Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program

The Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program at San José State University is a 12 month graduate level certificate program that enables students to obtain a Medical Laboratory Scientist certificate from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, as well as a California Clinical Laboratory Scientist license. 

The program is 52 weeks long. Students spend 32 hours a week training on site at one of our hospital affiliates, and 8 hours a week taking part in formal science coursework.

Link for information on our CGMBS program:

Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Scientist Program

Where is training provided?

We have affiliated hospitals throughout the State of California.  Students who train at hospitals close to campus attend lectures here at San José State University.  Students who train outside of this area participate live online. For a list of our clinical affiliates, see PDF below. (Not all clinical affiliates participate each cycle.  Some sites take student(s) each cycle, others take a student(s) once a year or once every 18 months.)

When does the program begin?

After an interview process, selected students enroll in the program for 3 continuous semesters.  We take two cohorts a year, one beginning in August/September and one in February/March.  The lecture portion of training begins a few weeks in advance of the clinical rotations.  The laboratory training component of training continues for 52 consecutive weeks to meet State of California Requirements.

What are the minimum program requirements?

  • Bachelor Degree in biology or a related field conferred
  • GPA of 2.8 or higher
  • Hematology, Immunology and Medical Microbiology completed with B grades or better within 5 years of application to the program 

All candidates should be able to pass a health screen, drug test, and background check and should be able to provide proof of current immunizations/immunity to Hepatitis B and other infectious diseases as required by the clinical affiliates. 

All prerequisites completed and grades documented with official transcripts (see complete prerequisite list provided in program brochure PDF below). 

Are there additional requirements for applicants with degrees from foreign countries? 

Applicants who have completed prerequisites or degree in a foreign country, please see additional requirements provided in application instruction PDF below.  Note re AACRAO Evaluation from The State of California, Laboratory Field Services:  As of August 15, 2016, AACRAO discontinued its educational transcript evaluation service.  Until further notice, LFS will accept education transcript evaluations completed by "Current Members" of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and "Endorsed Members" of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE).  Evaluations completed before August 15, 2016 will only be accepted if completed by AACRAO.  Please use the links below to view the "Current" and "Endorsed" members of NACES and AICE.

Foreign students must complete a minimum of 12-semester units of upper-division prerequisite coursework in the United States.

How do I apply?

See PDFs at bottom of this page for application instructions and required forms.

When is the application deadline?    

The application deadline for Fall Session is January 15th.

Monday lecture begins late August. Tues - Friday internship begins the first week of September and is one calendar year in length.

Interviews for Fall are usually in mid to late March.

The application deadline for Spring Session is July 15th.

Monday lecture begins mid February. Tuesday - Friday internship begins early March and is one calendar year in length.

Interviews for Spring are usually in late September or early October.

When is the deadline for supporting documents?

All grades and bachelor degree must be documented on transcripts received by our office by the application deadline.  

When should I apply?

Grades for all prerequisite courses and bachelors degree must be posted to transcripts and be available to the selection committee by the application deadline.  It is up to you to plan your application accordingly.  (See SJSU CLS Training Program Brochure PDF below for complete list of prerequisites).

Is it beneficial to apply early?

When we receive any documents, we create a file for each candidate and add additional documents as they arrive.  When we receive an application, it is acknowledged with an email and each candidate is sent a link to a personalized Google Doc where they can track which documents have been received. It is advantageous to begin requesting letters and transcripts well in advance of the application deadline in the event any followup is necessary to ensure your file is complete by the application deadline.

All files are submitted to the selection committee as they are completed.  Any applications not containing the required letters and transcripts by the application deadline will be considered incomplete.  We will accept unofficial transcripts pending receipt of official transcripts for courses that were recently completed, but this must be followed up with official transcripts as soon as grades are posted.

How competitive is the application process?

Each 6-month cycle we receive approximately 140 applications.  Of that number, the selection committee invites 40-45 of the best prepared candidates to interview on campus with representatives of our participating clinical affiliates.  Ultimately we match and train approximately 25 students each cohort (see Interview and Matching Process PDF below for more information).

To be a competitive, a candidate must:

  • Meet our minimum requirements including at least a 2.8 overall GPA
  • Complete and provide grades for all prerequisites
  • Earn a B grade or better in the courses that are particularly key to the profession of a CLS (Immunology Hematology and Medical Microbiology)
  • Write a compelling personal statement
  • Provide strong letters of support
  • Provide evidence of relevant lab skills (we highly recommend labs for Hematology and Medical Microbiology)
Due to the large number of highly qualified candidates, candidates must meet these requirements.

Our program is highly competitive.  We received 147 applications for our Fall 2019 application cohort. Of that number 42 candidates (29% of all candidates) were invited to interview with our clinical affiliates.  For those invited to interview, we have training positions confirmed for 27-30 students (18-20% of all applicants). 

Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply?

Applications are limited to three attempts. Unless a candidate has made significant changes to their application (experience, additional coursework, stronger letters of recommendation, a more compelling personal statement), they will have the same experience with subsequent applications. Re-applicants who may have been invited to interview previously are not guaranteed a subsequent invitation to interview. They must be competitive with the current cohort of applicants. Re-applicants are advised to highlight improvements in their application.


Where can I take the prerequisite courses if they are not offered at my university?

Locally, the prerequisites courses are offered by SJSU, SFSU, UC Berkeley Extension, CSU East Bay and CSU Sacramento.  De Anza College offers Hematology, Immunology, Medical Microbiology and Clinical Chemistry through their MLT program on a seat available basis.  

Online resources include UC Berkeley Extension, University of North Dakota and Weber State University (Please note: if you are considering Weber State University coursework, Medical Microbiology and Quantitative Analysis offered after Spring of 2014 ARE NOT accepted by State of California, Laboratory Field Services as qualifying courses for a CLS Training License).

We encourage candidates to take the lab component for Hematology and Medical Microbiology as they are particularly key to the profession of a CLS.

What is the cost of the program?

The cost of the program is spread out over three semesters, with students taking 15 units each semester for a total of 45 units.  Each unit costs $280. Our students are eligible for federal student loans.

Most of our clinical affiliates offer a stipend ranging from $1,000-$3,000 per month or hire the students training at their facility as a minimum-wage benefited employee.  Currently, there are two sites that do not offer this benefit.

Program Outcomes:

Prospective students can be confident that our program will prepare them for a career as a CLS.  We provide a comprehensive program and are proud of our student's success. 

Graduation/Attrition Rates

100% (235/235) of students who started SJSU CLS Training Program from 2013-2018 successfully graduated from the program.

Board of Certification Pass Rate

99.57% (234/235) of graduates from 2013-2018 passed the ASCP Board of Certification examination within one year of graduation.

Job Placement Rates

99.57% (234/235) of graduates from 2013 to 2018 found employment in the field or in a closely-related field and/or continued their education within one year of graduation


The SJSU CLS Training Program is approved by Laboratory Field Services, a division of the State of California, Department of Public Health (

The program is accredited by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) (, and our graduated students are eligible to take the ASCP national certification exam.  For more information, you can contact NAACLS directly at:  5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018 or by calling 773-714-8880.  You can also reach them on the web by emailing

See PDFs below for more more information.  Prerequisites are listed within the CLS Training Program brochure.

For more Information on career as a CLS see "What is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist" PDF provided below.

Office Hours: 

We are currently unable to offer office hours.  

Please send your inquiries to us via email to  Be as clear and complete as possible in your emails so that we can provide you with the best answers to your questions.

Contact Information:

Michael Bowling, Program Supervisor

Sharlene Washington, Program Coordinator

Suzanne Gayrard, Program Consultant

San José State University, Clinical Laboratory Science Program

One Washington Square

San José, CA  95192-0100


More questions?  Email

Michael Bowling,
Nov 8, 2018, 5:17 PM
Michael Bowling,
Nov 8, 2018, 5:20 PM
Sharlene Washington,
Oct 10, 2018, 9:32 AM
Sharlene Washington,
Jan 25, 2019, 9:25 AM
Sharlene Washington,
Jan 25, 2019, 9:22 AM
Sharlene Washington,
Oct 21, 2014, 2:46 PM
Sharlene Washington,
Jan 25, 2019, 9:16 AM
Sharlene Washington,
Apr 6, 2017, 11:12 AM