Histology Degree Programs and Prerequisites

In a histology associate's program, students learn how to prepare body tissue samples for testing in a laboratory. The two-year associate's degree program includes courses such as technical report writing, microbiology, and anatomy.

Essential Information

Students in histology associate's programs learn how to remove and collect tissue samples that are used by pathologists to perform diagnostic tests. Students gain a thorough understanding of the human body and anatomy, as well as a working knowledge of common medical and histology tools. Students may also receive special training in genetics or cell biology, or even the difference between animal and plant life. Graduates of these associate's program may go on to earn bachelor's degrees in medical laboratory science or clinical laboratory science.

  • Program Levels in Histology: Associate's degree, bachelor's degree
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED equivalent; passing grades in high school algebra, biology and chemistry
  • Other Requirements: Clinical practicum; special training in genetics or cell biology in some programs

Associate's Degree in Histology

Coursework in a histology associate's degree program tends to be practical and hands-on. While students gain a strong understanding of medical terms and procedures, they must also learn how to apply those procedures in actual laboratory settings. Some courses included in a histology program are:

  • Technical report writing
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Microscopic anatomy
  • Organic chemistry
  • Histology clinical practicum

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Histology technicians typically work in hospitals or other medical research facilities under the supervision of licensed pathologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean salary for a medical and clinical laboratory technician was $40,750 in 2014. Employment opportunities in the medical laboratory technologist and technician field, combined, are projected to increase 22% between 2012 and 2022.

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