Pathologist Assistant Schools: How to Choose

Pathology assistants work under the supervision of licensed pathologists in surgical and autopsy settings in order to diagnose and study disease. Students must obtain a master's degree in pathology assistance to enter the profession, and certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathology is often a professional standard.

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How to Select a Pathology Assistant School

Bachelor's degrees in biology, chemistry or nursing could prove advantageous for admission to a graduate program in pathology assistance. Typically, any major is sufficient, though students should complete undergraduate courses in science-based studies before enrolling. Practical or observational experience in a pathology assisting capacity is recommended or required. These programs are typically found at 4-year universities.

Summary of Considerations

  • Hands-on training
  • Accreditation

Hands-on Training

Students who prefer hands-on training may want to consider a program that offers multiple clinical externships throughout the duration of the program. Others may choose to participate in didactic learning prior to gaining work experience in the field. Some master's programs offer assisting opportunities in various settings, such as hospitals and private clinics, while others utilize an on-campus medical center for students to gain experience. Applicants should determine the value they place on performing learned procedures when researching potential schools and programs.

Accreditation

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredits pathologists' assistant master's degree programs. Students will need to graduate from an accredited master's program in order to sit for the Pathologists' Assistant examination. Applicants should ensure that the selected program meets these requirements and adequately prepares them in the necessary topics.

Pathology Assistant Program Overview

Master's Degree in Pathology Assistant Studies

A master's degree in pathology assistance prepares students to diagnose and study disease through dissecting and examining tissues during the performance of surgery or autopsy. Clinical experiences typically account for half of the syllabus, and students will learn dissection techniques, as well as how to describe and report findings. Programs typically take 24 months to complete, with some schools requiring full-time summer attendance as well in which students complete clinical experiences. Many programs require students to maintain an above-average GPA to continue in the program. Coursework typically includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Methods used to study diseases, defects and illnesses
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
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    • New Jersey (1)
    • New York (3)
    • Texas (3)

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
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  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Wayne State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Pathology Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
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    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at St. John's University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
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      • Medical Assisting
        • Pathology Assistant
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  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
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      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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      • Dental
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