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  • Two-year diploma with second year specialization
  • September entry date 
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg
  • Co-op work experience
  • International applicants please visit Academic Program, Dates and Fees for a listing of programs for international students, current availability and online application instructions


This program provides you with the applied skills required to succeed in a wide variety of professional scientific laboratory work environments. The course work emphasizes the application of standard and specialized laboratory techniques across scientific disciplines, ensuring you receive practical, job-ready experience.

You will learn specialized skills in chemistry, microbiology, instrumentation, quality systems, and communications in the program’s common first year. The second year of the program allows you to choose one of three areas of specialization that best fits your career interests. The three areas of specialization to choose from are:
    Quality Assurance
    Cell & Microbiology
    Chemistry & Quality Analyst

This program has a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) component that integrates classroom and laboratory learning with industry partners through co-op work experiences or industrial project based learning.
Graduates find employment as technologists in many fields, including chemical analysis, research, quality assurance, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling; international secondary (high school) studies.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to apply.rrc.ca and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit www.rrc.ca/credentials for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 15 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

However, if you apply within 6 weeks of the program start date, admission requirements are due within 5 days of applying.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12 including one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English
      • Grade 12 Pre-Calculus Math 40S or Applied Math 40S
      • Grade 12 Biology
      • Grade 12 Chemistry
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Answer this question to determine if you meet this program’s ELRs:
      Have I successfully completed 3 years of full-time high school (secondary) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction?
      • If YES, you meet English language requirements.  Apply and then submit your transcripts* for review
      • If NO, submit proof of meeting an ELRs option.  If you choose the English language assessment option, review this program's approved assessments and required levels.
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but you did not graduate high school, submit your transcripts* for review. 
    • * If your transcripts are from the USA or an ELR exempt country, we will assess an International Credentials Assessment Fee to be paid before your transcripts will be reviewed.

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Grade 12 Courses
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English
      • Grade 12 Pre-Calculus Math 40S or Applied Math 40S
      • Grade 12 Biology
      • Grade 12 Chemistry
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirement 2

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
Requirement: Submission of a parchment (certificate) indicating successful completion of the AEPUCE program, including language levels achieved if available.
CAEL and CAEL Online (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Only Duolingo English Test scores that have been verified through the Duolingo English Test Portal will be accepted.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Please Note: 3 year expiry date for Nursing Program Applicants
LSI (Language Studies International)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills (An in person English Language Assessment hosted by RRC Polytech)
This in-person, computer-based test is composed of four test modules: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is conducted in two parts. The first part assesses reading, listening, and writing, and the second part assesses speaking in a separate room. Password Skills costs $139 to take through RRC Polytech. Password Skills is hosted by the RRC Polytech Testing and Assessment Centre: E440, Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae building, on the fourth floor. If you wish to do Password Skills remotely (not in-person), Password Skills Plus can be taken online. RRC Polytech does not offer Password Skills Plus, but we do accept the results for entry into program.
Password Skills Plus (Password Skills Plus is an online assessment that can be taken instead of Password Skills. )
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)
To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Notre Dame Campus Aug 26, 2024 Apply Now

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1

Students may apply for financial assistance through the Manitoba Student Aid program. For general information on applying please call 204-945-6321 or 1-800-204-1685, or visit their website at www.manitobastudentaid.ca, which also includes an online application. For detailed information, please visit one of the RRC Polytech Student Service Centres or call 204-632-2327. Applicants requiring financial assistance should complete their student loan applications well in advance of the class start date.

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check www.rrc.ca/rpl for additional contact information.
BIOL-1004Applied Biochemistry
More Information

In this course students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of biochemistry and will examine the structures and properties of bio-molecules using standard methods to quantify and identify them. Three major types of biomolecules: lipids, sugars, and proteins are specifically examined in this course. During lab sessions, students will build upon their biochemistry lab skills and generate lab records that meet professional and regulatory standards.

CBST-1009Careers and Trends in Biotechnology, Pharma and Food
More Information

Careers in Canada's emerging biotechnology industry are varied. This course is designed to help students decide on a profession that aligns with their unique skills and abilities. Through industry-led discussions and experiential classroom activities, students will develop a comprehensive perspective on biotechnology, pharma, food and their main industry sectors. They will be provided with an insider's view on each sector of the biotechnology industry, which will help them carve out a career path that fits with their interests and strengths.

Whether students are interested in a career in Manufacturing, Quality Control or Quality Assurance, they will benefit from this exploratory course that examines the day-to-day duties, and personal and professional development of people employed in biotechnology.

CBST-1013Fundamental Lab Skills
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This course focuses on the fundamental applied skills that are required for a career in a science laboratory. This includes using and ensuring that basic lab equipment, such as balances, pH meters, and microscopes are used correctly. Students will also be taught aseptic techniques and learn how to appropriately handle reagents and prepare solutions in a variety of science and technology-based workplaces. Following an introduction to potential workplace health and safety hazards, students will be taught how to contribute to the day-to-day maintenance and operation of a lab. In addition, they will practice generating lab records that comply with regulatory requirements.

CBST-1016Instrumentation and Equipment
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This course introduces students to the instruments, tools, and equipment used in a production setting. Through classroom lecture and demonstrations, students will experiment with the instruments used in a laboratory. They will also be provided with opportunities to develop the experience needed to install, use, inspect, dismantle, and service analytical and manufacturing equipment.

CBST-1018Measurements, Calculations and Physics Principles
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In this course students will be taught the fundamental skills and concepts required to conduct measurements and calculations in a laboratory environment. Students will learn how to express measurements using the metric system, to convert between different metric units, and to calculate solution concentrations in units such as molarity and parts per million (ppm). They will also review some basic concepts of chemistry, such as the mole, and discuss various aspects of statistics as well as the use of linear regression as applied to calibration. This course will also introduce students to the study of light and electricity to help them effectively use laboratory instruments and equipment.

CBST-1036Intro Instrumental Analysis
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This course introduces students to several of the standard methods and instruments commonly used in chemical analysis, with a special focus on UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and ion-selective electrodes. The operating principles and physical components of these instruments will be discussed throughout this course and students will be taught how to prepare standards and calibrate these devices. The use of each instrument to perform quantitative and qualitative analyses will also be examined.

CHEM-1006Organic Chemistry
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This course introduces students to the basics of organic chemistry. Fundamental concepts such as molecular structures and bonding and polarity will be reviewed. Students will also be introduced to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's (IUPAC) nomenclature system, which is used to name organic molecules.

Throughout this course, students will be taught about the structures, syntheses, and reactions, of the major categories of organic compounds, including alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, as well as amines and aromatics. Various types of isomerism and isomer naming conventions, such as the cis/trans, E/Z and R/S systems, will be discussed in this course. They will also examine the structures and properties of common polymers and the intersection between organic chemistry and biochemistry by considering biological materials such as amino acids and sugars. In the laboratory, students will become proficient in performing basic operations such as recrystallization, distillation and synthesis.

CHEM-1008Applied Chemistry Techniques
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In this course, students will perform quantitative and qualitative analyses using classic wet chemistry methods. They will learn how to accurately prepare samples and standards and use various reagents, glassware and apparatuses. Students will be introduced to standard identification tests for various chemical species and will be taught gravimetric and titrimetric techniques.

Through theory and practice, students will reinforce their understanding of basic chemistry concepts related to laboratory work, including: communicating concentration (such as molarity), stoichiometry and balanced reaction equations, naming chemical compounds, reaction equilibrium, and the fundamentals of acids and bases (pH, neutralization reactions, and strong/weak acids). They will also be taught how to apply these principles to perform the calculations necessary to derive results from test data.

COMM-1173Communication StrategiesRPL
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Everyone communicates, but are they doing it well? Communicative competence takes practice and self-awareness. By developing their communication skills, the student will improve their interpersonal ability, intercultural competence, and digital fluency to prepare the student for success in the workplace. In Communication Strategies, the student will learn through discovery and project-based activities to practice approaching situations critically and collaboratively. The strategies the student will gain in this course will be useful throughout their program and in their chosen industry.

COMM-2171Communication for Life SciencesRPL
More Information

This course focuses on communication requirements in the Life Sciences sector and will help students build on the skills they practiced in Communication Strategies. In this sector-level course, students will collaborate with their peers to manage, analyze, and communicate technical and legal information to differing audiences in a variety of formats. This collaboration will involve practicing active listening and feedback/forward strategies within a Life Sciences context.

MBIO-1002Applied Microbiology
More Information

In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of microbiology. Through classroom discussions, demonstrations, and guided practice, they will develop the skills to required to perform various operations in a microbiology lab. Students will build the competence to accurately observe, cultivate, and identify selected bacteria and fungi and will learn how to apply different sterilization methods in a microbiology lab to maintain a safe and sanitary environment.

QUAL-1003Introduction to Quality and Compliance
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This course introduces students to the concepts of quality and the basics of compliance, providing them with the building blocks for eventual success in the workplace. Students will evaluate their expectations of product quality and learn about good data and records management, good manufacturing practices, standard operating procedures and food safety to develop experience with the regulations, guidelines, and industry standards used to ensure quality and compliance.

Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College Polytechnic programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College Polytechnic students require, at minimum:

1. off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam
2. a high speed internet connection
Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload

Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.

Please refer to https://www.rrc.ca/future-students/computer-requirements/ for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit www.rrc.ca/rpl.

Graduation Requirements

For students registered in the Science Laboratory Technology program with a 2020-2021 Catalogue year, the requirements to graduate are as follows:

  • A minimum grade of C in each of the Core/Compulsory courses in the program content
  • A minimum program GPA of 2.00 (as per policy A20)
  • Students must select one 3 credit or 6 credit elective in both term 3 and term 4
Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.