Cytotechnology is an allied health profession that specializes in the study of cells from the human body. Working with a microscope, cytotechnologists evaluate cell samples to detect cancer, precancerous lesions, benign tumors, and infectious processes. A cytotechnologist is a trained professional who helps to save lives by identifying certain diseases early on and monitoring a patient's response to therapy.
The School of Cytotechnology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is a one-year post-baccalaureate training program at one of the top cancer centers in the country. Established in 1961, the school operates within the structure of the cytology laboratory and provides students with a wide range of technical and cytodiagnostic skills. Students process and microscopically evaluate specimens using state-of-the-art technology such as ThinPrep®.
The School of Cytotechnology enrolls a maximum of six students each academic year, which begins in August.
The course begins with the study of gynecologic material, such as Pap smears, and proceeds systematically through all types of material. Students gain competence in microscopy, gradually acquiring accuracy and speed, and learn the principles of cell preparation and staining.
Students are instructed in cytopreparation and cytodiagnosis through lectures, demonstrations, and supervised practice. Examinations, both theoretical and practical, are given at regular intervals throughout the year.
At the conclusion of the program the student is required to have a thorough understanding of the following:
Upon successful completion of the program, students demonstrating competence in both theoretical and practical aspects of the course are awarded a Certificate in Cytotechnology.
Tuition for the Cytotechnology Program is $8,000.00 per year including deposit to be paid in full prior to one week before the start of the course. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. Students who are dismissed or voluntarily withdraw from the program may be entitled to a partial refund of tuition. Please note that students withdrawing or dismissed after the 14 week of the program will not be eligible to receive any refunds.
No stipends, housing accommodations, or parking facilities are available.
Note: The School of Cytotechnology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is not recognized by the US government to sponsor international students.
The minimum academic requirements for admission to the School of Cytotechnology are as follows:
- Baccalaureate degree (BA/BS) from a college or university, approved by a recognized regional accrediting body, or
- Three years of college (from one of our academic affiliates) that will culminate in a degree upon completion of cytotechnology training.
All applicants must have:
- Twenty semester hours (30 quarter hours) of biological science
- Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of chemistry
- Three semester hours of mathematics or statistics.
The program does not have a policy to recognize advanced placement, or transfer credits, or experiential learning.
All courses must be completed before the start of our program. We recommend that applicants have a “B” average in biological science. Other recommended courses include inorganic chemistry (with lab), organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology (with lab), cell biology (with lab), mathematics, statistics, human genetics, immunology, histology, and clinical microbiology. All candidates who apply to the School of Cytotechnology must confirm that they have met the minimum academic requirements for admission.
Evaluation of official transcript(s) from colleges and universities in the United States will be performed by the Education Coordinator, Program Director, and Medical Director of the School of Cytotechnology.
For graduates of foreign institutions, we will only accept evaluations of foreign transcripts from the following agency:
International Education Research Foundation, Inc.
Post Office Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665 U.S.A.
The evaluation of foreign transcripts must provide a detailed report with the course breakdown, grade equivalents, and grade point average (GPA). Also, the official evaluation must be sent directly to the Program from International Education Research Foundation, Inc. This will avoid any unnecessary problems and/or delays in the application process.
It is Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's policy to provide equal opportunity, in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local civil rights laws, to all of its employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, sex, national or ethnic origin, marital status, citizenship status, disability, status in the uniformed services of the United States (including veteran status), genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation of qualified persons.
The following technical standards are fundamental to an individuals ability to function as a cytotechnologist. These standards do not preclude the use of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for qualified individuals with a disability:
- Visual acuity to examine cellular preparations (glass slides) using a light microscope
- Manual dexterity to operate the stage and focus control knobs of the light microscope when examining slides
- Ability to communicate with all levels of personnel in a professional manner
- Ability to use a computer to retrieve patient information.
Career opportunities for cytotechnologists include:
- Staff positions in hospital, governmental, and independent laboratories
- Supervisory positions
- Managerial positions
- Education positions
- Research positions.
To date, more than 160 cytotechnologists have graduated from Memorial Sloan-Kettering's School of Cytotechnology and are currently employed in academic institutions and hospital and private laboratories across the country. Our graduates have been successful in obtaining jobs before or soon after graduation. In addition, many of our graduates have gone on to become laboratory supervisors, educators, researchers, and leaders in professional organizations.
- A completed application form with a $50 non-refundable application fee payable to “Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center School of Cytotechnology.”
- Official college transcript mailed directly from your college to the School of Cytotechnology. If the applicant has attended a foreign school, a transcript evaluation must be submitted.
- Two letters of recommendation (on official letterhead), one of which should originate from a science professor.
- If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.
For further information, please contact:
School of Cytotechnology
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue, C597
New York, NY 10065
E-mail: Program Director firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail: Education Coordinator email@example.com
This application is provided as a PDF. You'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (available as freeware) to view and print it.
The deadline for all application materials is January 31. This deadline may be extended for special circumstances at the discretion of the admissions committee.
The School of Cytotechnology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs through the American Society of Cytopathology.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
American Society of Cytopathology
Cytotechnology Programs Review Committee (CPRC)
400 West 9th Street
Wilmington, DE 19801-1555
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
The Joint Commission
1 Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
General Information: 630-792-5000
Customer Service Center: 630-792-5800
Certification, Licensure, and Registration
Graduates are eligible to take the Board of Registry Examination, a national certifying examination given by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). Graduates from Memorial Sloan-Kettering's School of Cytotechnology have consistently performed well on this examination. The average examination score of our students usually falls in the top 10 percent of the 39 participating cytotechnology programs each year.
In 2005, Chapter 755 of the Laws of 2004 enacted a new Article 165 of the Education Law titled the “Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act,” which defines the practice of clinical laboratory technology and provides for the licensing of clinical laboratory technologists and cytotechnologists.
Since September 2006, all cytotechnologists working in New York State have needed to obtain a license to practice cytotechnology. Find more information about the application process.
New York State Department of Health Registration
In addition to holding licensure, all cytotechnologists must register with the New York State Department of Health as specified in 10 NYCRR Part 58, for the purposes of workload monitoring. An application form must be completed and filed within one week of the graduate's employment start date. View the application and more information.