Life Science Lab Assistant

Certificate of Specialization (CS)


Fast track to an entry job in biotech via this two-semester program.

Intense lab training: The only short-term program of its kind in St. Louis.

Train for a new career in the heart of the St. Louis region’s robust Life Science industry.


State-of-the-art facilities:

  • You’ll attend class at the STLCC Center for Plant and Life Sciences at BRDG Park (pronounced “bridge park”).
  • An incubator for bioscience startups, BRDG Park offers world-class wet labs and one of the most technologically advanced growth facilities in the United States.
  • Located just north of Monsanto World Headquarters, it’s part of the Danforth Plant Science Center.

A concentrated college-credit program, LSLA classes are carefully coordinated to offer students an optimal learning experience, and include:

  • Biology
  • Life science laboratory skills and methods
  • Language
  • Math
  • Technical computer applications

A learning community environment: LSLA is designed to create supportive groups of students who attend all the same classes together.

  • Class size limited to 16.
  • The program fosters peer-to-peer learning.
  • Additional support includes tutoring, career readiness training, job-seeking assistance and biotechnology industry exposure and networking.

Students master basic lab techniques and methods used in life science research and development:

  • Pipetting
  • DNA extraction
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Centrifugation
  • Laboratory math (to support their life science lab skills)

Hands-on: Students practice lab techniques on millions of dollars’ worth of equipment covering a variety of bioscience niches. Students will also design an experiment including all steps — proposal, data collection, data analysis and communication of results — then present their findings in class.

Professional Networking: Students regularly interact with industry leaders, while the BRDG Park bio-incubator houses a dozen exciting start-up companies — top innovators in the field. In addition, as part of the technical skills assessment panel, students present on a technique they have mastered through the program, showcasing their skills to a panel of bioscience industry professionals.

STEM: This 16-credit-hour LSLA program is designed to be earned in one year (two consecutive semesters) and can serve as a bridge into a range of STEM programs — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — in addition to the Biotechnology AAS degree program.

Faculty: Learn from award-winning professionals recently recognized by the Community College Futures Assembly Bellwether Awards program, as well as winners of industry fellowships like the Advanced Technological Education’s Bioscience Industrial Fellowship Project (BIFP). Leaders in the field of STEM education, our LSLA faculty members are committed to their students and offer one-on-one coaching, extended office hours, and opportunities for extra lab practice.

Stackable: When you’ve earned your LSLA certificate of specialization you’ve also earned six credit hours that will apply towards your AAS degree in Biotechnology.

More than one million students have attended STLCC. It’s the largest institute of higher education in the region and the second largest in Missouri.

To find out if STLCC is right for you, we invite you to visit. You can meet with one of our faculty members, tour the campus, and get answers to questions. Click Here


Job Ready: The LSLA program is designed to help make sure our graduates are prepared for the workplace. We provide support for students throughout the job application process, from help with cover letters, to interview skills, to an evaluation of local market considerations.

Building industry contacts: LSLA guest speakers often include talent acquisition managers from chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

  • Life Science Lab Assistant
  • Biological Technician
  • Medical Technician
  • Food Science Technician
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Bio-Technician
  • Medical Lab Facilities
  • Food Ingredient Labs
  • Industrial Labs
  • Testing Facilities
  • Plant Science Laboratories

Companies that have hired STLCC grads:
American Red Cross
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

STLCC Career and Employment Services (CES): On each campus CES offices provide services and resources to assist students and alumni in finding full-time or part-time, on-campus or off-campus, internship or co-op, permanent, seasonal or temporary employment. CES also assists employers who are looking for qualified applicants. Click Here

Job Resources


STLCC provides a top quality education at a much more affordable cost than other institutions.

  • St. Louis Community College provides a comprehensive financial aid program funded by federal, state and private agencies. READ MORE
  • For information on STLCC Scholarships READ MORE.
Gainful Employment Data (CS)

Kevin R. Toal
Interim Biotechnology and Life Sciences Lab Assistant Program Coordinator
STLCC-Florissant Valley Biology Department


Life Science Laboratory Assistant (CS)

BIO 100 Introduction to Life Science Laboratory Skills 3
BIO 104 Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology 3
BIO 111 Introductory Biology I 4
MTH 140 Intermediate Algebra 3
COM 101 Oral Communication I 3
Total Credit Hours 16

This short-term program
features a learning community in which students attend class together from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Lunch breaks, tutoring sessions, presentations from life science industry representatives, industry tours and training in job application and interview skills are all built into the schedule.
Please note:
Due to the limited class size of the program, interested students must complete a program application, earn acceptable scores on the required placement assessments, and complete interviews as needed to be eligible for admission. The first step is to submit an application to STLCC to become a student.[/symple_toggle][/symple_box]

We invite you to meet with an STLCC advisor for one-on-one help in planning your pathway to this rewarding career. Click Here


Related Programs


STLCC’s Life Science Lab Assistant Advisory Committee brings together top industry professionals. Members serve for two-year renewable terms, and STLCC’S faculty works hand-in-hand with this elite group to evaluate and update our curriculum, stay up-to-date on the latest innovations, and promote networking.


Life Science Lab Assistant classes are offered at our BRDG Park site. Students may take general education classes toward this degree at any of our four campuses, our five education centers, and online.


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