Apr 21, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 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. 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.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (6 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a blended format
  • Full-Time Intakes:
    • Fall
  • Based on the availability of the practicum sites, students may have to travel or re-locate to anywhere in Alberta (and in some circumstances outside of Alberta) in order to complete their practica
  • Students require access to a personal computer and Internet in order to complete the required courses

Certain courses are offered through Open Studies during the daytime, evenings, and/or weekends, as well as in a classroom, blended, or online format. All courses must be completed within the program completion timeframe. Please be advised that for the purpose of student loans, full-time student status requires that learners are enrolled in a minimum of 60% of a full course load per semester.

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.

Student Success

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Are committed to attend 30 hours per week of classroom activities and spend another 30 hours per week outside of the classroom due to the intesity of this program
  • Are committed to consistent program attendance and to the significant additional self-study required
  • Possess integrity and a professional attitude
  • Have an aptitude for mathematics and science, and a keen interest in scientific work
  • Are able to follow verbal and written instructions, and are highly attentive to detail and accuracy
  • Can work quickly and accurately, and take precise readings
  • Have strong hand and finger dexterity to facilitate handling specimens and small laboratory equipment
  • Have strong visual colour and form perception
  • Possess good interpersonal and communication skills in English
  • Can adapt quickly and easily to change
  • Enjoy working in a team environment
  • Are physically fit, including the ability to spend a considerable amount of time standing or sitting while performing tasks that may be repetitive
  • Are mindful of observing safety precautions in order to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious body fluids or dangerous chemicals


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.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

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

  • At least 70% in Math 30-1, 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.

Successful applicants must meet or exceed a score of 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety’s Entrance Testing Process.

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

Program Outcomes

  1.   Conduct professional practice according to established protocols, safety guidelines, and existing legislation.
  2.   Verify relevant data to ensure that appropriate specimens are collected and handled according to established protocols.
  3.   Perform analytical techniques and assess results on a variety of specimens while understanding the underlying principles.
  4.   Interpret, document, and report laboratory results, according to established protocols using scientific knowledge and skills.
  5.   Practice and promote principles of quality management.
  6.   Apply critical thinking skills when constructively investigating, evaluating, and problem solving.
  7.   Interact using effective communication, teamwork skills, and inter-professional collaboration with patients, clients, and other healthcare professionals.
  8.   Meet the legal and ethical requirements of practice while protecting a patient’s right to a reasonable standard of care.
  9.   Demonstrate scope of practice, professionalism, and ownership of personal growth and learning.

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