The growing workforce demand for Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) professionals is due in part to the emerging molecular diagnostics and personalized genomics industry in California. In companies statewide clinical professionals perform analyses that provide diagnostic and prognostic information. Companies hire clinical laboratory professionals to validate and certify new products. Molecular diagnostics products are integral to the practice and promise of personalized medicine, which aims to reduce healthcare costs and increase the efficacy and safety of biopharmaceutical products.

Laboratories and companies that test human samples and specimens must comply with federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations. Consequently professionals working in these laboratories must be licensed to practice, requiring specialized training and education.

Job titles and licensure for clinical laboratory sciences are varied – from specialities in cytogenetics to cytotechnology to medical technician to generalist clinical laboratory scientist. Visit the National Accrediting Agency of Clinical Laboratory Sciences webpage (NAACLS) for more career information. See the California Department of Health Laboratory Field Services to find California licensing information and approved laboratory training programs. See also the Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT) webpage for more career information on the cytogenetics sub-specialty.

To get a sense of Clinical Laboratory Scientist jobs available in California today, click here.

The CSU offers certificate and baccalaureate programs specializing in Clinical Laboratory Science, leading to licensure in California by the Department of Public Heath’s Laboratory Field Services. Other baccalaureate programs prepare students for post-baccalaureate certificate programs that have been approved and accredited by NAACLS and involve training at CLIA licensed laboratories.


CSU Dominguez Hills

Clinical Science – Cytotechnology Option or Medical Technology Option
The mission of the Clinical Science (CS) Program is to provide high quality education and professional preparation in cytotechnology and medical technology. The clinical or internship components are offered under the supervision of university faculty, in affiliation with approved, accredited health care facilities.

CSU Los Angeles

Clinical Science Laboratory Science Post-Baccalaureate Programs
The CLS program provides both didactic and practical clinical training in hematology, clinical chemistry, blood banking, microbiology and immunology to prepare students to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology CLS licensing exam. In addition CSU Los Angeles offers a Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Scientist (CGMBS) program, providing both didactic and practical clinical training in molecular testing for cancers, genetic disease markers, histocompatibility types, and some infectious diseases to prepare students to sit for the CGMBS licensing exam.  Both the CLS and CGMBS Programs have been approved as Gainful Employment Programs by the Department of Education. This means that eligible trainees can apply for Federal Financial Aid to support them during the year that they are in the program.

CSU Northridge

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Biotechnology/Medical Technology Option
The Medical Technology track prepares students for the clinical year of training and the California License exam in Clinical Laboratory Science or for training and Certification in Public Health Microbiology. It is designed to meet the State academic requirements for Clinical Lab Science (Medical Technology) or Public Health Microbiology. Students who complete the course sequence for Medical Technology will be prepared to apply for the clinical year of training in Clinical Lab Science or to begin a career in industry or government.

CSU Sacramento

Bachelor of Science with Clinical Laboratory Science Concentration

San Francisco State University

Clinical Lab Sciences 
The SFSU program offers expert guidance, both on campus and at affiliated clinical sites. The first semester on campus includes (5) courses specifically designed for CLS training. The remaining 40 weeks are spent at affiliated clinical sites, completing internship. Once finished, interns are eligible to challenge the California State and National examinations for required licensure. A new class of CLS interns starts on campus every fall and spring session.

San Diego State University

Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with Clinical Laboratory Science emphasis

San Jose State University

Clinical Laboratory Science Training Program 
The CLS training program is a 12 month course of study that prepares students for the ASCP national board exam for acquiring a license of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Students train on the bench in a hospital laboratory 4 days a week for 52 weeks and attend classes at San José State University one day a week throughout the year.