Program Overview

Medical Laboratory Science is the study of the scientific principles underlying disciplines practiced in hospital and medical research laboratories. Areas include:

    • Pathology: The study of the mechanisms of disease processes.
    • Histology: The study of cells and tissues under a microscope.
    • Medical Microbiology: The study of micro-organisms that cause disease.
    • Clinical Chemistry: The chemical analysis of blood and other body fluids.
    • Hematology: The study of blood and blood-forming tissues and their role in health and disease.
    • Toxicology: The study of the effects harmful (toxic) substances have on the body.
    • Immunopathology: The study of the immune system in disease processes.

UBC’s BMLSc Program integrates theoretical knowledge with practical lab experience, giving you the tools you need to meaningfully engage in real world scientific research and biotechnology. The curriculum bridges numerous fields of study and is delivered through lectures, seminars, small group problem-based tutorials, and medical case study analysis as well as site visits to hospital labs.

Many of the courses are a combination lecture and laboratory (for example, a 1 hour lecture is followed by a 1 hour lab where the instructor guides you through either hands on techniques or problem solving related to the theory presented in the lecture). Other courses have a separate laboratory period where you will learn a variety of laboratory techniques (e.g. sectioning, embedding and staining of tissues). Sample 3rd Year Timetable

With only 24 students admitted to the program every year, you will develop instrumental collegial relationships with each other and with your instructors. You will have many opportunities for group problem-solving sessions.

The BMLSc Program focuses on science from a human perspective (related to human health and disease) as opposed to other organisms, like bacteria, plants and animals. Our curriculum bridges numerous fields of study and is designed to help students successfully think and work across disciplinary boundaries.

In two years of study, you will gain knowledge in a broad range of health science subjects and develop skills in the following areas:

    • Medical microbiological techniques, e.g. bacterial identification
    • Tissue culture techniques
    • Molecular biology techniques, such as DNA fingerprinting using PCR and gel electrophoresis
    • SDS-PAGE agarose gel electrophoresis and Western blotting
    • Chromatography including ion exchange, gel filtration and Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC)
    • Photomicrography using both light and transmission electron microscopes
    • Immunohistochemistry and other histochemical methods
    • Oral presentations and discussion-leading techniques
    • Critical appraisal of scientific papers
    • Self-appraisal and constructive feedback
    • Professional and scientific communication
    • Laboratory safety procedures (radioisotope, biohazard and chemical safety, WHMIS)
    • …and more

The program is challenging, however, students with an interest in human health and disease do well. On average, students in the program improved their GPAs by at least one letter grade from entrance to graduation. The average GPA for students entering the BMLSc over a 5 year period (2016-2020) was 77% (B+). Upon graduation, the average GPA increased to 84% (A-) [Two students entered with an average of ≥ 90%; 17 students graduated with an average of ≥ 90%].

Entrance GPA Range Average Entrance GPA Average Graduation GPA
80-96% 85% (A-) 88% (A)
72-79% 76% (B) 85% (A)
60-71% 67% (B-) 79% (B+)

Classes are held in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, located at the UBC Hospital on the Vancouver campus.

As a student in the BMLSc Program, you’ll have the opportunity to study with many nationally and internationally recognized experts.

Our courses are taught by faculty members of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and other UBC departments. Many of our faculty members are practicing pathologists, involved in state-of the-art research.

Since the BMLSc Program was established in 1980, we’ve graduated over 600 students. Read what graduates say about their experience in the program.


Until we receive an application for the program we are not in a position to evaluate credentials or prerequisites for equivalency or transfer credits. Admissions does not review supporting documentation outside of the application process. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that they meet the minimum eligibility requirements as listed on our website. Part of the application process is evaluation of credentials/previous education for eligibility.

All of the courses listed as entrance requirements for the BMLSc Program must be completed prior to entry. If you have any questions about missing prerequisites please send us a note through the Contact Us link.

Yes. If you have not completed CHEM 211 prior to entering the BMLSc Program, you will be required to take this course in term one of year 3. It is a prerequisite for CHEM 315, a laboratory course students take in term 2 of year 3.

The BMLSc Pathology courses are restricted to students enrolled in the program.

No. The degree curriculum is a standard timetable that does not allow for electives in Year 3. However, in Year 4, students may take additional courses that fit into the standard timetable.

Provided you have completed all of the first and second-year prerequisites, you can apply to this program from the second, third or fourth year of your current program.

Provided you have completed all of the first and second-year prerequisites, you would be eligible to apply to this program. However, please be aware that the BMLSc Program has a limited enrollment, and the number of qualified applicants is expected to exceed the number of seats available in the program. Priority in the selection process is given to:

  • Qualified applicants who do not yet hold an undergraduate degree;
  • Qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

While applications from qualified degree holders and/or international students are accepted, they will be considered for admission only if seats are available.

The number of applications varies each year and can be anywhere from 50 to 125. Due to facility limitations a maximum of 24 students may be admitted each year.

The BMLSc Program does not have minimum grade point average requirement. Applicants are assessed on an individual basis, based on their academic record.

The minimum GPA accepted each year varies based on the applicants’ GPAs for that year. The minimum GPA of applicants accepted in the previous year is not publicized, as it is not an indication of the minimum GPA that may be accepted in the year you apply.

Applicants will be contacted in early- to mid-May. Applicants can check the status of their application through the Student Service Centre.

BMLSc Program PATH courses are not available during Summer session.

Medical Laboratory Technology

A Certified Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) is a member of the healthcare team who performs laboratory investigations related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease, including analysis of a variety of specimens such as blood, urine, feces, sputum and tissues. Technologists are the people who take your sample (e.g. blood) at a laboratory when you have medical tests.

For information on Medical Laboratory Science Diploma in Technology programs in BC, visit:

Upon completion of an MLT Diploma program, students write a certification examination through the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS).

UBC’s BMLSc Program does not award students the MLT diploma or prepare students to write the certification examination of the CSMLS.