SCLS Application Requirements

An applicant to the Mercy Hospital St. Louis’ Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program must initially meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher prior to the start of the program
  2. Current enrollment in one of the program’s academic affiliates and eligible for a baccalaureate degree, from the respective university,  upon successful completion of the CLS program
    1. The CLS program is affiliated with:
      1. Fontbonne University, St. Louis, MO
      2. Maryville University, St. Louis, MO
      3. Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
      4. Quincy University, Quincy, IL
      5. Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
      6. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL
      7. University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

Note:  A non-degreed, non-affiliated applicant may be considered if space is available and the individual’s respective college or university agrees to certain terms of cooperation.  The program director can provide further details.

Additional criteria for application includes:

  1. A minimum science grade point average of 2.75 and a minimum math grade point average of 2.5 based on a 4.0 scale
  2. Residence in the local area (Eastern Missouri/Southern Illinois), attendance at an area college or university or moving to the area prior to the start of the program
  3. Ability to meet the essential functions of the program
    1. These functions represent the essential non-academic requirements of the program and profession.
      1. Essential Functions
        1. Vision
          1. Read microscopic materials.
          2. Discriminate colors.
          3. Read graphs, charts and instrument scales.
          4. Complete reports accurately.
        2. Speech and hearing
          1. Communicate effectively with patients and medical staff.
        3. Physical Strength and Mobility
          1. Sit, stand and walk.
          2. Lift and carry objects up to 50 pounds.
          3. Bend, squat, reach forward, reach overhead, lift floor to waist and list waist to overhead.
          4. Push or pull objects with one or both hands.
        4. Fine motor ability (hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity)
          1. Perform all laboratory procedures (pipette, operate instrument, collect blood samples, plate bacterial sample, etc.).
        5. Physiological stability
          1. Recognize emergency situations and take appropriate action.
  4. Completion of the following minimum prerequisite coursework*/**/***/****:
    1. Minimum of sixteen (16) semester hours in Chemistry
      1. A biochemistry or organic chemistry course must be included.
        1. A biochemistry course is highly recommended.
      2. At least three of the chemistry courses must include laboratory experience.
    2. Minimum of sixteen (16) semester hours in Biology
      1. A microbiology course, with a laboratory experience, must be included.
      2. An immunology course must be included.
      3. Either a physiology course or the content area of physiology must be included within another course.
        1. The applicant will be required to submit a course syllabus to document the content area of physiology is covered within another course.
      4. A genetics or molecular biology course must be included.
      5. At least one biology course, in addition to Microbiology, must include a laboratory experience.
    3. One (1) statistics course

* The content of the prerequisite chemistry and biology courses must be considered applicable towards a major in either of those degree fields or a major in medical laboratory science/clinical laboratory science/medical technology.

** The program director may waive one prerequisite course provided the applicant can document the content is covered within another course.  A course syllabus will be required to document the content.

***  An applicant who has completed a baccalaureate degree and prerequisite coursework more than seven years prior to application must demonstrate current knowledge in chemistry and biology especially microbiology.  This can be done by work experience or additional coursework.  Please contact the program director for further details.

**** Prerequisite coursework can be taken at a university or college as a non-degree seeking student if an individual’s degree has been previously awarded but all coursework must be completed prior to the June start of the program if the applicant is selected for admission to the program.

An applicant who has obtained a degree outside of the United States must also meet the following criteria:

  1.  Possess the appropriate immigration status and form(s) to study in the United States and complete the CLS program.
    1. Neither admission to nor successful completion of the CLS program guarantees an offer of employment with Mercy.  Mercy does not currently sponsor immigration visas for employment in clinical laboratory positions.  Any applicant, who cannot legally be employed without such sponsorship at the time of application for a position within Mercy, will not be considered for employment.
  2. Submit a transcript evaluation performed by an approved transcript evaluation service.  The program director can provide a listing of approved agencies.
    1. This can be a lengthy process and should be initiated before applying to the CLS program.
    2. A course by course report, listing the United States equivalency for each credential and United States semester credits and grades for each course, is required.  The completed evaluation should be sent directly to the program director.
  3. Meet one of the following options:
    1. Submit an official TOEFL score.
      1. Upon completion of the TEOFL examination, results should be sent directly to the program. The CLS program’s institution (DI) code is 6049 (Mercy Hospital St. Louis).
      2. The program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the internet based test and 550 on the paper based test.
    2. Successfully complete at least two (2) biology or chemistry courses acceptable towards a biology, chemistry or medical laboratory science/clinical laboratory science/medical technology degree.
      1. These courses must be taken in the English language and at an accredited United States university or college.
      2. These courses must be completed with a grade of B- or higher.
    3. Provide documentation of citizenship in a country where English is the official language.
      1. These countries include, but are not limited to, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom and Canada except Quebec.

Other Program Requirements

Students accepted in the CLS program must successfully complete a criminal background check, physical examination and drug screen prior to the start of the program.  They are also required to purchase and maintain health insurance during the program year.


The application and letter of explanation and reference and degree confirmation forms are available via the links provided. The deadline for the completed application and non-refundable fee is Nov. 30.  Classes traditionally begin the last week of June of each year. 

Viable applicants are invited for a program orientation, laboratory tour and personal interview with the program’s admissions committee.  The entire process takes two to three hours.

Admission to the CLS program is on a competitive basis. The CLS program’s admissions committee evaluates each applicant based on academic and non-academic criteria such as science GPA, math GPA, work experience, references, and personal interview.  Eight students are selected for each incoming class. 

Selected students, alternates and others are notified by the third or fourth week of December by the program director.