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Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science: FAQ

When are the courses offered?

The majority of courses are offered on a two semester academic schedule in the fall and spring, with limited course offerings in the summer semester. Fall and spring offerings normally last 15-weeks. Summer semester is 10-12 weeks.

If I have earned the Rutgers MS-CLS degree or Graduate Certificate in CLS, can any of those courses/credits apply to the DCLS?

 Yes, credits may be applied to the DCLS. Review will be on an individual basis, and the number of credits/courses that could apply is dependent on faculty review, courses no more than 5 years old, and a grade of “B” or better.

If I have earned the SHP, Dept. of CLS Graduate Certificate in CLS, can any of those courses/credits apply to the DCLS?

If accepted into the DCLS program, 12 credits may be applied to the DCLS. Review will be on an individual basis, and the number of credits/courses that could apply is dependent on faculty review, courses no more than 5 years old, and a grade of “B” or better.

Can I receive transfer credit if I have taken graduate courses at other institutions?

After acceptance into the program a student may apply for transfer credit review for applicable graduate level courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university. Only graduate courses with a grade of "B" or higher and no more than 5 years old are considered for transfer, and all prior courses must first meet the standards of currency, rigor, and applicability as evaluated by program faculty, whose decision is final.

Is there a residency requirement for the program?

There is a one year full time residency requirement for the DCLS. This is the final year of the program and includes clinical practice and research at an affiliated institution.

 Are there standardized test requirements for admission?

Yes, you are required to take a standardized test (e.g., GRE,) for admission.Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test scores must be taken within the last 5 years. Graduate Record Examination General test scores forwarded by ETS to the University (institutional code: R3116). Notes: (a) according to ETS policy, GRE scores are only reportable for 5 years; (b) applicants should take the GRE early enough to ensure that their scores are received by the submission deadline; (c) because the GRE is one of many factors in the admission decision, we do not apply or set any minimum score or cut-off for either the test as a whole or its components.

Are other certifications as a clinical laboratory science professional acceptable for admissions?

No, only professional certification as a generalist Medical Laboratory Scientist from the American Society for Clinical Pathology-Board of Certification, MLS(ASCP)CM with proof of continuing certification maintenance is accepted for admissions for the DCLS.

 How long does it take to complete the program? Is there a time limit?

The pre-clinical residency portion of the program is online. It generally takes full time students 3-4 years to complete this component, while part time students can complete it in 5- 6 years. The clinical residency component is one (1) year, full time at an affiliated health care institution supplemented with online seminar courses. Full time students can complete the degree in 4-5 years, while part time students can complete the degree in 6- 7 years. Students have 10 years to complete the degree.

Who will advise me during the program?

Students are assigned a Dept. of CLS faculty adviser who assists with course selection each semester. In addition, the DCLS Program Director is available to discuss any aspect of the program. Communication is by email or conference call.

What are the tuition and fees for the program?

The University Board of Trustees approves tuition and fees on an annual basis. For more information click here.

 Is financial aid available for students in the DCLS Program?

The best source of information on available financial aid is Student Financial Aid Office. For more information call the Office at 973-972-4376. You may also be eligible for tuition assistance from your employer or for scholarships through your professional association.

How much will I pay for other program costs?

The cost for books, supplies, and printing course materials averages $200 per course. You will also need reliable access to Internet services that includes at least Internet browsing capability and email. If you need to purchase computer hardware, software, or a printer, your costs will increase. Also, for the final clinical practicum (residency) year, students must comply with University Immunizations and Health Requirements for potential exposure to blood borne pathogens (click here - Policies & Requirements).

What are the Technical Standards for the program?

For the Technical Standards that apply to all programs click here. The Disability Compliance Coordinator may be reached at 973-972-8594.

 Is an interview required for admission to the program?

Yes, an interview is required for admission to the DCLS Program. All applicants that meet the admissions criteria will be scheduled for a phone or distance/internet interview with select faculty in the DCLS program.

When do I register for courses?

Prior to the beginning of each semester, dates for student registration are posted on the Academic Calendar.

How do I register for courses?

Students register online each semester as a matriculated student. The assigned faculty adviser will consult about course selection.

What are the requirements for taking online courses?

 Reliable access to Internet services that include Internet browsing capability and email are required.

How are the online courses designed?

Each course is accessible 24/7 during the semester (with the possible occasional exception of time needed to complete upgrades or maintenance). There are no class meetings when all course participants are expected to log on at the same time. You can, therefore, log on whenever it is convenient for you, giving you significant personal choice and control over when and where your learning takes place. It is recommended, however, that you log on to any online course at least three times a week. The most important ingredient in any online course is your participation. The program’s courses have been designed to provide a high level of interaction between you, your course faculty, and fellow students. An ongoing interaction between faculty and students is required. Regular assignments and feedback from the course faculty, and opportunities to participate in group discussions are built into the program. The online delivery system also provides an opportunity for you to interact on a one-to-one basis with faculty and student colleagues in many health-related disciplines from all over the country and, often, internationally.

 I have never taken an online course, what do I do?

The University uses course management technology to deliver online courses. All first time students are required to complete a 2-3 hour online orientation before the start of their first online course. The orientation is designed to introduce the first-time online learner to the online environment and provides practice in using some of the most commonly used features. Most students find that navigating through a Rutgers-SHP online course is fairly easy after completing the orientation.

Do I have access to the University’s library?

As a matriculated or non-matriculated student, you will have online access to resources of the University Libraries. You will have remote access to the library electronic resources and databases, including over 2,000 electronic journal subscriptions and 89 database subscriptions. These resources are not available free to the general public, but are available to registered students. After registering for an online course, you will be provided with instructions for remote access to the restricted library resources.

 Can you describe a typical day or week in an online course?

For the pre-residency competent (web-based theoretical courses) the daily or weekly workload will vary with the number of courses taken. In general, the expectation is a minimum of 9-12 hours per week for each 3-credit course. This typically involves logging on at least three times a week to check for new announcements, participating in the posted discussion topics, working on regular unit readings and assignments, and completing essay-type examinations or course capstone paper/project. The residency portion of the program is full time, one year comprising three semesters, summer, fall and spring, and typically is 5 days a week 6-8 hours a day.

Who teaches the online courses in the DCLS Program?

The online courses are taught by our experienced and dedicated faculty in the Dept. of Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Faculty are experts in their field with many years of professional and educational experience, including the delivery of high quality, student-centered, online education. Most are doctoral-prepared and clinical laboratory science faculty hold generalist and often specialist certification in their disciplines. In addition, adjunct faculty, who are nationally and internationally recognized as experts in CLS also serve as guest faculty.

Are the programs accredited?

The University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.  The Rutgers DCLS in the process of applying for NAACLS accreditation.







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