Clinical Laboratory Science (BS)

Microbiology Lab

Combine your love of science with technical laboratory skills to help doctors and patients find the answers they’re looking for.

Why study clinical laboratory science?

The professionals working behind the scenes play a vital role in our healthcare system; after all, doctors can’t make a diagnosis without the scientific knowledge and analytical skills of a clinical laboratory scientist.

Medical laboratory technicians and technologists are in high demand; they can serve multiple hospital departments, work at diagnostic labs and blood banks, or find positions in physician’s offices or outpatient centers. U.S. News & World Report ranked clinical lab tech #19 on its Top 100 healthcare support careers list for 2020.

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Career Outlook & Success


Of our graduates are hired into the field — many directly from their clinical experiences!


Expected job growth rate for Clinical Laboratory Scientists by 2026


Median pay per year (per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Why USF’s 3+1 Degree for Clinical Laboratory Science?

Personal attention and hands-on experience from your first semester.  

Clinical lab science is an exciting, fulfilling field encompassing a range of roles, from phlebotomist and entry-level technicians to supervisory and research positions. If you’re wondering how to become a medical technologist, you should know that many employers prefer or require professional certification for these in-demand roles.

We designed our 3+1 program specifically to prepare you for the technologist (also called clinical laboratory scientist) national certification exam, which requires a bachelor’s degree and one year of clinical experience:

  • During your first three years at USF, you will gain a strong foundation in biology and chemistry through intensive coursework, build career-specific skills in interactive labs, and grow personally and professionally with a values-driven education.
  • All of this experience leads to the +1: putting what you’ve learned into action during a year-long clinical experience with one of our healthcare education partners. This placement might even become your springboard to a full-time position!

Hands-On Learning: A Full Year of Clinical Experience

Working alongside researchers and healthcare professionals in a hospital lab, you will observe, collect, analyze, study, research, and report. You’ll practice compassionate patient care, develop communication skills, and gain an understanding of overall healthcare operations.

Your clinical rotations will give you experience in more than a dozen specialty areas, including:

  • Clinical microbiology
  • Clinical chemistry
  • Serology
  • Blood Bank
  • Urinalysis
  • Parasitology
  • Histology

This breadth of skills and knowledge opens you up to generalist or specialist clinical laboratory scientist careers.


Chemical Research Lab

Faculty and Facilities

You’ll spend a lot of time in our Achatz Hall of Science, where you will learn by doing in state-of-the-art facilities equipped with professional instrumentation and equipment:

  • Biotechnology Lab
  • Microbiology Lab
  • Chemistry Lab
  • Anatomy/Cadaver Lab
  • Genetics Lab

Your clinical experience will take you to regional healthcare organizations such as Parkview Health System, which offer you opportunities to learn and serve in a range of settings and with a variety of systems, tools, and technology.

A knowledgeable, caring faculty lead our on-campus classes, and you’ll engage with and learn from a team of seasoned professionals on-site at the lab.

Campus and Community Involvement

As you prepare to enter a helping profession, you’ll be glad to know USF offers plenty of opportunities for you to serve others through campus ministries, student groups, and service-learning projects.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science?

The USF lab science program prepares you to:

  • Conduct and supervise medical tests, clinical trials, and research experiments
  • Manage clinical laboratories
  • Consult with physicians and clinical researchers on diagnosis, disease causation and spread, and research outcomes.

With this range of skills, you’ll find plenty of variety in the positions available to you as a medical laboratory technician and technologist or a clinical laboratory scientist.

Where You’ll Find Our Graduates

University of Saint Francis is a recognized leader in health sciences education, and our graduates find positions at places such as:

  • Adams Health Network
  • Lutheran Health Network
  • DeKalb Health
  • Methodist Hospitals
  • Parkview Health
  • St. Vincent Health


Grad School and Other Opportunities

A bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science from USF can also prepare you for life sciences and research-related graduate or professional school programs. In fact, our health professions majors represent the largest group of USF graduates who continue their education.

In my experience, USF students have the discipline and mental toughness needed to succeed. They are also very well prepared. We regularly hire USF students into full-time positions when they graduate.

Brian Goff
Laboratory Education & Safety Specialist
Parkview Hospital

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Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

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