The university offers a Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Medical Laboratory Science. This degree is the first of its kind in Ontario and provides students with a unique academic pathway leading to a breadth of employment and graduate study opportunities. The Medical Laboratory Science program holds accreditation with Accreditation Canada.
The faculty’s mission is to prepare highly skilled graduates who are committed to excellence, innovation, and evidence-based practice in a rapidly changing health care environment. Throughout the program there is an emphasis on collaboration, accountability, leadership and research as the foundation of evidence.
In recent years, modern health care has become increasingly dependent on complex laboratory tests. Medical laboratory technologists perform tests in all laboratory areas. The results of these tests aid in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. Increasing consumer and physician demand for diagnostic laboratory services and the anticipated Ontario population growth are excellent indicators of continued and growing employment opportunities for Medical Laboratory Science graduates.
Students learn fundamental knowledge and skills in biological, physical and health sciences. In the medical laboratory science-specific courses, students develop strong laboratory, interpersonal, analytical and problem solving skills. Consolidation of these skills occurs during the fourth-year practicum.
When in the laboratories, students will work with all types of human specimens. It is important that applicants are aware of this aspect of the program. Throughout Years 1 to 4, students will be expected to collect blood specimens. Competence in blood collection must be demonstrated prior to entering the first practicum semester in Year 4.
Medical laboratory professionals are dedicated to serving the health care needs of the public; therefore, the welfare of the patient is paramount at all times. In order to meet this expectation on graduation, it is important that students considering Medical Laboratory Science realize there is an expectation throughout the program that they perform testing protocols within a pre-established time standard and meet the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science competencies so that they are prepared for the clinical environment.
Applicants with colour blindness should be aware that the ability to clearly differentiate colours is essential for working in a diagnostic medical laboratory.
Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.
Current Ontario secondary students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U) with a minimum grade of 60 per cent, Biology (SBI4U) and Chemistry (SCH4U) and one of Advanced Functions (MHF4U) or Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U). In addition, a combined minimum 70 per cent average in math and science courses is required. All other applicants should refer to admissions for the requirements for their specific category of admission.
Starting in first year, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and get hands-on experience in the simulation laboratories. As the theoretical knowledge expands so does experiential knowledge. In fourth year, students will be placed in a diagnostic medical laboratory for the final two practicum semesters where they will work under the supervision of a medical laboratory technologist and perform increasingly complex procedures on human specimens. Clinical placements give students hands-on practice, experience in different work environments and the opportunity to network with potential employers. Although some exceptional circumstances may be considered, practicum sites are assigned on a random basis; therefore, students may be placed in any affiliated site within the province of Ontario. Students are responsible for any costs associated with relocation.
Program start dates
In order to accommodate practicum-related course requirements, fourth-year students in the Medical Laboratory Science program will have start dates prior to the first day of lectures that is stated in the academic schedule . The fall term will begin on the Monday two weeks prior to the stated first week of lectures. The winter term start date will be the first date the university reopens in January. Students will be advised by the program administration of specific term dates prior to the start of their fourth year.
Practicum placements in the fourth year occur away from the university’s campus in diagnostic medical laboratories across the province. Students should expect to attend their practicum placement five days per week, approximately eight hours each day. Students taking electives where classes are scheduled on-campus during their practicum hours must contact the Medical Laboratory Science practicum co-ordinator to make accommodations for their classes.
Practicum placements in the fourth year of the Medical Laboratory Science program are 30 weeks and will extend into the stated examination period for the university in each term. Students who are taking elective courses that have exams scheduled during practicum hours must contact the Medical Laboratory Science practicum co-ordinator to make accommodations for their exams.
Following successful completion of the degree program, graduates are eligible to write the examinations offered by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) to obtain national certification. CSMLS certification is recognized throughout Canada. For those graduates that choose to remain in Ontario to practice, successful completion of the CSMLS examination allows graduates to register with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO), which governs license to practice in Ontario. Graduates are also eligible to write the American Society for Clinical Pathology examinations, which are a prerequisite for applying to work as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in the United States.
Program details and degree requirements
To be eligible for a Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) degree, students must successfully complete 120 credit hours. Degree and program requirements are subject to change without notice. The following program map is only a guide and is to be used in combination with proper advising. Students wishing to make changes to their program of study should consult their academic advisor.
Although reasonable efforts will be made to adhere to the following program map, course requirements and term offerings may change. For the most up-to-date list of course offerings, please visit the faculty website at healthsciences.ontariotechu.ca.
Program progression requirements
A student must achieve a minimum grade of C in all professional medical laboratory courses (MLSC) in order to pass the course. Students who earn a grade lower than a C in any of the courses designated MLSC will be put on program probation, regardless of their overall GPA. A second grade of less than C in any repeated MLSC designated course will result in an academic standing of Program Dismissal.
Also, a total of three failures in any combination of required HLSC or MLSC courses will result in an academic standing of Program Dismissal.
Additionally, students who have failed a third attempt of any required program course will be dismissed from the program as per the university’s repeat policy.
Students who are dismissed from the program, but have maintained the academic standing to remain at the university, may apply for a change of program.
Program progression review
Students who have been dismissed from the program may, with sufficient grounds, request a Review of Academic Standing as outlined in the university’s academic regulations .
Program professional suitability
The safety of students, patients and faculty while in our university’s laboratories and placement settings is of paramount importance for the Medical Laboratory Science program and for the placement setting. The following requirements are in place to ensure the provision of competent, safe and ethical practice while students are registered in MLSC designated courses.
Requirements for safe practice
In order to be eligible to participate in MLSC designated courses students will be required to meet specific requirements for safe practice within established timelines as stated in the Medical Laboratory Science Program and Practicum Handbooks. These requirements include the successful completion of all prerequisite course work, health and safety requirements, and a criminal reference check. Students who do not successfully meet the requirements for safe practice will not be approved to participate in MLSC designated courses and will be required to withdraw from their respective courses until the next time the course is offered and the requirements are met.
A student on placement in a clinical setting, who has exhibited behaviour that is inconsistent with the norms and expectations of the profession, or that places the student, patients or others at risk, may be immediately suspended from the program and subject to a review and possible sanctions, in accordance with the university’s academic regulations .