Academics and Admissions

Student in purple gown looking through a microscope.

The CLS program consists of:

  1. A 16-week semester of didactic and laboratory work
  2. A 40-week off-campus internship at affiliated clinical laboratory sites

For the 40-week off-campus portion, students enroll in special sessions through San Francisco State's College of Professional & Global Education (CPaGE).


First Semester Description Units
CLS 701

Clinical Chemistry and Urinalysis

Overview of clinical biochemisty and renal function. Proper specimen collection, instrumentation, quality assurance,physical and chemical analyses of samples. Case histories and laboratory practice emphasize correlation of laboratory findings and clinical conditions.

CLS 706

Contemporary Clinical Science Issues

Includes modules on 1. Quality control and statistics in the laboratory; 2. Laboratory Administration, Management and Compliance; 3. Research methods.

CLS 731

Clinical Hematology and Hemostasissease states of hematological and hemostasis

Identification of blood cells, pathophysiology, hemostasis mechanisms, and disease states of hematological and hemostasis conditions. Theory and application of hematology procedures with emphasis on detection of abnormalities. Interpretation of clinical cases.

CLS 753

Clinical Microbiology (including Parisitology, Mycology and Molecular Diagnostics)

The principles of diagnostic microbiology that apply to bacteri, fungi, parasites and viruses, including phenotypic and genotypic detection, identification and susceptibility testing using slide and culture evaluation. Correlation of priciples with case studies. Molecular diagnostic theory and clinical practice.

CLS 790

Clinical Serology & Immunohematology

Theory and practice of serology and blood banking, including immune system, autoimmune diseases, red blood cell antigens, compatibility testing, antibody identification, transfusion reactions, current serological methodologies such as ELISA and immunofluorescence. Correlation of laboratory findings with pathophysiology. Interpretation of case studies.

Total   18
Clinical: 40 Weeks Description Units
CLS 702 Clinical Laboratory Internship (4 units of CLS 702 taken twice 8
CLS 705 Clinical Laboratory Internship II (3 units of CLS 705 taken twice) 6
CLS 709 Clinical Laboratory Internship III 3
CLS 707 CLS Bridge to Clinical Practice 3
Total for entire program   38


Laboratory Field Services, the state agency that issues the CLS Trainee license, makes the final determination as to whether courses meet their specifications.

As of August 15, 2016, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) discontinued its educational transcript evaluation services. Until further notice, LFS will accept educational transcript evaluations completed by “Current Members” of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and “Endorsed Members” of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE). Evaluations completed before August 15, 2016 will only be accepted if completed by AACRAO. Please use the links below to view the “Current” and “Endorsed” members of NACES and AICE.

╰┈➤ Guidelines for applying to SFSU CLS Program 

  • Applications to the Grad Division open on March 28 and close on July 15 at midnight for Spring admission 


  • Applications to the Grad Division open on October 1 and close on December 1 at midnight for Fall admission 


*The Cal State Apply Portal limits transcript uploads to four files. If you have multiple transcripts, please combine them into a single file for submission. 
  • Faculty Interview*: (Third Week of August/ Second Week of January)

  • Clinical Affiliate Interview*: (Third Week of October/ Second Week of March)                                                                            *These interviews are scheduled exclusively for invited candidates.

╰┈➤ GPA requirements 

Students will need to have a 3.0 GPA in their earned undergraduate degree or the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units completed or have earned a post-baccalaureate degree.

╰┈➤Essential Course Grade Sheet 

Essential Course Grade Sheet -  Ensure to attach this file when submitting your Cal State Apply Application. Failure to include it will result in your application being deemed incomplete and automatically denied. 

**Please disregard this message on Cal State Apply Portal "Enter pre-requisite course information into the Excel spreadsheet and then “save it as” a PDF for upload."

╰┈➤Statement of Interest: 

Upload a one-page, double-spaced, 500-word count statement of interest in Clinical Laboratory Sciences as a PDF. Briefly outline your reasons for choosing the SFSU Clinical Laboratory Science program, your decision to pursue CLS as your field of study, and describe your preparation for this academic endeavor. Additionally, discuss why you believe our program aligns well with your goals. Include reflections on your future career aspirations, as well as other relevant aspects of your background and interests that may assist the admissions committee in evaluating your readiness and enthusiasm for graduate studies. (Limit: 500 words)

╰┈➤SFSU CLS Letter of Recommendation

  • Must submit three LORs through CSUapply
  • Link sent to the recommender with instructions from CSUapply
  • Applications and recommendations received after the deadline will be declined. For technical issues, contact our advisor at
  • Three letters of recommendation must be from university instructors or workplace supervisors/managers. No more than one out of the three required letters can be from an online instructor.

╰┈➤CLS Trainee Licensing - Laboratory Field Services, California Department of Public Health

California Department of Public Health portal

╰┈➤International Applicants

  • Must hold CA CLS generalist training license (link to apply below)
  •  If you earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a country whose native language is English, the English language testing requirement will be waived.
  • Students holding Green Cards or U.S. citizenship, who obtained their education degrees from foreign institutions, must submit TOEFL scores unless their degrees are from a waivered country)

╰┈➤How to Reapply

All reapplications must be submitted through Cal State Apply. 

  1. Apply to Cal State Apply
  2. Select the term to apply for: Spring or Fall
  3. Sign in with your login/password (previously created)
  4. Click on Add a Program (if you are unable to find the CLS program to add)
  5. Maximum of 3 application attempts per person.

Tuition and Duration of the CLS Program

Tuition Fee: $400 per unit 

Program Duration: 14 months

Program Start Dates: Fall and Spring Semesters

TOTAL tuition cost of program: $400/unit x 38 units = $15,200

****Important Note: Beginning in Spring 2025, tuition will increase to $550 per unit for all students.


Students will enroll through the College of Professional & Global Engagement (CP&GE) courses.The class registration system of San Francisco State University College of Professional & Global Engagement (CP&GE) is a charge-based system. This means:

  1. When you register for a class, financial charges in the amount of the class fees are applied to your account immediately with a payment due date.

  2. If you decide to drop a class for which you have not paid, and the drop is not done by the deadline for a 100% refund, outstanding charges will remain on your account, and you are responsible for them. See Drops & Refunds.

  3. Unpaid charges will result in a placement of a financial obligation hold on student records which prevents future registration, adding classes, receiving diploma and/or transcripts, use of campus facilities and/or other services. The University or its agent has the right to pursue collections in order to repay a delinquent debt owed to the University. If account is placed with an outside collection agency, the account holder may be required to pay all reasonable collection costs, including legal fees. Delinquent charges owed to the University will be submitted to the Franchise Tax Board for tax refund offset.

  4. When you enroll online at SF State Gateway, both your fees owed and due date will display in the Finances section of your Student Center within 24 hours of registering. To see your class fees charges and payment due date immediately after registration, use the Find Due Date and Payment Instructions Guide. Full fees are payable as soon as students are registered. If full payment is not received by the end of the day on the payment due date, students will be dropped for non-payment.

  5. For open University and semester-length academic credit courses, you will be able to drop and swap courses with no financial impact up until the Last Day to Drop on the Calendar & Deadlines.

College of Professional & Global Education (CPaGE) offers financial aid assistance through the Office of Student Financial Aid. This office plays a crucial role in supporting students who require financial assistance to pursue their educational goals at the CLS program.

Please click here to familiarize yourself with the application process and apply as soon as you can.

                                                                          ***IMPORTANT NOTE***

Graduate-level financial aid, such as Grad PLUS loans, is only available for degree programs that lead to a graduate degree like a master's or doctorate. Although the CLS certificate program requires a bachelor's degree for admission, it does not result in a graduate degree upon completion. Therefore, the CLS certificate is considered post-baccalaureate coursework rather than a graduate program. This classification makes it ineligible for graduate-level financial aid like the Grad PLUS loan. Students in the CLS certificate program may only qualify for undergraduate-level financial aid options. In order to receive any financial aid, students must be enrolled in at least 6 units for the semester in which they are seeking assistance.

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