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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Clinical Laboratory Sciences major
Answered by Dr. Douglas Morrison, Faculty Advisor for CLS majors at Rutgers-Newark,
Associate Professor of Biology, Boyden Hall 407, Phone 973-353-1268 or 5347.
General information about careers in CLS
Q. What can I do with a major in Clinical Laboratory Sciences?
Clinical Laboratory Sciences refers to two separate Bachelor of Science programs:
Cytotechnology and Medical Laboratory Science. Cytotechnologists and Medical Laboratory Scientists provide information to physicians that is vitally important for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. For example, when bacteria are found in a sample of spinal fluid, the lab results guide the physician in choosing the most effective antibiotic.
Working closely with a physician pathologist, Cytotechnologists specialize in identifying cancer cells in PAP smears, needle biopsies, and other surgical specimens. They prepare the specimens (fix, section, mount and stain them), then scan the slides under the microscope for any cells that look abnormal. For more information about Cytotechnology as a career choice, go to
Medical Laboratory Scientists specialize in the analysis of body fluids: blood (blood cell counts, Lyme disease, HIV, blood type matching for transfusions and organ transplants), urine (diabetes, drug levels), and spinal fluid (bacterial infections).
For a more detailed description of careers as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, go to http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/documents/medical_lab_sciences.pdf.
Q. What are my chances of getting a good job after I graduate with a BS in CLS?
Excellent! In the most recent graduating class (October 2015), 30 of the 33 Medical Laboratory Sciences were quickly hired into full-time positions at over 20 different medical centers (Hackensack, Jersey City, Barnabas, Newark Beth Israel, Robert Wood Johnson, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Saini Hospital), commercial labs (Lab Corp, Quest Diagnostics, Spectra) and other medical organizations (Atlantic Care, Capital Health, Labs Incorporated transplant facility, and Summit Medical Group). Starting salaries for full-time positions are in the $50-60,000 range, according to the US Department of Labor Statistics website http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-and-clinical-laboratory-techno....
Q. Where can I go for more information?
After reading the “Frequently Asked Questions” below, please feel free to email Dr. Morrison at email@example.com. You can also find information at the Rutgers-SHRP website: http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/index.html
The Department of Biological Science at Rutgers University-Newark and the Rutgers School of Health Professions (Rutgers-SHP) offer a joint Bachelor of Science degree program in Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS). CLS majors complete their prerequisite science and math courses at Rutgers University-Newark (or one of a dozen other affiliated 4-year colleges in New Jersey). They then apply to Rutgers-SHP by October 15 for admission into either Cytotechnology or Medical Laboratory Sciences (both 15 months May-Sept). Admissions are competitive. Minimum admissions requirements include an overall GPA of 2.85, including grades of C or better in all pre-requisite science courses taken at Rutgers University-Newark.
Q: I am already a student at Rutgers-Newark. How do I declare a CLS major?
Declaring a CLS major on your application for admission, or during your campus orientation, is not sufficient. You are not officially a CLS major until you walk into the Department of Biological Sciences (Boyden 206) and fill out a "Declaration of Major" form. Before you can declare a CLS major, you must have completed at least 24 undergraduate credits. You will also need to have completed Concepts in Biology 200 and Foundations of Biology 201, 202. If you completed General Biology 101-102 prior to fall 2011, you can substitute General Biology 101-102 for Concepts in Biology.
The Biology Department secretary will then assign Dr. Morrison as your faculty advisor. To set up a 30-minute appointment with Dr. Morrison (me), write your name on the sign-up sheet posted on my office door (Boyden 407) or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. During our meeting, if you decide CLS is right for you, I will help you customize a tentative 2-year course plan. Return the signed declaration of major form to the Biology Department secretary, who will notify the Registrar and the Dean of Academic Services.
Q. By declaring my CLS major at Rutgers-Newark, is my admission to Rutgers-SHP guaranteed?
No. Before you can start the 15-month Cytotechnology or Medical Laboratory Science program, you must complete all your General Education courses, all your CLS prerequisites, and have a 2.85 overall grade point average for all the courses you took at Rutgers-Newark.
Be aware that admissions are competitive. The CLS program is affiliated with Rutgers-Newark and 12 other 4-year colleges in New Jersey. Cytotechnology accepts 12 students per year and MLS accepts up to 40. A 2.85 GPA for all courses taken at Rutgers is the minimum GPA. The higher your GPA, the better your chances for admission. Historically, MLS been able to accept all applicants with GPAs over 2.85, but the closer those applicants were to 2.85, the longer they had to remain on the waiting list before being accepted. But history is no guarantee.
Q. I am a transfer student. How many of my science courses will transfer to Rutgers-Newark?
Usually all the courses taken at a New Jersey community college are transferable. Community Colleges offer many of the biology, chemistry, physics and math prerequisites listed in the table below. One limiting factor is that transfer students must complete at least half their biology credits at Rutgers-Newark. The first step is to apply to Rutgers-Newark. Once accepted, a final determination of course equivalencies will be made by the Office of Academic Services and by Dr. Morrison.
Q: Can I apply to Rutgers-SHP after I graduate from Rutgers-Newark?
Yes, but not as a “joint degree” student. Access to the joint degree program is limited to undergraduates at Rutgers University-Newark (or one of the other affiliated colleges). As a graduate of Rutgers, you would need to apply directly to Rutgers-SHP’s "second bachelors" program, which puts you at a competitive disadvantage. This is because Rutgers-SHP has a “memorandum of understanding” with its affiliated colleges that says Rutgers-SHP must accept all qualified undergraduates from the affiliated colleges before accepting ‘second bachelor’s degree’ applicants. In addition, almost no financial aid is available to students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree. But what if you have completed all the requirements needed to graduate from Rutgers University-Newark with another major? My recommendation is to tell your General Education advisor in the Office of Academic Services that you want to delay your graduation until after you have completed the CLS program at Rutgers-SHP.
Q. I already have a bachelor’s degree from a college in the USA. What do I need to do?
As a graduate with a BA or BS from a college in the United States, you are able to apply directly to Rutgers-SHP for its ‘second bachelor’s degree’ program. The prerequisites include Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab, Cell Biology, General Chemistry 1 and 2 with lab, Organic Chemistry 1 with lab, Biochemistry with lab, Microbiology, Immunology, Precalculus, and Statistics. For a complete list, see http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/MLS/admissions.html for Medical Laboratory Sciences and http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/cyto/admissions.html for Cytotechnology.
The list of prerequisite science courses required for the second bachelor’s degree program is different from that for the joint BS degree. However, once accepted by Rutgers-SHP, all “second bachelor’s degree” students undergo the exact same training as the undergraduates who are in the “joint BS degree” program.
You will need of complete any missing prerequisites before you can start at Rutgers-SHP. These courses can be taken at Rutgers University-Newark or (with pre-approval from the CLS Director at Rutgers-SHP) at any 2- or 4-year college in New Jersey. You will not need to take any of Rutgers University-Newark’s General Education requirements. You may need to repeat some of your science courses if you took them more than 7 years ago – especially upper-level biology courses like Immunology, Microbiology, and Cell Biology.
Applying through the ‘second bachelor's degree’ route puts you at a slight disadvantage relative to undergraduates applying through the “joint degree” program. This is because Rutgers-SHP and the affiliated colleges have a memorandum of understanding in which Rutgers-SHP pledges to accept all qualified undergraduates from Rutgers University-Newark and the other affiliated colleges before accepting any other applicants. In addition, almost no financial aid is available to students who already have a bachelor’s degree and are pursuing a “second bachelor’s degree.” Nevertheless, Dr. Josko at SHP says, “although we give our joint degree students priority acceptance into the program, we try to accept all qualified individuals, since there is a critical shortage of MLS graduates.”
Q. I recently graduated from Rutgers-Newark with a BA in Biology. I now want to apply to the Cytotechnology (or Medical Laboratory Sciences) program at Rutgers-SHP. What should I do?
When you graduated from Rutgers University-Newark, you forfeited your right to access the "BS in CLS" through our "joint degree" program. However, you can apply directly to Rutgers-SHP for its “second bachelor’s” program. Rutgers-SHP is authorized by the State of New Jersey to grant second bachelor's degrees to students who have already completed a bachelor's degree in the United States.
You will probably be missing a few prerequisites for admission to Rutgers-SHP. These courses can be taken at Rutgers University-Newark, or (with pre-approval from Dr. Josko at Rutgers-SHP) at any 2- or 4-year college in New Jersey. Once Rutgers-SHP accepts you into its “second bachelor’s” program, you will take the exact same classes at Rutgers-SHP as the students in the “joint degree” program. You will not need to take any of Rutgers University-Newark’s General Education requirements.
Q. I am an international student with a bachelor’s degree from another country. Can I apply for Rutgers-SHP’s second bachelor’s degree in CLS?
Yes. Rutgers-SHP is authorized by the State of New Jersey to grant second bachelor's degrees to students who have already completed a bachelor's degree at an accredited college outside the United States.
You will need to apply directly to Rutgers-SHP for its ‘second bachelor’s degree’ program. The prerequisites include Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab, Cell Biology, General Chemistry 1 and 2 with lab, Organic Chemistry 1 with lab, Biochemistry with lab, Microbiology, Immunology, Precalculus, and Statistics. A detailed list of prerequisites is available at http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/MLS/admissions.html for Medical Laboratory Sciences and http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/cyto/admissions.html for Cytotechnology.
You will need to complete any missing prerequisites before you can start at Rutgers-SHP. These courses can be taken at Rutgers University-Newark or at any 2- or 4-year college in New Jersey. You may need to repeat some of your science courses if you took them more than 7 years ago – especially upper-level biology courses like Immunology, Microbiology, and Cell Biology.
I use the basic science courses listed in your WES report to determine which CLS prerequisites have and have not been fulfilled. Contact the Faculty Advisor for CLS at Rutgers University-Newark, Dr. Douglas Morrison (email@example.com).
Q. I have an Associate’s Degree as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. What should I do?
Unfortunately, in most cases the science courses taken for this degree are too specialized, too applied, or too elementary to be considered equivalent to the courses listed as prerequisites for the joint BS degree in CLS. However, if you have already taken applied/technical courses in subjects like hematology, Rutgers-SHP may grant you advanced placement in certain applied/clinical courses at Rutgers-SHP. Decisions about equivalency are based on course syllabuses, on-line descriptions, and WES reports. The Director of the MLS program at Rutgers-SHP may be contacted for further information about equivalencies of clinical coursework: Dr. Deborah Josko (firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions about the equivalencies of courses in the basic sciences should be addressed to the Faculty Advisor for CLS at Rutgers University-Newark: Dr. Douglas Morrison (email@example.com).
Courses to be completed at Rutgers-Newark
Q. What science and math courses will I need to complete before going to Rutgers-SHP?
In addition the two writing intensive and other "General Education" requirements, CLS majors
must complete 50 credits in math and sciences courses, plus 11 program-specific credits:
|CORE REQUIREMENTS||Cr||PREREQUISITES||SEMESTERS OFFERED|
|Concepts in Biology 200||4||none||At NJIT in Fall, Spring|
Foundations of Biology 201 (Cell & Molecular)
|3||Gen Chem 115 plus Concepts 2000||Fall, Spring, Summer I|
|Foundations (C&M) Lab 202||1||Concurrent registration in Foundations 201||Fall, Spring, Summer I|
|Foundations of Biology 205 (Ecology & Evolution)||3||Concepts 200||At NJIT in Fall, Spring|
|Foundations (E&E) Lab 206||1||Concurrent registration in Foundations 205||At NJIT in Fall, Spring|
|General Microbiology 335||4||Foundations 201, 202; Foundations 205, 206||Fall, Summer 2|
|Mammalian Physiology 340||4||Foundations 201, 202; Foundations 205, 206||Fall, Summer I; At NJIT in Spring|
|Immunology 350||3||Foundations 201, 202; Foundations 205, 206||Spring only|
|Cell Biology 355||3||Foundations 201, 202; Foundations 205, 206||Fall only|
|General Chemistry 115||4||Concurrent registration in 640:114 Precalculus||Fall, Spring, Summer I|
|General Chemistry Lab 113||1||Concurrent registration in Gen Chem 115||Fall, Spring, Summer I|
|General Chemistry 116||4||Gen Chem 115||Spring, Summer 2|
|General Chemistry Lab 114||1||Concurrent registration in Gen Chem 116||Fall, Summer I|
|Organic Chemistry 335||4||Gen Chem 115-116||Fall, Summer I|
|Organic Chemistry 336||4||Organic Chem 335||Spring, Summer 2|
|Organic Chemistry Lab 331||2||Concurrent registration in Gen Chem 336||Fall, Spring|
Statistics 211 (Rutgers) or
Prob&Stats 105 (NJIT)
|none||Fall, Spring, Summer|
|Precalculus 114 or Calculus 135||4||College Algebra; Precalculus 114||Fall, Spring, Summer|
|ADD to Medical Lab Science|
|ADD to Cytotechnology|
|Comp Anatomy Vertebrates 285||4||Foundations 201, 202; Foundations 205, 206||Fall|
|Microanatomy Cells Tissues 405||4||Cell Biology 355||Spring|
Q. Can I fit all the prerequisite courses for CLS into 3 years at Rutgers University-Newark?
Usually not! The Rutgers-SHP website gives the impression that students should be able to graduate with a BS in CLS after 3 years at Rutgers University-Newark and 15 months at Rutgers-SHP. In reality, 4 out of 5 CLS majors at Rutgers University-Newark require 4 years to complete all the prerequisites before going to Rutgers-SHP. To fit everything into 3 years, you would need to start General Chemistry in the first semester of your freshman year, but this means you must have done well enough on the math placement test to place out of College Algebra 108 and into Precalculus 115. My advice: even if you took Calculus in high school, review your Algebra before the placement test, because the test is half Algebra.
Q. Can the CLS advisor help me schedule my courses?
In your first meeting, Dr. Morrison will help you make a 2 or 3-year plan using a template like the one shown here. The template below is the most condensed curriculum possible; it is definitely NOT intended to be a "model" schedule. All but a very few students take 4 years at Rutgers to complete all the General Education requirements and CLS prerequisites before moving on to Rutgers-SHP. Also, since most of these courses are offered more than once in a calendar year, there are many different ways to schedule them. Two major exceptions: Cell Biology is offered only in the fall, and Immunology is offered only in the spring.
Multi-year Course Plan for CLS/Medical Laboratory Technology
Concepts in Biology (4)
General Chemistry 1 + lab (5)
Foundations Cell+Mol + lab (4)
General Chemistry 2 + lab (5)
Organic Chemistry 1 (4)
Foundations Eco+Evo + lab (4)
Science elective + lab (4)
Organic Chemistry 2 (4)
Organic Chemistry lab (2)
General Microbiology + lab (4)
Cell Biology (3)
Science elective + lab (4)
Apply to SHP in October, receive a decision in December. Begin classes at SHP in summer #3. Graduate 15 mo later in October.
Multi-year Course Plan for CLS/Cytotechnology
Concepts in Biology (4)
General Chemistry 1 + lab (5)
General Chemistry 2 + lab (5)
Foundations Eco+Evo + lab (4)
Foundations Cell+Mol + lab (4)
[Foundations I & II both required
Organic Chemistry 1 (4)
Comp Anat Vert + lab (4) [fall only]
Organic Chemistry 2 (4)
Organic Chemistry lab (2)
Cell Biology (3) [fall only]
General Microbiology + lab (4)
Microanatomy Cells Tissues + lab (4)
Apply to SHP in October, receive a decision in December.
Begin classes at SHP in summer #3.
Graduate 15 months later, in October.
Q. What about Rutgers-Newark's General Education Requirements?
The General Education requirements for CLS majors are the same as for every other student in the Newark College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark. That means:
The new General Education requirements for students who begin their undergraduate education in fall 2012 or later are described at http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/core-curriculum-overview. The categories include Basic Writing Skills (6), Quantitative Reasoning (3), Natural Sciences (8), Social Sciences (8), History & Literature (9), Arts & Media (3) and Other Liberal Arts (3).
You also need 2 Writing Intensive Courses: Rutgers University-Newark College of Arts and Sciences (NCAS) requires two “writing intensive” courses, one of which must be taken “within the major department.” Since the Clinical Laboratory Sciences major is administered by the Department of Biological Sciences, you must attempt to register for a writing intensive course from among the Biology Department’s offerings. If you are unable to register for one of these courses, please see Dr. Morrison for permission to substitute a WI course from another department. You must complete both WI courses and all other “General Education” requirements before you transfer to the Rutgers School of Health Professions. Writing intensive courses can be found by going to the online schedule of courses and looking through the drop-down menus for courses whose section numbers begin with the letter Q (usually Q1 instead of 01.)
If you are a transfer student with an Associate's degree from a New Jersey community college, all of these General Educations are considered fulfilled except the two writing intensive courses. The writing intensive courses are part of an “upper division” (junior-senior-year) writing requirement. You must complete both WI courses before starting at Rutgers-SHP.
Q. Will I need to complete a writing intensive course in Biology?
Rutgers-Newark requires all students enrolling after September 2001 to have two writing intensive courses, one of them “in the department of their major.” Since the CLS major is administered by the Department of Biological Sciences, one of your writing intensive (WI) courses should be in Biology. However, if all the WI courses in Biology are closed, the CLS faculty advisor (Dr. Morrison) can give you permission to take both of your WI courses outside of Biology. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Do I need to complete the ‘second concentration’ requirement for graduation?
You will meet the graduation requirement for a minor or ‘second concentration by the combination of your science courses at Rutgers University-Newark and your CLS courses at Rutgers-SHP. As a CLS major, you will be taking 23-28 credits in biology prerequisites at Rutgers University-Newark, and then more than 40 credits of Cytotechnology or Medical Laboratory credits at Rutgers-SHP. When you finish at SHP, you will have more than enough course credits to graduate!
Q. Why doesn’t my “Degree Navigator” recognize CLS prerequisites I have completed?
Degree Navigator is far from perfect and often makes mistakes. Especially in the case of transfer students, Dr. Morrison and the Office of the Dean of Academic Services make the final decisions about prerequisites on a case-by-case basis. Degree Navigator is not yet sophisticated enough to recognize unique combinations of transfer courses that are equivalent to a CLS prerequisite.
Q: The science courses required for the Bachelor of Science (BS) in CLS are very similar to those needed to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Biology. Can I double major in CLS and Biology?
Majoring in CLS leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. So to graduate with a second major in biology, you must complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biology, not the Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BS in Biology requires 3 semesters of Calculus, a year of computer programming, Linear Algebra, and a course in Computational Biology.
Completing the requirements for a BS in Biology does NOT mean that you will have two bachelor’s degrees. Your double major (Clinical Lab Sciences and Biology) will appear only on your transcript, not on your diploma.
My advice? For most students, the time it would take to complete all the courses needed for a BS in Biology will delay graduation by a full year. A second major inside a BS degree is just not worth the time and money. It would be better to wait until after you graduate with the BS in CLS and then take graduate courses toward a Master’s degree.
Applying to Rutgers-SHP
Q. When and how do I apply for my final 15 months at Rutgers-SHP?
For both Cytotechnology and Medical Lab Science, applications are due October 15th, 9 months before you hope to start at Rutgers-SHP and before you have completed all your prerequisites.
All applications are must be submitted on line. Go to
Click on "Apply Online" for undergraduate programs. You will be brought another page that states: “To begin the application process for the School of Health Professions or to review your current on-line application, click here.” Then you will be asked to create an account. Fill in the application, but skip area for an essay/personal statement. CLS does not require one.
An application fee of $75 applies. You can pay on line, or mail to Rutgers-SHP, Office of Enrollment Services, 65 Bergen Street, Room 149, Newark, New Jersey 07107. If you mail the check, enclose a list of the science courses you plan to take next spring. These courses don’t yet appear on your transcript; the list proves you’ll be qualified to apply.
After completing the application, you will need to have a copy of your transcript sent directly to Rutgers-SHP, Office of Enrollment Services, 65 Bergen Street, Room 149, Newark, New Jersey 07107. Go to "Student Online Services" on the Rutgers University-Newark Registrar's website (https://transcripts.rutgers.edu/transcripts/index.html), sign in with your Rutgers ID and password, and ask that a transcript be mailed directly to Rutgers-SHP.
The CLS admissions committee mails out acceptance packets on or around December 15th. CLS classes at Rutgers-SHP start at the end of May.
Q. When applying to Rutgers-SHP, will I need to obtain letters of recommendation, write a personal statement, and/or go for an interview?
A. No, with one exception. Dr. Cecilia Vallejo likes to interview all applicants to the Cytotechnology program. She just wants to make sure that your interest in Cytotechnology is genuine, and that you will work harmoniously with the other students in your entering class.
After being accepted to Rutgers-SHP
Q. It is January and I just received a letter from Rutgers-SHP saying I’ve been accepted into their Cytotechnology (or their Medical Lab Sciences) program. What do I do now?
A. Along with the letter you will receive several forms. The most important form is the one that says you accept Rutgers-SHP’s invitation and plan to attend the program. Sign and return that form as soon as possible, along with a check or money order to cover two fees. The first fee is a deposit ($200 in 2012) that holds your place in the program and will be credited toward your first semester’s tuition. The second fee ($85 in 2012) is for the “criminal background check” and fingerprinting required of all health professionals. All fees are subject to change.
Also in the packet is a list of courses with highly technical titles. This is just a list of courses you will be taking at Rutgers-SHP. Your signature indicates you understand the program’s curriculum requirements for graduation. Sign and mail it in the same envelope as your signed acceptance and payment. For a list of the 47 credits you will be taking in the Cytotechnology program, go to http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/cyto/curriculum.html. For the 45 credits in Medical Laboratory Sciences, go to http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/MLS/curriculum.html.
Bring the “Verification of Prerequisites” form to Dr. Morrison (Boyden 407), or drop it off in his mailbox (Boyden 206). Dr. Morison will verify that you have all the prerequisite math and science courses before the start the program. He will then carry the form to Dean Sofia Pinto-Figueroa, Assistant Dean of Pre-Professional Services, who will certify that you have all the “general education” requirements. Dean Pinto will put your form with those of other CLS students and email them all to Rutgers-SHP. Your acceptance to the program is valid only if you earn a C or better in all your spring semester courses.
The acceptance packet also includes information about applying for financial aid.
Q. Will I be able to get financial aid to help pay tuition at Rutgers-SHP (40+ credits at over $300 per credit) ?
A. Since the BS in CLS is an undergraduate degree, you have the same opportunities for scholarships and loans at Rutgers-SHP as any other undergraduate major at Rutgers. After you receive your acceptance packet from Rutgers-SHP, notify the Rutgers University-Newark financial aid office that you plan to attend Rutgers-SHP. To apply for financial aid at Rutgers-SHP, call 973-972-4376. Any one of the counselors will be able to help you. Or visit http://rbhs.rutgers.edu/studentfinancialaid/index_new_brow.htm and click on “Application Process.”
While at Rutgers-SHRP
Q. How much will it cost to complete the CLS program at Rutgers-SHP?
Tuition and fees are subject to change from year to year. However, let me give you a rough idea of what to expect. At Rutgers-SHP for 2016-17, undergraduate tuition for in-state residents is $359 per credit. [Tuition is 50% more for out-of-state students.] Tuition for the 45-credit, 15-month MLS program is $16,155. Tuition for the 15-month, 47-credit Cytotechnology program was $16,873.
You then need to add in a multitude of fees. For an up-to-date list of tuitions and fees, go to http://www.studentabc.rutgers.edu/sites/studentabc/files/School%20of%20H.... The list of fees is long and intimidating, but not all the fees apply to you! Of the many fees in 2016-17 that do apply to CLS students, the three largest were the Lab Intensive Fee ($450) and a Technology Fee ($500). The Student Health Fee ($1963) is waived if you can prove you have your own insurance coverage.
Q. Are all the Rutgers-SHRP courses taught in Newark?
No. Most of the lectures and laboratories for CLS are taught at Rutgers-SHRP’s Scotch Plains campus (1776 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains), not in Newark. Scotch Plains is 3 miles west of the Garden State Parkway and 6 miles south of Interstate 78. To get from Newark to Scotch Plains takes 30-45 minutes by car and 1.5-2 hours by bus. For a google map, go to:
CLS students are also required to complete four clinical practice courses (a total of 18-24 weeks) at two or three hospitals or references laboratories that are affiliated with the program. These sites are located throughout New Jersey and in New York City.
Q: During my 15 months of CLS training, will I have time to work an outside job to help pay tuition?
The CLS training programs are intensive. Most students who have tried to work part time have suffered academically, so we strongly advise against holding an outside job. Scholarship support is available from Quest Diagnostics if you work for them after graduation. In addition, limited scholarships are available from professional organizations.
Q. I plan to go to medical school. Will I have time to prepare for my MCATs,
do volunteer work, and interview at medical schools while at Rutgers-SHRP?
The former Chair of the Department of CLS, Dr. Elaine Keohane advises: “It has been done before. If the student is a 3.5 GPA, he or she probably will be able to handle it. We do have vacation breaks when students can schedule their interviews. It would be disruptive, however, for the student to miss class repeatedly, especially when they are in the hospital clinical practice component of CLS (Feb-August). The student should note however, that the program ends the third week in August - and if they are starting med school right away, there may be a schedule conflict. Most medical schools require students finish their BS degree before they enter medical school. I believe some of the programs require that students report in early or mid-August for activities. That will be problematic.”
Graduation from Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-SHRP
Q. When I finish CLS at Rutgers-SHRP, do I file for graduation at Rutgers-Newark, too?
Yes. As a CLS major, even though you won’t be graduating until October, you need to file for Rutgers-Newark graduation by July 30. If you have completed a second major at Rutgers-Newark, that will give that department time to certify you for that major. You don’t need to come to campus to file for Rutgers graduation. However, you must fill out the “Diploma Application Form” found online at http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/graduation. Again, the deadline for October graduates is July 30th. Just before you graduate, Rutgers-SHRP will email the Rutgers-Newark registrar to again to confirm that you have completed all the math, science and general education requirements for graduation.
Q: Since I will be graduating from Rutgers-SHRP in October, can I walk in the Rutgers-Newark graduation ceremonies the previous May?
At Rutgers-Newark, October graduates are honored at ceremonies the following May. You cannot walk at the May graduation before you finish your BS degree. There is one exception. You can walk before you finish your CLS major only if you have already completed a second major by then.
Unlike Rutgers-Newark, Rutgers-SHRP honors its October CLS graduates before they actually finish their degrees. You participate in the May graduation ceremony Rutgers-SHRP holds for all its bachelors, masters and doctoral degree students. You’ll receive your actual diploma by mail in October.
Q. Where can I go for more information?
If you have additional questions I haven’t been able to anticipate, please email Dr. Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find information at the Rutgers-SHRP website: http://shrp.rutgers.edu/dept/CLS/index.html
Revised November 2013