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For more info, contact Program Director Nadine A Fydryszewski, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM

Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science

The Nation’s First DCLS Prepares Certified Medical Laboratory Scientists

We offer the first Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) program in the nation. The clinical laboratory science doctorate program prepares certified medical laboratory scientists for advanced practice roles as health care practitioners dedicated to increasing the value of diagnostics through consultation as members of interprofessional healthcare teams and conducting research focusing on evidence of the impact of diagnostics on clinical/health outcomes.

This new healthcare model brings advanced practice medical laboratory scientists into front-line roles in healthcare teams with physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals. The advance practice occurs in several healthcare settings:

  • Patient Care Intervention (PCI) during daily clinical rounds
  • Diagnostic Management Intervention (DMI) with encounters of direct case management request to the clinical laboratory
  • Utilization Review Intervention (URI) through review of reports generated by laboratory information systems
  • Community Intervention (CI) through consumer information response encounters submitted to Lab Tests Online, a global consultation network for patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and the public at large, and other outpatient consumer healthcare settings

The clinical laboratory science doctorate contributes to increasing efficiency, facilitates patient management outcomes, and improves timely access to accurate and appropriate laboratory information by participating directly in patient care decisions, monitoring laboratory utilization, and conducting research on the diagnostic process. DCLS practitioners contribute to the interprofessional health care team and quality healthcare delivery as:

  • Experts in clinical laboratory testing
  • Partners with clinical pathologists involved in clinical rounding and patient care
  • Consultants with clinicians, other healthcare providers, and patients regarding laboratory test selection and test results interpretation
  • Participants interprofessional healthcare team conferences and clinical rounds
  • Researchers conducting outcomes studies that provide evidence-based data that benefit patient care, patient safety, and promote quality and cost-effective utilization of clinical laboratory services
  • Advocates for patients by contributing to the reduction of medical errors

Our clinical laboratory science doctorate program offers:

  • 80 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree
  • Theoretical courses (pre-residency) are web-based (online)
  • Full-time and part-time options for the pre-residency theoretical portion (online courses)
  • Completion of a one year, full-time clinical doctorate residency/practice component
  • Research project conducted during the clinical residency year

Distinguishing features Include:

  • First DCLS program offered in the US
  • Wealth of faculty expertise in clinical laboratory science
  • Convenience of online offerings of theoretical courses (pre-residency)
  • Interprofessional collaboration during the full-time clinical residency
  • Outstanding value of competitive tuition
  • Highly-regarded University reputation

DCLS Full-time and Part-time Options

A part-time option is available for the online pre-residency portion of the program. The residency portion of the program is a one year, full-time clinical residency at an affiliated institution and includes completion of a research project.

  • Full-time:   enroll for a minimum of 9 credits (3 courses) per semester
  • Part-time:  enroll for 3-6 credits (1-2 courses) per semester

Selection of applicants for admission to the DCLS program is a competitive process that is the responsibility of the program faculty/admissions committee. The University places no restrictions on prospective applicants because of their color, creed, race, sex, age, marital status, or national origin. The University recognizes the value of diversity and is committed to providing appropriate support to its student body. The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each application and only the most competitive applicants are invited for an interview.

Clinical Laboratory Science Doctorate program application Deadline: (application and all required documents are due by this date)

  • April 1 for Fall Term

When initially screening DCLS applicants, the admissions committee looks for the following:

  • Ability of the applicant to handle a rigorous science course workload as demonstrated by the applicant’s previous coursework and GPA
  • Career goals that align with the scope of practice of a DCLS as discussed in the personal essay
  • Evidence of professionalism, as demonstrated in the resume/CV, such as:
    • professional society membership
    • professional leadership at local, state, region and/or national level
  • Research interests as discussed in the personal essay
  • Strong written communication skills as demonstrated in the personal essay
  • Commitment to continuous continuing education as demonstrated in the BOC-ASCPCM transcript
  • Baccalaureate degree in CLS or related science from a regionally accredited US institution or equivalent
    • Applicants who have earned a degree from a non-US accredited institution must comply with the applicable University and School policies and submit:
      • Official transcripts sent from the non-US institution directly to Rutgers-School of Health Professions
      • World Education Services (WES) Evaluation of transcripts
        • Only WES evaluation accepted; detailed course and grade evaluation is required
    • TOEFL Exam taken within the last 2 years
      • TOEFL is NOT required if a Bachelor’s degree or higher has been awarded in the U.S. Please note: If applicant has an Associate degree in the U.S. TOEFL scores are required
  • Completion of a NAACLS-accredited Medical Laboratory Science program or equivalent program
  • Professional certification as a generalist Medical Laboratory Scientist MLS(ASCP)CM or equivalent, with proof of continuing certification maintenance
    • Submission of continuing education transcripts is required (i.e. BOC-ASCP, ASCLS P.A.C.E., others)
  • Minimum of three years clinical laboratory experience in the United States, preferably as a generalist medical laboratory scientist
  • Overall minimum GPA of 3.3 and science course cumulative GPA of 3.2
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test scores taken within the last 5 years
  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework from ALL institutions
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Personal essay – A well written, grammatically correct essay is a key expectation and is carefully reviewed by the committee to assess if the applicant should move to the next phase of the admissions process, the interview. The essay should address/discuss:
    • background information
    • career goals and reasons for pursuing the DCLS degree
    • motivation to become an advanced practitioner by earning the DCLS
    • unique life and professional experiences
    • leadership roles in CLS and other life areas
    • research interests
    • positive attributes to bring to the DCLS program and the CLS profession
  • Three letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters should be from individuals who are thoroughly familiar with the candidate’s academic ability, their work ethic and professionalism, and their general characteristics
    • Two letters from a professional supervisor, pathologists, or laboratory managers; Letters from co-workers who do not serve in a supervisory capacity to the applicant are not acceptable
    • One (1) letter from a college professor
  • Personal interview (via video conference); Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an invitation for an interview

Online application

For more information about admissions, please contact the Office of Admissions: or 973-972-5336.

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.

Learning Goals

The goal of the DCLS program is to prepare graduates for advanced practice in clinical laboratory science, instill the importance of the interprofessional team approach to health care and the role of the DCLS on that team, and increase skills in evidence-based practice and research methodologies to conduct translational research in clinical laboratory science.

Learning Outcomes

The DCLS program promotes the general outcomes established for clinical doctorate graduates of Rutgers-School of Health Professions and implements the competencies developed by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) Professional Doctorate Task Force, and the Graduate Task Force of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

These learning outcomes meet the Institute of Medicine’s core competencies for health care professionals, namely, the ability to provide patient-centered care, work in interdisciplinary teams, employ evidence-based practice, apply quality improvement, and utilize informatics. (Institute of Medicine. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. Washington, DC, National Academies Press, 2003).

The graduate of the DCLS program will be able to:

  1. Provide patient-centered, customized consultation services on appropriate test selection and interpretation for the purpose of 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. Direct 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 public and private health policy decision making at all organization and government levels using best evidence.

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.

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

A maximum of 12 credits may be taken as a non-matriculated student. Taking courses as a non-matriculated student does not guarantee acceptance into the program. 

Questions? Contact Nadine A. Fydryszewski, Ph.D., MLS(ASCP)CM program director at 973 972-5089 or