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The Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (Honours, Co-op) is a joint initiative of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Biotechnology Program and the University of British Columbia, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. This unique Bachelor of Science program combines the world-class science curriculum available at University of British Columbia (UBC) with the extensive industry-focused laboratory training available at BCIT.

The program is structured to emphasize processes such as critical thinking, communication, leadership, business skills, and professionalism, as well as discipline-specific theoretical and practical training.

The program goals are to:

  • blend the strengths of BCIT and UBC to offer the practical, broad, interdisciplinary program needed by the biotechnology industry to sustain its growth;
  • provide the graduate with breadth and depth in the areas of analytical chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, molecular genetics and bioprocessing;
  • include practical training at BCIT and in the four compulsory work terms; provide graduates with an understanding of the biotechnology corporate environment

Program schedule

BCIT Biotechnology students are available for placement from May to August and September to December each year.

Year Fall Winter Spring/Summer
2 Academic Term 1 Academic Term 2 Co-op 1*
3 Academic Term 3 Academic Term 4 Co-op 2*

*4 or 8 month work term

Student profile & capabilities

Second year students have competencies that include:

  • aseptic technique and culture of microorganisms
  • media preparation for microorganisms
  • reagent preparation
  • good practices in lab notebook keeping
  • smear preparation and staining techniques
  • use of light microscopes
  • bacterial identification and enumeration
  • molecular biology techniques including small scale DNA preparations and restriction digests
  • agarose gel electrophoresis
  • rRNA sequencing and PCR
  • experience performing protein assays
  • SDS PAGE and western blotting
  • maintenance of animal (adherent and suspension) cell cultures
  • transfection of animal cell lines
  • plant in vitro and in vivo propagation
  • plant tissue hand-sectioning and basic histology
  • use of BIOPAC system for human and animal physiology measurements
  • experience using absorption spectroscopy, chromatography and mass spectrometry to perform chemical analysis
  • organic chemical synthesis / characterization of organic compounds by IR spectroscopy and NMR spectroscopy
  • purification of solids by recrystallization and sublimation
  • simple, fractional, and steam distillation of liquids
  • separation of organic compounds by thin-layer chromatography, column chromatography, and gas chromatography
  • Univariate and multivariate techniques in hypothesis testing and data exploration – including, for example, testing of means and proportions, ANOVA, regression, principal components analysis.
  • introduction to Bioinformatics, including sequence downloads and alignments, including writing original programs for automation and analysis in Excel, R and Python
  • knowledge of the history and regulations for medical products

Third year and above students have additional competencies that include:

  • ELISAs
  • enzyme assays
  • analysis of signal transduction pathways by Western Blot
  • isolation of white blood cells from mouse spleen
  • analysis of cell surface marker expression by Flow Cytometry
  • viral infection and viral titering using baculovirus
  • radioisotope handling
  • 1D and 2D-SDS PAGE
  • operating and characterizing fermenters
  • measuring and calculating oxygen transfer
  • extensive experience with protein purification, isolation and characterization
  • molecular cloning, RNA isolation and gels, PCR, probe selection, sequencing
  • real-time PCR
  • use of CRISPR technology in animal cells and plants
  • siRNA knockdown in animal cells
  • bioinformatics (exposure to various search tools and programs)
  • plant transformation, crossing and mutant analyses
  • reporter marker gene characterization in plants
  • paraffin embedding techniques, sectioning and histology
  • plant callus culture and somatic embryogenesis
  • molecule analysis using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy
  • instrumental analysis using gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography including instrument optimization and troubleshooting
  • instrumental analysis using mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry including the routine operation of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-triple quad mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
  • knowledge of regulatory affairs

Employer testimonial

“This student showed exemplary performance as a laboratory research aide. She surpassed all my expectations of a student trainee.”


Student testimonials

“My entire Co-op experience was wonderful. I know the experience will definitely help me in my future career and my learning at school.”


“This summer has been a great experience and helped me see that research is a possible career for me in the future.”