Home Programs & Courses Medical Laboratory Technology

Medical Laboratory Technology

Open for Fall 2021

Closed for Fall 2021 (International)

Length: 2 years Credential: Diploma Delivery: Full Time Blended

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This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Winter 2021 term. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus. Learn more


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. As integral members of the health care team, medical laboratory technologists are trained to perform a broad spectrum of laboratory testing and procedures.

Based in large part on the national competency profile issued by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS), the two-year, full-time fast-paced Medical Laboratory Technology 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 and laboratory training.

The second-year consists of theory instruction and an extensive clinical practicum at affiliated sites in Calgary, other sites 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 practical or simulation settings.

In the last term, students will write practice competency-based exams in preparation for challenging the national CSMLS certification exam.

Is this the right fit for me?

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
  • good interpersonal skills and effective communication skills in English
  • 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.

Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.


This program is designed so that graduates achieve clinical competence as defined by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) and meet compliance requirements of Accreditation Canada.

Graduates are eligible to challenge the CSMLS exams to obtain national certification as a medical laboratory technologist, which will allow national portability.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Medical Laboratory Technology diploma.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in hospitals, high-volume laboratories, research labs and scientific supply companies. Potential positions include: 

  • medical laboratory technologist 
  • biological sciences technologist 

Related careers include: 

  • combined lab and x-ray technologist 
  • cytotechnologist
  • biological technician 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $7,567
Year 2: $5,573

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

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


This is a competitive program. If applicants meet the admission requirements they will be assessed based on additional criteria. Applicants will be offered admission to this program if they’re qualified through the competitive process and space is available.

Admission Requirements

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2021 are accepted Oct. 7, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021
  • This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants –  find out more.
Term Program start
Fall 2021 Sept. 7, 2021 

How to apply

SAIT's Medical Laboratory Technology program

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.

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2021 start: applications are accepted Oct. 7, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021.
  • This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants –  find out more.

Admission Requirements

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

  • At least 70% in Math 30-1 or Pure Math 30, or at least 75% in Math 30-2,
  • At least 70% in English Language Arts 30-1,
  • At least 70% in Chemistry 30,
  • At least 70% in Biology 30
  • All applicants must demonstrate  English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts  high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider  Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of 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.

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. 31, 2021, to be included in the selection.
  • Applicants will have one attempt to complete the selection process for this program. If you're not offered admission, you can re-apply for the next intake and you will be required to complete the selection process again.
  • The first round of selection will start in October and will be done on a weekly basis until the program is full. Apply and complete all steps early for the best chance of getting a seat
  • There may be fees associated with parts of the selection process- further details will be provided at that time.
    • Portions of the selection process may require access to a computer with a webcam and speakers or headphones.
    • Competitive academic averages are not a portion of the program selection process, unless there is a tie and then we will look at the competitive average to break the tie.
    • There will be 48 seats offered for the fall intake.

In the selection process, applicants will be assessed on the following criteria and seats will be offered accordingly.

Phase 1: Program Selection Package

Applicants who meet the admission requirements will be sent a program selection package via email . The online selection package must be completed within five days of the initial email date.

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

You are solely responsible to ensure the information in the selection package is articulate, accurate and best reflects you as a candidate. All components of the selection process must be completed independently. Falsifying information will result in your application being removed immediately from the selection process and may result in the initiation of SAIT's Student Code of Conduct Procedure AC.3.4.1.

Selection packages will be scored electronically using a standardized scoring system. 

  • If scores from the selection package are above the benchmark established by the School of Health and Public Safety, the applicant will move to Phase 2 of the selection process.
  • If scores from the selection package are below the benchmark, the applicant will be declined in selection.
  • Those applicants who fail to complete the selection package by the deadline date will also be declined from further selection.

Phase 2: Selection Assessment

Applicants who successfully move to Phase 2 of the selection process will be emailed further information related to completing the two aptitude tests selection assessments.

Profession Specific Aptitude: You will be assessed on your capacity to understand and follow directions. The assessment may include questions related to reading comprehension, math, science, career awareness, and reasoning-type questions, or scenarios related to interpersonal interactions. We do not provide a breakdown of the question type beyond what has been provided here. There may be a fee for this assessment.

  • CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. The test typically takes between 75-90 minutes to complete. The test can be accessed through their website. There is a fee for this assessment.
  • An applicant's score must be above the benchmark established by the School of Health and Public Safety to be offered a seat in the program. Successful applicants will be offered seats until the program is full. Once the program is full, those exceeding the benchmark will be placed on a ranked qualified waitlist. Please note that program benchmarks for the selection package, aptitude test as well as CASPer are determined annually and may vary from the previous years.

Once all of the selection assessments are complete and if there are still seats available, the remaining candidates who were successful on the selection assessment will be ranked on their selection assessment scores and offered seats until the program is full.

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.

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 clinical.supportservices@sait.cahps.info@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. Clinical Support Services will be used for communication during the selection process.

We do not recommend using Microsoft email accounts such as hotmail.com or @live.com as there have been some issues in the past receiving SAIT communications using these types of accounts.

Due to the significant number of applications for this program, the selection process can take some time. Every effort will be made to maintain the timelines outlined above. We appreciate your patience. As well, due to this large volume of applicants, we cannot provide assistance or follow‐up as to why the candidate was not successful on phase 1 or 2 of the selection process.

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 entrance requirements, 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
  • Security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status

Learn more


Program Outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

First Year

Semester 1 

Course Code Course Name Credit
ANPH-209* Anatomy & Physiology 3.0
COMP-241 Digital Applications and Laboratory Information Systems 1.5
HEMA-256 Hematology I 3.0
HSCI-300 Immunology 1.5
INFC-215* Infection Prevention & Control 1.5
MBIO-345 Clinical Microbiology I 1.5
MEDL-210 Analytical Techniques 3.0
MEDL-330 Specimen Collection and Handling 3.0
PROF-201  Professional Practice I 3.0
Semester 1 Total 21.0

Semester 2 

Course Code Course Name Credit
CHEM-252 MLT Clinical Chemistry I 6.0
HEMA-337 Hematology II 3.0
MBIO-360 Clinical Microbiology II 3.0
MEDL-204 Transfusion Medicine 6.0
MEDL-310 Histotechnology I 1.5
MEDL-354* MLT Quality Management 1.5
Semester 2 Total 21.0

Semester 3

Course Code Course Name Credit
CHEM-336 Medical Laboratory Technology Clinical Chemistry II 1.5
MBIO-383 Clinical Microbiology III 1.5
MEDL-205 Professional Practice II 1.5
MEDL-251 Molecular Medicine Fundamentals 3.0
MEDL-385 Histotechnology II 3.0
Semester 3 Total 10.5
First Year Total 51.0

Second Year

Semester 4-6 (spans four semesters)

Note: The following courses continue through to the end of your program.

Course Code Course Name Credit
CHEM-376 Medical Laboratory Technology Clinical Chemistry III 1.5
HEMA-377 Hematology III 1.5
MBIO-390 Clinical Microbiology IV 1.5
PRAC-329 Specimen Collection & 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 30.0
Second Year Total 31.5

Semester 5

Course Code Course Name Credit
MEDL-300 Professional Skills

Semester 6

Course Code Course Name Credit
MEDL-352 Applied Investigation 3.0
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.

Transfer Options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • Athabasca University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (The Marine Institute)
  • Thompson Rivers University

To learn more, visit Transfer Options.


Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $6,346 $682 $288 $252 $7,567
2 $4,351 $682 $288 $252 $5,573

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame.


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

Books and supplies*

  • Books, supplies and uniforms are approximately $1,600 for the entire program.
  • CompTracker fee $165
  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica (i.e. relocation costs if placed outside of Calgary, food, housing, transportation, etc.).
  • 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 Technologist 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.
  • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $50 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

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

    Next steps for incoming students

    Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

    Important dates and deadlines

    Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

    Important Dates

    ✅ Plan ahead ❗️

    You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

    Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

    Get started on pre-orientation requirements

    Fall 2020


    Orientation for new students will take place online on Sept. 2, 2020.

    To find the time and platform, visit our orientation page.

    We are expecting to meet you at new student orientation. Important program information is discussed to ensure you are prepared to begin classes which start on day one. Orientation is a mandatory part of your learning experience to ensure student success.


    This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

    How to register for classes

    You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

    Computers and laptops

    This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

    Required equipment/tools

    You are required to purchase CompTracker for this program.

    Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

    The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

    Your required uniform can be purchased prior to orientation from any place that sells medical uniforms. Your uniform should consist of,

    • a scrub top and bottom
    • safety glasses 
    • comfortable closed-toe and heel shoes. They should also be water impervious and slip resistant. 

    Other requirements

    • N95 respiratory mask-fit testing
    • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
    • Immunization record
    • Health and Wellness Status

    Preparation courses

    To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience, ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices and SAFE 165: Safety at SAIT 

    Required textbooks

    The booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start.

    Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.


    Phone: 403.284.8481 
    Email: hps.info@sait.ca

    Academic chair

    Kimberly Wheelans, Academic Chair
    Email:  kimberly.wheelans@sait.ca

    Have questions about this program?

    Contact us at

    School of Health and Public Safety

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