FAQ

How/where can I get information about the Biomedical Laboratory Technology Program?

You can access more information by visiting the Biomedical Laboratory Technology Program page on the Dawson College web site under Programs – Science, Medical Studies and Engineering (www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca). At the Dawson College Open House in October, you can speak directly to faculty and students and learn about the program through the displays and demonstrations. You can also find information about the medical laboratory technology profession at the following websites:

  • Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) (www.csmls.org)
  • Ordre professionnel des technologistes médicaux du Québec (OPTMQ) (www.optmq.org)

What are the admission requirements?

  • Diploma of Secondary Studies with the following:

Mathématique : Technico-sciences de la 4e secondaire (TS 4e) or Sciences naturelles de la 4e secondaire (SN 4e) or Culture, société et technique de la 5e secondaire (CST 5e)

Physique: 5e secondaire

Chimie : 5e secondaire

  • An interview is required to assess the candidate’s readiness to pursue Biomedical Laboratory Technology studies.
  • Candidates must be eligible to take College English 603-101 (Testing may be required)
  • Candidates must be eligible to take Basic French 602-100 (Testing may be required)
  • Candidates who have completed the pre-requisite courses within the last 5 years will be given preference for the interview phase of the admissions process. (see below for more details)
  • Candidates who were not selected for admission and choose to reapply, must demonstrate some improvement in order to be considered for another interview. After three unsuccessful attempts, candidates will be considered for an interview only after all other applications have been considered and space remains available in the Program.

I have done the prerequisites more than 5 years ago. How will this affect my application?

You may be required to demonstrate your pre-requisite knowledge by either passing pre-admission tests with a satisfactory grade or taking refresher courses. There is a set of Chemistry review packages on the Program page on the Dawson web site. This can help you assess your knowledge of Chemistry to decide if you need to take a refresher course.

I am missing a prerequisite; can I take it during the summer prior to admission?

If you are missing only one prerequisite course, you can still apply. If you are accepted into the program, you will be given a conditional acceptance. You will be required to complete this course in the summer before beginning the program in the Fall. If you are missing two pre-requisite courses, your application will not be considered. Priority may be given to applicants who have already completed all required prerequisites.

Is there a French or English language proficiency requirement to entering the program?

Yes. Some applicants may be required to take an English and/or French placement test as part of the admissions procedure.

Applicants must be eligible to take the first College level course in both French and English to be admitted. This is important because:

  • There is a certain level of proficiency in English language skills (oral, writing and reading) which is needed to be able to succeed in the program and the profession.
  • There is an often a mixture of French and English used in the clinical labs in our affiliated hospitals. In the internship in third year, students may have a clinical instructor who is a francophone. As well, in the Procurement stage in second year, students must be able to communicate in French to francophone patients.
  • French language skills are essential for all health care professionals. Students who did not complete their secondary studies in Quebec must pass a French language test with the Office de la langue française to become a member of the professional order and to be eligible to work in the province of Quebec.
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I lack the language and/or math/science skills that are required for this program. What should I do?

You can improve your language skills and/or complete or update the necessary prerequisite science/math courses by registering in the appropriate courses through the Continuing Education department at any CEGEP or through an Adult Education centre. On the Biomedical Laboratory program website, there is a set of Chemistry review files to help applicants assess their Chemistry knowledge and prepare for entry into the program.

How can I find out if the courses that I have taken are equivalent to the admission pre-requisite courses?

If you are unsure that you have the program pre-requisites, you can check with an academic advisor to determine whether you should be completing additional courses before applying to the program.

I already have a D.E.C. or a Bachelor's degree. Can I finish in less than 3 years? Can I get equivalences for some courses?

You cannot finish in less than 3 years, but having a D.E.C and/or university courses will enable you to have a lighter course load. You will be given credit for any general education courses (English, French, Humanities, Physical Education or complementary courses) which you have taken. As well, you may be eligible for equivalences for some general science courses (anatomy/physiology, organic chemistry, molecular biology). This assessment is normally done after registration in consultation with the Department chair. We generally do not give equivalences for the clinical courses in specific medical disciplines. These courses focus on specific diagnostic testing and clinical applications, which are generally not covered in university courses. Since our courses are in a specific sequence, they must be taken in order by semester; therefore, courses from different semesters cannot be taken simultaneously.

I already have professional training from another country. How can I get certified in Canada?

Medical technologists from other countries can request a professional assessment through either the national professional association (CSMLS), or the provincial order (OPTMQ). If your background meets the full criteria of either professional body, this could lead directly to certification. However, if you do not meet all of the requirements, you will have to retrain. Candidates who have an evaluation from the OPTMQ may apply to the Program to attain missing competencies. Limited space is available for candidates who meet specific criteria. Please see the document “Candidates with an evaluation from the OPTMQ” on the program web page for more information.

How can I best prepare for the interview?

  • Candidates will be notified by email of the details of the interview process.
  • Candidates may be asked to complete a pre-interview exercise, which will be reviewed at the time of the interview and may contribute to the overall assessment of the candidate. An information sheet will be emailed to candidates who have been selected for an interview.
  • Candidates should inform themselves about the profession and be prepared to show that they possess the skills, personal attributes and abilities to succeed in the program and as medical technologists.
  • A letter of intent is beneficial.

Applicants are encouraged to consult the Program web page on the Dawson College website (www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca). There are many documents and information about the program and profession that can help applicants prepare for admission and entry into the Program.

Can I take the program on a part time basis and/or in the evening?

The program is offered during regular daytime hours only. Students must take a full load of courses, which includes all courses indicated in the program grid for each semester of study.

Are there any physical requirements or particular aptitudes that are essential for entry into the program?

There may be some health related conditions which may have an impact on or possibly prevent future employment in this profession. It is important for students to discuss this with their doctor before beginning the program. Immunizations which are recommended by the Department of Public Health for health care professionals are also required for students before entering the clinical component at the end of 2nd year. Students who do not have a clear criminal record check at the beginning of the clinical component of the Program will not be able to complete the clinical component and will therefore not be able to graduate. On the program website, there is a document, “Is this the right profession for me?” which describes some particular attributes and non-academic standards that students are expected to meet.

How many applicants are admitted to the program?

We admit approximately 32 students into the program. The program is competitive and there are generally more applicants than spaces in the program.

Can I be admitted in January?

No, students are admitted to the program only in the Fall.

Can I work in a clinical laboratory while I am a student?

Second year students are allowed to work in hospital clinical laboratories during the summer and Christmas holiday period as “externs”. Students must have completed all courses in the first and second year and must be a student member of the OPTMQ.

What are the chances of finding full-time employment once I have graduated?

There is currently a need for technologists in Quebec and across Canada. The chance of finding employment is good. There are many jobs in the public sector (clinical diagnostic laboratories in the hospitals). In addition, many private laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, research labs, biotechnology labs, and government labs also recruit graduates.

What are the entry requirements for working in Quebec? In Canada? In the USA or other countries?

When you complete the DEC in Biomedical Laboratory Technology, you can become a member of the Professional Order in Quebec (OPTMQ) and you can work as a medical technologist in Quebec. In addition, you are qualified to take the national certification exam with the Canadian Society of Laboratory Technologists (CSMLS) which will allow you to work anywhere in Canada as a medical technologist. Some graduates also take certification exams in the U.S. and some have obtained certification in other countries, including Europe.

Can I continue my studies at university and complete a Bachelors degree?

There are several universities across Canada which accept our graduates into Bachelor’s programs and give advanced standing for their DEC. Some of them also offer their courses “on-line” through the internet. A document with further information on degree completion programs throughout Canada is available on the Program web page.

Are there any intensive courses in the program?

In the second year of the program, there is a 7 day procurement internship which is scheduled following the final exam period in May. The Fall semester of the third year is compressed from 15 weeks to 10 weeks. The clinical component of the program encompasses 26 weeks in the third year, from mid November to the end of May; students are in the hospital setting all day, 5 days/week. One course in the third year is an on-line course.

How many hours per week should I be reserving for home studies?

At least as many hours as you spend at the College. Between school and home studies, most students in the program claim that they need between 40 and 60 hours/week, including class and lab time.

What is the cost of the program?

There is no tuition for Quebec residents. Non-residents should consult the Dawson website for fee information. All students must pay students fees of approximately $100/semester. Student professional memberships (CSMLS and OPTMQ) are approximately $200. The CSMLS national certification exam fee is $925. Books and lab materials may cost approximately $600/year.

What type of financial/academic support is available at the College?

Student Services provide a great deal of support to students. Check the College website to find out about many services at Dawson College, including the Academic Skills centre, the Mentor Program, the Peer and Faculty Tutoring Programs, Academic Advising, Counseling, Career Counseling and Financial Assistance.



Last Modified: February 26, 2020