College Courses Required to be a Clinical Lab Tech: Prepare Yourself!

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Clinical laboratory technicians, also referred to as medical technologists, analyze human tissues, body fluids, and blood. They also work in developing scientific methods and conducting research to advance how we study the process of diseases. So, which college courses are required to be a clinical lab tech?

Medical Terminology

In a medical terminology class, students focus on learning medical terminology along with the parts of the body. They focus mostly on the terminology associated with working in a medical environment or laboratory. This course is typically a prerequisite for other courses.

Basics of Human Biology

This course involves the basics of human biology. Students study biochemistry, body systems, cell structure, and cell function. It looks at genetics and evolution. Students also study the relationship between humans and the ecosystem.

Clinical Chemistry and Body Fluids

This is one of the college courses required to be a clinical lab tech where students examine the principles of the structure and the function of the organic compounds in the human body. Student’s put focus on organ system function and how it reacts to normal lab results and abnormal lab results. Students also learn about fluid chemistry, urinalysis, body fluids, and serum.

Lab Operations

This course focuses on the theory and practice of clinical laboratory management. Students study a variety of laboratory management topics, such as personal and financial management, accreditation, information management, assurance and quality control, regulation, and continuing education.

Introduction to Lab Techniques

This course will introduce students to the equipment used and basic techniques used in a medical laboratory. These include lab glassware, titration, solution chemistry, balances, and basic lab mathematics. Students will focus on the fundamental procedures commonly used in a clinical laboratory.

Introduction to Hematology

This course will introduce students to the theory and practical application of hematology procedures as they are used to tell the difference between normal red blood cells and abnormal red blood cells. Students will be taught to understand and evaluate hematopoeisis, red blood cell functions, blood smears, and the diseases related to blood abnormalities.


A course in phlebotomy is generally done in the second semester requiring all students to have successfully passed all first semester classes first. Students will focus on learning special collection procedures. Students also learn how to perform a routine capillary puncture and a routine venipuncture.

General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry

This course is a broad course covering a variety of concepts important for allied health students. Before starting this course, students usually must pass college mathematics and general chemistry. Concepts covered include measurement, periodic table, radioactivity, solutions, problem solving, chemical reactions, gases, acid-base behaviors, major types of organic molecules and their structure and chemical behavior, and the function and structure of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates.

General Anatomy and Physiology

Students must first complete written communication before taking this course. This course features a combination of laboratory and lecture. Students will study the components of the human body, including body systems, organs, functions, and structures. Examination and dissection of a well-preserved human cadaver is often required for general anatomy and physiology.


Students must first complete written communication prior to taking this course. In this course, students will study normal and pathogenic flora microbes, their function and structure, and relationship to the environment and humans. Students also study nutrition, genetics, metabolism, growth, and infectious disease. A laboratory is part of this class in addition to lecture.

The college courses required to be a clinical lab tech are certainly challenging, but students can be successful as long as study regularly and take the information they learned in previous classes and apply it to the material in future classes. All courses are designed to help students ensure they can be successful as clinical lab techs.


Community College of Philadelphia. (2010). Clinical Laboratory Technician. Retrieved on January 25, 2011 from the Community College of Philadelphia:

Madison Area Technical College. (2010). Clinical Laboratory Technician. Retrieved on January 25, 2011 from Madison Area Technical College: