A career as a cytotechnologist is both challenging and rewarding. Students are offered training in all major aspects relevant to the practice of cytotechnology as a profession.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Cytotechnology
The program is administered by:
Program Director: Liza S. Di Filippo MBA, CT(ASCP)
Local phone: (713) 563-3479
Long distance: 1-(800) 551-9503
Fax: (713) 745-3337
Health Professions Educator: Naila Khan, B.S., CT(ASCP)
Medical Director: Gregg A. Staerkel, M.D.
The Program in Cytotechnology
The MD Anderson Cancer Center Program in Cytotechnology, in concert with the mission and vision of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is committed to the education of technically and academically competent graduates prepared to meet the immediate and future needs of the Cytotechnology Technology profession.
The Cytotechnology program is designed to prepare students to become entry level cytotechnologists. Working with a microscope, cytotechnologists study specimens from all body sites. Using subtle clues present within the cells, they can detect cancer cells, precancerous lesions, benign tumors, infectious agents and inflammatory processes.
The study consists of:
- Demonstrations at the multi-headed microscope in a tutored setting.
- Independent student microscope time with faculty feedback.
- Rotations through various cytology laboratories providing experience in routine and specialized procedures.
Admission is dependent on factors that include:
- Cumulative GPA
- Biology and Chemistry GPA
- Personal qualities such as maturity and professional goals based on the personal essay, aptitude test, interview, and reference letters.
- Ability to meet the SHP non-academic technical standards.
- Race, religion, national origin, veteran status, gender, or disability are not factors considered in the selection process
Applicants should begin the application process three to six months prior to the application deadline to ensure all documents are received and processed by the UTHSC-Houston Registrar's office before the deadline date. See SHP Academic Calendar for application deadline dates.
For a description of the non-academic technical standards requirements for admission, visit the admission section of the Student Catalog's Policies and Procedures.
Program Admission Requirements
The Bachelor of Science in Cytotechnology is either a one-year or two-year program with entry at either the junior or senior level. Application and supporting documents must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. http://registrar.uth.tmc.edu/Admissions/admiss_info.htm
Applicants to the Cytotechnology program must satisfy the following requirements for admission.
All prerequisite course work must be from an accredited college or university.
The applicant must have satisfactorily completed all prerequisite courses listed prior to graduating. These courses must be lecture and laboratory courses acceptable toward a degree by majors in those fields and cannot be survey courses.
Candidates who completed the prerequisite courses seven or more years before their application may need to update their academic skills in biology, with two courses in Anatomy and/or Physiology, (3 semester hours each) with a minimum GPA of 2.5. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the program director.
A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale both overall and in the science courses is required.
Interview and completion of a questionnaire, Parts I, II, and III.
Texas Success Initiative (TSI) - All applicants must provide proof of successful assessment of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). Applicants who have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited Texas College or University are exempt from TSI. Proof of an applicant's readiness to enroll in college level course work will be determined by the Registrar's Office based upon review of official transcripts from previously attended institutions.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Applicants from countries where English is not the native language may be required to take the TOEFL. Internet based TOEFL is now available and a total test score ranging from 74-78 with a minimum score of 18 in each section is required.
Two-year Bachelor of Science Degree Program
A minimum of 60 semester credit hours (SCH) including the The Texas Core Curriculum (42 SCH) and an additional 18 SCH.
Within these 60 SCH, the following 12 SCH must be included:
- Biological Sciences(8 SCH), which includes Anatomy and Physiology (4 SCH).
- Chemistry (8 SCH).
12 of the above 16 SCH may be satisfied by the Life and Natural Sciences Component of the Texas Core Curriculum
One-year Bachelor of Science Degree Program
A minimum of 90 semester credit hours (SCH) including the The Texas Core Curriculum (42 SCH) and an additional 48 SCH.
Within these 90 hours, the following 46 SCH must be included:
- Upper-level (3000, 4000) division courses (18 SCH).
- Biological Sciences (20 SCH), including Anatomy and Physiology (4 SCH).
- Chemistry (8 SCH).
12 of the above 46 SCH may be satisfied by the Life and Natural Sciences Component of the Texas Core Curriculum
About the Texas Core Curriculum
Each institution's Core Curriculum applies to all academic degrees. They range from 42 to 48 credit hours, depending on the college or university. Each Core Curriculum is divided into 8 or 9 categories that are common across the state. If you take the approved Core natural science courses at institution A, they are annotated on your transcript with a Core code by A and must be accepted as fulfilling that portion of the Core at institution B or any other Texas public institution. If Astronomy is a Core natural science at A and is not at B, it must still be accepted at B. This is a whole new way of doing things because the school where you take the course decides how it will transfer. And that decision is binding on any Texas school to which you transfer.
The official site for the Texas Core Curriculum: http://statecore.its.txstate.edu/
The School of Health Professions accepts and/or awards credit through the following examination programs:
- College level examination program of the College Board
- Comprehensive departmental examinations
- Regionally accredited military training programs
Recommendations from the School's academic departments are followed with regard to minimum score requirements, level of credit and amount of credit to be awarded. Program faculty are consulted to determine if credit recommendations equate to specific School of Health Professions (SHP) courses. The internal comprehensive departmental examination program provides a local means for establishing knowledge of SHS course content in areas not covered by the above examination program. Programs may elect to administer examinations that cover material specific to SHS courses with the results being reported to the Registrar.
Each candidate for a baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 130 semester credit hours of course work. Within this requirement, students must complete the following at MD Anderson:
- At least 40 semester credit hours of advanced (3000/4000) course work
- At least 25% of the total semester credit hours required must be taken at MD Anderson
Graduation occurs in August. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the national certification exam in cytotechnology given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Please check with the program director for application deadlines and exam dates. Upon passing the exam, the student is considered a certified cytotechnologist. The awarding of the degree is not contingent upon a student passing the national certification exam.
This intensive program is composed of a didactic and laboratory phase followed by directed clinical training at affiliated hospitals and cytology laboratories. The primary goal of the Cytotechnology program is to provide the community with cytotechnologists who are prepared to work at the staff level in hospital and private laboratories and university medical centers. With experience, cytotechnologists can perform at the supervisory, educational and administrative levels. The job responsibilities of cytotechnologists are expanding and research opportunities are increasing with the advancement of new tumor identification techniques and Human Papilloma Virus testing.
During the clinical phase of instruction, training and supervision are provided in a variety of clinical sites:
- Houston, TX: LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, The Methodist Hospital
- Galveston, TX: The University of Texas Medical Branch
The Diagnostic Imaging program's curriculum conforms to the standards published and monitored by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The DI program was awarded official accreditation through August 2019.
The Laboratory Sciences programs admit students at the Junior Year level who share a Junior Year curriculum consisting of:
- Laboratory sciences core courses
- Program-specific core courses
- Program-specific elective courses
|Junior Year Courses||30 SCH|
|Laboratory Sciences: shared core courses||8|
|HS 3102 Molecular Techniques Lab||1|
|HS 3210 Laboratory Mathematics||2|
|HS 4310 Medical Microbiology||3|
|HS 4100 Issues in Health Care Ethics||1|
|HS 4101 Diversity and Cultural Competence||1|
|CT Program Core||22|
|HS 3110 Medical Terminology||1|
|HS 3254 Immunohistochemistry||2|
|HS 3300 Immunology||3|
|HS 3320 Medical Genetics||3|
|HS 3330 Pathology of Body Fluids||3|
|HS 3333 Statistics||3|
|HS 3340 Research Methods||3|
|HS 4111L Medical Microbiology Lab||1|
|HS 4300 Pathophysiology||3|
|Senior Year Courses**||45 SCH|
|CT 4101 Introduction to Cytotechnology||1|
|CT 4102 Theory and Practice of Cytopreparatory Techniques I||1|
|CT 4107 Nongynecologic Cytopathology II||1|
|CT 4111 Theory and Practice of Cytopreparatory Techniques II||1|
|CT 4114 Research Project||1|
|CT 4118 Immunocytochemistry, Image Analysis||1|
|CT 4119 Cytogenetics, Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization and Polymerase Chain Reaction||1|
|CT 4120 Lab Management||1|
|CT 4209 Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytopathology||2|
|CT 4213 Nongynecologic Diagnostic Lab II||2|
|CT 4216 Cytopathology Theory||2|
|CT 4217 Cytopathology Diagnostic Lab||2|
|CT 4303 Gynecologic Cytopathology||3|
|CT 4305 Nongynecologic Cytopathology I||3|
|CT 4306 Nongynecologic Diagnostic Lab I||3|
|CT 4308 Gynecologic Diagnostic Lab II||3|
|CT 4310 Fine-Needle Aspiration Diagnostic Lab||3|
|CT 4312 Gynecologic Diagnostic Lab III||3|
|CT 4404 Gynecologic Diagnostic Lab I||4|
|CT 4715 Clinical Rotation||7|
**Students entering the School of Health Professions for the first time at the Senior level must take the following additional required courses that are described in the Junior Year for Laboratory Sciences section of the catalog:
- HS 4100 Issues in Health Care Ethics
- HS 4101 Diversity and Cultural Competence
HS series course descriptions, including Junior Lab Sciences
HS 3102 Molecular Techniques Laboratory (1 semester credit hour)
A study of the laboratory skills involved in transporting, preparing and reporting final results of specimens that include blood, bone marrow and solid tissue samples. The course will provide participants with hands-on laboratory experience in: performing molecular techniques such as DNA extraction, purification and quantification; preparing and viewing PCR products and DNA fingerprints via gel electrophoresis and bacterial transformation. (Admission to Program)
HS 3110 Medical Terminology (1 semester credit hour)
An introduction to medical terminology. Emphasis on word roots, prefixes, suffixes, spelling and analysis of unfamiliar terms. Additional background information on the anatomy that relates to various body systems will be discussed.
HS 3120 Introduction to Cytogenetics (1 semester credit hours)
A detailed study of human G-banded chromosomes. Includes instruction in banding pattern recognition and polymorphic variation. Includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience.
HS 3203 Advanced Molecular Techniques (2 semester credit hours)
This is a continuation of the previous introduction to molecular techniques laboratory course. Emphasis on performing additional molecular techniques such as, but not limited to various DNA extraction methods, amplification methods, electrophoresis, and fluorescent in-situ hybridization.
HS 3210 Laboratory Math (2 semester credit hours)
The basic principles and theory of clinical, biochemical, and analytical laboratory math related calculations. It includes basic operations such as problem solving using percentiles, rates, ratios, mole ratios, molality, pH, conversions, solving for proportions and more.
HS 3254 Immunohistochemistry (2 semester credit hours)
A comprehensive course that deals with the fundamentals of immunohistochemistry as applied to the theory and practical techniques in histopathology. The students acquire basic knowledge of how immunology is applied in the development of immunohistochemistry reagents and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on the clinical significance of diagnostic and prognostic indicators used in immunohistochemistry techniques. Troubleshooting and standardization of reagents are emphasized.
HS 3270 Critical Thinking in Health Professions (2 semester credit hours)
This course is designed to provide health professions students with resources for improving critical thinking skills. The course will introduce basic concepts of critical thinking through integration into interactive case studies, problem based scenarios, and project design assignments. The specific objectives of this course coincide with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center School of Health Professions' definition of critical thinking.
HS 3300 Immunology (3 semester credit hours)
This course focuses on the basic concepts in immunology, and covers general properties of immune responses; cells and tissues of immune system; lymphocyte activation and specificity; effector mechanisms; immunity to microbes; immunodeficiency and AIDS; autoimmune diseases; transplantation. Course delivery is a blend of lecture and on line, self-paced activities.
HS 3310 Introduction to Quality in Healthcare (3 semester credit hours)
This course will provide an overview of the history, development and application of quality concepts. The components of quality management, quality assurance and quality control will be addressed through discussions and assignments on the history of quality, the different approaches to quality, such as Six Sigma and ISO standards, and how to define, implement and ensure compliance to the quality assurance and quality control process.
HS 3320 Medical Genetics (3 semester credit hours)
This course is a study of the role of genetics in medicine including: Mendelian genetics, multifactorial inheritance, DNA structure, chromosome structure, population genetics, mutation rates, ethnicity of disease and genetic mapping. A comprehensive review of the cell cycle, mitosis, and meiosis and pedigree analysis is incorporated as well. (Admission to Program)
HS 3330 Pathology of Body Fluids (3 semester credit hours)
This course is a study of the anatomy and physiology of the kidney and the formation, elimination and composition of urine. Various body fluids (CSF, Synovial, Plural, Serous, etc.) will be study and associations made with various disease states. Interpretation of urinary and body fluids elements, chemical assays and the correlation with normal and abnormal physiology: Course delivery is a blend of lecture and on line, self-paced activities. (Admission to Program)
HS 3333 Statistics (3 semester credit hours)
This course provides an introduction to statistical techniques. Emphasis will be placed on probability and probability distributions, sampling and descriptive measures, inference and hypothesis testing, linear regression, and analysis of variance. (Prerequisite HS 3101)
HS 3340 Research Methods (3 semester credit hours)
This research methods course will introduce the basic language and concepts of empirical research with emphasis on the applicability of research methodology in the area of clinical laboratory sciences. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to search the peer-reviewed journal databases available to them through the Research Library. They will then critique and review their references, learn how to make an outline, and write a literature review on their assigned topic. Curriculum will include a blend of lectures, group work, presentations by guest researchers and development of a group research poster. (Admission to Program)
HS 3370 Fundamentals of Writing and Critical Thinking (3 semester credit hours)
This basic writing course stresses both reading and writing skills and is designed to teach students to improve their ability to write logically and develop short essays, brief formal summaries, and reports.
HS 4100 Issues in Health Care Ethics (1 semester credit hour)
This course content is designed to establish a foundation and set parameters of professional practice for health care professionals. The emphasis will be on developing the background for the resolution of ethical dilemmas through ethical reasoning, ethical obligations in health professional-patient relationships and just allocation of scarce health care resources.
HS 4101 Diversity and Cultural Competence (1 semester credit hour)
This course content is designed to create an awareness of ethnocentrism and a beginning understanding of cultural similarities and diversity. It provides the student with knowledge of the concepts of cultural relativity, cultural integration and variation in cultural values, organization and institutions.
HS 4111L Medical Microbiology Student Laboratory (1 semester credit hour)
The course utilizes biochemical, morphological, and serological techniques to illustrate concepts from the lecture course relating to microbial structure, metabolism, virulence, and transmission. Students also receive instruction on proper technique and procedures for a number of different tests, including culturing, staining, carbohydrate utilization, immunoassays, and microscopy.
HS 4160 Critical Scientific Analysis (1 semester credit hour)
Students will analyze current scientific publications for research questions, hypothesis, study design and statistical analysis and the application of proper scientific formats in the clinical laboratory professions. Students will complete pre-session assignments, participate in group discussion & present their group findings.
HS 4161 Seminar in Health Care (1 semester credit hour)
Seminar based course covering topics in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences
HS 4170 Special Topics I (1 semester credit hour)
A review of the principles of mathematics and statistics used in the clinical laboratories, this course presentation includes an introduction to the selection and operation of a laboratory information system.
HS 4300 Pathophysiology (3 semester credit hours)
This course is designed to provide basic knowledge in pathophysiology in preparation for professional studies in the health sciences. Topic covered includes central concepts of pathophysiology of the cells and tissues and alterations on organs and systems with an emphasis on carcinogenesis. Appropriate diagnostic and treatment procedures are covered.
HS 4310 Medical Microbiology (3 semester credit hours)
This course is the study of the utilization of morphological, biochemical, serological, disease inducing characteristics for microorganism, fungi, mycobacterium and virus identification. Course delivery a blend of lecture and on-line, self-paced activities.
HS 4371 Management and Education (3 semester credit hours)
This course covers laboratory management and educational methodologies. It includes management and motivational theories, communication skills, regulatory and accreditation requirements, budget and strategic planning, curriculum design and examination instruction.
Senior Year Course descriptions
CT 4101 Introduction to Cytotechnology (1 semester credit hour)
The student is introduced to the ethics and liability of the profession, the use of the light microscope and the professional role of the cytotechnologist. The course also includes lectures on the basic cellular structure and function, cell division, the origins of clinical cytology, evaluation of the cell sample and slide marking.
CT 4102 Theory and Practice of Cytopreparatory Techniques I (1 semester credit hour)
The course consists of the basic study and practice of techniques used for handling cytological specimen preparation and fixation and staining of specimens for cytological study, including compliance with laboratory safety, biohazard precautions and HPV testing.
CT 4107 Nongynecologic Cytopathology II (1 semester credit hour)
Students will study the normal anatomy and physiology of the urinary tract, central nervous system and body cavities. They learn cytomorphology of benign and malignant conditions of these organs/sites.
CT 4111 Theory and Practice of Cytopreparatory Techniques II (1 semester credit hour)
The course consists of the advanced study and practice of techniques used for handling specimen preparation, fixation and staining of specimens for cytological study including compliance with laboratory safety and biohazard precautions. Special techniques include Thin-Prep processing, Autocyte preparation, Ficoll-Hypaque technique, cell block preparation and special stains (Gomori's methenamine silver and Diff-quick stains).
CT 4114 Research Project (1 semester credit hour)
Guided study and/or research on a specific cytopathological issue. Includes collection and study of cases, photography, literature reviews, compiling data and poster or paper presentation.
CT 4118 Immunocytochemistry, Image Analysis (1 semester credit hour)
Introduction to theoretical knowledge and practical experience in these adjunct diagnostic techniques.
CT 4119 Cytogenetics, Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization and Polymerase Chain Reaction (1 semester credit hour)
Introduction to cytogenetic study and Polymerase Chain Reaction (theoretical knowledge) and practical experience in fluorescent in situ hybridization technique.
CT 4120 Laboratory Management (1 semester credit hour)
Introduction to quality control and assurance, laboratory regulations, inventory methods, budgeting, information systems and leadership.
CT 4209 Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytopathology (2 semester credit hours)
The study of normal anatomy and cytology of benign and malignant pathology and corresponding cytomorphological features of fine-needle aspiration specimens from lung, breast, thyroid, salivary gland, liver, pancreas, kidney, adrenal gland, bone, soft tissue, skin and lymph nodes.
CT 4213 Nongynecologic Diagnostic Laboratory II (2 semester credit hours)
The course consists of an advanced study of cytomorphological features of respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary and central nervous systems and effusions for microscopic and clinical analysis of exfoliative nongynecologic specimens. The students will have hands-on laboratory experience.
CT 4216 Cytopathology Theory (2 semester credit hours)
Medical terminology and cytopathology theory.
CT 4217 Cytopathology Diagnostic Laboratory (2 semester credit hours)
The student will learn to apply cytodiagnostic criteria on gynecological, nongynecologic and fine-needle aspiration specimens and develop practical expertise in microscopic and clinical analysis of these specimens to provide an accurate diagnosis. The students will have hands-on laboratory experience.
CT 4303 Gynecologic Cytopathology (3 semester credit hours)
Students will study the normal anatomy, physiology and benign and malignant pathology of the female genital tract and corresponding cytomorphological features, as well as the value of cytological diagnosis in patient management.
CT 4305 Nongynecologic Cytopathology I (3 semester credit hours)
Students will study the normal anatomy, physiology and benign and malignant pathology with corresponding cytomorphological features of the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. The value of cytological diagnosis in patient management is included.
CT 4306 Nongynecologic Diagnostic Laboratory I (3 semester credit hours)
The course consists of the application of cytomorphological features of the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract for microscopic and clinical analysis of exfoliative nongynecologic specimens from these organs. The students will have hands-on laboratory experience.
CT 4308 Gynecologic Diagnostic Laboratory II (3 semester credit hours)
The course consists of the application of cytodiagnostic criteria for microscopic analysis (screening, detecting, marking and diagnosing), and reporting cervicovaginal specimens in conjunction with clinical history. SurePath preparations are used as study material.
CT 4310 Fine-Needle Aspiration Diagnostic Laboratory (3 semester credit hours)
The students will have hands-on laboratory experience as they learn to apply cytodiagnostic criteria and develop practical expertise in microscopic and clinical analysis of fine-needle aspiration specimens from lung, breast, thyroid, salivary gland, liver, pancreas, kidney, adrenal gland, bone, soft tissue, skin and lymph nodes with clinical correlation.
CT 4312 Gynecologic Diagnostic Laboratory III (3 semester credit hours)
The course consists of advanced application of cytodiagnostic criteria for microscopic analysis (screening, detecting, marking and diagnosing) and reporting cervicovaginal specimens on conventional and Thin Prep monolayer preparations in conjunction with clinical history. Quality control and clinical ethics are included.
CT 4404 Gynecologic Diagnostic Laboratory I (4 semester credit hours)
The course consists of basic application of cytodiagnostic criteria for microscopic and clinical analysis (screening, detecting, marking and diagnosing) and reporting cervicovaginal specimens in conjunction with clinical history. Conventional pap smears and monolayer preparations of gynecologic specimens are used. The students will have hands-on laboratory experience.
CT 4715 Clinical Rotation (7 semester credit hours)
The student will have laboratory and clinical experience in all of the following laboratories: Laboratory Corporation of America, Cytology Laboratory; The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; Quest Diagnostics Laboratory; The Methodist Hospital; MD Anderson Cytology Processing Laboratory; Fine-Needle Aspiration Clinics; and cytology specimen screening.