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Welcome to the State of California 

Information about Clinical Laboratory Scientist and Limited Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee Licenses

The information on this page applies to the Clinical Laboratory Scientist (generalist) trainee license.

For information about CLS Trainee licenses limited to a specialty or subspecialty please click on the limited license type in the list below:


Thank you for your interest in the California Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Generalist Trainee license.
Laboratory Field Services (LFS) requires applicants to submit documentation of academic coursework to qualify for licensure.

For information about CLS and limited CLS licenses please visit the CLS page.


Work experience in California as an unlicensed laboratory staff person will not be accepted as qualification toward any clinical laboratory license.  

Please note that biotech/pharmaceutical, forensic, academic, veterinary, research, and student laboratory experience cannot count as work experience or training for any clinical license. 


Scope of practice

  • This license permits you only to train, not work, as a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist.
  • This license permits you to train in all specialty areas of the clinical laboratory only in Department-approved training programs. A list of approved training programs can be viewed at LFS Approved CLS training programs.


Academic requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (baccalaureate) with specific course requirements:
  • 16 semester or equivalent quarter units of chemistry, which must include clinical chemistry OR analytical and biochemistry.
  • 18 semester or equivalent quarter units of biology, which must include hematology, immunology, and medical microbiology.
  • 3 semester or equivalent quarter units of physics (light and electricity)
Non-US transcripts
  • All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by "Current Members" of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and "Endorsed Members" of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE). This allows LFS to determine if your education is equivalent to a U.S. college or university education. The evaluation service will send an evaluation of your educational institution and academic courses directly to LFS.
  • To obtain an application, instructions, and information, visit their websites at http://www.naces.org/members.html or http://aice-eval.org/members/.
  • If you are an applicant whose education and training/experience is from a non-U.S. school, college, university, or clinical laboratory, please make sure that your name is printed in English on all your transcripts and supporting documents and that it matches your name on the application.



How to Apply for a California Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee License

  • Select the license type for which you are applying from the menu on the application website.
  • You will need a Visa or MasterCard to pay your application fee.
  • Transcripts must be original documents bearing the school, college, or university registrar’s seal, sent directly to LFS from the office of the college or university registrar. Request to have your transcripts mailed to:

Laboratory Field Services - CLS Trainee Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P 1st Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

  • You can check the status of your application online using the application identification number provided upon completion of your application.
  • Incomplete application packages may be abandoned 150 days after registration. All abandoned applicants who wish to re-apply must pay a new non-refundable application fee.


Documents you may need for your application:

  • Official transcript showing your baccalaureate degree.
  •  NACES or AICE course-by-course evaluation.


For additional information you may contact LFSclstrainee@cdph.ca.gov.

Last modified on: 4/4/2017 4:34 PM