Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions frequently asked by prospective applicants to Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) at the University of Alberta. Answers relate to the integrated four-year B.Sc. program in which graduates gain both a B.Sc. in MLS and general certification from the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science.

  • Are graduates from the BSc program in Medical Laboratory Science eligible for consideration for admission to higher degrees (MD, MSc, PhD, MBA, etc)?

    Yes. Currently about l5 to 20 percent of graduates enter these and various other advanced study programs.

  • What will my career prospects be with a BSc in Medical Laboratory Science?

    General certification as technologists and the BSc degree are more than professional qualifications-they will allow you opportunities in biotechnology, environmental sciences, food sciences, research technology, etc. Twelve months after their graduation, nearly 100 percent of graduates are employed in education-related fields.

  • Which traits are associated with success as a medical laboratory technologist?

    Successful medical laboratory technologists tend to have these traits:

    1. a love of science
    2. manual dexterity
    3. good organizational skills
    4. effective oral and written communication skills
    5. a flexible, positive approach to change
    6. honesty and personal integrity


    They also:

    1. appreciate attention to detail
    2. are comfortable with technology and computers
    3. enjoy problem solving
    4. co-operate well with other
    5. respect patient dignity
  • How will my application be considered?

    To be considered, you must meet all eligibility requirements (including the English Language Proficiency Requirements of the University of Alberta).

    The preprofessional GPA is compiled from grades on the required courses or their equivalents.

    The cumulative GPA is also considered.

    In deriving these GPAs, the best eligible marks are used. For example, if candidates take a more advanced version of a required course and obtain a better mark, that mark will be used to calculate the GPA. Similarly, for the 3-credit options, the course receiving the best grade will be chosen.

    Because MLS is a quota program that has more applicants than available positions, admission is competitive. An admissions committee meets to consider applicants anonymously. The requirements considered include:

    1. Preprofessional GPA
    2. Cumulative GPA
    3. Letter of Intent
    4. Personal interview
  • Is there a minimum GPA to enter the MLS program?
    Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 on the University of Alberta 4-point scale. Because the number of candidates who meet the minimum requirements for admission exceeds the quota, it should be understood that eligibility does not guarantee admission. Admission is determined on a competitive basis.
  • How can I determine prerequisite course equivalents?

    BSc in Medical Laboratory Science pre-professional course requirements:

    Prerequisite course Typical U of A course(s)
    English (6*) ENGL 102, ENGL 103, ENGL 125 or others
    General Chemistry (6*) CHEM 101 and CHEM 102
    Organic Chemistry (3*) CHEM 261 or CHEM 164
    Biology (cell biology) (3*) BIOL 107
    Biology (molecular genetics and inheritance) (3*) BIOL 207
    Biology, Genetics, Microbiology or Zoology (3*) Any BIOL, GENET, MICRB or ZOOL
    Statistics (3*) STAT 141 or STAT 151 or STAT 337
    Option (any Faculty) (3*) Any other 3* course

    For Alberta equivalencies visit the Alberta Council on Admission and Transfer.

  • Does MLS admit mature students?

    Because MLS has a preprofessional year, consideration of mature student status (called "Non-Matriculated Applicant" at the University of Alberta) does not apply to the program. All applicants to MLS must meet the requirements specified for the preprofessional year.

    Mature students who are considering taking the preprofessional year prior to applying to MLS should consult Admissions under the intended Program of Study for specific admission requirements.

  • How many students are admitted?

    We are currently admitting 29 students.

  • When will I be advised if I have been admitted?

    The MLS Admissions Committee meets approximately two weeks after the deadline for receipt of documents. Candidates are advised whether they have been admitted following this meeting.

    There may be a waitlist, and those candidates who have been waitlisted are normally advised of an admission decision by the end of July.

  • How can I get an application?

    Applicants are expected to apply online at Undergraduate Admissions.

    Paper applications are intended only for applicants who:

    - Are not able to complete the online application

    - Are not able to pay the application fee online via debit or credit card

    - Have been granted a special exemption or extension.

  • What is the letter of intent?

    The letter of intent is submitted in support of your application for admission. See Letter of Intent for detailed information.

  • What are the application and document deadlines?

    • The application deadline is March 1.
    • The letter of intent is due April 1.
    • Supporting documents such as transcripts are due by June 15.

  • Can the MLS program be taken by distance education, part-time or evening classes?

    The integrated MLS program cannot be taken by distance education. Although some course options can be taken by evening classes, MLS students normally attend day classes full-time.

  • What does it cost to attend the MLS program?

    MLS students pay the same fees as other University of Alberta undergraduates. Students pay their fees at the rates which are in effect at the time of payment. Please consult the University's costs, tuition, and fees information.

  • What is the confirmation of admission deposit?

    When you are offered a position in the MLS cohort, you are required to submit $500 with your acceptance. This goes toward that year's tuition but only if you stay in the program. If you withdraw your acceptance, this deposit is forfeited. See Program-specific Deposits on Confirmation of Admission in the University of Alberta Calendar.