Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology, Diploma

Discover all that you can do with science. This program will prepare you for a career in lab work or transfer into the third year of a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry or microbiology.

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Check our current program availability.

student in lab with test tubes

Program at a glance



Work experience

Co-op / internship

Study options



Open to International



2 years

The Advantage

Take courses that are transferable for university credit at tuition costs that are about 30% lower than BC universities.

Inspired by science?

Creative, meticulous and evidence-based — if you're interested in the variety of skills needed to make amazing scientific discoveries, this program is for you. Prepare for a career in cancer research, environmental protection, drug discovery, vaccine research and more. You can work straight out of the program in a wide range of labs, including those associated with biomedical and health-related biotechnology, forestry, fisheries, mining, agriculture, oceanography and the environment. Or, if your goal is a bachelor of science degree, you can transfer into third year studies at a BC university.

classroom lecture

Whatever your goal, we can help

The two-year ACBT diploma program prepares you forlaboratory workin areas such as cancer research, microbial disease research, drug development, plant biotech, or environmental protection.

You will benefit from thementorship and guidance from dedicated faculty, whether your goal is employment in a lab, further study or simply a solid foundation for another educational experience.

Science Help Centre

Improve your academic skills. From science basics to advanced topics, there's a Help Centre for you. Refresh your skills, work on your assignments with our support, or get tutoring on specific subjects.

Access dedicated labs for program students

The department houses a number of dedicated labs where students gain experience in the analysis of organics, inorganics, and biomolecules. Students will receive training in lab safety, good lab practices, and lab technique. In addition, the tools or instruments chemists and biochemists use for analysis are a big part of their training. Students receive hands on training pertaining to the operation and use of lab instruments.

Instrumentation Lab

  • Two Atomic Absorption Spectrometers (flame and graphite furnace atomizer) for the analysis of metals
  • Gas Chromatograph (dual column with flame ionization and conductivity detector) for the analysis of volatile organics such as components in biodiesel and simple hydrocarbons.
  • Two Agilent Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometers (GC/MS) for analysis of organic compounds at low concentrations such as parts-per-billion. Example compounds include pesticides in fruits and vegetables or PAH’s in water and sediment. Automated online extraction instrumentation such as solid phase micro-extraction is in use in 2nd year courses and in.
  • High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph with UV/Vis and Fluorescence detectors with data acquisition software for quantitative analysis of chemicals such as Bisphenol A
  • UV/Vis scanning Spectrophotometers, IR Spectrophotometers, & Polarimeters for structural analysis of organic compounds
  • Ion selective electrodes (e.g. Calcium, Fluoride, and Lead) are used in water quality testing etc.

Wet Chemistry Labs

  • Analytical top loading balances and pH meters
  • Standard volumetric and general laboratory glassware
  • Extensive glassware used for organic and inorganic synthesis
  • Solid phase extraction equipment and rotary evaporators are sometimes used to prepare samples for analysis

Biotechnology, Immunology, Biochemistry Lab

  • Equipment for the biochemical analyses of cells and metabolites including blood glucose and cholesterol.
  • Equipment and facilities for gene cloning and other recombinant DNA technologies
  • Biosafety hoods and incubators for bacterial culture and tissue culture
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) thermocyclers for amplification of cloned genes and human DNA including qPCR instrumentation for the quantitation of gene copy number and gene expression levels.
  • ELISA plate reader & other immunological assay equipment for the identification and quantification of antibodies or pathogenic bacteria
  • Western blotting apparatus for identification of vaccine components
  • Microfuge & high-speed refrigerated centrifuges for cell, DNA, RNA and protein isolation
  • Gel-permeation, ion-exchange & affinity column chromatography for protein or DNA purification
  • SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) equipment for the identification and characterization of proteins
  • Agarose gel electrophoresis equipment for gene analyses
  • Imaging analysis equipment and computer facilities for structure/function analyses of DNA, RNA and protein

Related links

What you'll learn

Current students wanting information about your program, go to student planning in.

Program outline

For more details, including courses, please see theprogram outlinein the Academic Calendar.

Program Outline

What to expect

Year 1

In your first year, you will take three academic terms (fall, winter and spring). Courses include a foundation in biology, chemistry, English, math and physics.

Year 2

Build on your solid fundamental understanding of modern techniques in biotechnology with two more terms to deepen your skills in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology.

Optional Internship

After your second year, you can take an optional internship (minimum 300 hours) after completion of all the program courses. Students usually complete the work term between May and August.

Work experience

ճoptional internshipenables you to try out potential careers. In your second year, you'll have the opportunity to carry out a major project at an external laboratory.

This leads to anenhanced diplomawith greater skills and work-related experience in your field of interest.

A foundation for further study

The majority of courses in the core program haveuniversity transfer credit.If you intend to pursue degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, biotechnology or microbiology you should consider this program as the first two years of your degree. This program also fits well with a pre-medical school studies plan.

You can apply for admission, with aof your courses, to the third year of theBSc Environmental Sciences programorBSc Environmental Managementat Royal Roads University or any program within theSchool of Environmental Sustainability.

Other transfer options include:

  • UBC, UVIC or other
    • Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science
    • Dentistry
    • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • BCIT
  • Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Tuition and fees

Effective from September 1, 2024, to August 31, 2025

Estimated tuition

Tuition estimates are for the entire program

Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology, Diploma

$9,215 (domestic)
$37,558 (international)

Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology, Diploma, Internship designation

$10,035 (domestic)
$39,249 (international)

Domestic tuition fees vary depending on the individual course fees for the classes you select.

For International students visit: International Tuition & Fees.

Student fees

In addition to tuition estimates, student fees are calculated based on your enrolment. Refer to:Student Fees.

Financial assistance

You may need to find more than one source of funding to help pay for your education and living costs while attending college. Check out sources of money you don't need to pay back as well as those that need to be repaid.

Financial Aid & Awards

Curriculum & courses

Admission requirements

One of:

  • C+in English 12
  • C inEnglish 12 Alternative

One of:

  • C+ in Pre-calculus 12
  • C+ in MATH 097
  • C in MATH 107
  • C in MATH 115

One of:

  • C+in Anatomy and Physiology 12
  • C+ inAnatomy and Physiology 12 Alternative

One of:

  • Cin Chemistry 12
  • C in Chemistry 12 Alternative

And one of:

  • C in Physics 11
  • C in Physics 11 Alternative

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the program admission requirements listed above. Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar: Loading...

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Missing admission requirements?

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Need help applying?

Find out more on How to Apply or speak to an Admissions Advisor.

Contact us

If you have admissions questions contact us today!

If you have questions about what you can expect to learn in your classes contactor the program chair.

Faculty/staff profile


Daniel Donnecke

Instructor, Chemistry
TEC 2323

Faculty/staff profile

Ryan Fradette

Ryan Fradette

Instructor, Chemistry
Fisher Building

Faculty/staff profile

John Lee

John Lee

Chair, Chemistry & Geoscience
Fisher Building

Faculty/staff profile

Larry Lee

Larry Lee

Instructor, Chemistry
Fisher Building

Faculty/staff profile

Steve McKinnon

Steve McKinnon

Program Leader, ACBT
Fisher Building

Faculty/staff profile

Blair Surridge

Blair Surridge

Instructor, Chemistry
Fisher Building

Faculty/staff profile


David Stuss

Instructor, Chemistry
Fisher Building

close-up of microscope lens

Learn more

For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar.

Contact information

School of Arts & Science

Campus location

Fisher 104

Location link

Lansdowne Campus


Admissions questions: