dcsimg

Online Colleges for Clinical Laboratory Science

Imagine working behind the scenes to solve some of the greatest medical mysteries known to man. Picture yourself examining samples, running complicated laboratory tests and discovering the hidden cause behind an illness or disease.

With a career in clinical laboratory science, you'll work alongside doctors and other healthcare professionals to discover the inner workings of genetics and the human body. You'll perform crucial tests for healthcare practitioners, evaluate each test for quality and accuracy, and compile your results into written reports.

If all of this sounds exciting, that's because it is. By forging a career in laboratory science, you can work at the forefront of disease discovery and management. Online colleges for clinical laboratory science can train you to work in this rewarding field, but only if you find a program that works for your needs.

This page was created to introduce you to the best online colleges for clinical laboratory science and what they have to offer. If you're ready to begin a career that allows you to change lives and improve human health, keep reading.

Best Online Colleges for Clinical Laboratory Science

The best online colleges for clinical laboratory science offer quality education, flexible coursework and a curriculum that will teach you what you need to know about this career. To come up with a list of the top schools, we used a methodology to rank each school based on specific criteria. The following list includes the top five schools in this niche:

1

University of North Dakota

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,965
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35.18%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
25
School Type
4-year
Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota offers a wide range of online degree programs. Included on that list are a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science and a master's degree in medical laboratory science.

While the University of North Dakota is a top-notch school on its own, certain factors help it stand out. For starters, 86 percent of applicants were accepted in 2014, which is quite a lot. Meanwhile, the fact that the school offers a total of 49 degree programs online makes it a leader in the field of online learning.

Accreditation:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Location:

264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202
2

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$13,427
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
28.71%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
50
School Type
4-year

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell offers an online program for a master of science in clinical laboratory sciences, among other excellent web-based degree programs. Helping this program stand out is its high accessibility rate, along with the fact that the school offers a full 50 online degree programs.

Students who choose this option can select a concentration in clinical research, clinical administration, health informatics, nutritional sciences or public health laboratory sciences.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Location:

1 University Ave.
Lowell, Massachusetts 01854
3

Winston-Salem State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$5,707
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
29.45%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
7
School Type
4-year
Winston-Salem University offers a high-quality online bachelor's degree program in clinical laboratory science. Created for graduates of an accredited medical laboratory technician program, this bridge degree program helps students further their careers in clinical laboratory science.

A key point that helped this program stand out was its high prominence rank. Out of all the degrees awarded by the school in 2014, almost 2.5 percent of the degrees were awarded in clinical laboratory science. This is a relatively high percent when compared to other schools that offer this degree program.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Location:

601 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27110
4

George Washington University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$48,280
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
18.25%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
54
School Type
4-year
George Washington University offers a wide range of degree programs in fields related to clinical laboratory science and health technology. Within clinical laboratory science itself, they offer three online degree programs: a bachelor of science in health sciences and clinical research administration, a bachelor of health sciences in medical laboratory science, and a master of science in health sciences in clinical and translational research.

Helping George Washington earn its spot on this list was its high rate of graduation. In fact, in 2014 the university had a graduation rate of 79 percent. Because of this, the school received the top ranking for this metric among the 17 schools ranked.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

2121 I St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20052
5

Augusta University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$8,072
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23.76%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
11
School Type
4-year
Augusta University, formerly known as Georgia Regents University, offers online programs for a bachelor of science in clinical laboratory science and a master of health science in clinical laboratory science. Students who pick these programs can learn the foundation of clinical laboratory science and the lessons required for licensing.

These programs ranked relatively high in terms of accessibility and prominence when compared to other schools on our list. They ranked six for accessibility and seventh for prominence out of 17 ranked schools. In fact, the school had a 77 percent admittance rate in 2014.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science

Location:

1120 Fifteenth St.
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Want to see additional online colleges for clinical laboratory science?
Search our school directory to find the right program for you.

Degree Overview: Clinical Laboratory Science

Online programs for clinical laboratory science are designed to instruct students how to perform work duties such as collecting and analyzing medical samples. To help prepare graduates for the demands of the field, schools provide a rigorous scientific curriculum that may include laboratory work. This page explores the types of courses that may be found in these programs, as well as the skills students may want to cultivate while they complete their degrees.

Online Clinical Laboratory Science Courses

Although the specific coursework in online programs for clinical laboratory science varies from one department to the next, the following are some of the more common scientific courses that students may find being offered in their program.

  • Biomedical statistics. This course is designed to introduce students to how statistical analysis is conducted in the biomedical field. Some of the specific topics that students may study include the appropriate use of statistical terminology, research designs, data sets, the laws of probability, and the techniques for analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Hematology. Hematology is concerned with diseases and disorders that are related to the blood. This class may cover types of bleeding and clotting disorders, detection and treatment methods, hematology instruments, blood borne pathogen regulations and the collection of hematology specimens.
  • Clinical microbiology. This course focuses on information related to types of bacteria, pathogenic characteristics, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, specimen collection and handling, pathogenic fungi, disease causation, human parasitic organisms and laboratory identification.
  • Parasitology and mycology. This class's purpose is familiarizing students with how parasites and fungal infections are diagnosed and treated. Those who enroll in the course will likely learn about specimen collection and handling, the causes of disease and laboratory identification of parasites and fungi.
  • Immunology. The immune system is instrumental in the body's fight against disease. Students in this class may learn how this system works, as well as the tissues and cells that it is made of. In addition, this course might also cover information on immunoglobulins, antigens and biotherapeutics.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

In addition to the scientific knowledge that online education for clinical laboratory science can provide, these programs may also foster a precise set of skills that graduates need to be successful in their careers. The following are examples of some of these skills students may obtain as they complete their degrees.

  • Detail orientation. Workers in laboratory jobs are required to follow an exact set of instructions for each project they work on. In order to do this, they need to develop detail orientation skills to accurately complete medical tests.
  • Technology. Graduates can expect to use complicated laboratory equipment -- such as cell counters and microscopes -- when they work in the field. To use and maintain this equipment properly, workers should have strong technology skills.
  • Analytical skills. Those who work in laboratories must examine tissue, blood, and urine samples to determine if there are abnormalities in a patient's body. Analytical skills are needed to make accurate decisions about what test results mean.
  • Research. Laboratory technicians and technologists are often required to assist in research studies on issues such as ways to treat and control diseases. This requires an understanding of how the research process works and the best practices for conducting studies.
  • Communication. People in the field regularly share information with colleagues about complicated medical data. When breaking new ground in an area that utilizes such intricate information, good communication skills -- both verbal and written -- are a must.

Clinical Laboratory Science Specializations

Professionals who work in clinical laboratory science positions can access new opportunities for higher salaries, promotion consideration and better job prospects by earning an industry certification. These credentials are provided by the ASCP Board of Certification and can be earned in several categories, including the following:

  • Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for professionals with experience performing successful unaided non-donor blood collections, such as skin punctures and venipunctures.
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant: Workers who have obtained clinical laboratory experience or a degree from a clinical assistant program approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science can receive this certification.
  • Hematology: The hematology certification is for people who have experience completing blood smears, blood count tests and routine coagulation tests. In addition, applicants should demonstrate expertise with instrument maintenance and clinical quality control.
  • Microbiology: Professionals with experience in molecular microbiology, mycology, virology and parasitology can obtain this credential.
  • Diplomate: This designation is for people who have management experience in the field. In order to receive this certification, professionals must demonstrate expertise in financial, personnel and operations management areas.

Clinical Laboratory Science Career Outlook

Once students graduate from an online college for medical laboratory science, they can pursue several interesting careers in this field. That could include careers in management or administration for those who earned bachelor's or master's degrees. It could also include a more hands-on career for people who earned a certificate or associate degree.

The following careers are a couple of the most prominent in clinical laboratory science:

Laboratory Manager
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$136,150
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
13,300
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3.3
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
Laboratory managers oversee nearly everything that goes on within any laboratory or clinical environment. They check equipment levels, ensure quality and cleanliness, and coordinate many of the events and procedures that take place. Some are in charge of hiring and managing scientists, technicians and other staff members. Laboratory managers are also in charge of evaluating tests and equipment for accuracy and making sure each procedure is completed to the highest standards.

Most laboratory managers work in research and development, but some work for the government or in pharmaceuticals.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$62,440
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
62,500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
14
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
Clinical laboratory technologists analyze body fluids and cell samples to collect data for medical studies. They operate sophisticated equipment such as microscopes to perform specific tests or look for abnormalities in lab samples.

Once studies and analysis are complete, clinical laboratory technologists may discuss their findings with physicians, scientists and other medical staff. They also keep detailed records of all tests and their results.

Since clinical laboratory technologists often work in a supervisory role, they are commonly in charge of training medical laboratory technicians and overseeing their work. Most clinical laboratory technologists work in a hospital, while the rest work in laboratories, physician's offices and colleges or universities.
Methodologies and Sources

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 20%
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 30%
  5.  Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

  1. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  2. M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science, Rutgers, http://shrp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/MSCLS/index.html
  3. Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, https://www.uml.edu/Catalog/Graduate/Health-Sciences/Clinical-Lab-Nutritional-Sci/Masters.aspx
  4. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  5. Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, https://online.gwu.edu/medicine-health-sciences
  6. MLT to CLS Bachelor's degree, Winston-Salem University, http://www.wssu.edu/academics/distance-learning/clinical-laboratory-science/default.aspx
  7. Natural Sciences Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/natural-sciences-managers.htm
  8. Welcome to Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Augusta University, http://www.augusta.edu/alliedhealth/mlirs/cls/
  9. Welcome to Medical Laboratory Science, University of North Dakota, http://www.med.und.edu/medical-laboratory-science/
  10. Clinical Laboratory Scientist Preparatory Program, UC Berkeley Extension, Accessed August 2017, https://extension.berkeley.edu/public/category/courseCategoryCertificateProfile.do?method=load&certificateId=33547
  11. Bachelor of Science in CLS, Online, National University, Accessed August 2017, https://www.nu.edu/OurPrograms/SchoolOfHealthAndHumanServices/HealthSciences/Programs/BSCLS.html
  12. Online Medical Laboratory Science, BS, University of Nebraska, Accessed August 2017, http://online.nebraska.edu/program/university-of-nebraska-medical-center-clinical-laboratory-science-bs-bachelor-bs-1436403145994
  13. The Medical Laboratory Sciences Program, George Washington University School of Medicine, Accessed August 2017, https://smhs.gwu.edu/medical-laboratory-sciences/programs
  14. Clinical Laboratory Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Accessed August 2017, https://shp.utmb.edu/ClinicalLaboratorySciences/webcls/ourprograms.asp
  15. Medical laboratory scientist, CareerCentre, Accessed August 2017, http://www.careercentre.dtwd.wa.gov.au/Occupations/Pages/medical-laboratory-scientist.aspx
  16. Clinical Laboratory Scientist, OK.gov, Accessed August 2017, https://www.ok.gov/opm/jfd/x-specs/x14.htm
  17. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2015, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  18. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians, O*NET OnLine, Accessed June 2017, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2012.00
  19. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists, O*NET OnLine, Accessed June 2017, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2011.00
  20. https://www.ascp.org/content/board-of-certification/getcertified
X
Methodologies and Sources