Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Clinical Science

College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing
Division of Health Sciences

Program Description


The rapid expansion of basic medical information, methodology, and technology in recent years has increased the demand for highly trained professionals in clinical, research, and teaching laboratories. The training of such specialists as medical technologists (Medical/ Clinical Laboratory Scientists), and Cytotechnologists is all within the broad scope of the field of clinical science.

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Clinical Science is designed to provide baccalaureate-level preparation in the clinical science professions. A strong preclinical curriculum is combined with the science and liberal arts focus of the University. The curriculum at CSUDH is designed to be inclusive of courses required by both the California Department of Public Health for the CLS generalist license and ASCP certification in medical laboratory science.

CSUDH BS graduates are eligible to apply to the Post Baccalaureate Certificate for the clinical internship program in either Medical Technology or Cytotechnology.  Please note that placement in a clinical site is competitive and not guaranteed.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates

The Post Baccalaureate Certificate Program options in Cytotechnology and Medical Technology (Medical/Clinical Laboratory Scientists) provide an academic and clinical route to professional certification and California State licensure. All applicants must apply to the University through Cal State Apply and be admitted to the Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Clinical Science. Refer to the Graduate/Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog for details.

For post-baccalaureate students without a BS degree in either Clinical Science or Cytotechnology from CSUDH, additional coursework at CSUDH is required prior to becoming eligible to apply to the clinical internship program.

Graduates of the program, upon completion of their clinical training and passage of the appropriate certification examination(s), are considered to be clinical laboratory scientists and professionals armed with the technical skills and knowledge theory necessary to meet current and future standards of quality laboratory and health care services practice. The clinical or internship components of both options are offered under the supervision of university faculty, in affiliation with approved, accredited diagnostic healthcare facilities. Students admitted to the certificate program and who are planning to apply to a clinical option internship must meet the entry and prerequisite requirements specified in the Supplemental Criteria and Clinical Science Curriculum.

Pre-Admission Disclosure for Academic Program Leading to Licensure or Credentialing

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the Program Director. Please contact the department.

Features and Accreditation

The Medical Technology program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) located at:

5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: (773) 714-8880

The Cytotechnology clinical program is accredited through The Greater Los Angeles Consortium by the Program Review Committee of the American Society of Cytopathology, sponsored by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) located at:

9355 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

Graduates of each program are eligible for the certification examination of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) and for licensure by the California State Department of Health.

Academic Advisement

Careful and comprehensive advising is a key to student success in the University and entails student, faculty, and University support services. Clinical Science majors are required to consult with an advisor upon admission and each semester before registration. Students must provide the program with copies of transcripts from all institutions attended. Each student should review the University Catalog and become familiar with the academic program and relevant policies and procedures before his/her first advising session. Students in their clinical year meet regularly with an assigned university education coordinator or liaison. Students in the clinical year meet periodically with the Program Director to monitor progress.


High school students are encouraged to take chemistry, biology, and physics in addition to English, a foreign language, fine arts, and computer science courses.

College transfer students should contact their counseling office at their college before admission to CSUDH and contact the College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing Student Success Center after admission to the university to identify appropriate lower division major/minor preparatory courses. Courses in quantitative chemistry, anatomy and physiology, physics, general biology, and statistics are recommended.

Students with foreign degrees must have their transcripts evaluated by an approved external foreign transcript evaluation service and comply with the University's policy on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The evaluation must document an acceptable baccalaureate degree before consideration for clinical placement may be made. The California State Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services will accept the evaluation from “Current Members” of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or “Endorsed Members” of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE)

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Clinical Science provided he or she meets the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in courses used to satisfy the upper-division requirement in the major; and
  3. Recommendation by the Clinical Science faculty.

Students who achieve Honors in Clinical Science will have the information recorded on their transcripts and diplomas.

Practicing Professionals in the Clinical Options

Cytotechnologists are skilled in examining human cellular material in search of abnormalities that are the warning signs of cancer. They perform a variety of diagnostic and research procedures in the cytology laboratory including basic cytologic examinations, staining, and processing of tissue specimens that have been removed by non-invasive techniques, surgery, or fine needle aspiration. Advanced techniques include the use of digital and immunofluorescent microscopy, cytogenetics, and molecular markers. The cytotechnologist is capable of developing a differential diagnosis based on cellular evidence in conjunction with pertinent cognitive knowledge and other clinical data.

The Medical Technologist is also known as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) and/or Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS), depending on the certification obtained. Medical Technologists perform or supervise the performance of clinical laboratory testing in the general and specialized areas of clinical biochemistry, hematology, medical microbiology, immunohematology, immunology, serology, and clinical microscopy. Data collected is correlated to pathophysiology and used by health professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medical Technologists may also review and conduct research activities.

Student Organizations

All Clinical Science Majors and other interested students are encouraged to join and become active in the Clinical Science Club (CSC). For application and other information, contact the club president or advisor to become a member.

Supplemental Admission Criteria and Policies for Clinical Internships

All applicants must first be admitted to the University. However, Admission to the University does not constitute automatic admission to the clinical internship. There is no direct admission into the Clinical Internship program. The clinical internship application is available in the Department. Contact the department based on the following timelines. 

Application Dates for Clinical Internships

Clinical Application Clinical Component Dates Beginning
Cytotechnology February 1-28 Summer Class
Medical Technology October 1-31 Summer Class

For all postbaccalaureate clinical training internships, i.e., Cytotechnology and Medical Technology, Supplemental Admission Criteria apply.

Because clinical facilities in each of the options have a limited number of positions, a limited number of students are admitted to a given option. In addition, clinical positions may not be available to international student visa holders or students not proficient in English. For any clinical class, there may be more qualified applicants than can be accommodated, thereby designating the program as "impacted."

Applicants for clinical placement must have been fully admitted to the University and must have been in residence for two semesters prior to the beginning of the clinical component. BS degree applicants must have completed all graduation requirements with the exception of the preclinical requirement. However, all pre-clinical requirements must be scheduled for completion prior to the start of the clinical internship.

From among the applicants for a Clinical Option, the Committee for Clinical Laboratory Experience (CCLE) will determine those applicants who are accepted to the clinical internship on the basis of the following Supplemental Admission Criteria:

  1. Grade point average in required "pre-clinical course work" (minimum 3.00 on a 4.00 scale). The pre-clinical courses must be completed at CSUDH unless department approval is received.
  2. Completion of the pre-clinical course requirements. A minimum grade of “C” is required for all pre-clinical courses.
  3. Desirable "pattern" of academic performance (i.e., consistency and/or improvement).
  4. Evaluation by the Committee for Clinical Laboratory Experience (CCLE) of the student's potential to succeed in the program and the profession (appearance, attitude, interest, enthusiasm, poise, motivation, expectations, career planning, maturity, social understanding and involvement, flexibility, and stability).
  5. Completion of a minimum of two semesters in residence at CSUDH to complete the preclinical course requirements prior to beginning the clinical training. Evaluation of missing coursework at the time of application will be performed on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director.
  6. Physical, professional, and emotional fitness for the demands of the job as verified by a physician and three letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters should validate relevant work experience and/or knowledge of the field. Accordingly, it is recommended that one be from an employer and the others from faculty teaching for the pre-clinical course work at CSUDH or other institutions. Recommendations should address recent activities.
  7. Clarity of expression (oral and written) and relevant extracurricular activity (e.g., active member or officer of a social club, Clinical Science Club, Science Society, etc.).
  8. Have no felony convictions.
  9. Other factors that will be considered, but which will not guarantee selection are prior qualified application, previous experience in a clinical laboratory setting, and veteran status.

Applicants to the clinical Internship who have repeated pre-clinical courses may have their ranking reduced in the selection process. Repeating a single course more than once is discouraged. After 3 unsuccessful attempts, the applicant is no longer eligible for the Clinical Internship.

The CCLE is composed of university faculty and adjunct faculty from each clinical facility. One or more oral interviews will be required on campus and/or at the clinical facilities.

The program director will notify the applicant of the admission decision in consultation with the Committee for Clinical Laboratory Experience (CCLE). The program director, in consultation with the officials of the affiliated program, determines to which affiliate the student will be placed. Student preference is considered as one factor in the decision. In order to retain admission status, students must communicate their intention to the program director, in writing, within 15 working days following notification of admission. Final placement assumes continued eligibility under supplementary and basic admission criteria. In some cases, the CCLE may require additional coursework or performance levels prior to placement consideration. Failure to satisfy such requirements may disqualify the student from entering the clinical component.

Academic Regulations

For pre-clinical courses, a grade of "C" is the minimum acceptable grade. In the clinical component, a grade of "C" is the minimal acceptable grade. Students in the clinical internship who receive a grade or grades below the acceptable minimum or who show a lack of reasonable progress may be requested to appear before the Committee for Clinical Laboratory Experience and/or placed on academic notice. The committee also considers disciplinary cases. Continued lack of progress, in the opinion of the committee, and with the approval of the department Chairperson, may result in Administrative or Academic Dismissal from the clinical program.


Students are required to furnish their own transportation to and from the clinical facility and in those pre-clinical courses that require field trips.


Laboratory coats are required in the clinical and for most pre-clinical courses.

Essential Functions

A combination of psychomotor and sensory abilities is needed by students to successfully achieve professional entry-level competencies in the clinical sciences. These "Essential Functions" fall into the categories of visual, motor, communications, behavior, and computational:

Essential Functions: Visual

The CLS student must possess sufficient visual acuity to recognize, perform, and analyze findings from clinical procedures, including the necessary skills to:

  • Observe clinical demonstrations.
  • Differentiate color reactions.
  • Characterize physical properties of biologicals and solutions.
  • Distinguish numbers, characters, decimal points, and graphs on an electronic screen.
  • Distinguish numbers, characters, decimal points, and graphs on a hard copy report.
  • Identify stained and unstained structural features of specimens using a binocular bright-field microscope.
  • Match figures, lines, structural and spatial configurations with or apart from each other.
  • Read calibration marks on measuring devices.
  • Observe signs of distress from clients during phlebotomy, injections, or imaging.

Essential Functions: Motor

The CLS students must possess sufficient motor ability to perform clinical diagnostic tests and to manipulate laboratory equipment, including the necessary skills to:

  • Travel to numerous clinical sites for assigned clinical rotations.
  • Position patients for diagnostic procedures.
  • Deliver assistance to clients in distress during phlebotomy.
  • Control and adjust switches, dials, keypads, and/or touchpads on equipment used for laboratory tests and diagnostic procedure.
  • Manipulate equipment used for phlebotomy, injections or fine needle biopsies.
  • Control and adjust devices used for measuring biologicals, chemicals, or radiation.
  • Move about a clinical facility in a safe manner.

Essential Functions: Communications

  • Read, write, and verbalize in English.
  • Read and comprehend technical policy and procedure manuals and test inserts.
  • Follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Instruct clients prior to specimen collection, in preparation for and/or during diagnostic procedures.
  • Take written, computer, and practical examinations.
  • Investigate and prepare a research paper and/or project.

Essential Functions: Behavior

The CLS student must possess sufficient behavioral skills to:

  • Adapt to changes in schedule and/or assignments.
  • Show flexibility and adjust to instruction from multiple clinical practitioners and Adjunct Faculty.
  • Comply with the health, safety, and liability policies listed in the University Catalog.

Essential Function: Computational

The CLS student must possess sufficient computational skills to perform mathematical calculations needed for laboratory data analysis and quality assurance.

Health Insurance

Student health and accident insurance is required during clinical training. It is the responsibility of the student to secure acceptable insurance and present evidence of health insurance before entering the clinical. For additional information, contact the Student Health Center or the affiliate.

Liability Insurance

Clinical affiliates require students to carry professional liability insurance during the clinical component. In those cases, it is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence of such coverage prior to entering the clinical class. An information packet on insurance requirements is included in the Application Packet for Clinical Placement.

Health Requirements

Immune Status

Students selected for internships in the clinical options will be required to demonstrate immunity to measles, mumps, rubella(MMR), and varicella.  Students must also show that they are free from tuberculosis by PPD (TB Mantoux Skin Test), Quantiferon Gold TB test, or chest X-ray, and must present proof of immunity to hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and COVID-19. The seasonal influenza vaccine and additional requirements may be required by specific sites. Students must provide documentation of all the above to the Clinical Science Program Director before beginning training at any affiliated facility.

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Clinical Science students will be offered, at their own expense, vaccination against Hepatitis B at the CSU Dominguez Hills Student Health Center. Students may refuse the vaccine using the approved waiver form. The record of waiver or vaccination must be provided to the clinical facility and on file in the Clinical Sciences department. Students may be vaccinated by their own healthcare provider or by the Department of Public Health. All students are encouraged to consult with their healthcare provider for information on possible adverse effects before being vaccinated.

Physical Examination

Successful applicants will be required to obtain a physical examination including a tuberculin skin test. Additional information on these procedures may be obtained by contacting the program office. The physical examination may be done by the student's family physician or, for a nominal fee, at the Student Health Center. An appointment is advised well in advance of the beginning of the clinical class.

Trainee License

For the clinical year in medical technology, students must obtain a California Clinical Laboratory Technologist Trainee's license before entering the clinical year. The Trainee license is requested online through the LFS website and official transcripts, with the degree, posted, are sent by the registrar's office, directly to:

State of California Department of Health Services Laboratory Field Services Section -PLS Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Building P, 1st Floor, Richmond, California 94804

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Clinical Science programs is to provide high-quality education and professional preparation in cytotechnology and medical technology for a diverse student population, to prepare them for traditional and emerging roles as clinical science professionals. The goals of each of the programs, in addition to preparing entry-level clinical practitioners, are to:

  • Produce clinical scientists who can research, develop, evaluate, and implement clinical skills and procedures utilizing a high degree of independent judgment and applied cognitive knowledge.
  • Consult, where appropriate, with other members of the healthcare team; and
  • Instill within graduates a sense of professionalism, dedication, and commitment to healthcare and their profession that will stay with them throughout their careers.