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Cytotechnology Program (Minnesota)

Program description

Cytotechnology is the microscopic study of cells for evidence of disease, such as cancer. The field is perhaps best known for the “Pap test,” an evaluation of cells from the uterine cervix, but cytologists can identify precancerous or cancer cells in virtually any area of the body.

Cytotechnologists evaluate cell samples that have been shed normally, scraped from the body, or aspirated with a fine needle. Cytotechnologists detect subtle changes in cells so they can accurately identify precancerous, malignant and infectious conditions.

Program goals

  • The program will prepare competent entry level cytotechnologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  • The program will assure graduates have adequate knowledge to evaluate gynecologic material with sufficient competence to meet the entry-level responsibility of issuing the final report for negative gynecologic specimens; and to evaluate non-gynecologic material with sufficient competence to render a preliminary diagnosis to present to the pathologist.
  • The program will provide students with appropriate knowledge and background experience to qualify for national certification examination.
  • The Cytotechnology graduate will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the ethical role and responsibilities of the Cytotechnology graduate by practicing:
    • Honesty and integrity in professional duties
    • Principles of good personal relationships with peers, staff, faculty and the public

Gainful Employment Disclosure Report

The U.S. Department of Education requires disclosure of student debt and employment information to assist students in making informed decisions prior to enrolling in this education program.


The Cytotechnology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Mayo Foundation is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission.

  • Higher Learning Commission
    • 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
      Chicago, IL 60604-1411
    • Phone: 312-263-0456 or 800-621-7440 (toll-free)
    • Fax: 312-263-7462

Affiliated institutions

There are two ways to enter the Mayo School of Health Sciences Cytotechnology Program.

You may be accepted if you have completed your bachelor's degree and meet the requirements listed below.

Or, you may enter as a senior from one of our affiliated academic institutions, which have agreed to accept our training as valid fourth-year completion of their bachelor's degrees (3+1 option).

To participate in the Mayo School of Health Sciences Cytotechnology Program, you must be a senior enrolled at one of the following affiliated academic institutions or have your bachelor's degree:

  • Luther College — Decorah, Iowa
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato — Mankato, Minn.
  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota — Winona, Minn.
  • University of Minnesota Rochester — Rochester, Minn.
  • University of Wisconsin-Green Bay — Green Bay, Wis.


The Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minn., includes an extensive outpatient complex; Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus; Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus; and substantial research and education facilities.

This Mayo site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Graduation and certification

Upon successful completion of the Cytotechnology program, you will receive a certificate of completion from Mayo School of Health Sciences. If the program completes your final undergraduate year at an affiliated institution, you will receive your baccalaureate degree from that institution.

Graduates are eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification examination upon completion of the program.


For the majority of the classroom instruction and clinical rotations, your learning schedule will include eight-hour days, five days per week.

Class size

Each year, Mayo School of Health Sciences admits up to six students to its Cytotechnology Program. This class size ensures you receive close one-on-one instruction and a comprehensive educational experience.

  • March 3, 2014
  • ART250502