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Histology Degree Programs and Prerequisites

Learn about an associate's degree program in histology. Get information on educational prerequisites, course requirements, job outlook and salary prospects.

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Essential Information

Histology technicians prepare body tissue samples for testing in a laboratory. A 2-year associate's degree program in histology provides students with the medical knowledge and practical skills necessary to gain a position as a histology technician in a hospital or medical research facility.

Aspiring histology technicians must learn how to remove and collect body tissue samples that will eventually be used by pathologists to perform diagnostic tests. They need a thorough understanding of the human body and anatomy, as well as a working knowledge of common medical and histology tools.

Some histology students also receive special training in genetics, so that they might eventually learn how to find and remove specific DNA molecules from human tissue. Some gain special training focusing on cell biology or the difference between animal and plant life. Some graduates of a histology program go on to earn bachelor's degrees in medical laboratory science or clinical laboratory science at an accredited institution.

Educational Prerequisites

Most histology degree programs require that students have a high school diploma or GED certificate in order to apply. Many also require that incoming students have earned at least a 'C' or better in high school algebra, biology and chemistry.

Program Coursework

Coursework in a histology associate's degree program tends to be practical and hands-on in nature. While students gain a strong understanding of medical terms and procedures, they must also learn how to apply those procedures in actual laboratory settings. Some courses included in a histology program are listed below:

  • Technical report writing
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Microscopic anatomy
  • Organic chemistry
  • Histology laboratory
  • Histology clinical practicum

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Histology technicians typically work in hospitals or other medical facilities with research laboratories. They generally work under the supervision of licensed pathologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a medical and clinical laboratory technician in the United States was about $37,240 in 2012. That field is the BLS category most closely aligned with histology technicians.

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