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Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)

Medical Laboratory Technician Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You ask, we Answer!

When is the next application window for the MLT program?

Does Folsom Lake College offer a Phlebotomy (CPT-1) certificate program?

Can I just enroll for the phlebotomy courses anyway?

What is the difference between a CLS and a MLT?

Is there a "bridge" between a MLT and CLS?

Do MLTs have to have Continuing Education (CE) units just like Nurses, CLSs, etc.?

Is there a lottery to get into the program?

How many students do you admit into the MLT Program?

What is the application process?

I am an International student; how do I enroll in the MLT Program?

Who should I contact about my unique transcript situation?

Is Financial Aid Available?

Are Scholarships Available?

Can I use my most recent background check?

What happens if I do not pass the background check?

Do I need a Social Security Number to apply to the MLT Program?

What Immunizations are required for the MLT Program?

Are there prerequisites for the MLT program?

Do I need an AA degree to get into the MLT Program?

Where can I find more detailed information regarding the MLT program?

Can I be exempt from the Medical Language/Phlebotomy courses because I work in the field/possess a certificate already?

How long is the MLT Program?

Can I take other classes or work during the MLT Program?

What does the typical schedule look like for an MLT student?

How will my application to the MLT Program be evaluated?

Can I pick my clinical site?

How does the MLT licensing process work?

When is the next application window for the MLT program?

The next application window begins on March 2nd, 2015 and end on July 1st, 2015.  The application packet and more information will be posted on the front page of the MLT program website in the next few weeks. Note: Application review will not take place until after the July 1st, 2015 deadline.  

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Does Folsom Lake College offer a Phlebotomy (CPT-1) certificate program?

No, FLC no longer has a standalone phlebotomy program. MLTs must be trained in the practice of phlebotomy per state and national licensing requirements; hence the presence of phlebotomy courses in the FLC catalog. However these courses cannot be used toward state phlebotomy CPT-1 certification per the State of California. 

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Can I just enroll for the phlebotomy courses anyway?

At the present time our phlebotomy courses are only for students admitted into the Medical Laboratory Technician program.

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What is the difference between a CLS and a MLT?

CLS's or Clinical Laboratory Scientists are laboratory workers capable of completing high-complexity testing in the laboratory. CLS's require a Bachelor’s of Science degree and a one year internship at a participating CLS program. MLTs on the other hand cannot do high-complexity testing and are directly supervised by a CLS in the laboratory. MLTs require an Associates of Science degree, but not a Bachelor’s of Science. For more information on the differences between CLSs and MLTs please visithttp://www.camlt.org/laboratory- profession and http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/lfs/Pages/default.aspx.

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Is there a "bridge" between a MLT and CLS?

At the present time there is no explicit career or training path to move from an MLT to a CLS in California. Transferability of FLC's MLT courses to outside CLS programs is at each individual program's discretion. Typically, CLS programs do not give credit for any time spent in clinical rotations, and all rotations must be redone.

With the growing CLS shortage, preliminary discussions of whether and how to create a "bridge" from an MLT to CLS have occurred. However, to be clear, only the State of California can control whether a bridge from MLT to CLS is created; the college has no say in the matter.

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Do MLTs have to have Continuing Education (CE) units just like Nurses, CLSs, etc.?

Yes, at the present time MLTs must complete 12 CE units annually to maintain their license.

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Is there a lottery to get into the program?

If the college receives applications from more qualified applicants than we can accommodate, then a random selection process from among qualified applicants may be necessary. The college determines whether applicants are eligible for admission to the MLT program based on acceptable completion of prerequisite courses, grade point average, and other factors.

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How many students do you admit into the MLT Program?

The number will vary cohort to cohort based on the number of available clinical sites for student rotations.

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What is the application process?

As part of the application process each student will need to meet with a counselor to have their transcripts evaluated. To make an appointment with an FLC counselor please call 916-608-6510 (FLC) or 530-642-5645 (EDC). When making an appointment, be sure to specify that you are interested in applying to the MLT Program. You will need to bring the Counselor Evaluation Form (Section A of the MLT Program application) to your counseling appointment. Applicants outside of the Los Rios Community College District seeking prerequisite equivalency must provide course descriptions for the semester in which the course was taken. 


You will also be required to apply for admission to Folsom Lake College to obtain a student ID number. Once admitted, you must then apply separately to the MLT program.


All applications must be delivered, in person, to the Office of the MLT Program Dean (Room 248) at the El Dorado Center of Folsom lake College; 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, California 95667 by the application deadline. Mailed applications will not be accepted. Applicants can expect notification of their status approximately 4-6 weeks after the final application deadline.

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Who should I contact about my unique transcript situation?

Except in very rare instances, all transcript-related questions are answered by Counseling Services.  

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I am an International student; how do I enroll in the MLT Program?

International students have the same application process as non-international students. However, foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES approved independent agency. As with all applicants outside of the Los Rios Community College District, individuals seeking prerequisite equivalency must provide course descriptions for the semester in which the course was taken. For more information please call Counseling Services at 916-608-6510 (FLC) or 530-642-5645 (EDC) and schedule an appointment. 

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Is Financial Aid Available?

Yes, financial aid is available to students in the MLT Program. Please visit our Financial Aid Department for more information.

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Are Scholarships Available?

Yes, scholarships may be available for students in the MLT Program. Please visit our Scholarships Page often as the website updates frequently.

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Can I use my most recent background check?

No, unfortunately not all background checks are the same. To ensure uniformity we require you get a new background check through our current background check vendor.

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What happens if I do not pass the background check?

To be officially admitted into the program you MUST pass a background check from our vendor. Our clinical sites will not train anyone with a criminal history, nor will they consider anyone with a failed background check for employment.

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Do I need a Social Security Number to apply to the MLT Program?

Students accepted into the MLT program will be required to successfully pass background, drug, and immune screens through an approved vendor. A valid social security number is required per background check requirements and in order to obtain MLT licensure in the State of California (pursuant to the authority found in section 1224 of the Business and Professions Code and in section 100275 of the Health and Safety Code, and as required by section 17520 of the Family Code, providing the social security number of the applicant is mandatory for MLT licensure).  

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What Immunizations are required for the MLT Program?

Students are required to demonstrate immunity (serological testing or proof of adequate vaccination, or current immunization) to the following prior to the first day of class:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Varicella Zoster
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B (Can be declined with a signed waiver)
  • Influenza

Students must also demonstrate the absence of Tuberculosis with a Two-Step process PPD, or chest x-ray (if individual has a document PPD response).

FLC Health and Wellness Services can provide information about obtaining these services at a low cost. All documentation of immunizations MUST go through the MLT program's current vendor. Information and instructions will be made available to students upon acceptance into the MLT program.

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Are there prerequisites for the MLT program?

Yes, please visit our Application Requirements page.

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Do I need an AA degree to get into the MLT Program?

No, a high school diploma or GED or CHSPE is required to enroll in the college. Then the prerequisites courses must be met before you are able to apply to the MLT Program.

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Where can I find more detailed information regarding the MLT program?

Please see the current MLT Program Handbook.

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Can I be exempt from the Medical Language/Phlebotomy courses because I work in the field/possess a certificate already?

If you are already a certified Phlebotomist by the State of California you will not need to retake the Phlebotomy portion of the program provided you maintain your certificate. Exemption from the Medical Language course due to field experience must be pre-approved by the MLT Program Coordinator on a case-by-case basis.

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How long is the MLT Program?

The MLT Program consists of two semesters of didactic course work followed by one semester of clinical rotations at one of our affiliate sites. We make every effort to ensure students are able to enter their clinical rotations within a few weeks of completing their didactic coursework. However, applicants should be aware that unforeseen circumstances can result in a delay of the clinical rotation portion of the program. Should this occur, we will make evert effort to ensure this delay does not exceed six months.

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Can I take other classes or work during the MLT Program?

Yes and no. While in the didactic portion of the program you may work or take other courses to fulfill any degree requirements provided there are not scheduling conflicts. However be advised that the MLT courses are very demanding of your time and should be your top priority. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to take courses or work during the clinical rotation periods as you must be onsite at a clinical affiliate for 40 hours per week for the entire semester.

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What does the typical schedule look like for an MLT student?

MLT didactic courses are typically offered three to four days per week between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm; however, there may be some exceptions. The practicum portion of the program requires each student to devote 40 hours per week, offsite, at a clinical affiliate. This clinical internship typically occurs Monday- Friday between 8:30am and 5:00pm; however, again there may be some exceptions. A tentative program outline can be seen at the bottom of our Application Requirements page.  

In addition, students should expect to devote at least 10 hours outside of class each week towards studying, homework, and projects.    

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How will my application to the MLT Program be evaluated?

The MLT Program at Folsom Lake College receives many applications and unfortunately we cannot accommodate all applicants. As such we evaluate each application in the following areas:

• Completion of prerequisite courses
• Prerequisite GPA (must be 2.5 or above)
• Cumulative GPA (must be 2.0 or above)
• Quality of application

We also reserve the right to hold a lottery should it be deemed necessary. Folsom Lake College does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, or sex.

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Can I pick my clinical site?

No. Unfortunately we have a limited number of clinical sites cannot guarantee student preference or close proximity. Students should be prepared to travel for their clinical rotation if required. Criteria for how the program assigns clinical site placement can be found in section 4.7 of the MLT Program Handbook.

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How does the MLT licensing process work?

Upon completion of the MLT program, graduates will need to take and pass an American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) national licensing examination. Once passed, graduates will then proceed to apply to the State of California for their MLT license. Each state has its own set of licensing requirements, so should a graduate wish to relocate to another state, they would simply need to comply with that particular state's requirements.


While the MLT program, its prerequisite courses, and general education requirements associated with the A.S. Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology often results in the meeting of state requirements, it is ultimately up to the student to ensure they individually meet all State requirements.

Per the most recent California Admin Code Title 17 1032.5:

(a) In order to qualify for licensure as a medical laboratory technician, a person shall apply for a license pursuant to Section 1031.4 (b) and meet the following requirements:

(1) Have successfully completed at least 60 semester (90 quarter) units from an accredited college or university. The coursework shall consist of at least 36 semester units of physical and biological sciences with an emphasis on applied clinical science. Coursework shall include 6 semester units of chemistry and 6 semester units of biology appropriate for transfer to a baccalaureate program in science, taken prior to, or concurrently with, training or experience; and

(2) Have met the following training or experience requirements by documenting one of the following:

(A) Graduating from a medical laboratory technician training program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS); or

(B) Graduating from a medical laboratory technician training program approved by the department pursuant to Section 1035.3; or

(C) Meeting admission requirements for a clinical laboratory scientist licensing examination, as determined by the department pursuant to Section 1032; or

(D) Completing a minimum of three years on-the-job practical experience within the previous five years, in a clinical laboratory outside California as a medical laboratory technician, with evidence of satisfactory performance on an examination given by a certifying organization for medical laboratory technicians, performing tests in the specialties of chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunology. This work experience shall include at least 480 hours in each of these specialties and shall be documented by the laboratory director(s) of the laboratory(ies) employing the applicant pursuant to Section 1031.4(b)(8); or

(E) Completing a minimum of three years on-the-job practical experience within the previous five years, in a clinical laboratory outside California as a clinical laboratory scientist, with evidence of satisfactory performance on an examination given by a certifying organization for clinical laboratory scientists, performing tests in the specialties of chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunology. This clinical laboratory scientist, also called medical technologist in some states, need not be California licensed pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 1204, but shall have work experience outside California of at least 480 hours in each of these specialties as documented by the laboratory director(s) of the laboratory(ies) employing the applicant pursuant to Section 1031.4(b)(8); or

(F) Completing a minimum of three years on-the-job practical experience within the previous five years, as a medical laboratory technician or clinical laboratory scientist in a California physician office laboratory or in a laboratory owned and operated by the United States of America. This person shall have evidence of satisfactory performance on an examination given by a certifying organization for medical laboratory technicians or clinical laboratory scientists, respectively, and have performed tests in the specialties of chemistry, hematology, microbiology and immunology. This work experience shall include at least 480 hours in each of these specialties, and shall be documented by the physician(s) directing the laboratory(ies) employing the applicant pursuant to Section 1031.4(b)(8); and

(3) Have passed a written examination for medical laboratory technicians administered by a certifying organization for medical laboratory technicians approved by the department pursuant to Section 1031.8. The department shall, for licensure purposes, accept evidence of satisfactory performance on examinations taken within the four years previous to department approval of a certifying organization's medical laboratory technician examination. The applicant shall have also passed a separate written, self-administered examination on California clinical laboratory law provided by the department. This self-administered test shall accompany the application. A minimum passage rate of 70 percent shall be required.

Note: Typically our students qualify for California MLT licensure by completing (1), (2A), and (3). For more information, please visit the state's website

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Updated 02/24/15

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