Department of Biological Sciences

Bachelor of Science - Clinical Laboratory Science

Under the direction of a pathologist, clinical laboratory scientists perform laboratory tests on body fluids and tissues to aid in the diagnosis of disease and to assess responses to treatment. A highly skilled profession, Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) requires the solid background in the sciences provided at Western Illinois University and the expertise in the use of complex and precise instruments obtained at the affiliated school of CLS. At Western, students develop the ability to work closely with other healthcare professionals. This development includes learning to communicate technical information to physicians, other medical specialists, or laypersons in an understandable manner. At Western, each student receives a broad-based education, including many liberal arts courses. Three years are completed at Western, and a fourth year is completed at an affiliated CLS school.


Clinical laboratory scientists are in great demand, and currently Western graduates have a 100% placement rate. Graduates are working in a number of public and private hospitals in research laboratories in Illinois and other states. They are practicing in physicians’ and veterinarians’ clinics and offices, in the Armed Forces, in civil service and environmental agencies, in higher education as educators and administrators, and as service and sales representatives for manufacturers of laboratory instruments or pharmaceutical companies. Clinical laboratory scientists holding a bachelor’s degree can pursue graduate study in such fields as hematology, microbiology, cytogenetics, clinical chemistry, and medical education.

View the specific degree requirements and course descriptions in the Undergraduate Catalog.