Clinical Microbiologist Scientist License
Thank you for your interest in the California Clinical Microbiologist Scientist License. Laboratory Field Services (LFS) requires applicants to submit documentation of academic coursework, clinical training, and work experience to qualify for licensure.
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 to perform testing in all areas of the specialty of microbiology in a laboratory certified under CLIA for performing high complexity testing in the specialty of clinical microbiology.
All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by "Current Members" of the
National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or "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 them on the web:
If you are an applicant whose education, training, or 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.
Training or Experience
Minimum one year of post-baccalaureate training.
Minimum one year of work experience.
Training or work experience must be comprehensive to cover all areas of clinical microbiology.
Training or work experience must be in a laboratory certified under CLIA (usually in the U.S.).
Verification must be signed by the training coordinator or laboratory director.
If you lack applicable training or work experience you may want to consider applying for a
CLS trainee license.
ASCP certification for microbiologist scientist is approved by the Department for CLS microbiologist licensure as of March 1, 2004. Applicants who are certified before the above date must re-take the certifying examination.
Failure to pass the written certification examination two times requires a waiting period of one year before taking the exam again. A third failure requires a two year wait. Thereafter, the examination may not be taken more frequently than once in two years.
Applicants will also have to complete the online California quiz on state laboratory laws and regulations. You will receive a notification with instructions for taking the quiz once you are qualified.
Once you receive your license you will need to renew it every two years. To renew, you must pay a fee and submit documentation of continuing education. For information about the renewal process please visit the
LFS renewal web page.
CLS Training Programs (PDF)*
LFS Approved Certification Examinations
*If you are having difficulty accessing this document, please contact LFS at LFSCLSTrainingProgram@cdph.ca.gov to request this information in an alternate format.
Statutes and regulations
California Business and Professions Code, Clinical Laboratory Technology, Licensing
California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 1031, Clinical Laboratory Specialists
The requirements listed may not be comprehensive.
How to Apply
Visit the LFS online application website to
create an account and submit an application.
*You will need to pay your application fee online.
Transcripts must be original documents bearing the school, college, or university registrar’s seal, and must be sent directly to LFS from the office of the college or university registrar. Request to have your transcripts mailed to:
Laboratory Field Services - CLS Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P 1st Floor
Richmond, CA 94804
Official verification of training or work experience must be on letterhead and signed by the training coordinator or laboratory director, and must show the beginning and ending dates of the training or experience. This information should cover all areas in which the rotation was completed with a description of the clinical laboratory tests or examinations performed.
Applicants must take the
online California Quiz on state laboratory laws and regulations online.
*Incomplete application packages may be abandoned. All applicants whose applications have been abandoned 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.
Verification of one year of post-baccalaureate training.
Verification of one year of on-the-job experience in a clinical laboratory (signed by the laboratory director).
Verification of certification examination.
Online California quiz on state laboratory laws and regulations.
For additional information you may contact