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Health Sciences, Cytotechnology Concentration (B.S.H.S.)

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Degree Level: Undergraduate
College: Health Sciences
Major : Community Health Professions
School: Medical Diagnostic & Translational Sciences
Degree Earned: Bachelor of Science
Course Delivery Mode(s): Satellite, Video Stream

Health Sciences, Cytotechnology Concentration (B.S.H.S.)

Community Health

Cytotechnology is an allied health specialty that offers exciting possibilities for those who want a challenging career in science and a significant role in medical care. Cytology is the study of cells. A cytotechnologist is a highly skilled laboratory professional who studies cells microscopically. A health care professional obtains these cells by scraping, washing, or aspirating an area of the body. These cellular samples are prepared for evaluation and are stained with dyes that make the cells more visible under the microscope. A cytotechnologist is trained to recognize slight variations in the color, size, and/or the shape of the cellular structures.

The Bachelor of Science in Cytotechnology runs the length of the technical year - 12 months. Because of the intense nature of the program, the students attend classes from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM for the entire technical year. The didactic course work for the program is given at the university. Concurrent with the academic year, clinical experiences are acquired during rotation to a variety of cytology laboratories throughout the region. The required times for the rotations coincide with the specific laboratory or hospital working hours. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation and housing during these clinical internships.

Related Experiences


Internships in areas related to the program are available. Students are encouraged to assist with faculty research projects and to present their own research at regional, national and international professional communication associations. Opportunities to develop study abroad programs are available.


Career opportunities are excellent. Rewarding positions may be found in traditional places of employment including both public and private hospital based laboratories, private laboratories, state and federal health care agencies, and molecular diagnostic laboratories. Non-traditional opportunities exist in industry, regulatory agencies, consulting, research and development, and higher education institutions.

The job opportunities, as well as the salaries, continue to increase with the advancement of new processing methods and tumor identification techniques. Approximately 70 % of the cytotechnology students are offered a position before the end of the senior year. Graduates have also gone on to medical school, physician assistants programs, or other graduate programs. Many ODU graduates are employed in management or supervisory positions across the country.

Upon satisfactory completion of the program, a graduate is eligible to sit for the national certification examination given by the Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Upon successful completion of the registry examination, the cytotechnologist is allowed to use CT (ASCP) after their name. The program has an excellent success rate for the registry examination.

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