Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)

Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)

scientist examining evidenceLicensure as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) in California requires a Bachelor’s degree with required coursework to qualify for a CLS Trainee license and entry into a training internship program. The internship is generally one year and includes practical laboratory training in all specialty areas of a cooperating medical laboratory as well as didactic training. After training the candidate must pass a comprehensive written exam* to obtain a California CLS License. Many schools also qualify their students to sit for one or more of the national certifying exams which are used as a benchmark in states without licensing laws. Once licensed, renewal will require 24 Continuing Education units per 2 year licensing cycle.

Required Coursework Includes:

18 semester or equivalent quarter hours of Biological Science

  • Required Courses: Medical Microbiology, Hematology and Immunology
  • Recommended Courses: Parasitology, Virology, Mycology

16 semester or equivalent quarter hours in Chemistry

  • Required Courses: Analytical Chemistry, (Quantitative Analysis) and Biochemistry
  • Recommended Courses: Clinical Chemistry

3 semester or equivalent quarter hours in Physics

  • Including instruction in Principles of Light and Electricity

Laboratory Field Services

Recommends that applicants for the CLS or CLS Limited License apply on-line at the LFS website,  Payment by credit card is required for on-line application.

The California CLS Exam has been phased out because LFS has now certified several national examinations as acceptable for CA licensing. Applicants will still need apply to LFS and pay the license processing fee, are still required to meet California training standards and also to pass a short on-line quiz testing their knowledge of State Law. See the flow diagrams below to see an overview of the application process.

California CLS Generalist Licensing Exam Routes



Approved CLS Training Centers

CLS Training