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Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Studies Medical Laboratory Technology

Medical Laboratory Technology

Open for Fall 2017

Length: 2 Years
Credential: Diploma
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Learn to be an integral member of the healthcare industry and train to perform and evaluate diagnostic laboratory tests – a vital role in the treatment and prevention of disease – working in hospitals, medical or research labs and scientific supply companies. This is an intensive program that includes courses in anatomy, chemistry and analysis techniques.


Grad Employment Rate


Median Starting Salary

Upcoming Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $6,820
Year 2: $4,973
Year 1 (International): $21,511
Year 2 (International): $15,047

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on a two-step process: a selection package and a selection assessment. 

When can you apply?

Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to Jan. 30, 2017.

Program Details

Program Description

Watch a video about Medical Laboratory Technology studies at SAIT As integral members of the health care team, medical laboratory technologists are trained to perform a broad spectrum of laboratory testing and procedures, playing a vital role in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Based in large part on the national competency profile issued by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS), this program trains students to become skilled in applying the scientific, technical, and medical principles needed to perform and evaluate laboratory testing in a health care setting. As part of Canada's fourth largest group of health care professionals, medical laboratory technologists play an integral role in our health care system.

The first year of the Medical Laboratory Technology program consists of classroom instruction, laboratory training, and clinical site tours. The second year consists of theory instruction and an extensive clinical practicum at affiliated sites in Calgary, other cities in Alberta or potentially sites outside of Alberta. The practicum provides a range of clinical experiences where students are given opportunities to develop and integrate the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes in a practical setting. During the last month of the term, students will write practice competency-based exams in preparation for challenging the national CSMLS certification exam.

Certain courses are available by distance education or continuing education - ANPH 209, COMP 264, INFC 215, MEDT 211, PROF 240. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the Program Outline. Please be advised that full-time student status requires the student to take 60 percent of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by distance education or continuing education, students may be considered part-time, which may impact their financial loan status.

Students in this program require access to a personal computer and the Internet to facilitate completion of online courses.

Your Career

Graduates find work as medical laboratory technologists in hospital or high-volume laboratories, as well as in research labs and scientific supply companies. Employment in medical labs often requires shiftwork. Medical laboratory technologists work in laboratory environments where they may spend a considerable amount of time standing or sitting and performing tasks that may be repetitive. They must observe safety precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious body fluids and dangerous chemicals.

Student Success

  • Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.
  • The program delivery is very intensive. To be successful students must be prepared to attend 30 hours per week of classroom activities and spend approximately 30 hours per week outside of class studying.
  • Students who experience success in this program have the following characteristics:
    • Integrity and a professional attitude,
    • An aptitude for mathematics and science and a keen interest in scientific work,
    • The ability to follow verbal and written instructions, pay close attention to detail and take precise readings,
    • The ability to work quickly and accurately,
    • Good finger and manual dexterity to handle specimens and small laboratory equipment,
    • The ability to do detailed work and maintain a high level of accuracy,
    • Good visual colour and form perception (to study blood cells, etc.),
    • Good interpersonal skills and effective communication skills in English, and
    • The ability to adapt easily and quickly to change.
  • Health care practitioners are detail oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment.

Transfer Options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to Jan. 30, 2017.

Admission Requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents AND a combined average of 75%: 

  • At least 60% in Math 30-1 or Pure Math 30, or at least 70% in Math 30-2, AND,
  • At least 60% in English Language Arts 30-1, AND,
  • At least 60% in Chemistry 30, AND,
  • At least 60% in Biology 30
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Competitive Entry: Seven Step Process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines 

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted by Jan. 30 to be included in selection.
  • The first round of selection will start Dec. 1 and will continue on a monthly basis.  
  • Applicants who apply after the program has been filled will be placed on a waitlist and may be invited to complete the selection process if a seat becomes available.
  • The School of Health and Public Safety will forward the Medical Laboratory Technology Selection Package to those that meet the admission requirements. 

In the selection process, applicants will be ranked according to the selection criteria.

  • You will be required to attend a selection assessment session at SAIT on one of the dates offered. If you reside outside of a 400 km radius of Calgary, and cannot attend a selection session without undue hardship, alternative arrangements may be considered.
  • You will be assessed on your ability to answer questions delivered both in written and verbal format. Multiple applicants may be assessed simultaneously. 
  • Candidates who achieve a mark of 85% or above on the selection assessment will be offered a seat until the program is full. Seats are offered after each assessment session so you are encouraged to register for the earliest date available.
  • In the event that two or more candidates achieve the same selection assessment score and there are not enough seats left to offer, the offer will be given to the applicant with the highest academic average based on admission requirements.
  • If there are still seats available by April 15, the remaining candidates who were successful on the selection assessment will be ranked based on their assessment score and offered seats until the program is full.

Step 4: Apply to Medical Laboratory Technology and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "In Selection."

Step 6: Complete your selection package. 

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication During Selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications.

We recommend you add hps.info@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Practicum Requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practicum such as relocation and travel costs.

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Updated Immunization Records: Most practicum sites require students to demonstrate updated immunization status prior to attending practicum. Successful candidates will be asked to provide an up-to-date immunization record to the SAIT Health Clinic as part of the program orientation. Failure to do so could jeopardize a student's ability to complete the practicum portion of his/her program. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations. Please review the immunization process document for specific details. It is advised to start the immunization process early as it can take some time to complete.
  • Security Clearance: According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, our practica sites require that students obtain a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, prior to going on practicum. Any criminal code offence for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student's entry into practicum, and therefore will result in an uncompleted program or non-graduating status. Successful candidates will be asked to provide a clear Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check record to the School of Health and Public Safety main office by orientation day. Please review the security clearance process document for specific details. Be aware that record must be dated no earlier than 90 days prior to your program orientation day (typically orientation day is held the week prior to the first day of class).
  • N95 Respiratory Mask: Fit testing is done to determine which make and model of N95 respiratory mask should be used by an individual. In compliance with Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code 2009, students are fit-tested for respiratory masks prior to their practica. Occupational Health and Safety Bulletin, Respiratory Protective Equipment: An Employer's Guide states the effectiveness of the respiratory protective equipment depends on an effective face piece seal to the skin of the face. The mask must be tight enough so that the person is breathing only air which has been filtered. The seal is dependent on facial differences (shape or size) or facial hair. Facial hair must be removed where the mask contacts the face for the test. Failure to adequately fit an N95 mask may result in a restricted practicum and\or limited employment. Additionally, a student may need to be tested again in two years or if there are changes to the face which impact the ability of the respirator to form an effective seal (e.g. Weight gain/loss, growth of facial hair, dental surgery, or facial scarring). 
  • Health and Wellness Status: Due to the demanding nature of the work in the health care field and Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the health care field has a strong focus on health and wellness. Students with a medical condition or disability that may impact them in a practicum setting are strongly advised to discuss concerns with the program academic chair and/or SAIT Accessibility Services as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program. Please review the attached document for guidance on entering an allied health program with a medical condition or disability. 

More details on the practical requirements per program are outlined on a pre-orientation website for successful candidates.

Additional Information

Admission and selection chart for all full-time programs


Program Outline

  • SAIT students are offered an opportunity to develop lifelong learning skills in an online environment. One or more courses in the Medical Laboratory Technology program are offered fully or partially online.
  • To find the course description for a course shown below please go to our Course Finder.

First Year

Semester 1 

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
ANPH-209* Anatomy & Physiology 3.0
COMP-264* MS Office Basics 1.5
INFC-215* Infection Prevention & Control 1.5
HEMA-256 Hematology 1 3.0
MBIO-345 Clinical Microbiology 1 1.5
MEDL-210 Analytical Techniques 3.0
MEDL-250 Clinical Laboratory – Overview 1.5
MEDL-233 Basic Laboratory Procedures 1.5
MEDT-211* Medical Terminology 1 1.5
MEDL-330 Specimen Collection and Handling 1.5
PROF-240* Healthcare Professionalism 1.5
Semester 1 Total 21.0


Semester 2 

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
CHEM-252 MLT Clinical Chemistry 1 6.0
HEMA-337 Hematology 2 3.0
HSCI-300 Immunology 1.5
MBIO-360 Clinical Microbiology 2 3.0
MEDL-310 Histotechnology 1 1.5
MEDL-335 Transfusion Medicine 1 3.0
MEDL-340 Molecular Medicine Fundamentals 1.5
MEDL-354* MLT Quality Management 1.5
Semester 2 Total 21.0


Semester 3

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
CHEM-336 MLT Clinical Chemistry 2 1.5
UANL-265 Urinalysis 1.5
MBIO-383 Clinical Microbiology 3 1.5
MEDL-380 Transfusion Medicine 2 3.0
MEDL-385 Histotechnology 2 1.5
Semester 3 Total 10.5
First Year Total 52.5

Semester 3-6 (Spans five Semesters)

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
MEDL-365 Professional Practice MLT 1.5


Second Year

Semester 4-6 (Spans four Semesters)

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
CHEM-376 MLT Clinical Chemistry 3 1.5
HEMA-377 Hematology 3 1.5
MBIO-390 Clinical Microbiology 4 1.5
MEDL-365 Professional Practice MLT (con't)
PRAC-329 Spec Coll & Handling Practicum 1.5
PRAC-367 Clinical Practicum Microbiology 6.0
PRAC-369 Clinical Practicum Chemistry 6.0
PRAC-377 Clinical Practicum Hematology 6.0
PRAC-380 Clinical Practicum Transfusion Medicine 3.0
PRAC-386 Clinical Practicum Histotechnology 3.0
Semester 4 Total 31.5


 Semester 4

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
MGMT-301 Management Skills 1.5

 Semester 5

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
MEDL 352 Applied Investigation

Semester 6

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
MEDL 378 National Certification Practice Exams 1.5
Program Total 88.5
* Available by correspondence and/or online learning. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the program outline. Please contact the Academic Chair prior to enrolling in any online or correspondence courses.

Please be advised that full-time student status requires students to take 60 per cent of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by correspondence, a student may be considered a part-time student, which may impact his/her financial loan status and ability to qualify for certain scholarships, bursaries and awards.


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.


Domestic tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $5,877 $420 $523 $6,820
2 $4,030 $420 $523 $4,973

International tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $20,568 $420 $523 $21,511
2 $14,104 $420 $523 $15,047

SAIT fees

Campus athletic and recreation fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $260

SAIT Students' Association fees

Health Plan: $110**
Dental Plan: $125**
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and supplies*

  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs to practicum sites outside Calgary.
  • The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national exam fee is approximately $720 for members or $950 for non-members who are Canadian residents.
  • CSMLS national association dues for students are approximately $85.
  • CSMLS national association dues for recent grads are approximately $150.
  • College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Alberta (CMLTA) provincial dues are approximately $285 for recent grads plus $150 for an initial application fee.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a criminal record check (including vulnerable sector check) and is payable to the Police or the RCMP.
  • CompTracker fee $165
  • Books, supplies and uniform are approximately $1,600 for the entire program.
  • Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.

Contact Information

School of Health and Public Safety