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catherine otto program director

For more information, contact Catherine Otto, program director.

M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science

Learn more directly from the program director at our July 9 Virtual Open House at 7 p.m. Advance registration required.

Our 33-credit online M.S. in Clinical Lab Science program is for certified (BOC-ASCP) medical laboratory professionals seeking to advance their knowledge and skills, and develop new proficiencies to meet the challenges of a changing profession and health care system. The clinical laboratory science program prepares students for managerial and leadership roles in clinical laboratory services and the health care industry by expanding skills in:

  • Advanced clinical lab science
  • Management/Leadership/ Strategic planning/Finance
  • Quality assurance/Quality improvement
  • Informatics
  • Health professions education
  • Research

Questions? Contact Catherine Otto, program director at

M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science program structure:

  • 33 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree
  • All courses are web-based (online)
  • Full- and part-time options
  • Graduate project – self-directed, faculty-mentored project designed to address a practical problem or issue in clinical laboratory science and/or health care delivery.

While learning valuable new advanced clinical lab science skills, students have the opportunity to interact on a one-to-one basis with faculty and colleagues from all over the country and internationally through various online asynchronous and synchronous delivery modes and technologies.

Our M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science program offers these distinguishing features:

  • Flexibility of anytime, anywhere education
  • Convenience of entirely online course offerings
  • Wealth of faculty expertise in clinical laboratory science
  • National and international guest lecturers who are experts in the field
  • Growing network of successful alumni
  • Career ladder and advanced education opportunities in the doctoral program (DCLS)
  • Outstanding value of competitive tuition
  • Highly-regarded university reputation
  • Student must maintain a “B” average (GPA 3.0).
  • Students are expected to continually maintain matriculation while enrolled in the program.
  • 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

The majority of students enroll part-time and typically complete the program in 3 to 5 years. Students must complete the program within 6 years (12 semesters) of enrollment.

Questions? Contact Catherine Otto, program director at

The Admissions Selection Process

Selection of applicants for admissions to our M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science 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 application deadline for our clinical lab science program is March 1 for Fall Semester.

  • Professional certification as Medical Laboratory Professional: MLS(ASCP)CM or equivalent
  • 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
  • Overall minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for science courses
  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework from ALL institutions attended.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Personal essay addressing career goals and reasons for pursuing the MS-CLS.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from supervisor, laboratory manager, pathologist and/or college professor who have the knowledge to evaluate the applicant’s academic and professional performance.
  • Personal interview (via conference call or other teleconference mode)
  • Proficiency in written communication to successfully complete frequent writing assignments, exams, and papers required in online course

Online application can be found here.

Questions? Contact Catherine Otto, program director at

Learning Goals

The goal of the M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science program is to advance knowledge through an in-depth study of the disciplines of clinical lab science related to improvement of quality and delivery of laboratory services critical to clinician decision-making and patient care. This includes advanced knowledge in clinical chemistry, hematology/hemostasis, clinical microbiology, infectious disease, immunology, transplantation, transfusion services, emerging trends in clinical laboratory science, education, health policy, models to improve clinical laboratory services, critical analysis, and development of skills in evidence-based practice and research.

These learning outcomes meet the National Academy of Sciences’ (Institute of Medicine) 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 Rutgers MS CLS-MLS Track will be able to:

  1. Critically review, appraise, and synthesize the health sciences literature.
  2. Identify and systematically investigate research questions pertinent to clinical laboratory practice.
  3. Synthesize new concepts, models and theories through appropriate application of empirical knowledge and the scientific method to help resolve clinical laboratory and health sciences issues or problems.
  4. Apply the advanced knowledge and technical skills needed to serve as active contributors and/or leaders in the clinical laboratory science professions.
  5. Apply current knowledge to evaluate or design more effective ways to deliver clinical laboratory and health-related services.
  6. Use a variety of information technologies to address both theoretical and practical problems, enhance communication, and disseminate knowledge to applicable audiences and interest groups.
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in both oral and written communication, using both scholarly and technical formats.
  8. Work collaboratively with others to advance the scientific bases of knowledge in clinical laboratory science via ongoing scholarship.
  9. Integrate basic principles of ethics and cultural sensitivity within all interpersonal and professional activities.

The curriculum consists of core and electives in the areas of advanced science, research, and professional courses.

See a listing of core and elective course required for degree completion and access course syllabi.

Questions? Contact Catherine Otto, program director at

“The MS-CLS program has been a wise investment in my current and future career. The instructors are passionate about science in medicine and are truly effective in educating and empowering the next generation of CLS professionals.” – Regina, Class of 2017

“The MS-CLS at Rutgers was a great learning experience. I gained additional experience in laboratory management, lab QA/QC and research methods. Overall, this advanced knowledge prepared me for a career in research and management within the laboratory.  I would strongly recommend the MS-CLS program at Rutgers for those who are seeking advancement in the laboratory career.” –  Niki, Class of 2017

“I want to thank you for all you and the program have done for me. I have been able to take what I have learned and applied it in so many areas. With the added knowledge, I’ve been able to lead the strategic planning for my company and it looks like I have a big promotion coming my way.” – Mark, Class of 2016

“I found the MS-CLS courses academically challenging and completely relevant. I am very grateful that the degree gave me the background for my new position in the Molecular Pathology lab.” – Nancy, Class of 2015

“I want to extend my gratitude for all the support and assistance I received in the process of developing my poster presentation based on my graduate project for the ASCLS national meeting, and winning the Graduate Poster Presentation Award. It was a phenomenal experience and a true indication of the dedication of my professors and advisors. Your impact on me, in my life and in my professional experience, is immeasurable.” –  Katie, Class of 2015

Relevant Professional Website:

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science: 

ASCLS E& R Funds Scholarships/Grants:

Alpha Mu Tau Fraternity (AMTF) Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarships

The majority of the online 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 semesters are normally 15-weeks. Summer semester is 10-12 weeks. 
A maximum of 12 credits can be taken as a non-matriculated student, based on meeting the specific course pre-requisite, program director approval, and available seats in the course. 
Although the degree can be completed in 12-15 months by attending full-time, a student has 6 years to complete the degree requirements. Most students pursue the degree as part-time over 2 to 3 years. 
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 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. 
Students are assigned a Department of Clinical Laboratory and Medical Imaging Sciences faculty adviser who assists with course selection each semester. In addition, the MS-CLS Program Director is available to discuss any aspect of the program. Communication is by email or conference call. 
Students register online each semester as a matriculated student. The assigned faculty adviser provides a Registration PIN for each semester after consultation about course selection. 
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 per 3-credit online course. For structured courses, this typically involves logging on at least three times a week to check for new announcements, participating with classmates in posted discussion topics, working on regular unit readings and assignments (usually offline), and completing essay-type examinations or major course capstone project activities. 
Reliable access to Internet services that include Internet browsing capability and email are required. 
The University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. There is no professional accreditation for Master level graduate programs in the clinical laboratory sciences. 
The online courses are taught by experienced and dedicated faculty in the Department of Clinical Laboratory and Medical Imaging 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. 
The MS-CLS Program culminates in a 3-credit, student-directed, faculty-mentored Graduate Project. The MS-CLS Graduate Project is a two-course series that spans 2 semesters and is a prospectively planned and approved research, educational, administrative, community service, or clinical activity designed to support and enhance your ability to apply your graduate experience and achieve tangible outcomes. The project addresses a practical problem or issues in clinical laboratory services and health care delivery.  

Questions? Contact Catherine Otto, program director at

Dept. Home
catherine otto program director

For more information, contact Catherine Otto, program director.