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Lois Rockson, Cytopathology Program Director

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Lois Rockson

Master in Clinical Laboratory Science-Cytopathology Program

Registration is open for our second annual Cytotechnology Education Conference on Saturday, Oct. 19. Learn more.

Do you pride yourself on your attention to detail, decision-making ability, and excellent communication skills? Are you interested in applying the principles of evidence-based practice, engaging in research and scholarship, and upholding the highest levels of ethical and professional values? If you answered yes, then a career in cytopathology may be for you.

Advanced practice cytotechnologists are integral to providing anatomic pathology services. Our program teaches students to microscopically examine cells for malignancies, precancerous cells, and infectious diseases.

Graduates in cytotechnology work closely with pathologists, other laboratory professionals, and clinicians in hospital and reference laboratories, cancer centers,  biopharma corporations, and research and academic institutions to provide precision treatment and personalized patient care.

Contact a member of the cytopathology team to learn, ask questions, and start your journey toward a career as a cytotechnologist.

Lois E. Rockson MPH, MAEd, SCT(ASCP), CT (IAC)
908-889-2425
rocksole@shp.rutgers.edu

  • Rutgers provides the only accredited cytotechnology educational program in New Jersey through the MS in CLS Cytopathology Track.
  • The curriculum consists of 61 credits taken over 5 semesters, including 37 credits of Cytopathology core, 6 credits of Cytopathology electives, 12 credits of the MS-CLS core, and 6 credits of a graduate project.
  • Post-professional option for practicing cytotechnologists require only 30 to 35 credits to complete the MS degree.
  • Lectures and seminars are conducted on campus and online and student laboratory sessions are conducted on campus.
  • Supervised clinical practice is provided at affiliated clinical sites in hospitals and reference laboratories. 

There are two points of entry into the program:

  1. Entry Level Option: For individuals with a BS degree in biological or related sciences as well as the health sciences who have completed the required undergraduate prerequisite science courses.
  2. Post Professional Option: For practicing cytotechnologists with a BS degree from an accredited university, who completed a CAAHEP-accredited Cytotechnology Program, and have cytotechnologist certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, CT(ASCP).

Program graduates are eligible for certification as a Cytotechnologist (CT) and in Molecular Biology (MB) by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).


  • Certification Pass Rate 2016-2017-2018 =  100%
  • Graduation Rate 2016-2017-2018 =  100%
  • Attrition Rate 2016-2017-2018 =  0%
  • Students must maintain a B average (GPA 3.0)
  • Students are expected to continually maintain matriculation while enrolled in the program.
The post-professional option is a part-time program in which students take a minimum of 9 credts per year for 3-4 years.  The entry-level professional option is 60-credit full-time program completed in 5 semesters.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon recommendation of the Cytotechnology Program Review Committee (CPRC). The Program does not provide credits for Experiential Learning.

Contact a member of the Cytotechnology team to learn, ask questions, and start your journey towards a career in Cytotechnology:

Lois E. Rockson MPH, MAEd, SCT(ASCP), CT (IAC)
908-889-2425
rocksole@shp.rutgers.edu

Application deadline for the Master of Science in Cytopathlogy is July 1 for Fall term for both options and Nov. 1 for Spring term (post-professional option only)
Application, fee, and all supportive documents must be submitted by these dates.

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US college or university*
  2. Completion of the following prerequisite courses (generally within 7 to 10 years of enrollment):
    • Anatomy and Physiology (8 cr)
    • General Biology (8 cr)
    • Cell Biology (3-4 cr)
    • Histology (3 cr)
    • General Chemistry (8 cr)
    • Organic Chemistry (3-4 cr)
    • Precalculus/Calculus (3 cr)
    • Statistics (3 cr)
    • Genetics, Biochemistry with Lab, and  and Molecular Biology are recommended
  3. Overall minimum GPA of 3.0
  4. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for science courses
  5. Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework from all institutions attended.
  6. Curriculum vitae/resume
  7. Personal essay addressing career goals and reasons for pursuing the MS-CLS Cytopathology Program.
  8. Two (2) letters of recommendation from supervisor, lab manager, pathologist, and/or college professor who have the knowledge to evaluate the applicant’s academic and professional performance.
  9. Personal interview
  10. For post-professional option only:
    • Professional certification as a Cytotechnologist by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, CT(ASCP)
    • Professional experience as a cytotechnologist in GYN, Non-GYN, and FNA within the last 3 years. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be evaluated on an individual basis.

*Applicants who have earned a degree from a non-US accredited institution must comply with the applicable University and School policies and submit:

  • Transcript evaluation by World Education Services (WES)
  • Only WES is accepted for the MS-CLS in Cytopathology Program
  • Course and grade evaluation required
  • Official transcripts sent from the non-US institution directly to Rutgers-School of Health Professions
  • TOEFL exam scores:
  • Taken within the last 2 years
  • Minimum of 79/80 on the Internet-based exam required

Online application.

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US college or university
  • Overall minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for science courses
  • Completion of a CAAHEP-accredited Cytotechnology program
  • Cytotechnologist certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology
  • Documentation of professional experience as a cytotechnologist in GYN, Non-GYN, and FNA.
  • Personal interview

Application process:

Applicants must submit:

  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework from all institutions attended.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Personal essay addressing career goals and reasons for pursuing the MS-CLS Cytopathology Program.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from supervisor, lab manager, pathologist, and/or college professor who have the knowledge to evaluate the applicant’s academic and professional performance.

*Applicants who have earned a degree from a non-US accredited institution must comply with the applicable University and School policies and submit:

  • Transcript evaluation by World Education Services (WES)
  • Only WES is accepted for the MS-CLS in Cytopathology Program
  • Course and grade evaluation is required
  • Official transcripts sent from the non-US institution directly to Rutgers-School of Health Professions
  • TOEFL exam scores:
  • Taken within the last 2 years
  • Minimum of 79/80 on the Internet-based exam is required

Online application

For more information about admissions, please email the Office of Admissions

908-889-2425

For individuals with a BS degree in biology or related science who completed the required undergraduate prerequisite science courses.

  • 2-year, full-time, 5 semester program consisting of 61 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree
  • Classes begin annually in the Fall semester
  • Curriculum consists of:
    Cytopathology courses (43 credits) that require on campus attendance at lectures, seminars, and student lab sessions, as well as clinical practice at off- campus hospital and reference lab affiliated sites
    MS-CLS core courses (12 credits) taken online
    Graduate project ( 6 credits) which is a self-directed, faculty-mentored project designed to address a practical problem or issue in cytopathology.
  • Graduates of the entry-level professional option are eligible to take the national cytotechnologist certification exam given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, CT(ASCP). Program graduates have a 100% pass rate on this exam.
  • 100% of program graduates obtain employment as a cytotechnologist in hospital or reference laboratories within 3 months of graduation

Major Clinical Affiliates and Rotation Sites
Clinical sites are located throughout New Jersey.  Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus affiliated clinical sites.

  • Jersey Shore Medical Center
  • AHS/ Morristown Medical Center
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • CellNetix Laboratory, Seattle Washington
  • LabCorp
  • CBL Path, Rye Brook New York
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
  • Somerset Medical Center
  • St. Barnabas Medical Center
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center
  • St. Michaels’ Medical Center
  • University Hospital

Curriculum

CAAHEP-accredited Cytotechnology Program, and have cytotechnologist certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, CT(ASCP). 

  • Part-time program; students take a minimum of 9 credits per year for 3 to 4 years
  • Students undergo assessment of previous professional education and experience and may be approved for 25 to 31 credits to be applied to their MS degree requirements
  • Classes begin in the Fall or Spring semester
  • In general, students in this option take 30 to 35 credits to complete the MS degree:
  • Advanced Cytopathology courses (12 to 18 credits) that require on-campus attendance at lectures, seminars, and student lab sessions, and advanced clinical practice at off-campus hospital and reference lab affiliated sites
  • MS-CLS core courses (12 credits) taken online
  • Graduate project (5 credits) which is a self-directed, faculty-mentored project designed to address a practical problem or issue in cytopathology.

Major Clinical Affiliates and Rotation Sites
Clinical sites are located throughout New Jersey.  Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus affiliated clinical sites.

  • Jersey Shore Medical Center
  • AHS/ Morristown Medical Center