Medical Laboratory Science

Program Awareness and Suitability

The Medical Laboratory Science program is physically and mentally demanding. It requires a strong sense of responsibility, a caring and professional attitude, meticulous work habits, good hand-eye coordination, and the ability to work in a busy and stressful environment. The following health and personal attributes are recommended to ensure the best possible chance of success in this program, and field of work.


Medical Laboratory Science students require:

  • a professional attitude, meticulous work habits, as well as good manual dexterity and fine motor skills.
  • good time management, organization skills, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to function as part of a team.
  • physical stamina, as work can be physically demanding and requires standing for long periods of time.
  • the ability to work with needles, blood, body fluids, and tissue.
  • the ability to communicate in a professional and effective manner by both written and verbal English, and by electronic format (word processing, internet, etc.).
  • the ability to manage own behaviour well enough to provide safe, competent, and ethical care.
  • the ability to perceive with each of the following senses well enough to provide care and participate in educational activities: sight, hearing, and touch.
  • the ability to clearly differentiate colours.
  • the ability to function in the presence of each of the following commonly encountered and unavoidable environmental factors: noxious smells, disease agents, unpredictable behaviour of others, and noise.
  • an awareness of the financial demands of the program and proactive arrangements to cover the costs of tuition, fees, textbooks, clinical/practicum terms and living expenses.


Medical Laboratory Science students are aware that:

  • they will require access to a personal computer and the internet to facilitate completions of required courses through electronic delivery.
  • this is a very learning-intense program and you can expect to have up to 8 hours of classes and 3-5 hours of studying per day.
  • they will be learning to collect blood as part of the program and will be practicing by collecting blood from one another.
  • their training will also include specimen collection practice on others as well as themselves by fellow students including: venous and finger-poke blood collection, throat swab collection, mouth swab collection, and urine collection.
  • the 9-month practicum may start as early as June or as late as September, and will end the following year as late as June.
  • they will be required to train in a variety of clinical sites throughout the greater Edmonton area, and will be responsible for their own transport to these sites.
  • they will be required to work different shifts (days and evenings) while training at a clinical site during the practicum. These shifts may start as early as 06:00 and end as late as 23:15.
  • practicum schedules will not be announced until the end of their first year.
  • employment in this field and admission to the practicum requires a criminal record check with vulnerable sector check, updated immunization status, and respiratory mask fit-testing.
  • there is an MLS Technical Standards Policy.