Cytotechnology is an allied health specialty that combines a career in science with a significant role in health care. Working with a microscope, cytotechnologists study specimens from all body sites. Using subtle clues in the cells themselves, cytotechnologists can diagnose cancer, precancerous lesions, benign tumors, infectious agents and inflammatory processes. Cytotechnologists help save lives by discovering certain diseases early when treatment is most effective.
Cytotechnologists are employed in hospital and private laboratories, university medical centers and government facilities. With experience, positions are available 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.
Specific admission requirements vary per cytotechnology program. You should consult with schools of interest to determine their specific admission requirements. A list of generally accepted prerequisite courses for the University of Nebraska's (UNMC) Cytotechnology Program, with specific UNL courses that fulfill each requirement, is available by downloading the program checklist above.
Suggested academic preparation:
- Bachelor's degree:
- Some cytotechnology programs require a bachelor's degree and specific undergraduate courses be completed prior to admission to the cytotechnology program. Other programs offer cytotechnology training at the undergraduate level.
- The University of Nebraska Medical Center's (UNMC) Cytotechnology Program requires a bachelor's degree for admission to its Certificate in Cytotechnology program.
- Since some programs provide students an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree while enrolled in the program, students should refer to the American Society of Cytopathology to determine what the prerequisite coursework would be for each program.
- Competitive academic record: Maintaining a strong GPA, especially in science course work, is important.
- Major in anything- All UNL majors are great options as preparation for the certificate in Cytotechnology.
We recommend you meet with an Explore Center advisor once a semester to ensure you are progressing with the correct academic coursework.
Cytotechnology training programs are offered at the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate (certificate) levels and are located in both hospital and university settings. Training at the post-baccalaureate (certificate) level is typically a twelve-month curriculum.
The Cytotechnology Program in the School of Allied Health Professions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is a twelve-month, 32-semester hour program leading to a post-baccalaureate certificate and eligibility for national certification. The American Society of Cytopathology provides a listing of accredited programs in cytotechnology.
No Centralized Application Service
Students interested in pursuing the certification in cytotechnology at an accredited program will follow the specific application procedures for each program. See the American Society of Cytopathology for a list of accredited programs. Some programs will require an interview and receipt of letters of recommendation prior to admittance to the program.
For UNMC's program, apply online at the University of Nebraska Medical Center website.
You should check with the individual programs but most cytotechnology schools do not currently require a standardized entrance exam.