Pre-Professional Advising

Prepare for MLS/CLS/MT Program Admission

Please note: Cal Poly Pomona does not offer any MLS/CLS /MT or MLT program.  The program is listed here merely for the purpose of providing general information about this program to interested CPP students.


A Medical laboratory Scientist (MLS) / Clinical laboratory Scientist (CLS) / Medical Technologist (MT) (these terminologies are equivalent) is a healthcare professional who performs diagnostic analytic tests on body fluids such as blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial fluid, as well as other specimens. MLS/CLS/MT work in clinical laboratories at hospitals, doctor's offices, reference labs, and within the biotechnology industry.

Minimum Pre-requisites for Admission

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Each program has its own prerequisites. Check specific school for detail prerequisites.  To plan for your class schedule, please visit our "Class Schedule and Action Timeline" page for details.
  • In general, the course prerequisites for most of programs include the following:
    • Medical Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Hematology
    • Analytical Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Physics (light and electricity)
    • Mathematics
  • Other courses recommended and/or required:
    • Anatomy
    • Immunohematology
    • Physiology
    • Genetics
    • Molecular Biology
    • Statistics
    • Mycology
    • Parasitology
    • Virology

For foreign degree graduate: transcript evaluation from an acceptable agency and attendance in upper division science courses (30 units) at an US college or university.

Differences Between Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS/CLS/MT) and Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT)

Laboratory Scientists generally have a baccalaureate degree in clinical laboratory science and have completed a formal clinical training program. A MLS/CLS/MT can perform and evaluate complex laboratory tests. Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) generally have an associate’s degree and work under the supervision of MLS/CLS/MT.


Webinar Presentations on CLS and other clinical laboratory career opportunities


CPP "Career Opportunities in Clinical Laboratory" Webinar Presentation Sept. 2023


CPP CLS Webinar Presentation Feb. 2023


Resource Links


National Accrediting Agency for CLS

How to Search  for Accredited  education programs that meet established education standards in clinical laboratory science disciplines of  Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS/CLS/MT), Doctoral Clinical Laboratory Scientist (DCLS), Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) and others?

NAACLS - National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science - Find a Program


CLS Programs in California

Please note: Aside from meeting course-prerequisites and other admission requirements, you should also apply for the CDPH CLS trainee license, which is required to train (NOT WORK) in department approved CLS training program. The license is required for training and must remain active for the duration of the CLS program that you will be trained in.


How to Search  for Lab Field Services Approved CLS and MLT Training Programs in California?

CDPH - Laboratory Personnel Training Programs

CDPH - Approved CLS Training School Programs & Affiliates 2023


California State Licensure

Information concerning the requirements for California State Licensure as a MLS/CLS/MT Trainee as well as a listing of all state licensed training laboratories may be obtained from California State Department of Health Services: Cal State Laboratory Field Services

  • MLS/CLS/MT Trainee License issued by the California State Department of Health Services, Laboratory Field Services is required for employment at CA. 


Additional Useful Sources

American Society for Clinical Pathology (This is the organization that offers the national certification exam)

How to apply for clinical Laboratory Professional Licensing (clinical laboratory scienist/director, medical laboratory technician, cytotechnologist and public health microbiologist)

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Services