IUPUI Bulletins » Schools » Medicine » Undergraduate Programs » Histotechnology » Histotechnology

The educational program in histotechnology through the IU School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is located on the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The program functions as a cooperative effort between IUSM and qualifying histology laboratories around the United States. Courses are taught via distance education to employed and non-employed students.

To provide quality education using distance learning technology in preparing individuals for accreditation in Histotechnology. To meet the healthcare manpower needs in both urban and rural settings nation-wide.

Program Goals
The program’s goals have been developed within the mission of the Health Professions Programs in the School of Medicine. In an effort to provide theoretical background and the development of a high degree of occupational competence, the program has established the following goals:

  • To provide students with the educational experiences necessary to enter a career as a histologic technician, to include entry-level competence and eligibility for the ASCP Board of Certification Histotechnician or Histotechnologist examination.
  • To provide the nationwide health care community with individuals competent to conduct high-quality histologic procedures.
  • To provide a curriculum containing a balance between technical knowledge and clinical competence gained in the histology laboratory setting.
  • To assist students in reaching their goals by providing academic and occupational advising.
  • To instill in students a lifelong desire to achieve professional and academic excellence.

Description of Histotechnology Profession

Histotechnology is a science-based profession aimed to assist the pathologist with the diagnoses of disease on biologic samples from patients. This technology integrates biology, chemistry, histochemistry, immunology, and molecular biology in order to identify cell and tissue types as well as microorganisms, pigments and antigens. Histotechnologists perform testing procedures that may include tissue/dye reaction, enzyme histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and electron microscopy. Immunological and molecular (DNA) techniques are frequently utilized to provide accurate tumor identification which will aid the clinician in selecting a mode of therapy that offers the greatest probability of cure.

Histotechnologists must be experts in the handling and preparation of tissues, as many of the samples they work with cannot be replaced. Therefore, histotechnologists must be extremely meticulous and accurate in their work and may choose to become highly specialized. Employment opportunities are numerous and may be found in medical, research, pharmaceutical, industrial, veterinary, and forensic laboratories where their efforts contribute to the diagnosis of disease and the development of new drugs and treatment strategies.


Job opportunities

Today, there are more jobs for histotechnicians than certified personel to fill those jobs. The future long-term employment looks bright. The need is great everywhere throughout the country.

Histotechnicians have an unlimited choice of practice settings.  Job openings for qualified histotechnicians can be found in:

  • hospitals
  • clinics
  • dermatopathology labs
  • public health facilities
  • industrial research
  • veterinary pathology
  • marine biology
  • forensic pathology

Program Objectives
Upon successful completion of all standard academic requirements established for this program, the graduate is entitled to receive a Certificate in Histotechnologyand/or an Associate of Science in Histotechnology degree from Indiana University. By virtue of the standards required by this program, the graduate is eligible to take the Histotechnician or Histotechnologist Certification Examination administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification. The didactic and practical experience provided by the course of instruction should enable the graduate to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Receiving and accessioning tissue specimens;
  2. Preparing tissue specimens for microscopic examinations, including all routine procedures;
  3. Assisting with gross examination and frozen section procedures in histopathology;
  4. Identifying tissue structures and their staining characteristics;
  5. Performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments or referring to appropriate sources for repairs;
  6. Recognizing factors that affect procedures and results, and taking appropriate action within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated;
  7. Performing and monitoring quality control within predetermined limits;
  8. Applying principles of safety;
  9. Demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal communication skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals, and with the public;
  10. Recognizing the responsibilities of other laboratory and healthcare professionals and interacting with them with respect for their jobs and patient care; 
  11. Recognizing and acting upon individual needs for continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence; 
  12. Exercising principles of management, safety, and supervision, as the primary analyst making specimen oriented decisions on predetermined criteria, including a working knowledge of criteria values. Communications skills will extend to frequent interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service, and patient education. The levels of analysis range from routine tissue processing to complex histopathology laboratory procedures in the various major areas of anatomic pathology. The histotechnician will have diverse functions in areas of pre‐analytic, analytic, and post‐analytic processes. The histotechnician will have responsibilities for information processing, training, and quality control monitoring wherever histologic procedures are performed.

*From “NAACLS Standards for Accredited and Approved Programs”, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

Graduates of the Program Students who successfully complete the histotechnology program are eligible to take national certification examination. Nationally recognized certification is a requirement for employment in many settings.

Credentials Required to Practice HT(ASCP), Histotechnician, or HTL(ASCP), Histotechnologist

Licensure Requirements to Practice There is no state licensure in Indiana; however, some states require licensure in addition to national certification. The IU certificate program is an approved training program by the Florida Board of Health and meets the requirements for state licensure in the state of Florida. Students completing the IU Associate of Science in Histotechnology meet the requirements for the State of New York and are able to apply for state licensure of NY.

Scholarships The American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Society for Histotechnology, the Indiana University Histotechnology Program and several states' histology professional organizations sponsor scholarships for students in histotechnology. Other scholarship and financial aid opportunities may be available through the IUPUI Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Student Consumer Information About this Program - Indiana University is sharing this information about Certificate Program in compliance with Federal Regulations required by the US Department of Education. Note: all students pay a flat rate equivalent to in-state tuition regardless of residency for the 24 credit hour certificate program.

For further information, contact:

Histotechnology Program Office
Phone: 317-274-1686
E-mail: IUHTinfo@iu.edu


Debra Wood, M.S., Director
Phone: (317) 274-1684
E-mail: demwood@iupui.edu

Mailing Address:
IU School of Medicine Histotechnology Program
Van Nuys Medical Science
635 Barnhill Dr, MS A108
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Program Office Phone: (317) 274-1686
Program Fax: (317) 278-2018

Updated: April 2018