Curriculum: Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science

Curriculum: Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science
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First Cohort for New Students

The application for the DCLS is not yet open. The first students will be able to apply for the Fall 2025 cohort. Reach out to our Enrollment Services Team with questions!

curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

Doctorate of Clinical Laboratory Science Full Curriculum

The University of Cincinnati is dedicated to helping all students take the necessary courses to finish their degree as efficiently as possible. The DCLS program includes paths for students with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in medical laboratory science and related fields.

  • Post-Baccalaureate Student Credit Requirement: 81 Credits
  • Graduate Degree Student Credit Requirement: 60 Credits

A full-time student can finish this program in as little as three years, while a part-time student can finish in as little as six years. These include:

  • Up to 63 credit hours (depending on whether a student has a bachelor’s or master’s degree) of Core Courses
  • 9 credit hours of Elective Courses
  • At least 9 credit hours of Clinical Experience

DCLS Technical Standards & Essential Functions

Medical laboratory science students must use good judgment, patience, attention to detail, and scientific curiosity to perform the duties of a clinical practice. To be successful in the DCLS program, all applicants must be able to perform or learn to perform the essential functions below.

Observation and Vision

Students must be able to use a computer to acquire and enter information, including using the university’s learning management system, complex laboratory information systems, and other software/technology. This includes full participation in class discussions, group projects, clinical practice, and use of web-based library resources to search for information and link to course readings and video presentations. Students must also:

  • Accurately use information from textbooks and written documents, and use information from slides, videos, or other electronic media
  • Interpret graphic images and other forms of data readouts (statistics, graphs, spreadsheets) without assistive devices
  • Obersve experiment results and subjects accurately
  • Characterize colors, odors, clarity, and viscosity of biological specimens, reagents, or chemical reaction products
  • Operate a clinical-grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color differences of microscopic specimens, including hue, shade, and intensity

If a student’s ability to read or acquire information using a computer, textbook, or other written document is compromised, they must find other means to collect and convey information. This will be the student’s responsibility and is subject to reasonable accommodations that may be granted under the ADA.


Students must be able to communicate effectively and appropriately in English with staff, faculty, and fellow students. This includes, but is not limited to verbal, written, typed, or graphic communication. The candidate must be able to participate in written and verbal discussions, advanced clinical practice, and compose written assignments and projects. This includes the ability to adapt to assistive devices where needed such as: phone receivers, hearing aids, etc.

Intellectual-Conceptional (Integrative and Quantitative) Abilities

The student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, integrate, and synthesize intellectual materials. The student must be able to use problem-solving skills in a timely fashion and have the ability to assimilate, learn, and communicate large volumes of complex, technically detailed information. They must be able to apply these concepts.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

The student must have the emotional health to utilize all of their intellectual abilities. This includes using good judgment, and self-control, and being able to operate in stressful situations where they may need to adapt to a changing environment. Developing effective working relationships with fellow students, faculty, staff, and other health care professionals and patients both online and face-to-face is also required. Students should be able to evaluate their performance, accept constructive criticism, and be willing and able to improve.

Manual Dexterity and Mobility

The student must be able to move freely and safely within the laboratory. This includes reaching benches, top shelves, and manually adjusting to patients in different settings from lying in beds or on mobile carts or chairs. Students should be able to collect lab specimens from patients and properly use lab equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, and test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform procedures. This includes moderately taxing continuous physical work from prolonged sitting, and using a keyboard to operate instruments, calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.

Any questions about these standards or policies should be directed to the University of Cincinnati’s Accessibility Resources department.

DCLS Core Courses

These Courses Are Required to Complete the Doctorate Degree

Course Title / Description Credit
MLSC 6010
Fundamentals of Interprofessional Leadership and Collaboration in Healthcare
Course: MLSC 6010
Credit: 3
This course will cover the foundations of inter-professional practice by reviewing the professional roles, expectations with respect to the professional standards of practice, and code of ethics applicable to the dynamic health care environment. The course will further introduce students to the concepts and support for interprofessional collaboration and education, reflective practice, and team building. Students will engage in weekly learning activities, case study analysis and development.
MLSC 6050
Laboratory Diagnostics and Pathophysiology
Course: MLSC 6050
Credit: 3
This course provides an overview of the human organ systems, the pathophysiology of the disease processes (physical and mental), associated with the cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, and renal systems. The course will explore the relationship of the disease symptoms with the laboratory diagnostic test results.
MLSC 7001
Medical Laboratory Leadership
Course: MLSC 7001
Credit: 3
This course provides detailed instruction in the development of effective leadership, managerial, organizational skills related to the unique finance structures (i.e. testing and coding, federal, and private party reimbursements etc.), accreditation and regulation of health care services and human resource management, laboratory personnel competency and educational programming in a clinical laboratory setting. Students will develop and demonstrate the unique skills necessary to lead a laboratory or educational unit through lecture, discussion and reflection based on their personal and professional experiences.
MLSC 7002
Investigative and Evidence-Based Medical Laboratory Leadership
Course: MLSC 7002
Credit: 3
This course emphasizes the evaluation of clinical laboratory processes and how to utilize this information effectively as a leader in working with others to develop a culture of competent laboratory professionals. The course focuses on advanced methods in clinical medicine to evaluate the outcomes for diagnosis and disease management through laboratory protocols illustrating evidence-based laboratory medicine. Principles of evidenced based practice including critical literature reviews will be used to improve the quality, use of laboratory data, test utilization and efficiency in the assessment of health and disease and the overall organizational processes. Scholarly writing skills will be emphasized.
MLSC 7005
Advanced Hematopathology
Course: MLSC 7005
Credit: 3
This course is a comprehensive analysis of the hematopoietic system including the physiology, regulation, and pathophysiology of complex disease states and the relationship to blood disorders. A discussion of the applications and utilization of laboratory methods is included and examined using case analysis and clinical scenarios.
MLSC 7010
Issues and Ethics in Medical Laboratory Science
Course: MLSC 7010
Credit: 3
This course will provide an overview of professional and ethical issues facing the laboratory professional. Topics to be discussed include responsibilities of the laboratory science practitioner related to level of practice, life and death decisions, patient confidentiality, substance abuse, whistle blowing, patient education and informed consent. Ethics in research, testing algorithms, personalized medicine and other critical issues related to laboratory practice or other contemporary issues will also be addressed.
MLSC 7020
Advanced Medical Laboratory Leadership and Practice in Healthcare and Education
Course: MLSC 7020
Credit: 3
This course will emphasize the integration of the medical laboratory science professional as a key member in the development of process improvement, total quality management and education in diagnostic services. The course will further introduce students to the advanced concepts in leadership in the development of diagnostic management teams, improved patient safety, quality systems, medical error prevention, advanced levels of practice in laboratory science (PhD, DCLS), educational models and career development.
MLSC 7008
Coagulopathies and Hemostasis
Course: MLSC 7008
Credit: 2
This course evaluates the scientific and technical knowledge in the development of complex disease states (coagulopathies) and hemostasis. Discussions will focus on the selection of screening and diagnostic tests for hemostatic disorders, interpretation of results, and recommendations for follow-up testing.
MLSC 7015
DCLS Research Methods Seminar
Course: MLSC 7015
Credit: 1
This course will include an overview of translational, applied and outcomes research design and data collection strategies including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. Students will utilize applicable databases and methods to conduct a comprehensive literature search to address a clinical question and evaluate and critique the literature. The structure of research project and programs will be discussed including the role of the primary investigator, institutional review board, institutional privacy officer, clinical champion, grant institutions and agencies in local and multi-site research projects. This course introduces the format for developing a patient care summary or consultation report relevant to a complex patient disease state and diagnostic data analysis. In addition, this course will include the completion of the Part 1 of the qualifying examination for candidacy.
HPE 7002
Culture, Equity, and Vulnerable Population Health
Course: HPE 7002
Credit: 3
This course aims to sensitize students to forces shaping health and disease in multicultural societies and to raise students' level of awareness of health issues specific to minority populations. The course also provides practical experience in assessing health indicators for vulnerable populations and applying public health education principles to selected population needs.
MLSC 7030
Applications and Analyses in Molecular Diagnostics
Course: MLSC 7030
Credit: 3
This course will further develop students’ knowledge of the structure and function biomolecules including the regulation of gene expression and applications in molecular technologies and applications in epigenetics, proteomics, pharmacogenomics, and personalized medicine within the clinical diagnostic laboratory. The course covers the application, development, design, and analysis of pre-analytical, analytical, and post- analytical processes of molecular methods including FDA, ASR, LDT and RUO diagnostic methods.
MLSC 7040
Advanced Principles of Molecular Diagnostics and Disease Management
Course: MLSC 7040
Credit: 3
Advanced principles of molecular diagnostics and disease management provides an extensive look at the theories and applications of molecular diagnostic assay systems to disease management. This will include molecular microbiology and human genetic testing of complex disease states and disorders in medical laboratory diagnostics.
MLSC 7050
Advanced Concepts & Applications for Clinical Immunology
Course: MLSC 7050
Credit: 3
This course will build on the fundamental concepts of clinical immunology focusing on the detection and management of human health and disease across the human lifespan, the influence of the human microbiome and unique immunocompromised patient populations. The course will focus on advanced concepts including the genetics and molecular regulation of the immune system, relevant diseases and advanced highly complex diagnostic applications in clinical immunology.
MLSC 7055
Foundations of Transfusion Medicine II
Course: MLSC 7055
Credit: 3
This course focuses on blood group systems and the importance for transfusion considerations. The course will evaluate the dynamic relationship between red blood cell antigen groups and antigen/antibody testing to supply suitable blood products or components for transfusion services.
MLSC 7058
Foundations of Transfusion Medicine III
Course: MLSC 7058
Credit: 3
This course will provide a specialized focus on advanced practice in transfusion medicine with detailed emphasis of clinical considerations in various transfusion scenarios, including replacement therapies, exchange transfusions, complex antibody work ups with incompatible crossmatches, massive transfusion protocols, and the consideration of whole blood use in trauma. This course includes detailed discussions and processes for the management of varied adverse reactions in transfusion, explores therapeutic apheresis using plasma and red blood cells, and HLA/immunology in solid organ transplantation.
Course: NUR8024
MLSC 8001
Advanced Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology
Course: MLSC 8001
Credit: 3
This course addresses the physiology, pathophysiology, metabolism, and drug toxicity together with the principles of current and emerging diagnostic tests. The correlation between clinical chemistry and toxicology diagnostic methods, results, limitations, and interpretation in disease states is evaluated in the context of patient outcomes and laboratory efficiency. Current clinical chemistry literature, clinical scenarios, case studies, and advanced laboratory practice issues will be evaluated in the context of advanced practice.
MLSC 8005
Course: MLSC 8005
MLSC 8010
DCLS Clinical I
Course: MLSC 8010
Credit: 3
This course is the first of a three-course series (MLSC 8010, MLSC8020, MLSC8030) providing a structured and supervised experience correlating coursework with practice. Students will partner with laboratory staff, physicians, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team to provide guidance in laboratory utilization and interpretation to optimize patient outcomes. The student will be given the opportunity to: 1) integrate knowledge, attitudes, and skills to clinical laboratory practices and diagnostic management teams; 2) integrate previous knowledge and skills with the use of established clinical guidelines and the use of diagnostic algorithms; 3) build educational relationships with clinicians, and other health care workers. Students will create patient specific laboratory focused evaluations that include laboratory test interpretation and recommendations.
MLSC 8015
Advanced Microbiology and Infectious Disease Diagnostics
Course: MLSC 8015
Credit: 3
This course is designed to refamiliarize students with the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, `and prevention of infectious disease. The course focuses on the application of scientific and technical knowledge in clinical microbiology for the management of common or important infectious disease syndromes, the selection of appropriate diagnostic tests and principles of epidemiology for suspected infection diseases, interpretation of results, and recommendations for follow-up testing. Scientific literature, clinical scenarios, case studies, and advanced laboratory practices will be used to evaluate and analyze applied diagnostics in microbiology and infectious disease management.
MLSC 8009
DCLS Culminating Experience I
Course: MLSC 8009
Credit: 3
DCLS Culminating Experience 1 is part of a three-course series (MLSC 8009, MLSC8019, MLSC8029). During this course, the student will begin the development of a research/clinical project by preparing a formal written proposal that includes selecting a topic, reviewing current literature, preparation, and a review and begin the process for submission of an IRB approval.
MLSC 8017
Clinical Statistics and Laboratory Diagnostics
Course: MLSC 8017
Credit: 3
This course will include the concepts of statistical reasoning and the role of statistical principles as the scientific basis for laboratory diagnostics, test utilization and improvement of patient outcomes in public health. Statistical techniques and methods will include basic probability, sensitivity and specificity, Bayes Rule, population measures, Gaussian distributions, point estimation, confidence intervals, classical and practical hypothesis testing, simple analysis of variation with mean separation tests, nonparametric procedures for one- and two- way classifications, least squares regression and correlation, including lack of fit tests, simple categorical data analysis including goodness of fit, and homogeneity of proportions. The course will focus on the use of statistical analysis, interpretation and applications in diagnostics and healthcare.
MLSC 8019
DCLS Culminating Experience II
Course: MLSC 8019
Credit: 3
DCLS Culminating Experience II is the second in the three-course series (MLSC 8009, MLSC8019, MLSC8029). During this course the student will initiate data collection, analysis, and interpretation of information as it applies to grant writing and the beginning the writing of a manuscript draft.
MLSC 8020
DCLS Clinical II
Course: MLSC 8020
Credit: 3
This course is the second of a three-course series (MLSC8010, MLSC8020, MLSC8030) providing a structured and supervised experience correlating coursework with practice. Students will partner with laboratory staff, physicians, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team to provide guidance in laboratory utilization and interpretation to optimize patient outcomes through academic learning experiences that integrate knowledge, attitude, and skills. The student will independently report on authentic case scenarios to present to clinicians and laboratory personnel.
MLSC 8025
Diagnostic Algorithms and Clinical Correlations
Course: MLSC 8025
Credit: 3
This course emphasizes the clinical presentation and laboratory diagnostic testing algorithms related to the physiological changes associated with select diseases of major organ systems (e.g., endocrine, muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, immune, nervous, or reproductive).
MLSC 8029
DCLS Culminating Experience III
Course: MLSC 8029
Credit: 3
DCLS Culminating Experience III is the third in the three-course series (MLSC8009, MLSC8019, MLSC8029). During this course the student will finalize the analysis and interpretation of data collected and relevant literature to and develop a defendable project/manuscript. Completion of a final draft of the manuscript describing the project in clinical practice, education or research applications and outcomes followed by an oral defense is the culmination of the course.
MLSC 8030
DCLS Clinical III
Course: MLSC 8030
Credit: 3
This course is the third of a three-course series (MLSC8010, MLSC8020, MLSC8030) providing a structured and supervised experience correlating coursework with practice. Students will partner with laboratory staff, physicians, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team to provide guidance in laboratory utilization and interpretation to optimize patient outcomes. The student will complete patient specific laboratory focused evaluations that include laboratory diagnostic interpretations, and recommendations for improving patient outcomes as well as consideration for the improvement of laboratory efficiency or test utilization management and independently report on authentic case scenarios to present to clinicians and laboratory personnel.
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DCLS Elective Courses

Students Must Select Nine (9) Credits in this Category

Course Title / Description Credit
MLSC 8011
Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science Special Topics
Course: MLSC 8011
Credit: 3
This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in the review of the scientific literature, analysis and evaluation of emerging technologies and selected topics in clinical diagnostics to enhance the scientific and technical knowledge within the clinical laboratory science profession. Sample topics may include but are not limited to advanced methods in diagnostic testing, health informatics, consumer directed testing, and advanced case studies.
MLSC 7035
Cell Therapy Principles and Practices
Course: MLSC 7035
Credit: 3
This course will provide students with an in-depth examination of the principles of hematopoiesis, bone marrow transplantation, and immunotherapy, as well as the practical aspects of manufacturing cell therapy products for clinical use. The course will introduce advanced concepts in cell processing and analysis techniques such as cryopreservation, cell culture, cell selection, and flow cytometry, plus a thorough review of the quality control, quality assurance, and regulatory requirements for cell therapy in the field of Transfusion Medicine.
HCA 7001
Health Systems Management 1: Organization & Delivery
Course: HCA 7001
Credit: 3
The course is intended to provide the student with a systems perspective of U.S. health and health care structure and function. As the MHA Program’s introductory course, it provides a basis for all subsequent courses including leadership, systems analysis, finance and economics, quality improvement, policy and law, and others. Topics include an overview of the social, political, economic and structural dynamics which shape health care in the United States as well as current and likely future imperatives health care managers will face. Evaluation is competency-based; students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency at seeking and applying evidence to managerial decision-making, the effective communication of ideas, and a number of different types of analyses relevant to cases and issues affecting U.S. healthcare today.
HCA 7002
Health Systems Management 2: Principles of Leadership
Course: HCA 7002
Credit: 3
This course provides an introduction and overview to healthcare leadership, human resources management, and organizational behavior in healthcare settings, reflecting the uniqueness of this sector as well as the universal concepts and principles utilized in the development of effective healthcare administrators and leaders. This course integrates theory with practice through readings, written assignments, group projects, and discussion boards from different organizational perspectives. The development of leadership, managerial and organizational skills will be accomplished through a strong emphasis on self-reflection and self-analysis utilizing the tools of the course. This course aims to provide a relevant understanding of organizational dynamics such as performance, organizational culture, teamwork, individual and shared values, and cultural competency. It will examine how healthcare leaders and their organizations relate to each other internally and to their external environments. Topics include values-driven leadership, team effectiveness, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, conflict management, human resources management, employee behavior and appraisal, and assessment and evaluation of leadership performance. This course emphasizes the reflection of the students’ past and current experiences with the integration of current evidence-based leadership and human resources management principles. The students will be required to submit their feedback from self-evaluation assignments, surveys, inventory tools, and group work that is intended to provide insight, awareness, interdisciplinary collaboration, and professional and personal development for ongoing growth in healthcare leadership roles.
HCA 7031
Health Policy 1: Health Policy & Regulation
Course: HCA 7031
Credit: 3
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of how policy is developed and how policies can affect health care in the United States. The course prepares students to understand the steps in the policy creation process and then apply concepts in policy analysis and advocacy. There are five focus areas: need and demand, healthcare finance, ethics & law, preparedness, and policy evaluation. Within the five focus areas, we will examine topics using Bardach’s Eightfold Path: problem definition, agenda setting, implementation, evaluation, and modification. The course will present case studies and readings about real-world problems that health professionals face.
HCA 7032
Health Policy 2: Legal & Ethical Issues
Course: HCA 7032
Credit: 3
This course presents an introduction to the legal and ethical issues that arise in the management of health services organizations. Topics include ethics in business and clinical decision-making, tools for understanding ethics and ethical analysis, professional and organizational guidelines in making ethical decisions, including codes of ethics and mission statements, organizational responses to ethical issues, including ethics processes, such as institutional ethics committees and institutional review boards, conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest, patient and community concerns, and end-of-life decisions. Additionally, the course will review legal principles development, application and assessment, and resource allocation and social responsibility. Other topics covered include liability, health care institutions as corporations, the nature, and scope of the public health authority, antitrust, fraud and abuse, privacy and confidentiality, tax implications, regulatory oversight, legal requirements for access to health care, nondiscrimination, conflicts of interest and constitutional constraints on public health initiatives.
HPE 7040
Social and Behavioral Foundations of Public Health
Course: HPE 7040
Credit: 3
Course content will include concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and solution of public health problems. Emphasis will be given to common theories and models of behavioral and social sciences that are used in health promotion such asplanning models, health belief model, transtheoretical model, theory of reasoned action,theory of planned behavior, theories of stress andcoping, social cognitive theory, social marketing,diffusion of innovations, and Freirian model of adult education.
HI 7001
The Healthcare and Public Health Landscape
Course: HI 7001
Credit: 3
This course focuses on U.S. healthcare and public health topics such as healthcare delivery, public health services, performance, organization, financing and technology. Key emerging global health topics are taught. The course introduces key public policy impacting health and healthcare,such as policy advocating for patient-centered care, efficiency, quality and safety. The course introduces the role of health information technology and electronic health information sharing. This course also introduces and compares key healthcare quality initiatives.
HI 7010
Health Informatics, Information Systems and Technology
Course: HI 7010
Credit: 3
This course introduces the discipline of health informatics and covers emerging trends. Various information systems, technologies and applications utilized in the context of health and healthcare are introduced. Their characteristics, strengths, challenges, purpose and impact are taught. Impact on patients, populations and healthcare providers is emphasized. Factors influencing adoption and use of various clinical and health information systems and technologies are taught. Key information technologies and systems such as electronic health records, health information exchanges, personal health records, public health information systems and mobile health technologies are introduced in this course. Topics such as telemedicine, interoperability and technical concepts are taught, and evaluation framework is introduced.
PH 7050
Evidence-based Public Health
Course: PH 7050
Credit: 3
This course will include an orientation to the US public health system, current concepts and issues,and major contemporary public health problems. A second content theme will include a brief overview of the development of the quality improvement movement in medicine, resulting in the evidence-based public health movement. These two segments will be integrated as students learn to apply the principles of an evidence-based approach to current public health problems in the greater Cincinnati area. A seminar style of teaching, employing small-group discussion of cases, will be employed.
PH 7060
Health Systems & Policy
Course: PH 7060
Credit: 3
This course introduces the application of political science and economics to the planning, financing, organization, administration, and evaluation of policy affecting the public's health. Topics will include the organization, and effectiveness of the United States (US) health care and public health systems; as well as social determinants of health, health needs, and healthcare utilization and costs. Other topics addressed are quality and accessibility of healthcare in the US, development of public policy concerning healthcare and public health, emergency preparedness, and the relationship between policy decisions and the marketplace, as they concern the public's health.
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