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  • Biotechnology - Advanced

    Biotechnology - Advanced

(Optional Co-op)

Program Code:BTA
Duration:6 Semesters (3 Years)
Start Dates:Fall, Winter,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Advanced Diploma

Program Description

This program prepares you to work as a research technologist in life sciences through familiarization with scientific methods, experimental techniques, and research equipment. You’ll gain the theoretical and practical training to perform assays with the level of efficiency, precision and accuracy necessary for research and development work.

Choose between the co–operative education mode (BTAC) and the non co–operative education mode (BTA). Non co–op students will follow the sequence of the regular academic semesters. Co–op students, depending on the length of their first work–term after the fourth semester, have several ways to complete the final academic semesters. See the co–op models for possible progression paths, or the Program Co– ordinator for other alternatives.

Since the number of seats at the third semester is limited, students who fail to maintain a semester grade point average of at least 2.5 during their first year and each subsequent semester, will be transferred to an alternative program within the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry.

Program Learning Outcomes:

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply chemical, biological, and physical concepts to problem-solving and job performance in a biotechnology environment.
  • Perform quantitative and qualitative analyses and tests using appropriate laboratory procedures, and interpret the results.
  • Perform standard cell culture procedures under aseptic conditions, for use in quality control, research, product development, or manufacturing in a biotechnology environment.
  • Perform molecular biology procedures for use in quality control, research, product development, or manufacturing in a biotechnology environment.
  • Perform laboratory duties in compliance with law, legislation, and regulations, policies, and procedures relevant to occupational health, safety, environmental, and ethical practices.
  • Prepare, maintain, interpret, and communicate scientific data effectively.
  • Apply management practices in the biotechnology workplace.
  • Develop a plan for continued professional growth.
  • Recognize the scope, nature, and ethical implications of biotechnology and its influence on society.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
    • Grade 11 Biology: (C) or (U)
    • Grade 12 Chemistry: (C)
    • Grade 12 Mathematics*: MCT4(C) Mathematics for College Technology (recommended grade 60% or over) or Grade 12 (U) Mathematics, MHF4(U) (Advanced Functions) or MCV4(U) (Calculus and Vectors)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading)

* Seneca may also consider applicants with good grades in MAP4(C) (80% or over recommended) or MCR3(U) (70% or over). Students with grades lower than these recommended benchmarks and who test below the appropriate level in the skills assessment can expect to be placed into a preparatory mathematics course or will be counselled to enroll in the Applied Science and Technology Fundamentals Certificate Program.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

Become a research technologist in life sciences. Earn your advanced diploma in the Biotechnology Advanced program and you’ll be prepared for a rewarding career in research laboratories of university, hospital and government institutes, as well as in the research and development areas of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

School Guidelines

All students are required to follow guidelines, policies and procedures set down by the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry.

General Education

One of the general education courses must be a literature course (from any category) for which EAC150 is a pre–requisite.

A general education course (other than EAC) is a pre–requisite for SES391.

Common First Year

In the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry, the Technician (2–year) and Technologist (3–year) programs have a common first year, that is, semester one and semester two.

Areas of Study

You’ll study a wide range of topics, including: molecular genetics, immunology, tissue culture, virology, biological and biochemical techniques, histology, cell biology, biochemistry, computer applications and statistics, as well as a common first year of basic biology, chemistry and mathematics.

Affiliations and Associations

  • Canadian Society of Microbiologists
  • Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC)

Upper Level Entry

With existing postsecondary education in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceutical or technology disciplines, applicants may qualify to begin their Seneca College studies in a higher semester than 1. At the discretion of the academic area, upper level entry may be granted to applicants who partially qualify with the understanding that they need to take additional courses from previous semesters.

Co-operative Education Option

Should you choose the co–operative education option, you'll find that it's an important partnership between the employer, the College and you. Following the fourth academic semester, you'll begin to integrate your academic study with practical work experience in industrial, governmental and university laboratories. The experience you'll gain during these work–placement semesters provides considerable reinforcement to your overall studies and is a way for you to connect with employers for potential future employment.

As part of the graduation requirements, you'll be required to successfully complete the professional theory and practice courses, and two out of the three available work–term semesters. In this option, you must achieve a high academic standing (G.P.A. 3.0) in each semester, while maintaining a full course load (5 courses), as well as fulfilling other responsibilities in order to continue in the program or qualify for the work semesters.

A "Policies and Guidelines for Students" document, that elaborates on this cautionary note, is available from the School or the Faculty of Technology Co–operative Education office.

Admission to the Co–operative Education pro–gram is by application during the third aca–demic semester. Note that a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 (cumulative from semesters one, two and three, as well as a minimum “B” grade in EAC150 is required to be eligible, but does not necessarily guarantee entry into the co–operative education option. As part of the selection process, the Promotion Committee will play a key role in assessing the suitability of students to participate in co–operative education.


Co-op Model #1
Fall Winter Summer
Semester 1 Semester 2/1 Vacation/Semester 2
Semester 3 Semester 4 Work Term 1
Semester 5 Work Term 2 Work Term 3
Semester 6    


Co-op Model #2
Fall Winter Summer
Semester 1 Semester 2/1 Vacation/Semester 2
Semester 3 Semester 4 Work Term 1
Work Term 2 Semester 5 Work Term 3
Semester 6    


Co-op Model #3
Fall Winter Summer
Semester 1 Semester 2/1 Vacation/Semester 2
Semester 3 Semester 4 Work Term 1
Semester 5 Work Term 2 Vacation
Semester 6    

Transfer Options

Seneca/York BSc (Tech) Degree in Applied Biotechnology

Seneca College and York University jointly offer courses towards a York University BSc (Tech) degree in Applied Biotechnology. Students would take the first five semesters in Seneca’s Biotechnology Advanced program and then request to transfer and if accepted, complete the next three semesters at York University’s Department of Biology.

  • During semester three, students must declare their request to transfer into the joint Seneca/York BSc (Tech) program in Applied Biotechnology.
  • In order to be considered, students must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.8 or more on completion of semester two.
  • Students' academic progress will be monitored at the end of semester five for enrolment into semester six at York University, Department of Biology. In order to be eligible for semester six, students must have a Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.3 or more, complete specific semester five courses and be recommended by Seneca’s School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry.
  • This is a non co–op program.
  • For details contact the BTA program Co–ordinator.

Diploma to Degree... and Beyond

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant semester.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BIO173 Biology 6
CHM173 Chemistry 6
EAC150 College English 3
MTH173 Mathematics 5
SSA001 Science Survival 1
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ACA273 Advanced Computer Applications 3
BIO273 Biology 6
CHM273 Chemistry 6
MTH273 Mathematics 5
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BIT373 Biotechniques 6
CHO373 Chemistry - Organic 6
MBG353 Microbiology 5
SES391 Effective Technical Writing 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BIT473 Biotechniques 6
AIN573 Analytical Instrumentation 5
PHY453 Physics 3
STA453 Statistics 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
CPP100 Co-op Professional Theory (co-op option only) 1
CWT100 Co-op Work Term (co-op option only)
Year 3
(Semester 5 and 6)
Course Name Hrs/Wk
Total of 8 Core Courses
BNF573 Bioinformatics 4
FMB573 Food Microbiology 5
BPH633 Biopharmaceuticals 3
IMU673 Immunology 5
MOB673 Molecular Genetics 6
TIC673 Tissue Culture 5
VIR673 Virology 5
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
and four of the following courses:
AIN573 Analytical Instrumentation 5
ANH573 Anatomy and Histology 5
BIT573 Advanced Techniques in Biotechnology 5
CPY573 Cell Physiology 5
OCC433 Occupational Health and Chemistry I 4
PHA333 Pharmaceutical Analysis 2
PHM633 Pharmaceutical Microbiology 5

Students graduating with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 or greater in this program may be eligible to enter the B.Sc. programs at the University of Guelph through the Seneca–Guelph linkage agreement. For details contact the Program Co–ordinator.

Contact Us

For more information, please visit our website at
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22840
International Admissions Advisor: Valentyna Gorodovych
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22432
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Diane Duerden
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33006
Program Contacts:
Program Student Advisor: Monica Russell
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33769
Co-op Coordinator: Zahra Hirji
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33218
Program Chair: Paola Battiston
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33760
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Graduate Success


Patricia Power graduated from the Biotechnology Advanced program and was able to move onto a master's degree in health sciences.

Read more



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