Frequently Asked Questions

When is the admissions deadline? The deadline for completed applications is the second Tuesday in January. To be most competitive, students should apply to the Division of CLS in the fall semester preceding the year of enrollment. Completed applications received after the January deadline will be considered for admission if positions are available in the program. Qualified students are interviewed early in the spring semester and admissions decisions are made in time for students to register for fall semester courses.

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How many students are accepted? The CLS program accepts 20 students for each class. The number of students is limited so that students will have the best possible educational experiences in the classroom and clinical courses. The small class size allows the faculty to work closely with students to facilitate their academic and professional development.

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What are my chances of being accepted in the CLS program? Students are accepted to the CLS program on the basis of science and math pre-requisite courses, grades, written application, interviews, and letters of recommendation. The CLS admissions committee is looking for applicants who can handle the academic demands of the program and who are excited about a career in clinical laboratory science. In general, the better the grades, the better the chances of acceptance because good grades in science courses indicate that students can do well in the CLS courses. However, an interest in the laboratory profession is also very important and the interview process gives students a chance to talk about career goals and demonstrate their motivation for and knowledge of the laboratory profession.

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Can I apply to the program if I already have a baccalaureate degree? Yes. Students often apply to the program with a baccalaureate degree. If your degree is from a US college or university, you will receive a second degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from UNC after completing the program.

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Can I apply to the program before I have completed all the science and math pre-requisites? Yes. You can apply before you have taken all the pre-requisite science and math pre-requisites courses but you should complete them before the fall semester in which you are entering the program.

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Do I have to complete all my general education requirements before I enter the CLS program? No. Sometimes students have one or two general education courses left to take when they enter the program. Students can take those courses in the summer between the first and second years of the program.

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What if my grades are low? Should I apply? The CLS program will consider applications from students with GPAs of 2.00 or higher who can meet the science and math pre-requisites before entering the program and who have demonstrated a strong interest in clinical laboratory science.

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Is this a good major for me if I want to go to medical school? UNC students who want to go to Medical School should visit the Health Professions Advising Office to discuss their individual situations. Graduates of the UNC- CLS program have gone to medical school and have been very successful. It is important that students choose the CLS major because it matches their interests and talents. If you are not interested in the clinical laboratory curriculum, you will not do well in the courses and that will hurt your chances of going to medical school.

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Is this a good major for me if I want to go to forensic science? There is no one route to a career in forensic science. The CLS program provides a strong background in the concepts and laboratory skills used in forensic laboratories and one of the current UNC-CLS clinical sites includes a forensic laboratory. Graduates of the UNC CLS program have gone into forensics; however, there are generally fewer positions available in forensics than in clinical laboratories.

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Is Clinical Laboratory Science right for me? Clinical laboratory science may be the right career for you if you:

  • like science and the "hands-on" aspects of laboratory science
  • want to use your interest and talents in science to help others
  • are good at solving problems and like to see tasks through to completion
  • want a baccalaureate degree that will allow you to enter a health care profession
  • have good communication skills and can work well with others as a team

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