Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements

Students should complete all prerequisite coursework prior to entrance into the program.

Students who are lacking no more than two non-science prerequisite courses may be considered for admission if they have at least a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0.

Preference is given to students who have completed all prerequisite coursework.

The pre-professional curriculum is composed of 66 semester hours of general education requirements, including:

  1. 12 hours in biology including anatomy and physiology and general biology
  2. CLSC2429 (a microbiology course)
  3. 12 hours in chemistry including organic or biochemistry
  4. Statistics

Other Requirements:

Successful completion of a criminal background check is required for full admission into the clinical laboratory science program. Students will also be required to submit a physical examination form once they are admitted to the program. This must document that they have the required immunizations or proof of immunity including measles, mumps, tetanus/diphtheria, rubella, and the hepatitis B vaccine.


Applicants who plan to utilize coursework more than seven years old in the areas of general chemistry or the biological sciences will be required to demonstrate an up-to-date knowledge in these areas. This may be accomplished by completion of at least one formal course in chemistry and one formal course in the biological sciences within the last five years with a grade of at least a C or one year of relevant experience in the field of clinical laboratory science within the last five years.

Alternate Admission Pathways

  1. A student who does not wish to receive a degree from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley but who wishes to attend the professional portion of the curriculum must meet one of the following requirements:
    • a. International students, who already possess a foreign baccalaureate degree and seek entrance into the Clinical Laboratory Science Program for certification purposes only, must meet all admission requirements of the University and must have their transcript evaluated by agencies acceptable to the National Certification Agencies and the University.  This evaluation must show that their degree is equivalent to a baccalaureate in the United States with appropriate coursework in biology, chemistry and math.
    • b. Students who already possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum of 12 semester hours of chemistry including inorganic and organic or biochemistry, 16 semester hours of biology including microbiology, a college-level math course and a statistics course may also apply to the program.
    • c. Have completed all pre-professional coursework at their parent institution with 16 semester hours of biology, including a course in Microbiology, 12 semester hours of chemistry including organic or biochemistry; 3 semester hours of college level Mathematics, a statistics class and a completed affiliation agreement between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and his/her parent university..
  2. A limited number of students who have completed all prerequisite coursework may apply to the program with a request to pursue coursework on a part-time basis.
  3. Medical Laboratory Technicians with nationally recognized certification such as NCA or ASCP may be granted credit for the following courses following validation by challenge examination: CLSC 3100, 3310, 3530, 3513 and 3420. Students must attain a score of 70% or better on challenge exams. Challenge exams may only be attempted once. In addition, students may shorten the time required to complete practicum course by demonstrating required competency in designated skill areas through practical examinations. Students who desire credit by examination for clinical laboratory science courses must notify the program director prior to their enrollment in these courses. Students must comply with University regulations and no more than 45 total hours may be granted for credit by examination, correspondence or exemption.

Application Procedures

The program starts in the fall semester of each year. In order to be considered for admission during the normal admissions cycle, completed applications are due by April 20. Applications received after April 20 will be considered on a space available basis only.

A completed program application must have the following:

  1. CLS program application (the file is a pdf file and you will need a pdf document reader to view and print the file)
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  3. A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation; two must be from college instructors or former employers. Please contact the CLS department office for a copy of the recommendation form at 956-665-5269.

A separate application for admission and official transcripts must be submitted to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Office of Admissions for all students not currently attending the University.

Admission is on a competitive basis and students will be accepted in rank order after evaluation of the overall GPA, science GPA and letters of recommendation. An admission interview is also required, but this is used to make sure that students understand the policies and requirements of the program. In no case will students with less than an overall GPA of 2.0 and a science GPA of 2.0 be considered for admission. The capacity of the professional phase of the program is limited by clinical site availability. Typical enrollment is 15-18 full-time students per year and most students have a G.P.A. of 2.5 or better.

A student's application will not be considered if his/her file is incomplete. Applicants are personally responsible for insuring that the items requested above are delivered by March 31 to:

Program Director, Clinical Laboratory Science E-HABW 2.206
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
College of Health Sciences & Human Services
1201 W. University Dr.
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999