Clinical Laboratory Science Certificate

Our Program   How to Apply   Certification Rates   Selection Process   Background Preparation   Clinical Laboratory Experience   Faculty   Job Outlook   Gainful Employment

Become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. A clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) performs a full range of laboratory tests from simple cholesterol screenings to more complex tests to uncover diseases such as AIDS, diabetes and cancer. As a clinical laboratory scientist (also known as a medical laboratory scientist) you will be responsible for confirming the accuracy of test results and reporting laboratory findings to the pathologist and the patient's physician.

You will work quickly and carefully. As a clinical laboratory scientist you hold life and death in your hands because the information you give to the doctor influences the medical treatment that a patient receives.

The clinical laboratory scientist works with microscopes, complex electronic equipment, computers and precision instruments. 

Our Program

Our 45-week certificate program includes intensive classroom instruction and clinical laboratory experience.  You will gain the intellectual tools to understand disease processes and the corresponding laboratory skills needed to assist physicians with diagnosis and treatment of their patients. You will learn to perform a wide variety of laboratory tests ranging from simple one step to complex multiple step procedures. You will also learn to operate complex equipment, computers, microscopes and precision instruments, and how to use equipment such as pipettes, inoculating loops and other equipment used in manual testing methods.

The CLS program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

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ASCP MLS Certification Exam First Time Pass Rates


National Passing Percentage

MCHS CLS Program Passing Percentage

Number Passing Exam

Number Taking Exam






2011 - 2013 Three year combined





How to Apply

College Admission First
The first step in the admissions process is to apply using the Mercy College Application.  Early application is encouraged.  For a complete list of College and program application deadlines, click here.  

Program Admission Second
We accept 12 students into the CLS program each year. Your admission into this program is on a competitive basis. Meeting the minimum criteria or being admitted into Mercy College does not guarantee admission into the program.

The application and transcript deadline is October 15. All application materials must be received in the Mercy College Admissions Department by October 15 to be considered for admission. Applicants meeting the admission requirements will be invited to interview with program officials. All interviews must be completed before November 15.

The CLS program is affiliated with several institutions of higher learning. Accepted students from affiliated institutions complete their senior year at Mercy College, earning up to 41 semester hours of upper level science credits. Students from affiliated institutions must complete all other affiliated institution graduation requirements to qualify for a B.A. or B.S. degree upon completion of the CLS certificate at Mercy College.

Students from non-affiliated colleges and universities are eligible to apply if they have completed or will have completed a B.A. or B.S. degree before the program begins and meet all academic requirements.

Prospective students who are interested in the CLS Certificate may want to also consider admission to the Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Track Three at Mercy College.

Selection Process

Following the October 15 application and transcript deadline, the process to select students begins. Each qualified applicant is invited to interview with program officials and tour the laboratory. Complete applications are reviewed by the selection committee, which considers the following:

  • Types and difficulty of courses taken
  • Evidence of well-rounded education, such as better than average grade in English composition
  • Courses taken that are not required but are recommended
  • Work experience
  • Volunteer and extra-curricular activities
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Activities that indicate social consciousness and involvement
  • Essay
  • Cumulative and science GPA


  • Acceptance letters are sent to accepted students by December 1.
  • Accepted students must reply to Mercy College to accept or decline the offered position by December 15.
  • Application eligibility does not guarantee acceptance.

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Background Preparation

Students must complete the following undergraduate coursework with a "C" (not "C-") or higher prior to beginning the CLS program: sixteen (16) semester hours of Chemistry, including Biochemistry and/or Organic Chemistry that are part of a science major curriculum; sixteen (16) semester hours of Biology, including Immunology and Microbiology that are part of a science major curriculum; and three (3) semester hours of college level mathematics at the algebra level or above.

Clinical Laboratory Experience

Students experience direct lab instruction in Mercy Medical Center’s clinical laboratory. Mercy Medical Center’s progressive, modern clinical laboratory performs an average of 200,000 analytical procedures each month to help diagnose and treat patients throughout the community. Students work one-on-one with clinical laboratory scientists throughout the curriculum. Working alongside Mercy’s experts in clinical laboratory science and other health professions will be a valuable resource in your academic and professional development.

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The CLS program includes a full-time program chair and two full-time CLS Instructors as well clinical laboratory scientist preceptors in the clinical laboratory assuring you an exceptional level of personalized instruction.

Job Outlook

Once you have completed your CLS certificate, you will have the knowledge and clinical laboratory experience needed to become a nationally certified medical laboratory scientist. You will be eligible to sit for the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification.

There is currently a shortage of Clinical Laboratory Scientists/Medical Technologists, and they are in demand across the country. Graduates of the CLS program at Mercy College will find career opportunities in hospitals, independent clinical laboratories, blood centers, industry, universities, government laboratories, and research facilities. Faster-than-average job growth is expected to arise as our population ages and experiences an increased need for diagnosing and treating diseases. For more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities go the the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Gainful Employment

To view the graduation, employment, tuition, and debt information referred to as the "Gainful Employment Disclosures", please click here.

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