University of Maine at Augusta

AugustaBangorOnlineCenters Statewide

Stay close.

Go far.

Medical Laboratory Technology

Where Medical Mysteries are Solved: The Laboratory

Degree Offered: Associate of Science
Available on the Augusta  and Bangor campuses and statewide at University College Centers


The MLT PMLT Logo Aug2014rogram of Maine was created as a collaborative effort between the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Maine at Augusta in cooperation with hospitals across the state that serve as clinical affiliates.

Medical Laboratory Technology is a two-year program leading to an Associate of Science in MLT awarded by the home campus.

The program’s vision is “Providing Quality MLT Education to Communities Across the State of Maine.” All MLT lecture courses are available via videoconferencing at locations statewide. Periodic intensive laboratories will be held at the Presque Isle or Augusta campuses. The final semester is a 20-week clinical practicum scheduled at an affiliated hospital laboratory.

There is a strong need for medical laboratory technicians as approximately 40% of the current laboratory workforce is within five to ten years of retirement. You will be prepared to ensure ongoing delivery of quality healthcare to communities across the State of Maine.

The MLT Programedlabtechm of Maine includes Canadian alumni that have trained in the United States and have become certified through the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS).

Upon completion, graduates are eligible to take the certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).

The MLT Program of Maine is accredited by:
The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
5600 N. River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018

What is a Medical Laboratory Technician?

Medical laboratory technicians (MLT) are vital to the healthcare team as they are often the first to produce patient results. MLT’s use sophisticated biomedical instrumentation, as well as manual procedures, to perform testing and provide results that are essential in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. It is estimated that over 70% of all medical decisions are based in part on  laboratory results.

The medical laboratory technician has diverse and multi-level functions in the areas of collecting, processing, and analyzing biological specimens and other substances, principles and methodologies, performance of assays, problem solving, troubleshooting techniques, correlation of clinical procedures and results, principles and practices of quality assessment, for all major areas: clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, microbiology, and molecular biology practiced in the contemporary clinical laboratory.

Medical laboratory technicians practice independently and collaboratively, being responsible for their own actions, as defined by the profession. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to educate laboratory professionals, other health care professionals, and others in the laboratory practice as well as the public.

The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment and a demonstration of commitment to the patient are essential qualities. Communication skills extend to consultative interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education. Laboratory professionals demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.

Adapted from NAACLS: Unique Standards of the Medical Laboratory Technician.

The MLT Program of Maine admits a maximum of 30 new students (15 at UMPI and 15 at UMA) in the fall semester of each academic year.

In order to be considered for the MLT program, you must do the following:

Complete the following prerequisites

  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent
  • High School Chemistry with Lab or course waiver
  • High School Biology with Lab or course waiver
  • Algebra I and II or course waiver

Meet general admission requirements of the University

  1. Submit an application to the home university
  2. Provide official transcripts of all colleges attended. Courses with a grade of “C-” or better should transfer to the University.*The MLT Program is science intensive and the Program Directors recommend course grades of “C” or higher.
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses completed at UMPI/UMA.

**Students interested in the program who do not meet the entrance requirements are invited to contact one of the Program Directors, the advising department or the admissions office for assistance in identifying methods to obtain necessary courses required for the program.

Required Essay

We ask all potential MLT students to write an essay addressing the following questions.

  1. Why are you interested in the MLT Program? You may comment on previous experiences (work or personal) that have influenced your decision to enter this field.
  2. What qualities do you possess that will help you to be a good MLT?
  3. What are your professional goals?

Lab Tour

It is highly recommended that if you have not had an opportunity to visit a clinical laboratory, please contact one of the program directors for more information on scheduling a visit.

Further Education

MLT graduates may upgrade their professional certification to Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) by transferring into the BA biology program.

MLT Program of Maine Technical Standards

The MLT Program of Maine has established minimum essential requirements (separate from academic standards for admission), which every student must meet, with or without reasonable accommodations, in order to participate fully in all aspects of training and eventual employment in the clinical laboratory setting. These essential requirements are divided into observational, movement, communication, intellectual, and behavioral categories.

Observational – Ability to participate actively in all demonstrations, laboratory activities and clinical experiences in the professional program component. Such observation and information requires functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensations.

  • Observe laboratory demonstrations in which biologicals (i.e. body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens) are tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, and histochemical components.
  • Characterize the color, odor, clarity and viscosity of biologicals, reagents, or chemical reaction products.
  • Employ a clinical binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color (hue, shading, and intensity) differences of microscope specimens.
  • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor.

Movement – Sufficient motor ability to execute the movement and skills required for safe and effective performance of duties.

  • Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
  • Reach laboratory benchtops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  • Travel to a clinical laboratory sites for practical experience.
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing, over several hours.
  • Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory specimens from patients.
  • Possess finger and manual dexterity necessary to control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes), adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures, such as handling small tools and/or parts to repair and correct equipment malfunctions, and transferring drops into tubes of small diameter.
  • Use a computer keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.

Communication – Ability to communicate effectively in English using verbal, non-verbal and written formats with faculty, other students, clients, families and all members of the healthcare team.

  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks and instruction manuals)
  • Follow verbal and written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory procedures.
  • Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection.
  • Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests.
  • Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health professionals verbally and in recorded format.
  • Independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer and laboratory practical examinations.

Intellectual – Ability to collect, interpret and integrate information and make decisions.

  • Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
  • Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.
  • Apply knowledge to new situations and to problem solving scenarios.

Behavioral – Possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities, the exercise of professional judgment, the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with faculty, fellow students, clinical instructors, patients and other members of the healthcare team

  • Manage heavy academic schedules and deadlines.
  • Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
  • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment under conditions of physical and emotional stress.
  • Be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. stat test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli)
  • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.
  • Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.
  • Support and promote the activities of fellow student and of healthcare professionals. Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem-solving, and patient care.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. Accept responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions. The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. The student must be able to critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities). The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments.
  • Show respect for diversity: works well with individuals of different age, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation and/or educational backgrounds.
  • Exhibit professional behavior by conforming to appropriate standards of dress, appearance, language and public behavior.

I have read and understood the technical standards and all questions were answered to my satisfaction. As of this date I can meet these basic academic and non-academic standards.


Student’s Printed Name

_________________________________________ _______________________

Student’s Signature                                                                                                   Date

Adapted from Fritsma, George A., Fiorella, Beverly J. & Murphy, Maryrose. (Jan/Feb. 1996). Essential Requirements for Clinical Laboratory Science. Clinical Laboratory Science, 9, 40-43.

Revised: July 22, 2014

Timeline and Course Descriptions

First Year

Fall    Tues/Thurs
10:00 – 11:30 am   UMPI

3 credits. Orientation to the field of medical laboratory including professionalism and ethics, laboratory safety, and medical terminology. Additional topics include: laboratory math, quality control, and theory of instrumentation. Emphasis will be placed on the quantitative analysis of blood using  spectrophotometers and correlation of laboratory test results with normal physiology and disease states.

Spring   Tues/Thurs
10:00 – 11:30 am   UMPI

3 credits. Prerequisites: MLT 100 or permission of the instructor. Topics include: the analysis of proteins, enzymes, laboratory markers of cardiac damage and function, liver function, hormones, therapeutic drug monitoring, and toxicology. Emphasis will be placed on the correlation of laboratory test results with normal physiology and disease states.

Summer I      Tues/Thurs
8:30 – 10:30 am       UMA

2 credits. Prerequisites: MLT 203 or permission of the instructor. An introduction to blood collection: safety precautions, types of specimens, collection and handling techniques. Routine venipuncture and dermal puncture equipment and procedures as well as special situations and additional techniques used to accommodate them.

Summer I       Mon/Wed
10:00am  -12:00pm         UMPI

3 credits: Prerequisites: MLT 100, MLT 203 or permission of instructor. The course prepares students to perform a complete urinalysis, which includes physical, chemical and microscopic analysis. Topics explore anatomy and physiology of the urinary system and its functions, urine formation and the procedures used in analysis of urines and body fluids, and the correlation of abnormal findings with disease states.

Summer II   80 hours

1 credit. Prerequisites: MLT 103 and permission of the instructor. The Practicum in phlebotomy utilizes the laboratory facilities and staff at MaineGeneral Medical Center and other clinical affiliated hospitals. The fundamentals of specimen collection, specimen processing and handling with a minimum performance of 100 successful unaided blood collections including venipuncture and skin punctures will be performed.

Second Year

Fall          Tues/Thur
8:00 – 9:30 am    UMA

4 credits. Prerequisites: MLT 105, MLT 203 or permission of the instructor. Consideration of pathological forms of microbes including their morphological, physiological, and nutritive characteristics. Some emphasis will be given to mycology and parasitology. Three intensive labs and/or review sessions.

Fall    Tues/Thur
12:30 – 2:00 pm      UMPI

4 credits. Prerequisites: MLT 105, MLT 203 or permission of the instructor. Fundamentals of immunohematology with emphasis on antigens and antibodies of ABO, Rh and other blood group systems, antibody identification, pre-transfusion practices, donor screening, preparation of components and adverse affects of transfusion. Routine serological tests and quality control are included. Four intensive labs and/or review sessions.

Fall    Tues/Thur
2:15 – 3:45 pm       UMA

4 credits. Prerequisites: MLT 105, 203 or permission of the instructor. Identification of blood cell types and their enumeration of body fluids. Various red cell and white cell disorders are discussed. Coagulation including routine coagulation tests, coagulation disorders, and anticoagulant therapy is covered. Three intensive labs and/or review sessions.

Spring 5 days/week, 8 hours/day for 20 weeks

12 credits. Prerequisites MLT 100-206. A twenty-week practicum in hematology, coagulation, blood banking, serology, urinalysis, clinical chemistry, and microbiology utilizing the laboratory facilities and staff at various clinical affiliates around the state.


MLT Program of Maine – Student Performance Outcomes

Graduates of the MLT Program of Maine are eligible for national certification as Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs).

ASCP Board of Certification Results

The following table lists the number of graduates, number of first-time examinees, number of first-time exam takers who passed the exam, and the percentage of first-time pass rates for program graduates.

YearNumber of Program GraduatesNumber of first-time ASCP examineesNumber of first-time ASCP examinees that passedPercentage of first-time ASCP examinees that passedNumber of graduates seeking Canadian certification (CSMLS)
Total      3-Year373697.3%


The following table lists the average scores on the ASCP Board of Certification for graduates of the MLT Program of Maine versus the national average.

YearMLT Program of Maine AverageNational Average


Job Placement Rates

The following table lists the program graduates that found jobs in the medical laboratory science profession within six (6) months following successful completion of the program and the number of graduates that continued their education.

YearNumber of Program GraduatesGraduates working as MLTs within six months post-graduationGraduates continuing their education post-graduation