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Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science (California)

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Home » Programs » Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science (California)

Program Overview

Gain the skills you need to conduct research and use clinical trials to improve overall human health. A Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science from National University gives you the education needed for this role with the ability to complete your degree online or on campus. You’ll learn to develop methods, instruments, and procedures for medical applications and data analysis, and to prepare and analyze medical samples. Students interested in the Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science at NU must reside in California.

The program includes the academic prerequisites for a California Department of Health trainee application to the Laboratory Field Services Branch of the California Department of Health for a trainee License. Students with this interest should review the requirements to obtain the Trainee License from the Laboratory Field Services Branch of the California Department of Health, available on https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OSPHLD/LFS/Pages/CLS-Trainee.aspx. Once students graduate, they must successfully complete a 52 week CLS training program separately, prior to applying for the exam for licensure as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the state of California.

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Course Details

Preparation for the Major

  • 12 courses; 45 quarter units

PrerequisiteMTH 12A and MTH 12B, or Accuplacer test placement evaluation

Examines higher degree polynomials, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions, Trigonometry and matrix Algebra. Completion of this course prepares a student to take Calculus and other upper level Math courses. This course is specifically for mathematics, computer science, and engineering majors.

Fundamental concepts of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics. Concepts include important organic molecules, cell structure and function, metabolism and enzyme activity, cellular respiration and photosynthesis, DNA structure, meiosis and mitosis, Mendelian genetics. Intended for science majors.

CorequisiteBIO 191A, or BIO 201A; Recommended: Prior completion ofBIO 100; BIO 100A; CHE 101; CHE 101A

Areas of study include chemistry, cells, tissues, organ systems (integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous), and their functional relation to each other. Topics also include the aging process and diseases in these systems, as well as the development and repair of the organs and tissues in these systems. BIO201 should be taken with the co-requisite section of either BIO191A or BIO 201A with the same instructor (and classmates).

CorequisiteBIO 201; Recommended: Prior completion ofBIO 100; BIO 100A; CHE 101; CHE 101A or equivalent courses.

This laboratory course examines organ systems (skeletal, muscular and nervous). Students conduct cat/fetal pig dissections to identify and learn how skeletal muscles are organized according to body region. Sheep brain is used as a model to study human brain.

CorequisiteBIO 203A Students should take both lecture and lab courses concurrently and with the same instructor to ensure a consistent learning experience. Students who are retaking one of the two courses or present special circumstances should petition for exception to this requisite.; Recommended: Prior completion ofBIO 100 and BIO 100A; CHE 101 and CHE 101A or equivalent courses; BIO 201 and BIO 201A; BIO 202 and BIO 202A

Biology of pathogenic and nonpathogenic microbes, including bacteria, fungi, protozoans, and viruses. The epidemiology of disease-causing agents is studied, along with the fundamentals of the human immune response. Students should take both lecture and lab courses concurrently and with the same instructor to ensure a consistent learning experience. Students who are retaking one of the two courses or present special circumstances should petition for exception to this requisite.

CorequisiteBIO 203; Recommended: Prior completion ofBIO 100; BIO 100A; CHE 101; CHE 101A; BIO 201 and BIO 201A; BIO 202 and BIO 202A

This laboratory course introduced students to procedures for handling microbes, methods of identification of microorganisms (microscopic and by diagnostic media), preparation of stained slides and wet mounts, aseptic techniques, isolation of a single colony, preparation of a pure culture, inoculation and interpretation of select diagnostic tests. This two-month course is a combination of lecture and laboratory activities. Students should take both lecture and lab courses concurrently and with the same instructor to ensure a consistent learning experience. Students who are retaking one of the two courses or present special circumstances should petition for exception to this requisite.

PrerequisiteCHE 101 and CHE 101A, or CHE 141 and CHE 142 and CHE 143 and CHE 149A

Introduction to the fundamentals of organic chemistry. This course covers the properties and reactions of hydrocarbons and their functional groups, aromatic compounds, and biological molecules. Special efforts are made in demonstrating the interrelationship between organic chemistry and other areas of science, particularly biological, health, and environmental sciences.

CorequisiteCHE 150

This course is designed to introduce students to the practical aspects of organic chemistry. This course covers basic techniques for handling, analyzing, and identifying organic compounds. In addition, students will learn how to synthesize simple and practical small organic molecules.

PrerequisiteMTH 215 or equivalent

General chemistry topics important for higher level chemistry and science courses: thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and quantum mechanics. Successful completion of a college algebra course is required for enrollment in this course.

PrerequisiteCHE 141

Second course of general chemistry, covering: bonding, solutions, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids/bases, and thermodynamics.

PrerequisiteCHE 142

Introduces students to the chemistry of carbon compounds and their properties, structures and reactions. It emphasizes the study of the properties and reactions of aliphatic, halides, alcohols, esters, thiols and sulfides, and aromatic compounds, which in conjunction with selected experiments, gives an understanding of the mechanisms of organic reactions.

Prerequisite2 years of high school algebra and MTH 204, or MTH 215, or MTH 216A and MTH 216B

Non-calculus based general physics course for earth and life science majors. Study of force, laws of motion, heat, fluid mechanics, electricity, magnetism, light (optics) and modern physics.

Core Requirements

  • 10 courses; 45 quarter units

An introduction to concepts, procedures and software used in the statistical analysis of data in the health professions.

Exploration of financial, personnel-related, operational and marketing issues affecting the clinical laboratory.

Recommended: Prior completion ofCHE 142

Explores the physiologic aspect of human metabolism and its role in health and disease. The derivation of energy and nutrients from digestive and absorptive processes, and the synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Recommended: Prior completion ofCHE 142

Study of established methods and instrumentation used in chemical analysis including titration, extraction, chromatography, spectroscopy, buffers, electrochemistry and kinetic methods.

Recommended: Prior completion ofCHE 101; BIO 161; BIO 203 or equivalent

Explores the immune system structure and function in health and disease. Topics include hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, transplant and tumor immunology, flow cytometry and other immunological techniques.

Recommended: Prior completion ofBIO 162 and CHE 142

This course provides an overview of the principles of clinical molecular diagnostics, the use of molecular techniques to diagnose disease, quality assurance in the molecular lab and DNA based tissue typing.

Recommended: Prior completion ofCHE 101; BIO 161; BIO 203 or equivalent

Exploration of viral structure, classification, properties and interaction of viruses with cells, organisms and populations.Viral cultivation, the laboratory diagnosis of viral infections, and prevention and control of infection.

Recommended PreparationCLS 301 with a minimum grade of B.; CLS 305 with a minimum grade of B.; CLS 315 with a minimum grade of B.

The Clinical Microbiology course is a comprehensive course which will cover major groups of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, and Mycobacteria. Students will learn correct safety procedures, differentiate BSL’s, disinfection techniques, and BSC use. Study current trends in antibiotic use and their applications. Additionally study of human parasitic disease and Mycobacterial disease will be covered.

Recommended PreparationCLS 301 with a minimum grade of B.; CLS 315 with a minimum grade of B.; CLS 305 with a minimum grade of B.

The Clinical Hematology course will cover the diagnosis and management of blood cell disorders, anatomy and physiology of hematopoiesis, routine specialized hematology tests, analysis, classification, and monitoring of blood cell abnormalities.

PrerequisiteMust have completed all required core classes.

A student initiated project in the field of clinical laboratory science or a closely related subject area which culminates in a scholarly professional written report and an oral presentation. Grading is by H, S or U only. Course is eligible for an “IP” grade.

Upper-Division Electives

  • 6 courses; 27 quarter units

Students must complete a minimum of 27 quarter units of upper division electives to fulfill the upper-division unit requirements for the B.S. with a Major in Clinical Laboratory Science. The following courses are strongly recommended:

PrerequisiteENG 102

Explores professional speaking and presentations. Identifies and provides practice of theory and skills used in advanced speaking. Teaches creation and integration of text, graphics, audio, and video into presentations. Offers hands-on experience applying theory and methods to create professional presentations.

Focuses on legal and ethical concepts, principles of ethics and law and use in resolving ethical conflicts and dilemmas in health care. Scope of practice, informed consent, employee and patient rights and responsibilities, patient abuse, and the influence of finance and corporate culture will be explored. Sample cases will be analyzed.

A history of the U.S. health care delivery system will be explored to understand the current issues and trends. The changing roles of the components of the system as well as technical, economic, political, and social forces effecting change will be discussed. Inpatient, outpatient, and long term care will be explored.

Focuses on planning, organizing, decision-making, staffing, leading or directing, communication and motivating health care personnel. Evolving trends in management, classic management theories, budget preparation and justification, training design and labor union contracts are explored.

Focuses on the role of informatics in contemporary health care. Wireless and mobile computing, maintaining data integrity, information security and confidentiality and HIPAA, telehealth, and electronic health records (EHR) will be explored.

Focuses on reading and conducting research in health and human performance. Research approaches and procedures will be explored. Examples of various research methods and techniques will be discussed. A research proposal will be developed.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive the Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Clinical Laboratory Science, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University. Upper-division level must consist of 76.5 quarter units and general education must be a minimum of 69 quarter units. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. 

A maximum of up to (6 courses; 27 quarter units) of Upper-Division Electives may be awarded toward the Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences degree (MLT to BSCLS), for students who have;

1. Graduated with an associate degree in Medical Lab Technician (MLT) from a CA* Laboratory Field Service
(LFS) approved MLT training program


2. Passed and submit associated transcripts and certificates for either of the following with an unexpired license

  • a. MLT American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) examination after 6/01/2003


  • b. MLT American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) examination after 1/01/2003.

*Individuals who have received an Associate’s Degree outside the state of CA in Medical Lab Technician and passed the ASCP or AAB can submit transcripts and certificates to determine eligibility.

Estimated time to complete: 27 months

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Assess clinical laboratory practice and procedure by applying the knowledge of technical skills and theory obtained.
  • Identify problems in the clinical laboratory and establish a course of action to correct them.
  • Distinguish among laboratory methods which use advanced analytical, immunological, microbiological, hematological, and molecular techniques.
  • Evaluate laboratory procedure theory, methodology, and results.
  • Utilize critical thinking skills in Clinical Laboratory situations.
  • Produce written work of the standards required by employers in the industry or post graduate programs.


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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

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