Division of Clinical Laboratory Science
Clinical laboratory science (CLS), also called “medical laboratory science,” is the health profession that provides laboratory information and services needed for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The field of clinical laboratory science combines many sciences, including microbiology, hematology, chemistry, molecular biology and immunology. Clinical laboratory scientists perform a variety of laboratory tests, ensure the accuracy of the test results, explain the significance of laboratory test results, and evaluate new methods for laboratory tests. Some of the tests performed in the clinical laboratory are relatively simple. Others, such as DNA analysis and flow cell cytometry, are complex and require extensive education.
Examples of laboratory tests performed by clinical laboratory scientists include
- Detection of the abnormal cells that cause leukemia
- Analysis of cardiac enzyme activity released during a heart attack
- Identification of the type of bacteria causing an infection
- Analysis of the coagulation factors in cases of abnormal bleeding
- Detection of blood group antibodies that cause transfusion reactions
- Analysis of genetic markers for cystic fibrosis
- Typing patients for histocompatibility matches prior to transplantation
Admission to the Program
A maximum of 20 students are chosen for admission each year. Students are selected on the basis of science and mathematics prerequisite courses, grades, a written application, interviews, and letters of recommendation. Successful completion of the prerequisite courses listed under the major does not guarantee admission to the program. Because enrollment is limited, students are encouraged to begin the application process early in the fall preceding the year of enrollment. The first deadline for completed applications is the second Tuesday in January. Completed applications received after that deadline will be considered for admission if positions are available in the program.
Students are subject to the requirements in place when they are admitted to this program; consequently, the requirements described in this catalog particularly apply to students admitted during the 2023–2024 academic year.
First-year and sophomore students interested in the clinical laboratory science (CLS) major have a primary academic advisor assigned in ConnectCarolina. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. The director of the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science is available to meet with current and prospective majors by appointment (see contact information above). The Division of Clinical Laboratory Science provides academic advising for students who are enrolled in the program. Further information on the curriculum may be obtained from the division’s website.
The laboratory facility for first-year clinical laboratory science courses includes individualized work areas with reagents, supplies, and laboratory instruments for students. In senior courses, students develop their skills in state-of-the-art clinical laboratory facilities.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
Clinical laboratory science provides a basis for a broad range of future endeavors. Graduates with a B.S. degree in clinical laboratory science can elect to pursue further study in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, business or management, hospital administration, computer science, education, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, immunology, or another laboratory science area. The Division of Clinical Laboratory Science also offers a master’s degree in clinical laboratory science.
Clinical laboratory scientists are employed in hospital laboratories, commercial laboratories, physicians’ office laboratories, research institutes, clinical trials, and forensic laboratories. Clinical laboratory scientists also may be employed as technical or sales representatives for corporations. Graduates of the program are very successful on national certification exams and enjoy high employment rates. See the alumni section of the website for examples of careers in clinical laboratory science.
Tara C. Moon.
Bai Li, Shawn Luby, Laine Stewart, Sara Taylor, Susan Taylor.
CLSC–Clinical Laboratory Science
A survey of topics in laboratory medicine including transfusions, forensic science, infectious diseases, and hematologic diseases.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Basic mathematical principles, calculations, quality assurance, and method validation relevant to the clinical laboratory.
Majors only. Basic skills associated with the clinical laboratory including pipetting, spectrophotometry, standard curves, dilutions, and immunoassays. Molecular methods include small volume pipetting, microwell plating, nucleic acid extraction, and PCR techniques.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. The physical, chemical, and microscopic analysis of body fluids in the clinical laboratory with an emphasis on correlation of laboratory data.
For Clinical Laboratory Science majors only. The physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine with an emphasis on the correlation of laboratory data.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Physiological biochemistry of the metabolic pathways and alterations in selected diseases. Also includes principles and applications of molecular techniques in the clinical laboratory.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Introduction to normal hematopoiesis, blood cell function and identification, hematologic tests, principles of hemostasis, and hemostasis disorders.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Basic clinical assays for identification and evaluation of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets with an emphasis on microscopy. Also includes coagulation testing.
Majors only. Hematologic disorders involving erythrocytes and leukocytes, with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of laboratory data.
Majors only. Microscopic identification and evaluation of abnormal erythrocyte and leukocyte morphology, correlation with other laboratory data, and clinical interpretation.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Basic immunology and serology. Innate and immune body defenses. The development and properties of cellular and humoral elements and their alterations in pathological and other conditions.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Study of clinically significant fungi, parasites, and atypical or unusual bacteria. Correlation of disease, disease transmission, mechanisms of pathogenicity, and diagnostic testing.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Clinical laboratory diagnostic methods for human parasitic and fungal infections. Microscopic morphology of fungal organisms and parasites, including their various life cycle forms.
Majors only. Principles and practice of clinical bacteriology. Study of medically significant bacteria with correlation of human disease, mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity, and laboratory diagnostics.
Majors only. A comprehensive course describing bacteria that infect humans. Correlation of diseases and pathological mechanisms of bacteria.
Majors only. An introduction to the methods of analysis used in the clinical chemistry laboratory. Emphasis on the correlation of chemistry laboratory values with disease states.
Majors only. Performance of clinical laboratory assays for significant biochemical molecules. Principles of analysis, quality control, method evaluation, and basic laboratory instrumentation are presented.
Majors only. Introduction to blood group serology with an emphasis on the major blood group systems, pretransfusion testing, and antibody identification.
Majors only. Laboratory techniques for red cell typing, antibody identification, and pretransfusion testing.
Majors only. Laboratory rotation in clinical hematology.
Majors only. Laboratory rotation in clinical coagulation.
Majors only. Laboratory rotation in clinical immunology.
Majors only. Laboratory rotation in clinical microbiology.
Majors only. Laboratory rotation in clinical chemistry.
Laboratory rotation in clinical immunohematology. Majors only.
Majors only. Clinical rotation in histocompatibility, flow cytometry, and hematopoietic progenitor cell laboratories.
Majors only. Foundation in the technical and nontechnical aspects of supervision and management of clinical laboratory testing.
Majors only. An overview of the knowledge of research design and methods commonly used in the clinical laboratory research arena, providing the basis for the critical examination of professional literature.
Majors only. Introduction to the basic principles of clinical laboratory education, including objectives, learning formats, test development, and clinical teaching.
This mentored and self-directed course provides students with research experience in the clinical laboratory field. Students will apply knowledge of research methods to generate results and communicate results to others. This is a clinical laboratory science elective course. Seniors only.