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 occur throughout the province with the Fraser Health Authority, Interior Health Authority, Providence Health Authority, Provincial Health Services, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver Island Health Authority, and LifeLabs. Students are responsible for their own transportation and accommodation while on their clinical placement. Students continue with their didactic studies thru on-line learning while on their clinical placement. Internet access will be required.
Note: Although student input is used for site assignments, there is no guarantee that students will receive their preferred clinical placements. Students may be assigned to a site with any of our clinical partners located throughout the province.
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:
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 most 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.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
Given the rigorous expectations of the program, it is not recommended that you attempt to work.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
BCIT arranges clinical training placements for the students. Students will be requested to provide their preferences for clinical placements, but there is no guarantee that they will be assigned to one of their preferences. Training site placements are located in provincial health authorities (Fraser Health, Interior Health, Providence Health, Provincial Health Services, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island) and LifeLabs.Students may require a car for transportation to clinical training sites and must arrange their own accommodation. 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 approximately 80 students. Historically, we invite 120 - 150 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
You can only apply when you have fully met the academic requirements. An exception can be made if you are in the process of completing prerequisite courses and can submit interim reports which show you have completed a minimum of 50% of the gradable course work at the time that you apply. Refer to https://www.bcit.ca/admission/requirements/midterm.shtml for information on submitting midterm marks.
This program is competitive and we schedule several selection dates in the first two weeks of June. Only eligible applicants who meet the academic entrance requirements are invited to participate in the selection process. If academic requirements are met by June 1st, you will be scheduled to participate in the selection process.
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 have the option to either write challenge exams or complete upgrading courses through your local school district or post-secondary institution. Challenge exams exist for Biology, Math, Chemistry and Physics.Top
Admissions will assess post-secondary transcript(s) for courses that fulfill the English-language proficiency requirement.Top
There are a number of upgrading and assessment test options.Top
You will have only one opportunity to write each challenge exam.
Please refer to https://www.bcit.ca/admission/requirements/international.shtml for information on International high school equivalencies. BCIT will also assess out of country credentials, provided they are submitted together with a comprehensive ICES report. Please note we will be looking for courses that meet equivalency, recency, and the relevant letter grade.
Challenge exams or upgrading will be required if the prerequisite courses have not been taken within five years from your program start date.Top
To be eligible for the selection process, applicants are only required to meet the minimum academic entrance requirements, which have been established to ensure the success of the student in the program.Top
The program looks for well-rounded individuals who will be successful as students and as future medical laboratory technologists (MLT).
Post-secondary courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology and other medical laboratory-related courses would strengthen your application and support your overall success in the program.Top
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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