School of Applied Sciences and Technology

Laboratory Research and Biotechnology

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In the Laboratory Research and Biotechnology 2-year diploma program, you will study biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, cell culture, animal physiology and animal-handling techniques. You’ll also gain a firm understanding of the principles of quality assurance/quality control that are imperative in a lab.

Gain the laboratory skills essential in life sciences and biotechnology and prepare yourself for a rewarding career in research.

By the end of the program you’ll be familiar with how to use and apply current technologies and research methods in animal physiology, molecular biology, cell culture, immunology, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology. You’ll be shown the importance of effective communication and lab competency, and learn to work safely and efficiently in a team environment.

Sep 01, 2023

Quick Facts

Credential: Diploma

Diplomas are credit programs that take 2 to 3 years 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:

  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Length: 2 Years

With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 2 Years to complete.

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: Accepted

This program accepts international students, however, program availability may be limited. Check program availability for this term. This program also meets the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

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Median Starting Salary

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

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Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

Our industry is constantly changing. We work with industry partners to ensure the information and skills included in our curriculum is consistent with industry needs and the current job market. 

Skills you'll acquire

During the first semester, you'll acquire skills and knowledge in the general sciences of biology and chemistry, communications, ethics, botany, zoology, genetics, and lab techniques and calculations.

In this program, you will learn how to:

  • Work with DNA, RNA and proteins
  • Culture and identify bacteria and viruses
  • Perform biological and biochemical analyses of cells
  • Conduct cell cloning procedures
  • Perform immunological assays
  • Handle and work with lab animals
  • Perform chemical testing using analytical equipment
  • Perform basic surgical techniques
  • Conduct a gene knock-down study
  • Work safely with radioisotopes
  • Perform a gene expression study using real-time PCR
  • Design and manage a group-based project
  • Use QA/QC principles to obtain accurate and reproducible data
  • Conduct literature searches, perform oral presentations and prepare written reports
  • Consider ethical issues surrounding research questions
Instructor and students inspect vial


This program maintains 6 dedicated instructional laboratories for the delivery of program curriculum, supported by a technical support team of 5 skilled and dedicated individuals. These labs contain an extensive inventory of scientific equipment for investigative and instructional purposes.

We also use various lecture and computer facilities throughout the institute.

Co-op work terms

Take your classroom learnings and apply them in the workplace! This program offers co-op work terms that will give you the opportunity to apply your and theoretical knowledge in a workplace setting. You’ll be given various responsibilities and projects and learn directly from experts in your field.

In addition to providing new learning experiences, the work term will give you valuable on-the-job skills and industry contacts that will set you up for success after graduation.

Enter the workforce with confidence

The Laboratory Research and Biotechnology program provides training for employment in a diverse biotechnology and research lab market. Graduates have been employed in:

  • the biotechnology industry
  • medical research (e.g. cancer, diabetes, cardiac or colitis research)
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • the agriculture and food industry
  • microbiology and virology
  • analytical chemistry labs
  • waste water treatment
  • post-secondary institutions
  • forensics
Instructor and Student

Is this program right for you?

To be successful in this program, you must be able to demonstrate the ability to work as an efficient member of a team and display strong interpersonal and communication skills. Further training and the continued acquisition of additional specialized skills may be required to fulfill the needs of your employer or position.

Employment opportunities are not always found locally. Therefore, you must be willing to relocate to various geographical locations within the province, and perhaps western Canada, to secure employment after graduation.

An important key to obtaining successful employment is being able to promote yourself as an individual, and as a well-trained and valuable technologist.

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find program and course information on their My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.

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 7 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.


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.

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 and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

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

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