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What is histotechnology?

Histotechnology is a science-based profession aimed to assist pathologists with the diagnosis 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. They must be meticulous, accurate experts in the handling and preparation of tissues, as many of the samples they work with cannot be replaced.

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Find the steps to apply for the Histotechnology associate degree program.

Application details

Offering options that work for you

The distance education program in histotechnology functions as a cooperative effort between IU School of Medicine and the student’s qualifying histology laboratory. The histotechnology associate degree program offers two tracks.

  • Associate degree track: For applicants without a degree or histotechnology certification.
  • Special credit track: For applicants who are already HT (ASCP) certified but need an associate degree. 

Associate degree track

The associate degree is a 60 credit hour program (30 undergraduate credits and 30 histotechnology course credits). Graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Histotechnology and will be provided with the knowledge and skills needed to sit for the ASCP National HT certification exam.

Applicants interested in pursuing an Associate Degree in Histotechnology must complete 30 credits of general education courses at any regionally accredited college or university, including IUPUI or IU Online. These credits will transfer upon admission to IUPUI. Applicants must have a verified GPA of at least 2.3 on a 4.0 scale for each class.

Special credit track

For applicants who are already HT (ASCP) certified, the special credit track provides an opportunity to earn an associate degree and pursue professional growth. IU School of Medicine will award 24 hours of special credit for HT (ASCP) certification. 30 credits of general education courses may be transferred from any IU campus or may be completed through IU Online. In order for IU to award a degree, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed from IU (special credit does not apply).

The six credit hour histotechnology captstone course, offered by distance education online and web conferencing, will be taken as the last course. Graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Histotechnology.


This non-traditional academic training opportunity is available to students and technicians in their laboratories. The program uses distance-learning technology to prepare individuals for careers in histotechnology in order to meet the health care demand in this area in both urban and rural settings nationwide. Histotechnology course lectures are provided online and available 24/7. Practicums are completed in the student’s local laboratory with flexible scheduling while completing a well-structured, sequential curriculum.

Designed to provide the nationwide health care community with individuals competent to conduct high-quality histologic procedures, the program provides students with the education experiences necessary to enter a career as a histologic technician and sit for the ASCP Board of Certification Histotechnician exam. The curriculum balances technical knowledge and clinical competence gained in the histology laboratory setting. Program faculty assist students in reaching their own professional goals by providing academic and occupational advisement.

Application Requirements

Applicants must have access to a qualified training laboratory. Laboratory training sites are located nationwide and change based on the student and/or laboratories need. Students are typically employed at the training site, however the site may take non-employed students. Clinical sites vary based on need of the potential applicant. Please contact the program to check affiliation status or if you are interested in becoming a clinical training site.

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

Admissions information

Program Leadership

11336-Wood, Debra

Debra M. Wood

Program Director, Histotechnology Distance Learning

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Program Details

  • Limited Capacity

    Although the program strives to serve students in all laboratory sites who want to participate, clinical sites and program capacity are limited. Timely submission of all required application materials help assure a place in the class, but it does not guarantee placement.

  • Accreditation

    This IU School of Medicine program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and is a cooperative effort between IU School of Medicine and qualifying histology laboratories around the United States. Program requirements meet CLIA regulations requiring 24 credit hours of medical laboratory science education. This is also a Florida Board of Health-approved training program.

  • Estimated Costs

    Due to the distance education format for the program and the great need for histotechnicians, the program offers a flat rate tuition for both resident and non-resident students. The “Histotechnology Fee” is the same as “tuition.” These costs may change each year.

  • Program Outcomes