School of Clinical Laboratory Science


The clinical laboratory scientist functions as a crucial member of the healthcare team.  This laboratory professional performs tests which assist the physician in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.  Our CLS program provides training in all areas of the clinical laboratory – Blood Bank, Chemistry, Hematology, Immunology, Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics. 

Someone who wants to help people by being a medical detective behind the scenes will find the career very gratifying.  The ideal candidate has a talent for the biological sciences and medicine.  An individual who enjoys solving problems, performing accurate and reliable laboratory tests, interpreting data, correlating test results with potential diseases, managing detailed information, developing and evaluating new tests, and communicating with other members of the healthcare team would prove to be successful in the profession.    

Mission Statement

The School of Clinical Laboratory Science, in keeping with the beliefs, mission and values of the Sisters of Mercy Health System and Mercy Hospital St. Louis, provides the professional component of the clinical laboratory science (medical technology/medical laboratory science) education program to prepare qualified laboratory science practitioners to serve our community.

Faithful to the spirit of our foundress, Catherine McAuley, and marked by the core values of service, justice, excellence, stewardship and respect for the dignity of each person, we strive to:

  • Meet the needs of the community for medical laboratory sciences by educating Clinical Laboratory Scientists/Medical Technologists/Medical Laboratory Scientists, whose knowledge and skills enhance quality patient care.
  • Satisfy the need of local students and affiliated colleges/universities for a    professional learning experience to complete their clinical laboratory science/medical technology/medical laboratory science education.
  • Stimulate the Hospital laboratory staff to maintain the highest level of quality performance and continually update their knowledge and skills to remain current in the profession.


Mercy Hospital St. Louis and its School of Clinical Laboratory Science accepts applications to and participation or employment in the program from individuals without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, military status or any other characteristic protected by law.

The School of Clinical Laboratory Science was founded in 1953.  It is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, 773-714-8880, www.naacls.org.


The fifty-one week program provides a structured educational experience which includes lectures and clinical laboratory rotations.  A student laboratory setting is used to introduce each of the major clinical areas and assist in the development of basic skills and knowledge.  Upon completion of all of the introductory student laboratories, the student is challenged to further develop the knowledge and skills required to perform, interpret and trouble-shoot laboratory services by automated, semi-automated and manual methods in a state-of-the-art medical center laboratory under qualified supervision.


The majority of the clinical education is conducted on the Mercy Hospital St. Louis’ campus.  Other medical facilities, such as Christian Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Mercy Hospital Washington may be utilized for clinical experiences not available on campus.


The program operates Monday through Friday with a typical day beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.  Some educational experiences may only be available outside the normal hours of operation of the program.  Students are advised in advance of these experiences.


Students are evaluated based on their academic achievement, laboratory performance and professional behavior throughout the program year.   


The CLS program awards a certificate upon successful completion of the year.  The certificate plus an appropriate baccalaureate degree allows the student to sit for a national certification examination.

Tuition and Fees


The projected tuition for the clinical year is $5800.00. Tuition is due in twelve monthly installments. A student who withdraws or is dismissed from the program will receive no refund of tuition payments previously due. Tuition is paid directly to the program except for specific universities who require their students to pay tuition to them. These universities reimburse the program a portion of the tuition collected.  The student is responsible for any tuition not covered by the university payment. The program will retain any overpayment for tuition. Contact the program director for further details.


An acceptance deposit of $200.00 is required when a student accepts a position in the program. There is no refund of the acceptance deposit.


Textbooks and references are purchased by the program and loaned to the student for a fee of $200.00. The acceptance fee is credited as the book loan fee.


The student is responsible for providing his or her own health insurance, meals, travel expenses, clothing, school supplies and housing during the program year. The student is also responsible for any fees related to sitting for a national certification examination upon successful completion of the program.


The student will also be required to purchase and maintain health insurance and professional liability insurance policies during the program year.  The program director will provide details prior to the start of the program.


Financial Aid


Students who are registered through a university are eligible for financial aid at the university. The CLS program is not eligible for federal student loan funding. The program director may be able to help identify alternate sources of assistance such as scholarships, scholar loans and loan repayments plans.

Program course descriptions and suggested semester academic credits ( ) include:


MTSJ 401 Clinical Chemistry (9)


The study of the chemical constituents and drugs present in body fluids, their clinical significance and analytical methods of measurement and principles of instrumentation with an emphasis on operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of automated chemical analyzers.


MTSJ 402 Urinalysis (2)


The study of kidney function and performance of related tests with an emphasis on the physical, chemical and microscopic examination of the urine.


MTSJ 403 Hematology (5)


The study and performance of tests related to the quantity and quality of the cellular elements of the blood and body fluids.


MTSJ 404 Hemostasis (2)


The study of the factors involved in the mechanism of blood clotting and performance of differential tests to pinpoint hemostatic disorders.


MTSJ 405 Blood Bank (4)


The study of blood group serology as it applies to the preparation and provision of blood products in transfusion therapy, to include donor collection, component preparation and pre-transfusion testing.


MTSJ 406 Immunology/Serology (3)


The study of the immune system and the tests used to identify its disorders with practical application of immunologic principles to aid in the diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases.


MTSJ 407-1 Microbiology (6)


The study and identification of bacteria of clinical significance using culture, biochemical, molecular and microscopic methods as well as performance and interpretation of bacterial antibiotic susceptibility procedures and the study of viruses and their detection and identification.


MTSJ 407-2 Parasitology (1.5)


The study of medically important parasites to include life cycles, clinical signs and symptoms and diagnostics laboratory methods.


MTSJ 407-3 Mycology (1.5)


The study of medically important fungi and procedures employed in their identification.


MTSJ 408 Education (1)


The study of principles of education and training including objectives, learning activities and evaluation with practical application through a student teaching experience.


MTSJ Management (1)


The study of the basic concepts and principles of the management process with particular emphasis on laboratory operations.


Students must also demonstrate competency in laboratory math, phlebotomy and medical terminology and pass a program comprehensive examination to successfully complete the program.


Each affiliated university determines the exact credit assignments according to their policies and procedures.


A detailed schedule is provided to the student at the start of the program year.

SCLS Policies and Procedures


The following program policies and procedures are available from the program director upon request:

  • Program mission
  • Program goal
  • Criteria for program completion
  • Clinical affiliates and options if these clinical placements are unavailable
  • Graduates' job entry level competencies
  • Advance placement and waiver of coursework
  • Student withdrawal
  • Service work and part-time employment
  • Guidance and counseling
  • Appeal process and grievance
  • Program schedule
  • Curricular structure
  • Rules and regulations
  • Professional behavior
  • Acceptable/Unacceptable performance, remediation, probation and dismissal
  • Disaster plan and teach out plan

MHSL CLS Program Outcomes


Class Number of     
External Certification  
Exam Pass Rate     
2022-2023 8 100% 100% 0% 100%
2021-2022 8 100%**     100%    0% 100%
2020-2021 8 100% 100% 0% 100%


*Graduates who seek employment in the field or continue their education within one year of graduation.

**Graduates who successfully completed the exam within one year of graduation               

The NAACLS accreditation benchmarks are an average certification pass rate of 75%, graduation rate of 70%, and placement rate of 70% for the last three active program years.

Career Outlook

Clinical laboratory scientist graduates may choose to perform testing in all areas of the clinical laboratory as a generalist or specialize in one area such as Microbiology.  With experience, advanced certification is available.  Quality improvement, management of point of care testing, laboratory safety, laboratory management, outreach programs, laboratory information systems, and CLS education are also potential career paths.

The knowledge and skills of the clinical laboratory scientist are valued by other employers such as those in research, forensics, physician office laboratories, veterinary laboratories, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies, laboratory information systems, and other industries including sales, installation, and support of laboratory equipment, supplies and services.

There is a critical shortage of certified clinical laboratory scientists, and the demand is only increasing each year as new tests are developed and those currently working in the field retire. Salaries can range from $56,000 to over $100,000 depending on experience, geographical location, and level of responsibilities.