Welcome to Merritt Bioscience.
Home of your Microscopy, Histotechnician, and Genomics Training!

For information on our programs, email Feather Ives at fives@peralta.edu

The Merritt College Bioscience Department’s mission is to provide our students with access to training that leads to careers in high demand fields, with an emphasis on increasing diversity in the sciences. Biotechnology is a growing $177 billion dollar industry in California and the majority of the jobs are in the San Francisco Bay Area. We help you to launch your career in the bioscience and healthcare fields through education and training in microscopy, histotechnology, and genomics as well as networking, and professional skills like effective communication, teamwork, and emotional intelligence.

Why choose the Merritt Bioscience Department?

  1. No Barriers to Getting Started! Start your training every Fall and Spring in Bioscience 101, Theory and Practice of Optical Microscopy. We train for in-demand fields like Light Microscopy, Histotechnology, and Genomics!

  2. The course Bioscience 101 – Theory and Practice of Light Microscopy, is great for career exploration. Figure out your bioscience and laboratory healthcare career path with us!

  3. We’ve helped hundreds of students leverage their training and new skills to get jobs or change careers. Our students have gone on to work at hospitals, biotech industry, and universities all over the Bay Area.

  4. Merritt Bioscience faculty and students are diverse! Our students are Hispanic/Latino (35%), Asian and Pacific Islander (30%), Black and African-American (11%), White (14%), and Two or more races and ethnicities (5%).


Join us for Bioscience 101 this Fall 2024. Watch this video to learn more!


About our Programs and Training

Microscopy is the art and science of taking accurate, informative and often beautiful images using a microscope. Microscopes enable us to see into a world otherwise hidden from the naked eye.

The microscopy program prepares students for positions, including staff an imaging core, research lab technician, imaging specialist in a research lab or biotech company, imaging equipment sales consultant, and imaging product manager.


Histology, also known as microscopic anatomy or microanatomy, is the branch of biology which studies the microscopic anatomy of biological tissues. Histology is the microscopic counterpart to gross anatomy, which looks at larger structures visible without a microscope.

The Histotechnician Program prepares students for positions in hospital and clinical diagnostic labs, biotech histotechnology labs, academic research labs, agricultural and plant pathology labs, and veterinarian labs. Upon completion of this program, students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam.


Genomics is the study of all of an organism’s genes (the genome), including interactions of those genes with each other and with the organism’s environment. DNA is contained in all living cells and provides the basic information needed to sustain life, growth and reproduction. In the lab we can process DNA by extracting DNA from cells, and then sequence, or “read”, the order of each part of the DNA molecule, as well as locate genes of interest to learn the mechanics and operations which are the elemental basis for life. Each individual carries a unique pattern of DNA inherited from parents. Once we decode the sequence of this molecular pattern and identify genes within the pattern we can begin to understand and compare genetic code between two individuals, for a large population, or between species.

Students learn practical skills such as safe laboratory practices, professional research practices. Students extract and purify DNA, prepare DNA for sequencing and analyze results using GenBank and available software tools designed for genetic analysis.

Our laboratory has industry standard laboratory equipment needed to acquire the skills needed to begin working with DNA and RNA samples. We teach Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) methods and send our prepared samples to local vendors for sequencing.





Typically, students find employment in the field within a year to 18 months.

We offer courses nights and weekends and online.

Our courses are accredited, and many are transferable to CSU.


Merritt Biosciences students and graduates have gone on to intern or work at:



Bioscience Certificates: