School of Health and Life Sciences

Medical Laboratory Assisting Structured Part-Time Pathway

Apply Now

Need more info? Learn how to apply.

NAIT’s Medical Laboratory Assisting certificate program is offered in both full-time and part-time pathways. The part-time pathway runs evenings and weekends over 30 weeks followed by a full-time 7 week clinical laboratory practicum. The Medical Laboratory Assisting program will give you entry-level experience in specimen collection and processing for analysis, basic lab procedures, performance of electrocardiograms (ECGs), phlebotomy, urinalysis, data entry, and clerical/reception services. It will also provide you with opportunities for hands-on experiences with a 7-week clinical laboratory practicum with a clinical partner in Edmonton, Wainwright, Westlock, Wetaskiwin, Camrose, or the surrounding community.

This certificate program will prepare you to be the “face of the lab” in both public and private healthcare facilities, interacting with technologists, physicians, and the public. The duties of a Medical Laboratory Assistant are varied; you might find yourself acquiring patient specimens by methods such as phlebotomy (taking blood) or performing electrocardiograms (ECGs) or assisting medical laboratory technologists in chemistry, cytology, hematology, histopathology or microbiology departments.

Medical Laboratory Assisting is also available as a full-time offering.

As this is a high-demand program, the application deadline for this program has changed for Fall 2023 and beyond. For more information, view the Admission Requirements tab on this page.

Quick Facts

Credential: Certificate

Certificates are credit programs that take 1 year or less and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

  • On-Campus Evening and/or Weekend - Your course activity is done in-person on weekdays in the evening, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Evening and/or Weekend - Your course activity is done online on weekdays in the evening, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Length: 1 year

Our Structured Part-Time Pathways model allows busy professionals to work during the day while they pursue a diploma education in the evening. These pathways have a set schedule of 2-3 courses per term.

Open Studies: Available

This program has courses that are available for Open Studies. Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program. It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in. View courses

International Students: Not Accepted

This program is not accepting international students for this intake.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and do not guarantee future employment opportunities. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

Download report

Median Starting Salary

Salaries are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and are not a guarantee of future income. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

Download report

What you will learn

Hands-on, industry-relevant training

As part of the health-care team, Medical Laboratory Assistants are trained in the collection of specimens from the patient, the initial processing and preparation of specimens for analysis, data entry, performance of phlebotomy and ECGs, urinalysis, specified basic laboratory procedures, and the laboratory information system (LIS).

In the program, students learn how to provide quality patient care by being introduced to

  • How to work safety in a level II containment laboratory
  • The process of collection of specimens for analysis
  • How to procure quality laboratory specimens for analysis
  • How to think critically, to communicate, and to collaborate professionally
  • The professional responsibility of an MLA, including scope of practice, ethics, accountability, and professional development

Full-time programming

Are you interested in taking Medical Laboratory Assisting full-time during the day?

Explore our full-time program

Career Opportunities

Enter the workforce with confidence

Medical Laboratory Assistants are involved in the processing of all samples that come into the lab and ensuring these samples meet required standards for analysis, and there is high demand for employment throughout Alberta, specifically in the central and northern regions.

You will typically be employed by hospitals and healthcare centres, industrial process or manufacturing companies, research laboratories and insurance companies.

 As a graduate of the program, you are also eligible to challenge the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science exam to obtain national certification as a medical laboratory assistant in Canada.

Please refer to the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) website to learn more about their requirements for licensing/mandatory registration and declaration of conduct, which may include disclosure of information related to criminal convictions and professional misconduct or incompetence as well as any personal factors that could impact the ability to practice safely.

What you need to know about Structured Part-Time Pathways

NOTE: Be sure to select the "Structured Part-Time Pathways" option when you apply with Apply Alberta.

Our Structured Part-Time Pathways model allows busy professionals to work during the day while they pursue a diploma education in the evening. It can also give parents added flexibility to provide care for their children.

It is important to note course MELA1196 (Clinical Training) requires full-day attendance for 7 weeks in an assigned clinical setting.

Thanks to a set schedule of 2-3 courses a term, our students study with the confidence of knowing they will acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the workforce, and graduate as quickly as possible. While intensive, this schedule is designed to allow students to fully absorb the information and balance coursework with everyday life.

All of our courses are taught by experts with industry experience in the real world who take pride in the quality education NAIT provides, and the success of their students.

Learn more about Structured Part-Time Pathways

Information for international students

Some NAIT programs are unavailable to international students because they do not meet eligibility for a study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

Study Permit: This program is offered in a part-time structure and therefore, is still eligible for a study permit; however, study permit holders do not have permission to work while studying part-time.

Co-Op Work Permit: Students enrolled in this program must complete a Clinical Placement.  As such, you must apply for a co-op work permit and receive approval before the start of your work placement.

Post-Graduation Work Permit: Due to the part-time nature of Structured Part-Time Programs, this program does not meet the criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. Completion of this program will not make you eligible for a PGWP.

International applicants seeking permissions to take this program can contact a NAIT Academic Advisor – International to discuss options.

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find information and updates about their program on their My Program page in the MyNAIT Portal. To monitor your course progress and the courses still needed to graduate, visit your Academic Progress Report.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 2 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C- in the course(s) or program

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.

Courses

Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

Tuition & Fees

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

Admission Requirements

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions. If you are a current or recently admitted student you can find program and course information as well as contact details for your program on the My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.

General inquiries

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating nait.ca and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Program-specific questions

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal



The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or legal@nait.ca.

Apply to NAIT

Learn how to register through Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) or begin the application process.

Apply now How to apply checklist
Shopping Cart Quick View
Open Shopping Cart