Ontario College Certificate | 3 semesters | Barrydowne

The Medical Laboratory Assistant program offers student the skills and abilities to perform pre-analysis components of medical lab work under direct supervision of medical laboratory technologists in hospitals, physician’s offices and private medical laboratory settings.  Students become proficient in the collection of blood samples, performing ECGs, the use of laboratory equipment and being fluent in medical terminology.  Communication and interpersonal skills are also developed in the program for patient interaction.  This certificate program shares common first year courses with students in the Medical Laboratory Technology program. Students will also perform phlebotomy techniques in each semester of study.

Program Highlights

  • 1 year- 3 semesters 
  • Two semesters at Cambrian College followed by a 7-week placement experience in a lab setting.
  • Theoretical and laboratory training using sophisticated analyzers and laboratory software in clinical hematology, transfusion science, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, and clinical histotechnology/cytopathology. 
  • Curriculum delivered by experienced and knowledgeable faculty.
  • 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)


In the final 7 weeks of the program, students 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 a number of public and private laboratories across Canada that will provide excellent clinical training to Cambrian's Medical Laboratory Assistant students. Students could be placed at a lab anywhere in Canada. Please note that all related clinical placement expenses such as travel, parking, and accommodation are the responsibility of the student.

Additional 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

Limited Enrolment

Please note that possession of the prerequisite course requirements does not guarantee admission. If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of places available in the program, the College reserves the right to select from among those applicants. Please see the Limited Enrolment F.A.Q.'s on our website under "How to Apply" for further details.

Quick Links

How to Apply

Health Sciences, Nursing, and Emergency Services

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)


Program Delivery


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2023
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2024
  3. SEMESTER 3 Spring 2024

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study for 2023-24 Academic Year

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
ENG 1121 Research & Writing/Health Sciences 3
MLT 1300 Quality Control Practices 3
BIO 1311 Anatomy and Terminology 3
MLT 1301 Lab Equipment and Safety 4
MTH 1310 Lab Mathematics 3
One General Education Course. 1 3
Semester 2
MLT 1302 Molecular Techniques 3
MLT 1303 Lab Techniques - Microbiology 4
MLT 1304 Lab Techniques - Hematology 3
MLT 1305 Lab Techniques - Chemistry 3
MLT 1306 Histo/Cyto /Specimen Collection 3
MLT 1307 Histo/Cyto/Specimens Lab 3
MLT 1308 Introduction to Transfusion 3
Semester 3
MLT 1309 Clinical Internship 6
 Total Credits47

For more information regarding General Education courses, click here.


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 & Supplies

The cost of books and supplies for year one is under review. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.  

Graduate Options

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.

Furthering Your Studies

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).

College/University Degree Opportunities

Graduates from this program may continue their studies at college/university and may receive credit for their prior College education.

Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.