BS in Clinical Laboratory Science

The Clinical Laboratory Science Major (CLS) is offered through the Biology Department at Winona State University. This Bachelor of Science major, which is a restructuring of the previous Medical Technology major (MEDT), is intended for career-minded students interested in pursuing certification as a medical technologist by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) or the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA) and employment in a medical laboratory setting, working with human body fluids and tissues. The medical technologist assists the physician by providing vital quantitative information needed in diagnoses and the therapeutic management of patients.

Students complete a four-year sequence of courses: three years of classes at the Winona State University campus and one year in a clinical laboratory, where the skills of the profession are acquired. Upon completion of the four-year sequence, a baccalaureate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science is conferred by Winona State University. After completing board examinations, individuals with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science are eligible for employment as medical technologist in clinical settings, where they are responsible for routine laboratory tests on body fluids. At a large hospital or clinic, an individual will usually work primarily in one area of the field, such as clinical chemistry testing or maintaining a blood bank. Many smaller institutions assign more diverse duties to broadly-trained medical technologists. Students with degrees in Clinical Laboratory Science are also sought by employers for positions in diagnostic and research laboratories across the country.

Winona State University has enjoyed a very enviable placement record for the past thirty years, with over 90 percent of our students being placed in the clinical training facility of their choice. Presently, Winona State University is affiliated with accredited clinical laboratory professional programs at the following hospitals/medical centers, and we are actively working to establish additional sites for students to complete their clinical training: Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois; Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines, Iowa; Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Allen College, Waterloo, Iowa; Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minnesota.

WSU majors have also completed their clinical practicums at the University of Iowa and Duke University. Other hospitals/medical centers which have offered temporary affiliations with WSU include: Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Loyola Medical Center, Maywood and Illinois.

Additional information on Clinical Laboratory Science and other Allied Health careers, including addresses of clinical sites, can be found in the Allied Health Educational Directory, which is published by the American Medical Association and is annually updated in the WSU library.

Students entering Clinical Laboratory Science are normally expected to have completed a rigorous, college preparatory high school curriculum including 4 years of English, 3 years of Math and 3 years of science (biology, chemistry and physics).

Winona State University requires at least 128 semester hours of credit for graduation with a baccalaureate degree. For the Clinical Laboratory Science major, this includes both pre- professional classroom instruction and clinical study. This gives the student a very strong, sound background in chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics. At the same time, the student acquires a very good liberal arts background from the general education requirements of the baccalaureate degree. Because of a complex, busy schedule and time constraints, it is essential that all students who wish to complete a CLS major in four years carefully plan their individual programs with a Director of Clinical Laboratory Science. Many of the required courses are only taught once per year and so it is very important to work very closely with your faculty advisor in planning your schedule. Further, because the biology department enforces the prerequisites established for its offerings, students should make every effort to complete the first- and second-year sequence of courses according to the recommended schedule. Note that these are required for enrollment in upper-level elective courses in biology. Inappropriate course selection could result in scheduling conflicts in later semesters and possible delays in attaining eligibility for clinical training.

There are many ways to progress through the CLS major and it is not possible to detail each of them. The idealized schedule detailed below can allow a student to graduate in the standard four- year program. Careful attention should be given to the selection of general education courses which will satisfy each of the various categories listed in the WSU catalog. A checklist is provided which can be used to track progress in the CLS major. However: please note that the CLS program is new (2006) and its requirements will almost certainly have to be modified to meet clinical and accreditation requirements. Again, you must work closely with your CLS advisor when selecting classes.