Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta offers a four-year professional degree program. Students acquire general certification from the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) and a BSc in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS). Graduates of the Medical Laboratory Science program at the University of Alberta have an excellent reputation locally, nationally and internationally.

This fully integrated program consists of a pre professional year followed by three years in the Division of Medical Laboratory Science.

After the pre professional year, the first and third years of the program are regular university years. The second year is a 38-week period of practical hospital training under the supervision of Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Zone. Rotations occur in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology (University of Alberta Hospitals site) and through DynaLIFEDX. Students rotate through laboratories in clinical biochemistry, hematology, histotechnology, clinical microbiology, and transfusion science—the five disciplines that are required for CSMLS general certification. 

Technologists with general certification from the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) may pursue degree completion on a full or part time basis. See BSc in Medical Laboratory Science Post-Professional Certification Degree Completion.
  • Five Disciplines of Medical Laboratory Science

    There are five disciplines in medical laboratory science that are required for CSMLS general certification:

    Clinical Microbiology

    • Culturing and identifying micro-organisms that cause disease
    • Progresses from identifying organisms to methods of treating and controlling infection
    • Example: determining the antibiotic of choice in a urinary tract infection


    • Facilitates the examination of surgically removed body tissues by preparing those tissues for microscope examination by a pathologist

    Transfusion Science

    • Involves testing donor blood to:
      • determine its suitability for use in transfusion
      • determine blood groups
      • perform pre-transfusion testing
      • investigate related medical disorders
    • Example: the blood group incompatibilities that sometimes occur between a mother and newborn

    Clinical Biochemistry

    • Chemical analysis of blood and other fluids
    • Examples: A diabetic's glucose level, a lipid profile in a hypertensive patient or drug levels in treated patients


    • The study of blood cells and their formation in health and disease
    • The investigation of coagulation factors and disorders
    • Example: Aiding in the diagnosis of a teenager with iron deficiency anemia, a toddler with acute leukemia and a coagulation disorder such as classical hemophilia
  • Medical Laboratory Science Program Outcomes
    Medical Laboratory Science Program Outcomes

    Medical Laboratory Science graduates are highly skilled academic health professionals who advance the profession through: 

    Knowledge Based Practice: use best available knowledge to inform practice. 
    Scholarship: analyze, adapt, and build upon of knowledge to guide and advance practice. 
    Communication and Collaboration: communicate effectively and collaborate in practice.
    Self Management: demonstrate confidence in practice. 
    Ethical Responsibility: exhibit value-driven practice.