Program Director:
Sharon McGoldrick, M.Ed.,CLS
State regulated:
California Department of Health Services
Training period:
12 months; August to August and February to February
Application deadline:
August class: January 1; February class: September 1
Affiliate institutions:
Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sacramento, CA
Memorial Medical Center, Modesto, CA
Marshall Medical Center, Placerville, CA
No tuition, no application fees; student is responsible for health clearance vaccines, licensing, and certification exam fees.
Variable, not guaranteed
Class size:
Variable, up to 14
Phone number:
Information Sessions:

Information session/lab tours are offered quarterly- on the first Wednesday of January, April, July, and October at 10 a.m. For additional information and to RSVP please email Sharon McGoldrick at

Program history

The UC Davis Health Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine established the training program in 1942 with the primary goal to provide well-trained laboratory personnel for the medical center and the local community. Since the program’s inception in 1942, more than 600 students have completed the training program and passed the national certification examination. Many UC Davis Health CLS program graduates are employed in the UC Davis Medical Center clinical laboratories.

Mission Statement

The Clinical Laboratory Science Training Program is dedicated to providing trainees with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to excel as entry level, competent clinical laboratory scientists through our instruction and our own example as practicing professionals. Current focus is training students with ties to the greater Sacramento area or rural training partner sites in Placerville, CA and Modesto CA.

Program goals

The goals of the training program are to provide an educational experience for the clinical laboratory science trainee that upon graduation will enable him/her to display entry-level competencies of the profession, successfully pass the licensing and certification examinations and compete successfully for employment. The graduated CLS trainees will assume the role of a health professional in the field of Clinical Laboratory Science, to accept responsibilities as a health care team member and to continue his/her development as a clinical laboratory scientist.

The UC Davis Health CLS training program is a small hospital based program committed to providing well trained entry level Clinical Laboratory professionals to the greater Sacramento area and surrounding rural communities. To that end, the program preferentially selects applicants with ties to the greater Sacramento area or rural training partner sites located in Placerville, CA and Modesto, CA.

Program outcomes

The UC Davis Health Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, in compliance with NAACLS standards, demonstrate student core competencies through the attainment of established goals and objectives. The UC Davis Health Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is proud of its 100% student ASCP examination pass rate over the past ten years which has consistently placed the UC Davis Health CLS Program within the top 10% nationally.

Training Year Graduation Rate Board of Certification
First-time Pass Rate
Job Placement
2009-2019 100% 100% 100%
2020 100% 100% 100%
2021 100% 100% 100%
2022 100% 100% 100%
2023 100% 100% 100%

Program competency objectives

The CLS Training Program is based on a philosophy of education described as competency-based education. The CLS trainees must acquire and demonstrate minimum competency levels in both affective behavioral objectives and technical performance objectives in all assigned clinical rotations. Upon graduation and initial employment, the clinical laboratory scientist of entry level will be proficient in:

  • Demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals, and the public
  • Performing analytical tests of body fluids, cells, and other substances
  • Developing and establishing procedures for collecting, processing, and analyzing biological specimens
  • Integrating and correlating data generated by the various clinical laboratory sections while making decisions regarding possible discrepancies
  • Confirming abnormal results, verifying quality control procedures, executing quality control procedures, and developing solutions to problems concerning the generation of laboratory data
  • Making decisions concerning the results of quality control and quality assurance measures and instituting proper procedures to maintain accuracy and precision
  • Identifying, analyzing, and reporting problems accurately in a timely manner
  • Establishing and performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments as well as identifying appropriate sources for repairs
  • Developing, evaluating, and selecting new techniques, instruments, and methods in terms of their usefulness and practicality within the context of a given laboratory’s personnel, equipment, space, and budgetary resources
  • Establishing and maintaining continuing education as function of growth and maintenance of professional competence
  • Providing leadership in educating other health personnel and community
  • Exercising principles of management, safety, and supervision
  • Maintain and promote standards of excellence in performing and advancing the art and science of CLS
  • Uphold and maintain the dignity and respect of the CLS profession
  • Preserve the dignity and privacy of others
  • Contribute to the general well being of the community

Essential functions for CLS

Functional Expectation Itemized by NAACLS

The CLS student must be able to:

  • Observe visual laboratory presentations of any biologicals being tested for their biochemical, immunological, hematological, and microbiological components.
  • Identify the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biologicals, reagents, or chemical reaction products. Use a clinical grade binocular microscope to recognize the difference between the structure and color (hue, shading, and intensity) of microscopic specimens.
  • Read and understand the meaning of text, numbers, and graphs in print and on visual monitors.
  • Possess intellectual skills of comprehension, measurement, and mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
  • Exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance.
  • Read and understand technical and professional materials.
  • Follow verbal and written instructions in order to independently perform laboratory test procedures.
  • Provide clear instructions to patients before specimen collection.
  • Effectively communicate laboratory results in a sensitive and confidential manner to patients.
  • Communicate and interact with faculty, fellow trainees, staff, and other health care members in a verbal and written manner.
  • Independently prepare papers, laboratory reports, and take paper and laboratory practical examinations.
  • Move freely and safely in the laboratory to reach bench tops, shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or seated in specimen collection chairs.
  • Maneuver common laboratory equipment (micro-pipets, analytical instruments) with mobility necessary to utilize instrumentation and/or perform laboratory procedures.
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, sometimes requiring sitting or standing for periods of several hours.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely to minimize risk or injury to patients, self and others close by.
  • Manage the use of time and organize actions to complete all tasks with realistic restraints.
  • Possess the emotional health to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
  • Perform technical and professional services while experiencing the stress of task-related uncertainty and a distracting environment.
  • Ability to be flexible, creative and adaptive to professional and technical change.
  • Ability to support the activities of fellow trainees and health care professionals to promote a team approach to learning, task completion, and problem solving.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical, responsible and outspoken about errors, and any uncertainties. The student must critically evaluate her or his performance, accept constructive criticism, and seek improvement.


The program is approved by the state of California, Department of Health Services and accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).

State of California
Department of Health Services
Laboratory Field Services
850 Marina Bay Parkway Building P, 1st Floor
Richmond, CA. 94804-6403
5600 N. River Road
Suite 720
Rosemont, Illinois 60018-5119