What Degree Programs Are Available in Clinical Laboratory Science?

A clinical laboratory science degree at the undergraduate or graduate level can open up employment opportunities in clinical or research settings. Individuals can obtain associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees in this field. Here you'll learn more about each degree program available in clinical laboratory science. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Associate's Degree Programs in Clinical Laboratory Science

Associate's degree programs are available in medical laboratory technology or medical lab sciences. These programs prepare students to work in laboratories and assist technologists and clinical lab scientists with lab procedures. The degree program also teaches students about lab safety procedures, lab equipment maintenance and set up, and lab area sterilization. Courses in an associate degree program may include:

  • Clinical lab science overview
  • Clinical microbiology
  • Laboratory practices/operations

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A bachelor's degree program in clinical laboratory science teaches students how to perform diagnostic lab tests for physicians to use to diagnose and treat patients. Students learn how to test fluid, blood and tissue specimens while operating complex lab equipment. A four-year degree program prepares students to take the national certification exam by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, which can provide more employment opportunities. People with a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science work in hospitals, clinics, private labs or pharmaceutical companies. Courses students could expect to take in this program include:

  • Clinical hematology
  • Clinical chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Clinical microbiology

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs allow students to further develop their skills in clinical lab science. Grad students can focus on research work that culminates in a thesis or project-based work that involves more hands-on training in a clinical setting. Clinical lab scientists who are pursuing graduate degrees can establish their professional credibility and advance to higher administrative positions in lab, education or research settings. Coursework could provide advanced studies in:

  • Molecular biology
  • Immunohematology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Molecular diagnostics

Doctoral Degree Programs

Ph.D. programs in clinical laboratory science are not as common as undergraduate and master's degree programs in this field of study. A doctorate could be necessary to achieve the highest administrative level in hospitals, clinics, educational institutions or research facilities. These programs tend to focus on research methodologies, data analysis and interpretation. Courses will address advanced topics in many of the subjects studied in the aforementioned programs and the curricula of these programs could include more in the way of seminars, research projects and clinical experiences.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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