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Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science

The Nation’s First DCLS Prepares Certified Medical Laboratory Scientists

Rutgers University Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) program prepares certified medical laboratory scientists to be advanced practice healthcare practitioners dedicated to increasing the value of diagnostics through consultation as members of interprofessional healthcare teams and conduct research focused on evidence of the impact of diagnostics on clinical and healthcare outcomes.

This new healthcare model brings advanced practice medical laboratory scientists into front-line roles on healthcare teams with physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals.

The DCLS contribute to increased efficiency, patient management outcomes, improved timely access to accurate and appropriate laboratory information, monitor laboratory utilization, and conducting research on the diagnostic process.

Application deadline for Fall Admissions in March. 1

The DCLS collaborate with interprofessional health care teams and contribute to quality healthcare delivery as:

  • Experts in clinical laboratory testing.
  • Partners with clinical pathologists to improve clinical diagnosis.
  • Consultants with clinicians and other healthcare providers regarding laboratory test selection and test results interpretation.
  • Participants on interprofessional healthcare teams.
  • Researchers conducting outcomes studies providing evidence-based data promotes quality and cost-effective utilization of clinical laboratory services, benefiting patient care and patient safety.
  • Advocates for patients by contributing to the reduction of medical errors.

Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science students complete a one year advanced clinical practice/residency at an affiliate clinical site. The advanced clinical practice/residency learning environment is supplemented by weekly virtual face-to-face advisement sessions. Our program instills an appreciation for advanced clinical practice and research. Students complete a practice-based outcomes research project.

The mission of the Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science Program is to improve people’s lives in New Jersey and beyond, through quality education, innovative research and scholarship, superior service, and improving the quality and delivery of clinical laboratory services.

 The goal of the Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science program is to prepare caring, collaborative, and competent doctoral educated advanced practitioners in clinical laboratory science dedicated to increasing patient safety and the value of clinical laboratory services through consulting, collaborating on the interprofessional team, optimizing test utilization and diagnostic processes, and conducting and applying evidence-based translational research.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Provide patient-centered, customized consultation services on appropriate test selection and interpretation for the purpose of collaborative clinical decision making among the interprofessional health care team and for the patient.
  2. Monitor laboratory data, test utilization, and diagnostic testing processes in individual patients and populations using informatics and analytics to reduce diagnostic errors, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
  3. Conduct research and apply evidence to demonstrate clinical utility of laboratory tests and algorithms and to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of the overall diagnostic testing process.
  4. Educate health care providers, patients, their families, and the general public about the indications, best evidence, patient preparation, and interpretation of clinical laboratory testing, including home self-testing.
  5. Contribute to laboratory operations to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations, as well as guidelines determined by professional boards of licensure, and certification/accreditation agencies.
  6. Participate in health policy decision making at all institutional levels using best evidence.
  7. Demonstrate exemplary professional and ethical behaviors in practice, education, and scholarly activities.

The Doctoral program, Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey is a Candidate for Accreditation by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd, Suite 720 Rosemont IL 60018-5119; 773.714.8880. Candidacy is a “pre-accreditation” status with NAACLS, awarded to developing or emerging programs for a maximum period of 4 years.

Join us at our Virtual Open House. Please register in advance. Registration link coming soon.

November 15 @7pm: Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science

Register Here

December 13 @7pm

Register Here

Selection of applicants for admission to the DCLS program is a competitive process that is the responsibility of the program faculty/admissions committee. The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each application and only the most competitive applicants are invited for an interview.

Application Deadline: Feb. 15 – application and all required supportive documents.

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science (CLS/MLS) or related science from a regionally accredited US institution or equivalent.
  • Completion of a NAACLS-accredited Medical Laboratory Science program or equivalent.
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.3; Science courses cumulative GPA of 3.2.
  • Proof of current professional certification as a generalist Medical Laboratory Scientist MLS(ASCP)CM or equivalent
  • Proof of continuing certification maintenance (copy of current ASCP-BOC CE transcript).
  • Minimum of two years professional experience as a certified medical laboratory scientist in the United States, preferably as a generalist.
  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework from all institutions.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Personal essay (maximum 500 words) addressing reasons for pursuing a DCLS degree, short and long-term career goals, and research interests.
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals, preferably holding a doctoral degree, who are familiar with your professional work, ethics and professionalism (pathologists, laboratory manager/ professional supervisors, professor).

Candidates for admission will be scheduled for an interview with our admissions committee via virtual interview (to be scheduled following review of complete application). The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each application and only the most competitive applicants are invited for an interview.

Applicants who have earned a degree from a non-US accredited institution must provide International transcript evaluation records (courses and grades) from an accepted evaluation agency such as World Evaluation Services (WES) or similar evaluation agency listed on NACES Members  https://www.naces.org/members) and test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) achieve a minimum score of 550 or higher or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) achieve 6.5 or higher.

The University does not discriminate on the basis of race/color, national origin/ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or marital status. The University recognizes the value of diversity and is committed to providing appropriate support to its student body.

The DCLS program offers an innovative educational experience utilizing a blended pedagogy, distance education, and clinical practice. The curriculum includes interdisciplinary theoretical courses and the clinical residency enhances the student’s experiences to interact with other healthcare professionals.

  • 80 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree
  • Completion of a one year, full-time clinical practice/residency component
  • Research project conducted during the residency year.

The DCLS curriculum focuses on four core areas: Advanced Clinical Laboratory Science, Professional, Research, and Clinical Practice/Residency. All pre-residency courses are offered ONLINE and during the residency year, some courses are web-enhanced.

The Diagnostics Consultation Model operationalizes the practice of the DCLS as active members of interprofessional health care teams in a variety of setting and these experiences and research require continuous involvement with inter-professional healthcare teams. The four settings are:

  • Patient Care Intervention (PCI): Daily patient-care clinical rounds with inter-professional healthcare team: attending physician, residents, medical students, DCLS residents, PharmD, Nurses, other healthcare providers.
  • Diagnostics Management Intervention (DMI): Encounters received through direct case management requests to the clinical laboratory with inter-professional team: pathologists, pathology residents, DCLS, clinicians, laboratorians and other healthcare providers.
  • Utilization Review Intervention (URI): Encounters through review of reports generated by the LIS rules with inter-professional team: DCLS, pathologists, pathology residents, laboratorians, clinicians, other healthcare providers i.e. genetic counselors.
  • Community Intervention (CI): Consumer information response encounters via labtestsonline.org and the ASCLS public consultation network, and other community-based settings.
  • Research – conduct outcomes research; research project during practice/residency year

Program requirements and course descriptions

Academic Requirements

  • Student must maintain a “B” average (GPA 3.0).
  • Students are expected to continually maintain matriculation while enrolled in the program.

We are proud to say that the nation’s first Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science graduate received her degree from our program in May 2018. Learn more about Brandy Gunolus’s journey as a trailblazer in the field in Rutgers Today.

The Rutgers DCLS program is the first advanced practice program offered in the U.S. for certified Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS). The program is 80 credits (post baccalaureate degree). When taken on a part-time basis (12-15 credits a year) students generally complete the degree in approximately 5 years, depending on semester credit loads. The program emphasizes interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based advanced practice through courses, the evidence-based clinical practice/residency and a practice-based research project. All courses are offered online.