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Surgical Technology Degree and Diploma Programs in Texas

There are over 40 schools in Texas that have surgical technology programs. Read an overview of nine of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info, and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

In Texas, students interested in studying surgical technology can look to several 2-year colleges that offer programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). One option is to enroll in an undergraduate certificate program, which can take 10-12 months to complete. Associate degree programs, which integrate career training with studies in general education subjects, are also available. A surgical technology program typically includes didactic studies (classroom and lab courses) as well as clinical education in a medical setting, which allows students to obtain hands-on training.

To apply for admission to a surgical technology program, an applicant must typically submit a high school diploma, transcripts and letters of recommendation as well as pass a placement test and criminal background check. In addition, students must usually provide proof of drug screenings, health or liability insurance, physical examinations and current immunizations. Some requirements must be met prior to admissions and others prior to starting clinical experiences.


Amarillo College

Amarillo College, located in Amarillo, prepares students for positions as surgical technicians or technologists through its surgical technology training, which is offered as a certificate or associate degree program. Students complete courses in human anatomy and physiology, perioperative concepts and techniques, medical terminology and surgical procedures. General education courses are required for the degree program. Amarillo College has six campuses and offers more than 143 certificate and degree programs.

Austin Community College

Austin Community College is located in Austin and offers students the choice of a 48-credit-hour certificate or 63-credit-hour associate degree program in surgical technology. Students complete courses in surgical procedures, medical terminology, pharmacology and microbiology. Three sequential clinical courses provide students with work-based experiences and familiarize them with surgical instruments and procedures. Students can find resources, such as tutoring, counseling and financial assistance, through the school's Student Support and Success Systems department.

Collin College

McKinney's Collin College, part of the Collin Community College District, has an 18-month surgical technology associate degree program that utilizes courses from the Workforce Education Course Manual of Texas. Students complete a curriculum of classroom studies, lab courses and clinical education; courses progress from simple to advanced and must be taken in sequence. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) has conferred upon this surgical technology program an award of merit due to the graduate pass rate on the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification exam.

Del Mar College

Del Mar College is located in Corpus Christi and has a surgical technology certificate program that can be completed in one year. Students learn about surgical procedures, anatomy, physiology, microbiology and surgical aseptic techniques. By completing general education courses, students can earn an associate degree. Both programs require clinical education. The Del Mar College Foundation assists students in helping them reach their educational goals and find careers that fit into the area's economy.

El Centro College

Dallas-based El Centro College offers a 10-month surgical technologist certificate program that prepares students to take the NBSTSA certification exam. In addition to meeting other admission requirements, applicants must complete five prerequisite courses with adequate GPAs. This two-semester program includes coursework, laboratory courses and at least 16 weeks of field experiences in the second semester. Academic advising, career services and an adult resource center are just a few of the student services and resources available to students at El Centro College.

El Paso Community College

Located in El Paso, this public school offers a two-year surgical technology associate degree program through its Health Occupations division. Students entering this program are required to attend a health careers orientation. Once students complete prerequisite courses, they begin the five-semester curriculum that includes a summer session. Students take general education and surgical technology courses and participate in clinical experiences in surgical settings. The Division of Student Services offers financial aid assistance, assessment testing and various career services to assist students with reaching their career goals.

Houston Community College

Houston's Houston Community College (HCC) offers a one-year surgical technology program through its Coleman College for Health Sciences. Students develop skills necessary to support physicians in a surgical setting and to handle supplies, equipment and instruments during procedures. Many of the courses making up the program may be applied as credit to the Coleman College nursing program. Graduates of the program are immediately eligible to sit for the national certification examination to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). HCC has an Academic Success Center that aids students by providing resume and cover letter writing assistance, tutoring, testing accommodations and workshops.

San Jacinto Community College

Located in Pasadena, San Jacinto Community College (SJCC) has surgical technology training programs that offer students the choice of pursuing a certificate of technology or an associate degree. The certificate program, offered twice each year, takes one year to complete, while the associate degree program typically takes two. Both programs require completion of coursework and clinical rotations; the degree program includes general education courses. The Office of Student Life at SJCC offers many resources to students, including tutoring, academic advising and access to many student activities.

Tarrant County College

Tarrant County College, part of the Tarrant County College District, is located in Fort Worth and offers an 11-month surgical technology certificate program. This selective admissions program admits students based on a point system. Students learn about surgical equipment and supplies, stocking and restocking instruments and general surgical procedures. Students complete didactic studies and clinical rotations. The Student Services department offers a variety of services to students, like counseling, academic advising, resume building assistance and job fair information.

Career Requirements

To work in the field of surgical technology, an individual must complete an accredited training program and have certification as a surgical technologist from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) or a certifying agency approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Both one-year certificate or diploma programs and two-year associate degree programs qualify individuals for certification. Upon completion of the above programs, students are prepared to take certification exams.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Surgical Technology Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Amarillo College Two-year, public; midsize city Surgical Technology Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology
$2,010 in-district; $3,042 in-state; $4,578 out-of-state*
Austin Community College District Two-year, public; large city Certificate in Surgical Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology
$2,550 in-district; $9,210 in-state; $11,340 out-of-state*
Collin County Community College District Two-year, public; midsize suburb Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology $1,174 in-district; $2,344 in-state; $4,144 out-of-state*
Del Mar College Two-year, public; large city Surgical Technology Certificate of Achievement,
Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology
$2,546 in-district; $3,846 in-state; $4,808 out-of-state*
El Centro College Two-year, public; large city Certificate in Surgical Technology $1,770 in-district; $3,330 in-state; $5,220 out-of-state*
El Paso Community College Two-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology $2,386 in-state; $4,042 out-of-state*
Houston Community College Two-year, public; large city Certificate in Surgical Technology $1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state*
San Jacinto Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Surgical Technology Certificate of Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology
$1,408 in-district; $2,416 in-state; $3,688 out-of-state*
Tarrant County College District Two-year, public; large city Certificate in Surgical Technology $1,320 in-district; $2,064 in-state; $4,920 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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