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Academic Planning

Clinical Laboratory Science Option

Biotechnology is broadly defined as the application of principles of molecular and cell science to the production of biologically important or industrially useful products. Topics in biotechnology include genetic engineering, pharmaceutical development, and bio-manufacturing.


Students in the Biotechnology major will

  • acquire a strong foundation in the life and chemical sciences,
  • learn how fundamental science is applied to problems through biotechnology,
  • develop basic laboratory skills, perform standard techniques, work with state-of-the-art instrumentation, describe and evaluate analytical methodology used in biotechnology, and
  • become familiar with societal concerns and governmental regulations regarding the biotechnology industry.

One very important strength of this major is the extensive laboratory experience each student receives. In the General option, students are very strongly encouraged to consider Cooperative Education with industry as an integral part of their curriculum. In addition to the General option in Biotechnology, the major also offers the Clinical Laboratory Science option.

Option Overview

The Clinical Laboratory Science Option (CLS) of the Biotechnology major is offered for students who enjoy laboratory work and who would consider a career as a scientist in the laboratory of a hospital, physician group practice, reference lab or in industry.  CLS positions typically call for certified individuals.  To become certified, students must possess a BS degree, have completed a formal clinical education program and pass a national test to demonstrate mastery of the sciences they will practice.  Thus, the CLS option requires an 11 month period of course work at an affiliated School of Clinical Laboratory Science.  The student applies directly to the accredited CLS programs during the Fall semester of their third year (Semester 5). These positions are very competitive and admission into the program depends on GPA, letters of recommendations (3), and an interview at the facility. Current affiliations exist with Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, York Hospital in York, St. Vincent Hospital in Erie and with Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, but temporary affiliations can be made for students as needed.  Students will begin their senior year at the clinical programs after having completed all the basic science and general education courses of their undergraduate program.

Upon completion of the CLS program the graduates will receive a certificate of completion from the NAACLS approved program and a BS degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Attainment of these credentials then allows the student to take the Board of Certification exam for certification and recognition of professional competence as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Greater than 95% of our students successfully complete the program and pass the examination. Graduates enjoy outstanding job opportunities in the clinical environment as well as in the industrial sector – even in times of recession.


Program Goals

  • Graduates will have and be able to communicate an understanding of clinical laboratory science sufficient to qualify for entry-level positions as clinical laboratory scientists or for graduate schools.
  • Graduates will develop basic laboratory skills and be familiar with the standard techniques and equipment used in the modern clinical laboratory.
  • Graduates will generate and interpret data with subsequent application to the solution of novel problems in clinical laboratory science.
  • Graduates will identify career opportunities and professional and ethical issues that concern practitioners in the clinical laboratory science field.


Requirements to enter the major

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better and must complete Chem 110, 111, 112, and Math 140 with a grade of C or better.


Requirements to graduate

To graduate, students must meet all three of the following requirements:

  • 2.0 cumulative GPA;
  • a grade of C or better in two of the following three courses: BMB/Micrb 251, BMB/Micrb 252 & Micrb 201;
  • 400-level Biotc/Micrb/BMB lecture courses (for Biotc majors).


View the most current Suggested Academic Plan for Biotechnology.

Downloadable Academic Forms

View the current Recommended Academic Plan for the Biotechnology, Clinical Laboratory Science Option.

View the current Planning Checksheet for the Biotechnology, Clinical Laboratory Science Option.

For additional Academic Planning Forms please contact (814) 863 - 5487.