2015-2016 Catalog

Histotechnician Certificate Program


 Hoffman, Paur (Chair,Program Director)

The Histotechnician Certificate Program at the University of North Dakota is within the Department of Medical Laboratory Science. It is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), at 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, 773-714-8880.

Histotechnicians prepare specimens for research or medical diagnosis by a pathologist. They work to process tissues that have been removed during surgery. Fine motor skills are used to cut the tissue into very thin slices which are mounted on slides and stained with special dyes to make cellular detail visible under the microscope. Microscopic examination of these tissue sections allow for the detection of disease processes and aids in deciding the course of treatment for the patient.

Histotechnicians must work quickly, as they are frequently under pressure to deliver results while the patient is in surgery. They work with fragile, delicate instruments, knives, chemicals and glass slides. He or she must value precision and be comfortable working with equipment that requires careful monitoring.

Histotechnology professionals work in hospitals, for-profit laboratories, clinics, public health facilities, and industry. Additional opportunities are available in industrial research, veterinary pathology, marine biology and forensic pathology. (From “A Career as a Histotechnologist and Histotechnician,” American Society for Clinical Pathology.)

The UND admission and advance placement policies, as well as the policies for special examination/ validation for credit, are included in the Academic Catalog or on the UND website at: www.und.edu.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the certificate program is open to all individuals who meet the following requirements:

Social Science, Humanities or Composition3
Introduction to Chemistry4
Concepts of Biology4
Math at the high school or college level
  • Verification of a cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a scale of 4.0
  • Completion of the following courses with a C or better:
  • Criminal background check
  • Immunization records
  • Verification of acceptance by a clinical site that meets the specification for acceptance in the Histotechnician Certificate Program

At least 60 credits of post-secondary coursework are recommended before applying for admission to the Histotechnician Certificate Program.


PATH 360Histopathology Laboratory Theory *3
PATH 362Histotechniques I *3
PATH 363Histotechniques II *3
PATH 367Histology Practicum I **5
PATH 368Histology Practicum II **5
Total Credits19

Online course


Clinical Internship at accredited medical center

Exceptions for acceptance of students may be made by petition to the Department of Pathology Professional and Academic Standards Committee at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Upon successful completion of the program the student will receive a Histotechnician Certificate from UND and will have met the eligibility requirements for the national certification examination.

All students registered in the Histotechnician Certificate courses have a specific Histotechnician tuition assessed; additional information may be obtained from the Clinical Laboratory Science office (701-777-2634).


PATH 301. Principles of Cytopathology. 15 Credits.

PATH 360. Histopathology Laboratory Theory. 3 Credits.

This course presents an overview of topics related to histology laboratory operations and an introduction to histology laboratory management. Prerequisite: Departmental approval. F,S,SS.

PATH 362. Histotechniques I. 3 Credits.

This course is the introduction to the fundamental techniques, including fixation, processing, instrumentation, and solution preparation. Cytoplasmic, nuclear, carbohydrate, and amyloid staining will be presented.

PATH 363. Histotechniques II. 3 Credits.

This course is the continuation of the fundamental techniques of histology, including muscle and connective tissue, nerves, microorganisms, pigment, minerals, cytoplasmic granules, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme histochemistry.

PATH 367. Histology Practicum I. 5 Credits.

Communication skills, attitude and work performance will be evaluated. The skills involved will emphasize the fundamental techniques including fixation, specimen processing, instrumentation, sectioning and staining with emphasis on the Hematoxylin and Eosin stain. Prerequisite: Departmental approval. Corequisite: PATH 362.

PATH 368. Histology Practicum II. 5 Credits.

Individual assignments in an accredited histology lab. Emphasis on refining skills learned in Histology Practicum I, staining procedures and tissue identification. Prerequisite: Departmental approval. Corequisite: PATH 363.

PATH 382. Cytotechnology Internship. 15 Credits.

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