The Cytotechnology Program has been suspended and no new applications are being accepted at this time.

T. Wieland, M.D. (Medical Director), K. Hoffman, MM, SCT (Program Director), K. Droog, MBA, SCT (Educational Coordinator)

Cytotechnologists are laboratory professionals trained to microscopically interpret cellular samples from all over the body. Cytotechnologists work with pathologists in the anatomic pathology laboratory to diagnose a variety of benign and malignant conditions. Other duties include assisting with the fine needle aspirates, as well as specimen preparation and staining. The most critical task of the cytotechnologist is the recognition and identification of any abnormal cells present in the specimen. In this role the cytotechnologist is important to the early detection and diagnosis of disease. Their diagnosis directly affects a patient’s ability to receive the proper follow-up care and treatment. Specimens, examined by the cytotechnologist, come from various body sites, such as the female genital tract, the lung, the urinary bladder, or any body cavity shedding cells. Cytotechnologists must be accurate and reliable because they work independently with little supervision. Cytotechnologists enjoy challenges and must have the confidence to make diagnoses based on cell findings.

The Cytotechnology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The program was most recently reaccredited in 2009; this program currently exists as the only such program in North Dakota and one of 30 nationwide.

The UND SMHS Cytotechnology Program (PATH 401 Diagnostic Cytology I, PATH 402 Diagnostic Cytology II, & PATH 403 Diagnostic Cytology III) is a 12-month professional program. It is designed to be taken as either the 4th year of a major in Cytotechnology, or as a 5th year, following a baccalaureate degree. Enrollment is limited to 8 students per year. Students are selected using criteria of: application essay, academic performance, references, and an interview with program officials.

Applications for admission to the Cytotechnology Program should be submitted to the program director. To be eligible for enrollment, the applicant must:

  1. have completed all required prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better.
  2. have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 (scale 4.0).
  3. Certificate students will need to have a transcript showing degree completion with a minimum of 20 semester hours of biological science and 8 of chemistry.
  4. pass a criminal background check.

Exceptions for acceptance and continuance may be made by petition to the Pathology Professional and Academic Standards Committee.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the national certifying examination administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Board of Certification.

Most cytotechnologists work in hospitals or private laboratories in urban areas. Employment opportunities are presently fair to good.

A program fee of $500 per semester is assessed to all students enrolled in the Cytotechnology Program year (12 months).

Program information, advising, and application forms are available through the program director in Room 5909, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, or on our website at:, or by phone at: 701-777-4466, or email at:

School of Medicine and Health Sciences


B.S. in Cytotechnology

Required 125 credits (36 of which must be numbered 300 or above, and 60 of which must be from a 4-year institution) including:

I. Essential Studies Requirements (see University ES listing).

II. The Following Curriculum:

ANAT 204
  & 204L
Anatomy for Paramedical Personnel
   and Anatomy for Paramedical Personnel Laboratory
BIOL 150
  & 150L
  & BIOL 151
  & BIOL 151L
General Biology I
   and General Biology I Laboratory
   and General Biology II
   and General Biology II Laboratory
BIOL 369Histology2
MLS 340
  & 340L
Molecular Diagnostics
   and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
Select four of the following:12
Cell Biology
Animal Biology
   and Animal Biology Laboratory
MLS 234
  & 234L
Human Parasitology
   and Human Parasitology Laboratory
MLS 325
  & 325L
   and Hematology Laboratory
Other Biology-related courses may be acceptable.
Select one of the following:4
Introductory Medical Microbiology Lecture
   and Introductory Medical Microbiology Laboratory
General Microbiology Lecture
   and General Microbiology Laboratory
Select one of the folowing:4
Human Physiology
Physiology of Organs and Systems
Select two of the following:8
General Chemistry I
   and General Chemistry I Laboratory *
General Chemistry II
   and General Chemistry II Laboratory
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry **
Survey of Organic Chemistry
   and Survey of Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Select one of the following:2
Financial and Quality Management of the Clinical Laboratory
Principles of Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computers
Computer Programming I
Computer Programming II
College Physics I (includes lab, 4 credits total)
College Physics II (includes lab, 4 credits total)
Total Credits51



MATH 103 College Algebra or an appropriate score on the Placement Testing Program (PTP) is a required corequisite.


Students who elect to take BMB 301 Biochemistry should NOT take CHEM 116 Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry, but must take CHEM 122 General Chemistry II and CHEM 340 Survey of Organic Chemistry.

III. Cytotechnology Program, professional phase: (Senior year, 12 months)

PATH 401Diagnostic Cytology I15
PATH 402Diagnostic Cytology II15
PATH 403Diagnostic Cytology III10

The Cytotechnology Program is part of the Pathology (Path) department.

PATH 399. Special Topics. 1-5 Credits.

Lecture, discussion, and readings on topics of current interest in the pathology laboratory. Repeatable to 5 credits.

PATH 401. Diagnostic Cytology I. 15 Credits.

Full day, integrated lecture, tutorial, laboratory course introduces exfoliative cytopathology of the female genital tract. The student learns principles and microscopic skills involved in screening/diagnosing pap test samples in the medical laboratory. Prerequisites: 20 hours biologic sciences, 8 hours chemistry, 3 hours math; including BIOL 150, BIOL 151, and BIOL 369; ANAT 204 and deparmental approval.

PATH 402. Diagnostic Cytology II. 15 Credits.

Full day, integrated lecture, tutorial, laboratory course introduces cytopathology of major body organs. The student learns principles and microscopic skills involved in preparing/diagnosing body fluid and fine needle aspiration samples in the medical laboratory. Prerequisites: PATH 401 and departmenal approval. Corequisites: MLS 340 and MLS 340L. Repeatable to 18 credits.

PATH 403. Diagnostic Cytology III. 10 Credits.

Full day, 12-week clinical practicum held at UND or at a clinical affiliate cytology laboratory. Course is centered on the reinforcement of principles and the practice of skills learned in PATH 401 and PATH 402. Prerequisites: PATH 402 and departmental approval.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382