How competitive is the CLS training program at UC Davis Health?

Each application cycle the UC Davis Health CLS program may have up to 100 applications with typically 50% of these applications determined as qualified and evaluated.  The selection committee reviews all qualified applications on a standardized and objective scoring rubric. Generally top 10-20% of the qualified applicants are invited for an interview.

 To be a competitive applicant for the UC Davis Health CLS Training Program, a candidate must:

  1. Have current career/workplace ties to the greater Sacramento area or clinical affiliate training sites (Placerville, CA and Modesto, CA).
  2. Meet the UC Davis Health CLS training program published minimum science, cumulative and recent GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  3. Must complete all California CLS Training License required biology coursework with a B grade or higher (courses included in this criteria are: Immunology, Medical Microbiology and Hematology).
  4. Must have the biochemistry, hematology, immunology and medical microbiology coursework completed within five years of initial application.
  5. Must have physics and analytical chemistry completed within seven years of initial application.
  6.  UC Davis Health CLS training program requires completion of either analytical chemistry or quantitative analysis coursework.  The training license requirement has been modified to either analytical chemistry or clinical chemisty; UC Davis Health CLS training program continues to require analytical chemistry.
  7. Communicate an understanding of the role of a CLS professional either through work/volunteer experience or in a compelling personal statement.
  8. Provide recent letters of recommendation with strong support (experience between the applicant and recommending employer/professor should be recent, experience/interaction less than five years from first time application).
  9. Follow the personal statement prompt and directions for submission.

It is expected that 8-14 students will be accepted into the CLS training program each year.  The application deadline for the fall class is January 1 and the deadline for the spring class is September 1.

The applicant must demonstrate a strong interest and motivation in Clinical Laboratory Sciences; have a B.A. or B.S. degree with a GPA of 3.0 or greater both overall and sciences; complete the prerequisite courses of Analytical Chemistry, Immunology, Physics, Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology or Pathogenic Bacteriology, and Hematology 2-3 months before starting the training program; and obtain a valid trainee license from the State of California. For UC Davis students only, if you have taken Chemistry 2 ABC series, you have satisfied the coursework requirement for Analytical Chemistry.

Courses available: 

Folsom Lake College CLS preparatory courses are also available.  Courses include hematology (MEDTEC 330) and Clinical Chemistry (MEDTEC 323), offered spring semester each year.  Clinical Microbiology (MEDTEC 340) and Immunology/Immunohematology (MEDTEC 340) are offered each fall.

Additional Clinical Laboratory Training Opportunities:  

Sutter Health, an affiliate partner of the UC Davis Health CLS training program, offers specialty license training programs in Immunohematology and Clinical Microbiology. More information on these programs can be found at

Laboratory Field Services (LFS):

The state required course work is approved by the State of California Public Health Department, LFS as they grant final approval prior to issuing the required CLS Training License.  LFS may be reached at to inquire about specific coursework prior to taking a class to meet CLS training requirements.

Admission Requirements

  1. B.S./B.A. degree from an accredited university or college in Clinical Science, Biology, Microbiology or equivalent with a minimum of overall and science GPA of 3.0. Course work must meet requirements of the California Department of Health Services, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the National Certification Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel, and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
  2. Course work in biochemistry, hematology, immunology and medical microbiology must be completed within the last five years at the time of application.
  3. Minimum coursework requirements are listed as follows:
    • Chemistry: 16 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours including quantitative analysis (analytical chemistry) and biochemistry.
    • Biological Sciences: 18 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours including medical microbiology, immunology, and hematology.
    • Physics: Three semester hours or equivalent quarter hours, including principles of light and electricity.
    • Mathematics: College algebra or higher.
  4. A valid state of California Clinical Laboratory Science Trainee License at the time when training begins.
  5. Completed application, including a personal statement
  6. Three letters of recommendation from science instructors and/or employers.
  7. No official transcripts are required at application. Transcripts will be requested if selected for an interview.
  8. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE).  Please refer to CDPH CLS trainee license website.
  9. Ability to communicate effectively in English.
  10. A pre-admission background check and health clearance is required of all selected trainees.

Selection Policy

The selection of CLS trainees is based on their academic performance; completion of prerequisite courses; and assessments of recommendations, interviews, work experiences, and statement of interest. The deadline for application for the fall class is January 1; interviews will be held in February or March; and the students will be notified with the decision before April 1 each year.  The deadline for the spring class is September 1; selected candidates will participate in interviews which will be held in October or November, and the students will be notified with the decision on or before January 6 each year.

The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and university policy, prohibits discrimination against or harassment of any person employed by or seeking employment with the university on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status or age. In compliance with the provisions of Article 1, Section 31 of the California Constitution (Proposition 209), the University of California also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran or within the limits imposed by law or university policy, on the basis of citizenship.

In conformance with applicable law and university policy, the University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. The university undertakes affirmative action for underrepresented minorities and women, for persons with disabilities and for Vietnam-era veterans and disabled veterans. Affirmative actions include training programs, outreach efforts, and other positive steps to ensure equal employment opportunity.