Mar 01, 2021  
Graduate Catalog 2017-2018 
Graduate Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cytotechnology: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

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Cytotechnology is an allied health profession that specializes in the study of cells from the human body. Working with a microscope and a variety of technologies, some of which are automation-assisted, cytotechnologists evaluate cell samples from gynecologic (e.g., Pap smears), nongynecologic and fine needle aspiration (FNA) specimens to detect cancer, precancerous lesions, benign tumors, and infectious processes. Cytotechnologists are trained laboratory professionals who help to save lives by identifying diseases early on and monitoring a patient’s response to therapy.

The Hunter College Advanced Certificate (AC) in Cytotechnology prepares graduates for the professional practice of cytotechnology. It is an intense three-semester (Fall/Spring/Summer) training program that is administered in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). All training takes place in the laboratory facility of the MSK Cytology Service.


The AC in Cytotechnology is a 26-credit graduate level post-baccalaureate certificate program within the Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) Department of Hunter College. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and is New York State (NYS) licensure qualifying. Upon successful completion of the AC, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification. This examination is approved for NYS licensure purposes. Successful completion of the examination indicates attainment of entry level competency in the profession. Certified individuals are recognized with the designation CT(ASCP) – certified cytotechnologist.

Admission criteria

Admission criteria are designed to satisfy the requirements for cytotechnology curricula as described in Article 165, Section 52.39 of the Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act ( They consist of a baccalaureate or higher degree in the major of medical laboratory sciences, biology, chemistry or the physical sciences with the following pre-requisite courses or their equivalent as determined by the program: inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy & physiology, cell biology, mathematics and statistics, human genetics, immunology and clinical microbiology. Minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0. The program does not grant credit for advanced placement courses or experiential learning. Visit Hunter College AC in Cytotechnology overview for additional important information prior to application.

NYS Licensure Curricular Requirements for Registered Cytotechnology Programs

The curriculum for the AC in cytotechnology was developed to meet the coursework and curricular content stipulated in NYS regulations, Section 52.39: Registration of Curricula for programs seeking registration as a cytotechnology licensure-qualifying program. It contains didactic and clinical training as well as supervised clinical experience within the MSKCC Cytology laboratory throughout the span of the three semester program.

CAAHEP Accreditation Curriculum Requirements and Cytotechnologist Entry-Level Competencies

The AC in cytotechnology curriculum is also designed to meet CAAHEP accreditation standards which mandate that a program’s curriculum in cytotechnology is robust enough to prepare students to meet defined entry-level competencies.16 These competencies are developed by the Cytotechnology Programs Review Committee (CPRC), the cytotechnology accreditation arm for CAAHEP, with input from communities of interest that have a stake in the cytotechnology profession.  They represent minimum competencies that cytotechnology graduates must be able to demonstrate upon entering the profession. These entry-level competencies are reviewed on a periodic basis by the CPRC and with input from communities of interest to ensure that they reflect the current practice of cytotechnology. The AC in cytotechnology curriculum meets accreditation entry-level competencies and will be reviewed periodically to ensure that these accreditation standards are met when entry-level competency revisions are made by the CPRC/CAAHEP.

CAAHEP accreditation also requires that programs must ensure that students have a minimum of 28 credits of sciences including chemistry and the biological sciences and 3 credits of mathematics and/or statistics upon graduation from a cytotechnology program.16 These requirements will be satisfied either within the AC program or as pre-requisite coursework prior to admission to the AC program.


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