May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

Medical Laboratory Technology

Location(s): Blended (Main Campus & Online)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

Join Canada’s fourth largest group of healthcare professionals by enrolling in our fast-paced, two-year, full-time Medical Laboratory Technology program.  

This program is structured to provide comprehensive training in medical laboratory science, preparing you to contribute effectively to patient care through diagnostics, treatment and prevention of disease. 

In this program, you will:  

  • learn to apply scientific, technical and medical principles in conducting and assessing laboratory tests within healthcare environments 
  • learn about the area of clinical pathology concerned with analyzing bodily fluids 
  • learn about the detection of pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses 
  • study hematology, the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases related to the blood 
  • study histology, which involves preparing clinical specimens and applying specialized staining and techniques for diagnostic microscopic examination 
  • perform serological testing to determine the ABO and Rh antigens and prepare and provide blood and blood components to ensure a safe transfusion to patients 
  • gain professional responsibility, including scope of practice, ethics, communication, critical thinking, accountability and how to collaborate professionally. 

In the first year, you will focus on building a strong foundation through classroom instruction and applied simulated laboratory training. 

In the second year, you will engage in an in-depth clinical practicum at our partner sites, which provide practical experience across various medical laboratory disciplines. You will be able to integrate knowledge, skills and professional attitudes through real-world clinical experiences and simulation activities. 

You will complete the program by writing competency-based practice exams to prepare you for the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) certification exam. 

Once qualified, you will be eligible to work as a medical laboratory technologist in hospital laboratories, medical diagnostic laboratories and specialized research laboratories. 

As a graduate, you will be well-equipped to enter the health technology field, a rewarding career critical to the healthcare system, with growing opportunities due to medical advancements and an increasing need for diagnostic services. 

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Those in the medical laboratory technology field need:  

  • fine motor skills 
  • critical thinking 
  • communication skills 
  • the ability to work independently 
  • to be adaptable 
  • the ability to work well under stress, maintain professional behaviour and regulate their emotions 
  • the ability to use technology 
  • attention to detail 
  • to tolerate the sight of human blood and tissue 
  • the ability to assist in transporting, lifting and positioning of patients and equipment 
  • the ability to meet the physical demands of the job (including spending most hours working on your feet, walking, repetitive bending, and repetitive tasks) 
  • the ability to visualize in three dimensions 
  • normal colour vision.

Medical laboratory technologists wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for extended periods, which includes exposure to latex and disinfection chemicals. 

You may also work extended hours and shiftwork, including evenings and weekends.

You are strongly encouraged to refer to the ALIS website for career, learning, and employment information for medical laboratory technologists to ensure you can successfully meet the occupational requirements for the program and profession.

Practicum, co-op and work integrated learning opportunities

Your practicum provides a range of clinical experiences where you’ll develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be a medical laboratory technologist. These clinical experiences will focus on five key areas - microbiology, chemistry, hematology, transfusion medicine and histotechnology.

You will be assigned practicum placements with consideration given to your preference of location. However, due to limited availability in Calgary, it might be necessary for you to travel or relocate outside the city. Special considerations will not be accommodated.

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, you will be required to provide specific documentation before you can participate in your practicum. Find out what requirements you need for this program. 

Accreditations, designations or certifications

Graduates achieve clinical competence as defined by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) and meet the compliance requirements of Accreditation Canada.  

You will be eligible to challenge the CSMLS exam to obtain national certification as a medical laboratory technologist, allowing you to work anywhere in Canada. 


After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Medical Laboratory Technology diploma.

Program length

2 years

Not open to international applicants

This program is not available to international applicants at this time. 

Not eligible for CAJG

This program is not eligible for the Canada Alberta Job Grant

Related careers

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Potential careers (NOC):

  • Medical laboratory technologists (32120)

Admission requirements - Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents, with a combined average of 75%:

  • at least 70% in Math 30-1 or at least 75% in Math 30-2, and
  • at least 70% in English Language Arts 30-1, and
  • at least 70% in Chemistry 30, and 
  • at least 70% in Biology 30.

You must also achieve a mark of at least 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety’s entrance testing process.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

Admission requirements - Applicants educated outside of Canada

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find accepted educational documents and assessment options

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

Application process

Before applying to this program, you must complete the necessary entrance tests.

Refer to Health and Public Safety entrance testing to find the required tests and deadlines and instructions on how to book your exams. 

Program outline

The Medical Laboratory Technology diploma requires 88.5 credits (31 courses) to complete.

The program spans two years, with three semesters each year.

Suggested schedule of study

Year 1

Year 2


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure > 

Books and supplies

Books, supplies, and uniforms are approximately $1,600 for the entire program.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page. Chromebooks will not meet the requirements for the software used in this program.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore’s website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. 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 is required this term.

You are responsible for any additional expenses related to your practicum, including pre-practicum requirements and relocation costs to practicum sites outside of Calgary.

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 before 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. 

Tech requirements

You will be evaluated on your competency performance level using a tracking system called CompTracker. You will require a wifi-enabled Apple tablet that can run the most up-to-date operating system to support the CompTracker system.

  • Any size tablet is acceptable.
  • Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory.
  • Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker.

There is a required user license fee of $165. More information will be shared at orientation.

Additional fees

  • The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national exam fee is approximately $1,500 for members or $2,000 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. Refer to for more details.
  • College of Medical Laboratory Technologist of Alberta (CMLTA) provincial dues are approximately $285 for recent grads plus $150 for the initial application fee.
  • A fee is associated with obtaining a police information check, including a vulnerable sector check, payable to the police or Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • You must have your immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines you need to be administered will result in additional charges.
  • A fee of approximately $50 to $100 is associated with an electronic student permit checking submission, which is required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform.

Health and Public Safety program advising

For any questions or to set up an advising appointment, please contact our School of Health and Public Safety.

Phone: 403.284.8481

Program outcomes

  1. Conduct professional practice according to established protocols, safety guidelines, and existing legislation.
  2. Verify relevant data to ensure appropriate specimens are collected and handled according to established protocols.
  3. Perform analytical techniques and assess results on various 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.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs