B.S. degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
The B.S. Degree Curriculum
The CLS Program at UNLV is a NAACLS accredited 2+2 CLS Program which means that students openly enroll as a Pre-CLS major during their freshman and sophomore years while they take prerequisite courses. The last two years of the degree program however are restricted enrollment -- students must apply for and be accepted into the upper division program. Enrollment in the Pre-CLS major as a freshman, sophomore or transfer student does not guarantee admission into the upper division professional CLS Program.
Freshman & Sophomore Years
The first two years of the Bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences involve developing a foundation of knowledge in the basic sciences along with completion of the General Education Program. The UNLV General Education Program is designed to help every student develop a broad intellectual background, gain familiarity with a variety of fields of knowledge, and acquire practical skills necessary for analyzing the culture and the world. Upon completion of the General Education core curriculum, students will be able to think critically and independently and so possess a foundation for life-long learning, professional success, and personal development. Students are also required to take a minimum of 4 semesters of Biology and 3-4 semesters of Chemistry along with appropriate math and statistics courses as our Science Foundation requirements.
Upper Division CLS Program
After successful completion of the prerequisite courses, student may formally apply for acceptance into the upper division professional CLS Program.
Enrollment in the Pre-CLS major as a freshman, sophomore, or transfer student does not guarantee admission into the professional CLS Program.
Admissions are primarily for Fall semester - consult a CLS Program advisor for information about Spring semester admissions. The minimum requirements for admission into the Professional Program are:
Eligibility requirements for all upper-division professional CLS major and undergraduate minor or certificate programs are:
- Enrollment in Good Standing at UNLV or admission as a transfer student
- Completion of all university General Education core requirements
- Completion of all Science Foundation prerequisite courses, with the exception of CHEM 474
- Completion of all courses with a minimum grade of C (2.00) in each course
- An overall science GPA and cumulative GPA of 2.50 (3.00 strongly recommended)
- Completed CLS application
In addition to the above academic requirements, students must also undergo a criminal background check and drug screen. Students must maintain medical insurance coverage during enrollment in all upper division CLS campus and clinical courses. A health screen including a TB skin test or chest x-ray and minimum vaccinations are required. See the CLS Application Packet for more information. Applications are due by May 1st of each year, they are reviewed and letters of acceptance or rejection are sent out by June st.
CLS Major Academic Progression:
To maintain academic good standing within the CLS major/minor/certificate, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30 and have no grades less than a C in any required course. Students must also continue to meet the professional standards of safety and behavior in all CLS courses. See the CLS Student and Safety Manuals for additional information on progression, probation and suspension as well as the CLS Code of Conduct.
CLS Major/Minor Graduation Requirements: Graduates must successfully complete 124 credit hours, of which the student is required to complete 55 credits in upper-division CLS course work. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 62 credits from a four-year institution for graduation.
Recommendation: Due to the intensity of the CLS curriculum involving a large number of laboratory course hours and the need to go beyond memorization of information, it is recommended that students who enroll full-time in the CLS curriculum work no more than 20 hours per week. If personal situations require a larger number of work hours, we recommend that students speak with a CLS Program advisor to set up a part-time enrollment plan of study.
Clinical Practicum Experiences: A key part of the students' education occurs in their final semester of their program when they complete clinical practicum courses in each of the CLS disciplines providing them with essential hands-on work experience in one of six Las Vegas area hospitals or two reference laboratories. These real-life setting courses provide the opportunity to synthesize what they have learned in the classroom into actual job experience. Options also exist for specialty clinical practicum educational experiences in research, molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry, toxicology, and forensics.
Current Clinical Training Sites:
- Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff, AZ
- HCA Hospitals (Sunrise, Southern Hills, Mountain View), Las Vegas, NV
- Quest Diagnostics Laboratory, Las Vegas, NV
- St. Rose Dominican Hospitals (DeLima, Siena, San Martin) Las Vegas & Henderson, NV
- University Medical Center, Las Vegas, NV
- Valley Medical Center Hospitals (Valley, Spring Valley, Summerlin) Las Vegas, NV
National Board Exams and State Licensure: After completion of our NAACLS accredited program, students are eligible to sit for the national certification examinations in CLS (NCACLP or ASCP). Successful completion of either of these exams after graduation from the CLS Program provides eligibility for state licensure and employment in a medical laboratory.
Graduates of the CLS Program at UNLV have obtained a 100% pass-rate on the national board exams for the past 8 years with Program mean scores better than 1 standard deviation above the national mean. CLS Program Exam Statistics (pdf)
Employment: Due to the severe shortage of allied health personnel throughout the nation - particularly in the western states - our graduates have all found employment within 1 month of graduation if not before.