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  Dec 09, 2023
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Histologic Technician Certificate

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National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 North River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Illinois 60018-5119, Phone (847) 939-3597 or (773) 714-8880, Email, website

Histologic Technician

Histology is the microscopic study of human or animal tissue and how it relates to organ function or disease processes. Emphasis is placed on the body’s organ system - their structure and function. Working closely with a pathologist, a histologic technician can determine whether a disease or cancer exists like a melanoma or lymphoma. Histologic technicians develop an expertise in handling and processing tissues by fixation, processing, embedding, microtomy, and the use various staining techniques. 

The histology laboratory involves the use of a variety of instrumentation like microtomes, tissue embedders, and processors. As a student, you will learn basic and specialized histologic techniques currently used in a histology laboratory. In addition, you learn how to manually process tissue samples through hands-on techniques or the use of laboratory automation.

Students pursuing this career must possess visual acuity, digital dexterity, motor coordination, and enjoy working with others.  They must be able to work quickly under pressure when processing patient tissue with the use of delicate instruments, sharp knives, glass slides, and chemical reagents. The histology career is both challenging and rewarding at the same time.  

Prerequisite content in biological sciences, chemistry and mathematics will provide the foundation for course work required in the laboratory science program.

The curriculum addresses applications of histology, immunohistochemistry, enzyme histochemistry, cytology specimen preparation, electron microscopy and light microscopy. This includes principles and methodologies, problem-solving, and troubleshooting, for all major areas practiced in the contemporary histopathology laboratory.

Concepts and principles of laboratory operations must include:

  • Fixation to include
    • Tissue identification
    • Parameters
    • Reagents
  • Processing to include
    • Decalcification
    • Frozen sections
    • Enzymes
    • Immunohistochemistry
  • Staining to include
    • Procedures
    • Reagents
    • Quality control
    • Hematoxylin and Eosin
    • Special staining procedures
    • Basic Immunohistochemistry
    • Cytology
  • e. Laboratory Operations to include
    • Safety
    • Laboratory mathematics
    • Instrumentation
    • Quality control
  • Embedding/Microtomy


Additionally the curriculum will cover application of safety and governmental regulations compliance, principles and practices of professional conduct, the significance of continuing professional development, and communication sufficient to serve the needs of patients, the public and members of the health care team, principles and practices of safety as applied to histotechnology.

Content and clinical practice experiences are designed to sequentially develop, apply, critically analyze, integrate, synthesize and evaluate concepts and theories in the performance of Medical Laboratory procedures.  Through structured, sequential, competency-based clinical assignments, concepts of team practice, patient-centered clinical practice and professional development are discussed, examined and evaluated.

The HT program is set-up for full-time 12 month attendance. All students are required to attend the clinical, lab, and didactic courses within the 12 month program. Students must take coursework during the summer months to complete the program.

15 students are accepted annually and progress through the curriculum in a cohort beginning in the fall semester. Students will take classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters over the next 12 months. The application and selection process is outlined on the Histologic Technician program web page.

Special tuition fees are part of the program. Students will pay $700 per semester in special tuition fees for each of the 3 semesters to cover the high costs associated with this program.

Students pursuing this career must possess visual acuity, manual dexterity, and adaptability in a laboratory setting. Good communication skills are also needed. After completing the required academic and histologic technician courses, students will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible for the national certification examination. All courses listed in the curriculum must be passed with a “C” or better.

The Histologic Technician Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Students completing our program will receive a certificate of completion and are eligible to apply for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) Histologic Technician (HT) examination administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) Board of Registry (BOR).

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