Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Studies Medical Laboratory Technology
Students analyze sample in petri dish.

Medical Laboratory Technology

Open for Fall 2020

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.

Download this program information

Next Information Session
What's up @ SAIT
No events found.

Add this calendar to your calendar

Note: Some filters are being applied, so the exported content is being filtered.

All Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $6,862
Year 2: $5,015
Year 1 (International): $23,251
Year 2 (International): $16,324

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


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.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2020 are accepted Oct. 2, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020.
  • 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 2020 Sept. 8, 2020 

Check us out

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.

The first year of this two-year diploma program consists of classroom instruction, laboratory training and clinical site tours. The second year consists of theory instruction, laboratory training and an extensive clinical practicum.

Program Details

Program Description

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), 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.

Two courses are available by distance education or continuing education - ANPH 209 and INFC 215. These 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 required 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 shift work. 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.

  • Graduates of the Medical Laboratory Technology program have a 95% employment rate.

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,
    • 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 environmen

Credentials and accreditation

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

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


The Medical Laboratory Technology program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada.

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
  • University of New Brunswick, Saint John
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

To learn more, visit Transfer Options.

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2020 start: applications are accepted Oct. 2, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020.
  • 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 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.

Phase 1: Program Selection Package

Applicants who meet the admission requirements will be sent a program selection package via email starting Nov. 1 or earlier. The online selection package must be completed within one week of the initial email date. 

You are solely responsible to ensure the information in the selection package is articulate, accurate and best reflects you as a candidate. 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 available dates and times to register to attend a selection assessment at SAIT.

  • 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. Please note that if the assessment is completed outside of SAIT, we are not responsible for providing technical support or any loss of connectivity. Those who fail to notify us or to attend their scheduled assessment will be declined from further selection.
  • You will be assessed on your ability to answer questions delivered both in written and verbal format and your capacity to understand and follow directions. The assessment includes reading comprehension, math, science, career awareness, and reasoning-type questions. Multiple applicants will complete the assessment simultaneously. We do not provide a breakdown of the question type beyond what has been provided here. There is no interview process as part of the MLT selection process. 
  • Candidates who achieve a mark of 82% 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. Those who achieve a mark of 65% or below will be declined from further selection.
  • 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 assessed 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: Most practicum sites require students to demonstrate updated immunization status prior to attending practicum. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations.
  • 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.


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.
  • View additional Medical Laboratory Technology program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

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 1 3.0
INFC-215* Infection Prevention & Control 1.5
MBIO-345 Clinical Microbiology 1 1.5
MEDL-210 Analytical Techniques 3.0
MEDL-330 Specimen Collection and Handling 1.5
PROF-201  Professional Practice 1 3.0
Semester 1 Total 18.0


Semester 2 

Course Code Course Name Credit
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-251 Moecular Medcine Fundamentals 3.0
MEDL-310 Histotechnology 1 1.5
MEDL-335 Transfusion Medicine 1 3.0
MEDL-354* MLT Quality Management 1.5
Semester 2 Total 22.5


Semester 3

Course Code Course Name Credit
CHEM-336 Medical Laboratory Technology Clinical Chemistry 2 1.5
MBIO-383 Clinical Microbiology 3 1.5
MEDL-205 Professional Practice 1.5
MEDL-380 Transfusion Medicine 2 3.0
MEDL-385 Histotechnology 2 1.5
UANL-265 Urinalysis 1.5
Semester 3 Total 10.5
First Year Total 51.0

Semester 3-6 (spans five semesters)

Course Code Course Name Credit
MEDL-365 Professional Practice MTL 1.5

Second Year

Semester 4-6 (spans four semesters)

Course Code Course Name Credit
CHEM-376 Medical Laboratory Technology Clinical Chemistry 3 1.5
HEMA-377 Hematology 3 1.5
MBIO-390 Clinical Microbiology 4 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.


Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental Plan 2019/20 total
1 $5,877 $462 $288 $235 $6,862
2 $4,030 $462 $288 $235 $5,015

International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental Plan 2019/20 total
1 $22,041 $462 $288 $460 $23,251
2 $15,114 $462 $288 $460 $16,324


Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $302 - Check eligibility here 

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $110
  • Dental Plan: $125
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $460
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

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.
  • 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.


School of Health and Public Safety

Programs you might also like

Enter Your Search Term Here
Start typing to search SAIT.ca
Refine Results

Search results