Health Professions Program

Certificate in Histotechnology

The certificate in Histotechnology is a NAACLS accredited 24 credit hour/2 semester program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to sit for the ASCP National HT/HTL certification examination. This program also earns students 24 college credit hours that could be applied toward an advanced degree. Student’s graduate with a Certification in Histotechnology from Indiana University School of Medicine and are eligible to sit for the ASCP National HT certification exam.

Working as a Histotechnician

Job openings for qualified histotechnicians can be found throughout the United States in hospitals, clinics, specialty labs (including demapathology and urology), pharmaceutical, industrial and medical research companies, veterinary pathology groups, marine biology teams and forensic pathology labs. Histotechnicians have diverse functions in areas of pre‐analytic, analytic, and post‐analytic processes and also have responsibilities for information processing, training, and quality control monitoring wherever histologic procedures are performed. Communications skills 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. Explore Student Consumer Information about this Program.


Applicants must hold an associate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The degree must include 12 credit hours of chemistry and biology (combined) with a minimum overall GPA of 2.3 as well as a minimum 2.3 in these courses.If these courses are not included within the degree, they must be taken in addition to the degree.

Applicants must have access to a qualified training laboratory. Laboratory training sites are located nationwide and change based on the student and/or laboratory needs. Students typically are employed at the training site, however, training sites may take non-employed students.

Applicants must secure a certified HT or HTL (ASCP) to serve as a mentor.

Program Requirements

  • Perform procedures of basic histologic laboratory techniques, instrumentation and problem solving at the HT entry-level competency.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of general and specific histologic methodology.
  • Perform procedures with accuracy and precision.
  • Monitor internal and external quality assurance measures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of operational principles of commonly used laboratory instruments to include the ability to perform daily preventative maintenance and correct simple malfunctions.
  • Exercise independent judgment regarding choice of procedure and evaluation of results.
  • Organize tasks to cope with volume of work and unexpected demands.
  • Communicate effectively with Clinical Education Supervisor and Program Director regarding curriculum and training courses.
  • Effectively organize and present information both in written assignments and oral communication.
  • Communicate effectively with other laboratory and health care providers.
  • Display an attitude reflecting pride and professionalism in daily laboratory duties.
  • Demonstrate adaptability, integrity, initiative, neatness, maturity, stability and a desire for excellence.
  • Receiving and accessioning tissue specimens
  • Preparing tissue specimens for microscopic examinations, including all routine procedures
  • Assisting with gross examination and frozen section procedures in histopathology
  • Identifying tissue structures and their staining characteristics
  • Performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments or referring to appropriate sources for repairs
  • Recognizing factors that affect procedures and results, and taking appropriate action within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated
  • Performing and monitoring quality control within predetermined limits
  • Applying principles of safety
  • Demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal communication skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals, and with the public
  • Recognizing the responsibilities of other laboratory and healthcare professionals and interacting with them with respect for their jobs and patient care
  • Recognizing and acting upon individual needs for continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence
  • 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

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

The IU School of Medicine Histotechnology Program (certificate level) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), Chicago, Illinois, 312-714-8880