Apr 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin (July 2022 Ed) 
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin (July 2022 Ed) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Histotechnology, Certificate

Program Description

This 22-credit hour certificate provides clinical histotechnology training to prepare health professionals for a career in a histology laboratory.  The courses are a combination of online, on-campus, and clinical practicums performed in an accredited laboratory setting.  After completion of the certificate program, graduates are eligible to take the Histotechnologist (HTL) exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC).  Currently, there is no state licensure requirement for histotechnologists in Tennessee.


The Certificate Program in Histotechnology is accredited for histotechnology education by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119; (773) 714-8880; www.naacls.org.

Minimum Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor’s of Science degree with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 (based on a 4.0 scale) from an accredited college or university
  • Completion of the following semester credit hours of prerequisite coursework with a grade of “C” or better in each course:
    • 30 total hours in biology and chemistry including:
      • 8 credit hours of biology
      • 8 credit hours of chemistry
      • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    • 3 credit hours of college algebra or statistics
  • Students with degrees older than 5 years may be required to update science courses
  • Two letters of recommendation from college instructors or employers
  • Foreign applicants whose native language is not English must submit the results of the TOEFL, with a minimum score of 550 on the written, 213 on the computer test, or 80 on the TOEFL iBT®
  • Official transcripts from a foreign applicant’s native country must be evaluated course by course by one of the credentialing agencies approved by UTHSC. This evaluation must be sent to UTHSC’s Office of Enrollment Services on or before the program’s application deadline. Contact the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science for more information.
  • Interview with the faculty

Applications are accepted online at http://www.uthsc.edu/admissions/chp.php.

Application deadline: October 31.

Health Requirements

In addition to general University of Tennessee Health Science Center requirements, Histotechnology students are required to have an annual skin test or chest X-ray for tuberculosis and to be immunized against Neisseria meningitidis and the Hepatitis B virus.  Students admitted to the program must submit evidence of good health.

Technical Standards

For admission to the Certificate Program in Histotechnology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), students are expected to be able to successfully meet the Technical Standards outlined below. Students are required to sign the Technical Standards Commitment form indicating their understanding and ability to meet these standards either with or without accommodations (for persons with documented disabilities). Any questions about these technical standards should be directed to the program director of the Certificate Program in Histotechnology.

UTHSC receives applications from a diverse body of potential students including those with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to help students meet these technical standards when appropriate, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any student wishing accommodations should contact the Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) for further information. Information regarding accommodations can be found on the SASSI website page:

https://uthsc.edu/sassi/disability_services.php or by calling 901-448-5056.


In the event a student cannot fulfill these Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodations at any time in their program, the student will be ineligible for admission or continued enrollment in the program. In addition to ensuring that students can meet the intellectual, emotional, and physical criteria for histotechnology, it should also be noted that of utmost importance is the student’s ability to provide for the welfare and safety of their patients and others. This is the foundation of all Technical Standards and if this cannot be done, the student is unable to meet the criteria outlined by the Technical Standards.

Once enrolled in the histotechnology certificate program, students must meet the requirements of the curriculum, including the demonstration of the skills described herein for the program in order to progress through the curriculum and to receive a certificate.

General Abilities:

  • Ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate data
  • Possess organizational skills and be able to solve one or more problems within specific time frames which are often short
  • Ability to perform duties and assignments in a timely fashion while under stress and in a variety of settings
  • Ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of anatomic, histologic, and cellular structures
  • Ability to acquire specified microscopic interpretive skills as presented by microscopic demonstrations and other experiences required by the curriculum
  • Possess sufficient stamina to tolerate physically taxing workloads
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time while working with a microscope or at a microtome
  • Ability to remain alert and concentrate for extended periods of time
  • Ability to acquire information developed through didactic instruction, independent learning, clinical experience and consultation
  • Ability to understand reading assignments and to search and evaluate the literature
  • Ability to complete written assignments and maintain written records
  • Ability to use a computer for instructional assignments and patient care activities

Observational/Sensory Skills

  • Visual acuity (corrected to 20/40); visual perception with respect to depth and color
  • Ability to discriminate fine details and structures in objects under a microscope
  • Ability to observe demonstrations and participate in laboratory experiments

Physical and Motor Skills

  • Possess sufficient motor function to operate/manipulate and maintain a microscope, microtome, and other laboratory instruments or equipment
  • Dexterity with both wrists, hands and arms, and dexterity will all fingers
  • Ability to grasp, pinch, push, pull, hold, extend, rotate and cut
  • Possess eye-hand coordination and ability to accurately judge distance and depth
  • Ability to manipulate or control small objects such as tissues with forceps and scalpels

Communication Skills

  • Ability to communicate in English in oral and written form
  • Ability to participate in discussion in the classroom, the clinical arena and with colleagues and patients

Professional Conduct, Behavioral & Social Skills

  • Ability to function as part of a team through communication, consultation, negotiation, and sharing
  • Ability to manage time, organize workload, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to delegate responsibilities appropriately and supervise others
  • Ability to adhere to safety guidelines for self and others
  • Ability to comply with standards and regulations required by external agencies
  • Ability to follow instructions/procedures with accuracy and precision
  • Ability to maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress, while also maintaining appropriate performance standards
  • Ability to learn and exhibit professional attributes

Clinical Judgement

  • Ability to prioritize and perform laboratory testing
  • Ability to obtain and/or verify patient samples
  • Ability to make sound judgments and formulate diagnoses after correlating clinical data with laboratory findings
  • Ability to adapt to a variety of patient care situations, including crises
  • Ability to troubleshoot instrumentation problems and resolve staining inconsistencies

Clinical Affiliations

Clinical affiliation sites are located in Memphis, throughout Tennessee, and in other states. Due to the limited number of clinical sites in Memphis, it is necessary for students to accept the financial impact of traveling and living out of town for a portion of their clinical assignments. The Certificate Program in Histotechnology will make every effort to place all students on clinical rotation. Occasionally, a scheduled clinical experience at an affiliation site is unavailable due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.  However, because the experience is required for graduation, the program may arrange for other options that include placement at a more distant clinical site or a simulated laboratory experience on campus.  A student’s graduation due to lack of clinical placement may be delayed if a clinical rotation cannot be secured and the student is not able to take advantage of the other options provided.

Program-Specific Policies

Attendance Requirement

Histotechnology students are expected to attend all scheduled classes, student labs, and clinical lab assignments. In the case of absence due to illness or emergency, the student should notify the appropriate faculty member and clinical site no later than 8:00AM of the day missed. For any other absences, prior arrangements must be made with the specific instructor(s) involved. Appointments for health services should not be made during scheduled class time.

Grading Policy

Written and practical examinations and performance evaluations are a part of the educational program throughout the curriculum. All courses in each term must be passed before the student is allowed to progress to the next term. No credit for any course is awarded until the end of the term. The point- grade conversion scale used by the histotechnology program for all courses is as follows:

94-100 = A

92-93 = A-

89-91 = B+

85-88 = B

83-84 = B-

80-82 = C+

75-79 = C

73-74 = C-

71-72 = D+

65-70 = D

Below 73 = F

Information about grading for incompletes and withdrawals is covered in the general college section of the bulletin. Students should reference this information about grade assignments in these situations.

Curriculum Summary

The curriculum for the Certificate in Histotechnology Program consists of 2 terms. The following summarizes the required courses included in the Histotechnology professional curriculum.  Required courses are offered annually during the terms indicated. Students move through this program in a cohort.

First Term: Spring (Jan - Jun)

Second Term: Fall (July - December)

Completion Requirements

Admitted students complete courses in a part-time, lock-step manner over 12 months. The curriculum covers one calendar year from January until December. The students are eligible to take the HTL registry exam after the final day of coursework is successfully completed.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for successful completion of the certificate program.  After completion of the certificate program, graduates are eligible to take the Histotechnologist (HTL) exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC).