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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Medical Laboratory Technology

Start date change: This program has been deferred to a later date to ensure it can be safely delivered under public health guidelines. Please view new start dates under "locations and availability".

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
3 Years

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As part of the healthcare team, Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) perform laboratory testing and investigations related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in a wide variety of specimens, including blood, body fluids and tissues.

Medical Laboratory Technologists are scientific fact finders who:

  • operate a variety of complicated instrumentation
  • prepare tissues
  • study cells and micro-organisms under the microscope
  • analyze the composition of body fluids and secretions

In addition to their technical skills, Medical Laboratory Technologists require the ability to:

  • work both alone and as part of a team
  • manage time wisely and communicate clearly
  • exercise close attention to detail

Clinical placement

  • You participate in work placements within the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre.
  • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses offered throughout the duration of your program. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid.
  • Students are required to complete clinical placements throughout the province.
  • Some evening, weekend and/or holiday shifts may be required.
    • Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to work placements are the responsibility of the student.
  • During clinical placements, the theory component of the program will be delivered through Online Learning.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • The MLT program has been accredited by Accreditation Canada.
  • Graduates who have successfully completed the MLT program are eligible to challenge the national certification exam for Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT)
  • The MLT program has been recognized by the Canadian Armed Forces and now qualifies for a Canadian Armed Forces Paid Education program. Students who graduate from the program may receive advanced standing as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in the Canadian Armed Forces (subject to successful enrolment in the Canadian Armed Forces).
  • Develop skills to meet a growing need in the medical industry.
  • Small class sizes provide the support and attention you need to succeed.
  • Hands-on learning and work terms in real medical environments provide the experience employers look for on a résumé.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Other info

  • After successful completion of the first year of study of the MLT program, you meet the competency requirements for the Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) role and are eligible to challenge the national certification exam for MLA.
  • The nature of medical laboratory work requires healthy skin and general good health.
  • Students with colour blindness should discuss this condition with their physician before pursuing a career in medical laboratory science. The ability to clearly differentiate colours is essential for working in clinical laboratories.

January 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including:
    • A minimum mark of 70% in Grade 12 Academic Biology, English and Math.
    • A minimum mark of 80% in Grade 12 Academic Chemistry.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact the student's ability to complete program requirements and proceed through to graduation. Information on this process is provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of Standard First Aid, CPR Level C. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements.
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Medical Laboratory Technologists are one of the largest groups of healthcare professionals in Canada. Due to a national shortage of qualified technologists, the outlook for employment opportunities is positive.
  • Graduates who have successfully completed the national certification exam are qualified to apply for licensing with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists. Once they become licensed, they are eligible to work in any medical laboratory in the province.
  • Medical lab graduates also have several other employment options, such as research and pharmaceutical labs, sales, technical support and education.
  • Medical laboratory services are generally required on a 24-hour basis. As a result, most positions in medical labs require shift work (evenings, nights, weekends and holidays).

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