Cytotechnology is an allied health laboratory specialty designed to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and its precursors using individual cell morphology.
A cytotechnologist (CT) is a laboratory specialist who is responsible for preparing and examining human cell samples under the microscope for early signs of cancer and other diseases. The cytotechnologist meticulously reviews and analyzes subtle cell changes, both nuclear and cytoplasmic, and compares these changes to known normal cell findings from given body sites. By adding these microscopic observations to the clinical history provided, the cytotechnologist can judge the significance of the cell changes. Cytotechnologists aid pathologists in determining a patient’s diagnosis in an accurate, timely and secure manner.
The cytotechnologist must be familiar with normal anatomy and histology for all the body systems that may be the sources of cytologic material and must learn the appearance of certain disease processes that affect these body sites. The cell changes that indicate these processes must be studied and the cells recognized in a background of normal material.
Cytotechnologists aid in the management of patients with known malignancies by assisting with fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies, minimally invasive procedures that can, in addition to initial diagnosis, help track the spread of disease. When used in conjunction with radiologic and ultrasound techniques, FNA can target small, difficult to reach areas of the body.
Cytotechnologists are employed in laboratories, community and military hospitals or large teaching institutions. Upward mobility and additional opportunities for cytotechnologists are available in the area of molecular diagnostics, where the need for trained morphologists blends well with the skills learned in cytology.
Additional information about cytotechnology can be found at the following sites:
Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 upon a mission of patient care, research and education. From the patient’s bedside to the medical laboratory, Cleveland Clinic practitioners constantly strive to improve care, seek better ways to diagnose and treat disease, and share knowledge and best practices with upcoming generations of medical personnel. Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology is welcoming students who embrace these ideals to engage in our one-year, hands-on education program.
At this time, there are no application fees or tuition charges for students enrolled in Cleveland Clinic’s School of Cytotechnology. Students are required to purchase textbooks and supplies and are responsible for their living expenses including meals, transportation, liability insurance and health insurance including hospitalization. The program is not responsible for any of these expenses should a student withdraw or be dismissed. Job opportunities may be available for students enrolled in this program to help offset these expenses as long as the students maintain academic standards set by the school throughout the program. Up to four students are accepted yearly based on applicants’ qualifications.
Once accepted, all students are subject to a criminal background check. Students will be expected to learn from and interact with a diverse population while attending the 12-month program 8 hours per day and 5 days per week. Students must maintain a C average on written and practical examinations. Students must pass a review of unknown slides throughout the program, reaching a 98% accuracy rate on gyn screening by the end of the school year.
Students will be formally evaluated on a quarterly basis and may be subject to dismissal in the event of failure at the end of any quarter. Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology provides an equal opportunity to all applicants for admission into the program. Decisions concerning selection are all made upon the basis of the best qualified candidates without regard to color, race, religion, national origin, age, gender, handicapped status, ancestry, or covered veteran status or any other protected status under federal, state or local laws.
- A baccalaureate level degree from an accredited college or university
- Accumulative GPA of 3.0
- Completed 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of biology
- Courses include but are not limited to:
- General Biology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- 8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours of Chemistry
- 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of Mathematics
- Foreign applicants must have permanent resident status
Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology does not:
- Accept transfer credits from other cytotechnology programs
- Allow completion of requirements through experiential learning
- Offer advanced placement courses for students prior to receipt of a baccalaureate degree
We look for the following attributes in our students:
- Visual acuity and perception with respect to depth and color
- Ability to use microscopes to distinguish the characteristics of cells in health and disease as well as other microscopic entities related to cytologic diagnosis
- Logical thought processes facilitating problem solving
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Transfer of knowledge and laboratory skills to problems other than those set in the course of instruction, but that lend themselves to similar types of solutions
- Dependability, motivation, integrity, courtesy, compassion, teamwork, service and ability to follow written and verbal instruction
- Manual dexterity
All application material, correspondence or inquiries concerning applications should be directed to the Program Director at 216.444.6577 or at the following address:
Sandra Dolar, BA, SCT(ASCP)CM
School of Cytotechnology /L25
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
- February 1: All completed applications including the reference letters, transcripts, and transcript evaluations when required, must be postmarked by this date.
- March 31: All interviews for eligible candidates will be complete by this date. (In person interviews are required of all applicants at their own expense.)
- April 15: All applicants will be notified in writing of their acceptance status by this date.
- June 30: Ineligible applicants may have their applications considered for the following year by informing this program of their intent in writing by this date.
- First Monday in July: Classes begin, unless July 4 falls on a Monday, in which case classes will begin on Tuesday.
Accreditation of the School of Cytotechnology is obtained through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756 (phone 727.210.2350).
Download the application.