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Medical Laboratory Assistant

MDLASchool of Health Sciences

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Key Details

Program Start Dates

September 2024

Please visit Ontario College Application Service to learn more about start dates

Program Delivery

Campus / Full-time


Ontario College Certificate

Program Duration

3 Semesters
Currently not available for international students

Program Contacts

Juelle Wickenden

Program Coordinator / Professor

Send email
705-566-8101 ext.6481

Program Overview

Support medical professionals with confidence and patients with assurance

Gain essential skills to assist medical laboratory technologists in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and private labs in just one year. You’ll master blood sample collection, phlebotomy techniques, ECGs, and lab equipment operation. You’ll become fluent in medical terminology and develop the strong communication skills needed to put patients at ease. 
You’ll benefit from hands-on training by experienced faculty on campus, followed by a seven-week placement. Gain all the theoretical and lab training you’ll need to perform pre-analysis components of medical lab work under the direct supervision of medical lab technologists. 

Program Highlights

Program highlights 

  • Limited enrolment 
  • Be job-ready in just 1 year 
  • 7-week placement in a lab setting 
  • Theoretical and lab training in clinical hematology, transfusion science, chemistry, microbiology, and histotechnology 
  • Accredited by Accreditation Canada 
  • Graduates can apply to the Medical Laboratory Technology (MDLY) program at Cambrian College with advanced standing (minimum grade requirements apply in order to transfer credits). This process is competitive. Completion of the Medical Laboratory Assistant program does not guarantee acceptance into the Medical Laboratory Technology program. 


Admission requirements

For graduates of the new curriculum Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) curriculum or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C) or (U)
  • Any grade 12 mathematics (C) or (U)
  • Any grade 12 chemistry (C) or (U)
  • Any grade 11 (U) or (C) or grade 12 biology (U)

Additional admission requirements

Students will be required to provide proof of certain immunizations and non-medical requirements to work with samples in medical laboratories both at the college and on placement. 

For our on-campus labs, students must provide proof of:

  • WHIMIS certificate
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis B

To off-site clinical placements, students must provide proof of:

  • WHMIS certificate
  • Ministry of Labour 4-Step Worker Health & Safety Awareness Training (Bill 18)
  • AODA certificate
  • Respiratory Mask Fit Testing (N95-3M models)
  • Criminal Record Check, including Vulnerable Sector Check (contact your program coordinator if you have a positive CPIC)
  • Immunization requirements:
    • Varicella
    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
    • Tuberculosis Screening
    • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
    • Hepatitis B
    • Influenza Vaccination
    • COVID Vaccination

Clinical placement requirements

In the final seven weeks of the program, you will be placed in a clinical laboratory where you will function, under supervision, as a member of the clinical laboratory team. Cambrian is partnered with several public and private laboratories across Canada that will provide excellent clinical training to Cambrian’s Medical Laboratory Assistant students. Clinical partner sites are subject to change; therefore, specific geographic regions may not be available at the time of your placement and other regions may be added.

Please note that when you accept a seat in the program, you also accept to go to any of the program’s affiliated clinical sites available at the time of your placement. The location of your placement may be different from your preference, and you should expect that you may need to relocate for this clinical training period. The placement will be delivered at an accredited hospital or lab in Canada that is an approved clinical partner of Cambrian College. Please note that all related clinical placement expenses such as travel, parking, and accommodation are the responsibility of the student.

Academic Upgrading

Are you missing admission requirements? Strengthen your academic skills for free at your own pace through Academic Upgrading!

Program Delivery

Program delivery


Fall term start

SEMESTER 1:  Fall 2024
SEMESTER 2:  Winter 2025
SEMESTER 3:  Spring 2025

Program of Study

Program of study for 2024-25 Academic Year

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
ENG 1121Research & Writing/Health Sciences3
MLT 1300Quality3
BIO 1311Anatomy and Terminology3
MLT 1301Lab Equipment and Safety4
MTH 1310Lab Mathematics3
One General Education Course. 13
MLT 1306Specimen Collection and Handling3
Semester 2
MLT 1302Molecular Techniques3
MLT 1303Lab Techniques – Microbiology4
MLT 1304Lab Techniques – Hematology3
MLT 1305Lab Techniques – Chemistry3
MLT 1307Specimen Collection and Handling Lab3
MLT 1308Introduction to Transfusion3
Semester 3
MLT 1309Clinical Internship6
 Total Credits47

For more information regarding General Education courses, click here.


Tuition Cost

Canadian Students

$4,501.17Estimated first year costView fee breakdown

Important Notice

Fees presented are estimates based on projections for future academic year(s) of study. Actual fees charged may differ from what is published here. A full detailed listing of all fees is available in myCambrian and updated annually no later than May 1 for the following academic year. Students in Academic Upgrading are responsible for any fees listed on their invoice each term.

Tuition and ancillary fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students.

Books and supplies

Books and supplies may be required at the course level over and above what is estimated above. Please consult your professor/instructor for further information.

College may be more affordable than you think!

Have you said, “school can wait another year”? Don’t sacrifice your future any longer – you can do it!

Whether it’s fear, financial reasons, or something else that is impacting your decision to start school, we’re here to listen to you and help in any way we can!

Work-integrated learning (WIL)

Take your education beyond the classroom!

Cambrian programs blend academic learning, hands-on training, and community involvement opportunities to help you achieve your ultimate goal – your dream career. You’ll have the opportunity to apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios within and outside of the classroom through work-integrated learning. Whether it be a capstone project, co-op, practicum, preceptorship component, or placement, you’ll benefit from a practical, job-related experience before you graduate.

Field of Study

School of Health Sciences

Cambrian offers a rich assortment of gratifying careers that focus on supporting health and improving well-being. Our on-campus dental and massage clinics provide opportunities for real-world experiences with the local community. Our MRI, medical lab, radiation technologist, and health analytics programs equip you with in-demand skills. From our state-of-the-art fitness lab to occupational and physiotherapy support training, there’s a program to transform your helpful nature into a career.

Learn more

Career Outcomes

Employment opportunities

Medical Laboratory Assistants/Technicians serve in urban and rural settings in the public and private sectors such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Diagnostic labs
  • Clinics
  • Pharmaceutical research testing clinics
  • Fertility clinics
  • Specimen collection sites and blood centres such as Canadian Blood Services
  • Research Facilities.
media1A radiology student Julia working with equipment.

Need a career coach?

Explore how this program can lead to a great career! Cambrian’s Career Coach platform is a user-friendly, online tool that provides up-to-date and comprehensive labour market data to help you explore career options, salary expectations for the Greater Sudbury region, and more!

See where you'll be learning!

Minimum technology requirements

Success in this program requires that you come equipped with some program-specific technology requirements.

Bring your own device (BYOD)

Cambrian College has implemented a BYOD principle to both enrich the student learning experience in and out of the classroom and to ensure flexibility!

Ready to take the first step?

Start gaining the highest level of skills at Cambrian now – and you’ll be ready to take advantage of the many career opportunities waiting for you just around the corner. The future is yours!

Have Questions?
We are here to help.

If you have any questions about programs, funding, OSAP, deadlines, student services, or anything else, reach out to our support team and we are happy to help!

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