With one of the highest pass rates in the country, BCIT's Medical Laboratory Science program is known for producing high-quality and well-prepared graduates who are ready to start working from day one.
Medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) perform over 1.2 million lab tests every day in Canada. Doctors use these tests to make diagnoses that impact patient health. Our grads play a critical role in ensuring patients get the right treatment and health care they need.
Students are ready to write the national certification exam upon graduation. See Program Details to learn more about BCIT's Medical Laboratory Science program.
This program is for individuals who:
Find out if this program is right for you. See Program Entry for more information on requirements and applying.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program curriculum is designed to prepare the student for work within the clinical laboratory. Curriculum and program objectives are built based on the state of practice in the BC medical laboratory community, and on competencies established by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) for entry-level medical laboratory technology.
The program provides theoretical, practical and clinical learning experiences. In this competency-based model, students have the opportunity to first practice, and then demonstrate, competency in a variety of clinical testing domains. Students prove competence through experiences in a clinical setting. Successful completion of this program requires proof of competence in all aspects of the general competency profile [PDF] for CSMLS certification as a medical laboratory technologist. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to write the General Medical Laboratory Technologist certification exam. Successful completion of the certification exam enables one to practice medical laboratory technology across Canada.BCIT arranges clinical placements for each student. Clinical placements are located in a variety of accredited laboratories throughout BC including the Interior, the Kootenay region, Vancouver Island and the Greater Metro Vancouver area. Not all clinical facilities are easily accessible by public transportation, students assigned to these sites must have access to personal transportation. Students are responsible for travel, accommodation arrangements and costs to, during and from their clinical experience. Students continue with their didactic studies thru on-line learning while on their clinical placement and stable internet access is required.
Employers know to expect the best from BCIT grads. Across the country, our grads are working in medical laboratories and providing accurate, high-quality medical testing so that patients receive the best healthcare possible.
After writing their Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) exam for medical laboratory technologists, most of our students find work within two months of graduation.
MLT careers often start in hospitals and private clinics, working in core labs performing high value, automated testing. It's a job that requires precision, technical skills, and analytical thinking. Annual, full-time salaries start at approximately $50,000.
Other career paths that offer opportunities to advance or specialize your career include:
Curious as to what Medical Laboratory Technologists do on the job? See WorkBC's video explaining the skills required to succeed as a Medical Laboratory Technologist.
Want to advance your education? After graduating, complete a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science program through the University of British Columbia.
Note: BCIT is not currently offering any refresher courses for internationally-trained technologists. Your first step is to connect with CSMLS for information about becoming certified as a medical laboratory technologist in Canada (see links below).
To work as a medical laboratory technologist in BC, you must be certified by the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). The general certification includes clinical chemistry, hematology, clinical microbiology, histology, and transfusion science (also called blood transfusion).
The CSMLS offers credential assessment services to help internationally trained technologists assess their eligibility for certification:
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)
33 Wellington Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 1M7
Students attend lectures with the cohort of 80 students, and are separated into four sets of 20 for laboratory activities.Top
The program is only offered in a full-time format. Students complete the program as a cohort. Should you need to leave for any reason, you will be required to re-apply. Re-admission to the program is not guaranteed.Top
If you feel you have completed courses equivalent to MLS courses, you may apply for individual transfer credit within the first two weeks of the program start.
NOTE: If individual course transfer credit is granted, this will not reduce tuition or the duration of the program. It only reduces course load.Top
It is not recommended that you attempt to work, given the rigorous expectations of the program.Top
In Levels 1, 2, and 3, prepare to be in class from 0830 to 1630, Monday through Friday. Outside of class time, students are required to work on homework assignments, group projects, and private or group study. An average of 4-5 hours homework per day can be anticipated.
During clinical placement, students need to be prepared to be scheduled for occasional evening, weekend, or night shifts.Top
You are responsible for all transportation, accommodation, and personal expenses throughout the clinical placement.Top
On completion of the diploma program and Medical Laboratory Technologist Certification with the CSMLS, students are eligible to apply for entry into third year of the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). With appropriate prerequisite work in undergraduate general science courses, it is anticipated that a time frame of less than five years full-time will allow for completion of both the BCIT diploma and the UBC BMLSc degree. Additionally, several other institutions, for example, University of Alberta and University of Regina, offer post-diploma Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degrees; see their websites for details.Top
Colour blindness does not preclude someone being accepted into the program, but we strongly encourage that you consider if medical laboratory science will be an appropriate career choice for you.
Many test results are based on the medical laboratory technologist’s ability to differentiate colours. If you are unable to discern colour differences, you will find it difficult to successfully complete the program. In addition, your employment opportunities will be limited as some laboratories cannot hire individuals who are colour blind.Top
Hearing loss does not preclude someone being accepted into the program, but we strongly encourage that you consider if medical laboratory science will be an appropriate career choice for you.
Technologists must be able to communicate with patients and the healthcare team. The majority of this communication is spoken, whether face to face or over the telephone. Depending on the severity of your hearing impairment, your opportunities for a successful clinical experience and your opportunity for employment may be limited.Top
We typically receive 2.5 applications for each available seat in the program per year. Currently, we accept 80 students. Historically, we invite 140 - 160 applicants to participate in the selection process. Acceptance is based on the ranked aggregate score achieved during the selection process.
Participants who are not among the top 80 ranked will be placed on a wait list for the current intake, in the event that a seat becomes available. The wait list is cleared once the program intake is full and closed; unsuccessful applicants must re-apply to be considered for the next intake.Top
Please contact the Administrative Coordinator if you require further clarification of your eligibility.Top
To meet the recency requirement, courses must have been completed within five years from your start year in the program.
Admissions will assess post-secondary transcripts for equivalent courses meeting recency and relevant letter grade. If your course work is not within recency, you
Andre Caron, BSc(MLS), MLT (CSMLS)
Donna O'Neill, MLT (CSMLS)
The Medical Laboratory program faculty are all CSMLS certified (Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science).
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