLS application.
        Worth up to 56 points of possible 80 points for AAS in CLT application.
    • For BS in CLS application only, support course grades:
      • Worth up to 72 points of possible 156 points for BS in CLS application
      • Support courses include General Chemistry I & II, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology for Nursing & Health Professions, Principles of Clinical Laboratory Science
      • Grade of A = 6 points, B = 5 points, C = 4 points, and D = 2 points for each support course
    • Proficiency in a second language, spoken and written, confirmed through the ASU World Languages Department:
      • Worth up to 10 points of possible 156 points for BS in CLS application.
      • Worth up to 6 points of possible 80 points for AAS in CLT application.
    • Two references provided by the applicant evaluated according to a standardized rubric: 
      • Worth up to 18 points of possible 156 points for BS in CLS application.
      • Worth up to 18 points of possible 80 points for AAS in CLT application.
    1. Applications received after April 15th will not be accepted.
    2. Completion of or current enrollment in CLS 1511 & CLS 1512, Basic Principles of CLS, for both AAS and BS applicants.           
    3. Completion of (or current enrollment in) key coursework before beginning the BS in CLS is required (this does not apply to the AAS in CLT):
    • General Chemistry I & II (ASU courses CHEM 1011, 1013, 1021, 1023)
    • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (ASU courses ZOOL 2001, 2003, 2011, 2013)
    • Microbiology (ASU courses BIOL 2101, 2103)
    1. Students who are admitted into the 2-year CLT or 4-year CLS Program will be expected to provide their own transportation to and from assigned clinical sites.  Transportation is not provided by ASU or the CLT/CLS Programs.
    2. For applicants who are proficient in the Spanish language: Actualmente en la región que sirve ASU, se necesitan profesionales de la salud que hablen español. Por favor, indique aquí si usted tiene esta habilidad. Se da crédito adicional a los candidatos que puedan demostrar esta competencia. La facultad de idiomas extranjeros de ASU administra la prueba de habilidad en español. Por favor, póngase en contacto con el programa de ciencias de laboratorio clínico para arreglar una cita para tomar el examen.

    Submitting Your Application

    Only a completed application packet, consisting of the application form, criminal background check acknowledgment, 2 reference forms, and transcripts of all college and/or high school work attempted, will be accepted for review. The application may be taken to Eugene W. Smith Hall - Room 101, or mailed to the following address:

    Clinical Laboratory Science Programs
    College of Nursing and Health Professions
    Arkansas State University
    Attention: CLS Program Director
    P. O. Box 910
    State University, AR 72467

    Equal Opportunity Policy

    Arkansas State University is an equal opportunity institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, impediment/disability, or unlawful factors in the admission and treatment of students.

  • Program Schedule


    A clinical laboratory science program advisor assists students in planning their courses of study. Basic requirements include courses from English, math, social sciences, natural sciences, physical sciences and humanities. Students also will complete major courses and will apply campus-based instruction in a clinical setting.

    Course Schedule

    Classes for CLS-BS students begin in the fall semester and continue for forty-eight consecutive months.


    Curriculum and degree requirements can be found in the most current Undergraduate Bulletin.

    Visit the bulletins page >>

    Please Note

    Upon completion of the curriculum, the student is awarded a baccalaureate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. Award of this degree is not dependent upon passing the national certification examination offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

  • Clinical Rotations

    Clinical Rotations

    CLS students participate in clinical rotations in laboratories located throughout Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. Students must provide their own transportation to the clinical affiliates. When determining educational cost, this additional expense must be considered.

    Every student will participate in four (4) clinical rotations as part of their CLS training. Many CLS clinical sites are NOT located in Jonesboro, so students can expect to drive significant distances to and from clinical sites for one or more rotations. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for transportation for clinical rotations, and the associated costs should be factored in to the total cost of your education. The CLS department will make every effort to place you at sites located near where you live or where close family or friends live, but we make no guarantees that your desired placement will always be possible.

    Additional Expenses

    Other costs which should be considered when determining educational expenses include, but are not limited to, rotation uniforms, vaccinations (including Hepatitis B), malpractice insurance, TB skin testing, course fees, textbooks, and criminal background checks. Many of these are requirements set forth by our clinical affiliates and/or the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

  • Essential Functions in CLS

    Ethical Responsibility

    Faculty and staff in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences have a responsibility for the welfare of the patients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program, as well as the welfare of other students in the Program. In order to fulfill this responsibility, the Program has established minimum essential requirements that must be met in order for students to participate in the Program, graduate, and enter the field of Clinical Laboratory Science.

    Admission and Retention Factors

    Admission and retention decisions for Clinical Laboratory Science are based not only on prior satisfactory academic achievement, but also on non-academic factors which serve to insure that the candidate can meet the essential requirements of the academic program. Essential requirements, as distinguished from academic standards, refer to those cognitive, physical, and behavioral abilities that are necessary for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum, including the professional attributes required by the faculty of all students for graduation. The following essential requirements have been developed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (PL101-336) and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).


    The ASU Clinical Laboratory Science curriculum requires essential abilities in information acquisition. The student must have the ability to master information disseminated in a variety of forms-- lectures, on-line, written and self-instructional materials, laboratory demonstrations and experiments, projected images, etc. - at a level deemed appropriate by the faculty.

    Working Environment

    The Clinical Laboratory Science curriculum requires students to perform delicate manipulations safely and accurately on patient specimens and instruments necessary for complete and valid diagnostic test results. The student must be able and willing to work with blood and body fluids which may be infectious, and be able to work carefully with a wide variety of chemical reagents. The students must be able to distinguish objects both macroscopically and microscopically characterizing color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biological samples, reagents and chemical reactions. The students must have the visual acuity to discriminate among structural elements and fine lines in a minimal contrast setting.

    The student must have sufficient upper body muscle coordination to practice safe specimen handling. The student must be able to perform moderately taxing and continuous physical work, which may require prolonged sitting and/or standing for several hours. The student must be able to lift and move objects, e.g., load individual tubes in an instrument and move test tube racks from one bench to another. The student must have the touch discrimination to discern veins and arteries in order to perform venipunctures. The student must have the manual dexterity to fill and dispense liquids using a bulb and calibrated pipette, streak agar plates for isolation, and dilute specimens accurately.

    The student must possess the emotional stability needed to work accurately and safely under stress, e.g., work under time constraints, read and record numbers, perform repetitive tasks, concentrate in distracting situations, and make subjective evaluations and decisions, realizing that mistakes may have a high impact on patient care. The student must be able to adapt to changing work environments and be able to prioritize tasks.


    The student must be able to communicate effectively in both verbal and written English in order to transmit information clearly and accurately to patients as well as members of the health care team. The appropriate communication at times will rely on the student’s ability to make a correct judgment in seeking supervisory assistance in a timely manner.


    The student must possess attributes which include dependability, integrity, responsibility and tolerance. The student must show respect for self and others, work independently as well as with others, and project an image of professionalism.

    Disability and Associated Risk

    The student is advised that certain disabilities may limit employment opportunities. Further, immunocompromised individuals may put themselves at personal risk due to the presence of infectious agents in all areas of clinical laboratory science.

    These technical standards identify the essential requirements of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program for admission, retention and graduation. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the student with disabilities to request those accommodations that he/she feels are reasonable and are needed to execute the essential requirements described. The CLS Program faculty will decide which accommodations can be provided without causing an undue burden.

  • Careers

    Available Career Fields

    The field of clinical laboratory sciences offers endless employment opportunities to students who have strong skills in the biological and chemical sciences and interest in playing an integral part in health care services.

    Clinical Laboratory Sciences available career fields

    Clinical laboratory scientists are academically prepared to perform a variety of analyses which aid the physician in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. More than 70% of medical decisions are made with the help of laboratory testing, so clinical laboratory scientists are very important members of the health care team.

    Clinical laboratory scientists and technicians may work in a variety of specialized areas, including:

    • Urinalysis - cellular and chemical analysis of urine and other body fluids
    • Clinical chemistry - chemical and electrolyte analyses of blood and serum
    • Hematology - the study of blood, bone marrow, and blood clotting
    • Immunohematology - safe transfusion of blood and blood products
    • Clinical microbiology - identification of disease-causing bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, and evaluating antibiotics for treatment effectiveness
    • Immunology - evaluates antigen-antibody reactions for evidence of disease

    A laboratory scientist must understand the theoretical and scientific fundamentals underlying all laboratory procedures, which includes broad knowledge of human biology/pathology, chemistry, and analytical instrumentation. Clinical laboratory science graduates also employ education, management, and communication techniques and skills as professionals in their field.

    Employment Rate

    Students will be pleased to know that graduates of ASU's CLS BS enjoy job placement rates of 97% (3 year average, 7/1/2014 - 6/30/2017), particularly at hospitals and medical centers in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.

  • MLT to MT Bridge Program

    The MLT to MT “Bridge” Program at Arkansas State University- Jonesboro


    If you are a practicing MLT wishing to work towards your bachelor’s degree in CLS (MT), here are some facts about the program you need to know.

    (1) Although it will require a review of your transcripts from the institution where you received your MLT training, we usually give you credit for the following courses through articulation:

    CLS 1512/1511 Principles of CLS

    CLS 1521/1531 Urinalysis & Body Fluids

    CLS 2523/2521 Hematology I

    CLS 2533/2531 Clinical Microbiology I

    CLS 2543/2541 Clinical Chemistry I

    CLS 2573/2571 Immunology/Serology

    CLS 2563/2561 Immunohematology I

    *CLS 3512/3511 Parasitology

    CLS 2514 Clinical Chemistry Practicum

    CLS 2524 Hematology/Coag/UA Practicum

    CLS 3514 Microbiology Practicum

    CLS 3524 Immunohematology Practicum

    These classes will be applied to your transcript with our articulation agreement after you successfully complete 3 credit hours of upper level CLS coursework and submit a copy of your MLT(ASCP) certification if you did not attend a NAACLS-accredited MLT program.

    (2) We do not require that you repeat your clinical rotations/practicums.

    (3) As part of your associate degree coursework, you likely had to take English composition I and II, college algebra, US history or government, computer applications, general chemistry I, human anatomy & physiology I or II (but probably not both), and general microbiology.  If these courses are present on your transcript, we will apply them to your BS degree.

    (4) Other non-CLS classes you must complete towards your BS degree include:

    9 credits of arts & humanities classes

    6 credits of social sciences classes

    General chemistry II (with lab)

    Human anatomy & physiology I or II (with lab) (whichever one you didn’t do as part of your associate degree)

    Organic chemistry I (with lab)


    Some of these classes can be taken at a community college near where you live, since most are face-to-face/traditional classes.  Organic chemistry needs to be at the 3000 level (junior level), and be the 1st semester of a two-semester sequence, and that does not exist at a community college.  So you either need to take organic here at ASU-J, or at another 4 year university near your home.

     (5) There are a couple of graduation requirements that “bridge” students sometimes have difficulty meeting:

                (a) 45 credit hours of junior/senior (3000/4000) level courses – If you fall a credit or two short, you may take non-CLS classes of interest to you, or sometimes we have special projects for which we need student assistance (on campus again, though) and students may earn upper level credit.

                (b) 18 of your final 24 credit hours must be taken through ASU-J – again, if you’ve been working on the non-CLS requirements towards your degree at a community college or university near your home as you reach the end of the degree program, you can sometimes run into violation of this requirement.

                (c) 32 resident hours – if you only take the upper level CLS courses at ASU-J, you will have 26 resident hours, so you must take at least two other classes here at ASU-J to meet this requirement

    (6) There is a transfer course equivalency tool available through the ASU-J registrar’s office website that you can use to see which courses from community colleges/universities near your home will transfer to ASU-J.  Here is the link: http://asutep.astate.edu/

    If you have additional questions, please contact the CLS Department at ASU-J by calling (870) 680-8596, or by emailing clinlabsci@astate.edu

Accredited by the NAACLS

NAACLS LogoNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
5600 N. River Rd, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119        
Phone:  773 - 714 - 8880
Web: http://www.naacls.org
Email: info@naacls.org