• Clinical Laboratory Science Program

    Career Description

    If you're interested in health care, laboratory work, producing and using scientific data, analytical problem solving, then Clinical Laboratory Science may be the career for you.

    The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine offers a bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences through a partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center Clincal Laboratory Sciences program. The program provides patient-centered educational opportunities, with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in hematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunohematology, immunology, endocrinology, biotechnology and research. Students can enroll in the program as the final year of a bachelor’s degree or as an additional year following receipt of a bachelor’s degree.

    Features of the Program

    • a broad education that prepares students for many professional options
    • individualized help and attention
    • laboratories where students put course material into practice
    • hands-on experience with patient samples and the latest technology
    • clinical experiences in the laboratories of The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and The Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    • the experts, technology, and learning environment of two of the world's largest academic medical centers

    Applying to the Program

    Students should apply to the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program by October of their junior year.

    To be eligible to apply, students should take the following courses during their freshman, sophomore, and junior years:

    • general biology, microbiology, genetics, and immunology
    • general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry
    • college level mathematics to the pre-calculus level and statistics

    Successful program participants also possess the following personal abilities

    • strong communication skills
    • sound judgment
    • professional integrity
    • manual dexterity
    • attention to detail
    • capacity to work independently and as a team member

    The Clinical Year

    Students seeking entry into the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program should take three or more years of prerequisite coursework at the University of Iowa or another college. Following application in fall of the junior year, accepted students start the clinical year in summer following the junior year. The clinical year consists of two components: (1) an 11 week summer didactic session, including lectures and instructional laboratories covering all major disciplines in the clinical laboratory, and (2) a series of rotations through the clinical laboratories at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Iowa City. During this time students will also complete coursework via web-based, streaming-video lectures from UNMC faculty, as well as participate in laboratory management activities and case study presentations. The program emphasizes laboratory principles and procedures, clinical significance and application, principles and practice of quality assurance, principles of laboratory management and supervision, safety, instructional methods, and computer applications.

    Students complete the clinical year in May. If desired, they will receive academic credit and a bachelor of science degree in clinical laboratory sciences from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. All graduates receive a certificate of completion from the University of Nebraska Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program. Graduates are eligible to take two national certification examinations - the American Society for Clinical Pathology medical technologist exam and the National Credentialling Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel clinical laboratory scientist exam.

    The UNMC CLS program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 8410 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 670, Chicago, IL 60631, phone (773) 714-8880.

    Employment Opportunities

    CLS graduates are well qualified to work in health care, research, or industry; in hospital or clinic laboratories, and in doctors' offices, private clinical laboratories, or the armed services.

    CLS graduates can use their degrees as building blocks to careers that require MS, PhD, MD, DDS, MBA, or other advanced degrees.

    In a clinical laboratory setting, clinical laboratory scientists may

    • work in clinical chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, immunology, molecular pathology and/or clinical microbiology
    • perform analysis on blood, urine, and other body fluids
    • operate complex instruments to generate scientific data that aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of disease
    • evaluate quality assurance data to ensure accurate and reliable test results
    • use independent judgment and problem-solving abilities
    • develop research projects to evaluate new products and methods
    • provide and participate in continuing education

    Some alternative job options include:

    • environmental chemist
    • research assistant
    • research and product development scientist
    • laboratory administrator
    • laboratory sales representative
    • veterinary and zoo laboratorians
    • continuing education coordinator
    • educator
    • technical representative
    • laboratory computer specialist
    • waste management supervisor
    • epidemiologist
    • industrial laboratorian
    • pharmaceutical laboratorian
    • marketing manager

    These jobs are found in various settings including hospitals, research facilities, private industry, public health, pharmaceutical companies, and educational programs.

    To receive additional information and specific course requirements contact:

    Clincial Laboratory Sciences Program
    Judith Kittleson, MLS(ASCP)
    Site Coordinator
    Department of Pathology
    C660 General Hospital
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009


    The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment or in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. For additional information on non discrimination policies, contact the Coordinator of Title IX and Section 504, and the ADA in the Office of Affirmative Action, (319) 335-0705 (voice), or (319) 335-0697 (text), 202 Jessup Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1316.