Photo of Cytotechnology Program students looking through microscopes

Program description

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers the 12-month Cytotechnology Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Cytotechnology is the microscopic study of cells in order to detect cancer and other abnormal conditions. Throughout the program, students are trained on all aspects of a cytotechnologist's job responsibilities.

By the end of the program, students will:

  • Be proficient in entry-level competencies of the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains
  • Have adequate knowledge to evaluate gynecological material with sufficient competence to meet the entry-level responsibility of issuing the final report for negative gynecological specimens, and evaluate nongynecological and fine-needle aspiration material with sufficient competence to render a preliminary diagnosis to present to the pathologist
  • Have appropriate knowledge and background experience to qualify for the national certification examination
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of their ethical roles and responsibilities by practicing honesty and integrity in professional duties as well as principles of good personal relationships with peers, staff, faculty and the public

U.S. citizenship or permanent immigrant status is required for admission to the Cytotechnology Program.

Gainful employment disclosure report

The 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.

See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Affiliated institutions

There are two ways to enter the Cytotechnology Program. The applicant:

  1. Has completed a bachelor's degree and meets the admissions requirements.
  2. Is a senior at one of Mayo Clinic's affiliated academic institutions, which have agreed to accept our training as valid fourth-year completion of their bachelor's degrees (3+1 option).

Our affiliated institutions are:

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


Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, and substantial research and education facilities. This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Graduation and certification

Upon successful completion of the Cytotechnology Program, graduates receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. If the program completes a student's final undergraduate year at an affiliated institution, that student will receive his or her bachelor's degree from that institution.

Graduates are eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification examination upon completion of the program. The program has a 100 percent first-time pass rate for the national certification examination.


For the majority of the classroom instruction and clinical rotations, the learning schedule includes eight-hour days, four to five days a week.

Class size

Each year, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admits up to six students to the Cytotechnology Program. This ensures that students receive tailored instruction and a comprehensive educational experience.

March 17, 2017