May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2020-2021 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2020-2021 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Laboratory Technology

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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.

Six courses are available by distance education or continuing education - ANPH 209, HSCI 300, INFC 215, MEDL 300, MEDL 354, and PROF 201. 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.

Program Overview

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 environment.


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

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.


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


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.

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.

Program Outline

First Year

Second Year

Total Credits 88.5

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