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Lois Rockson, PhD, MPH, MAEd, SCT(ASCP)
Lois Rockson

Master in Diagnostic Cytopathology Program

Explore Programs in Diagnostic Cytopathology Offered at Rutgers

We’ve revised our entry-level curriculum to reflect changes in the movement to diagnostic cytology practice and shortened the time frame for completion from 5 to 4 semesters. Our entry-level program admission requirements were also modified to provide broader access to applicants from diverse educational backgrounds to our program and a career in diagnostic cytology.

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

Diagnostic cytologists 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.

We offer two program options:

Full-time entry-level program, preparing you for diagnostic cytology practice, 43 credits
Full or part-time post-professional program for CT(ASCP) certified cytotechnologists looking to update skills to the advanced practice level, 35 credits

Do you have questions about our program? Would you like to connect with us to discuss your fit with our school? You can schedule a conversation with the program director or request more information.
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Join us at an upcoming Virtual Open House. Please register in advance.

Hear directly from Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics, our industry partners, at our Virtual Open House and learn about career opportunities in cytopathology after graduating from our program.

October 28 at 6 p.m.

Register Here

December 2 at 6 p.m.

Register Here

December 16 at 6 p.m.

Register Here

January 20 at 6 p.m.

Register Here

February 10 at 6 p.m.

Register Here

Entry-level Program

Rutgers provides the only accredited program preparing diagnostic cytologists in New Jersey through the MS in Diagnostic Cytopathology Entry-Level Program. A career as a diagnostic cytologist is ideal for BS degree holders in the biological, or health sciences looking to pursue career paths in advanced health care practice.

The curriculum consists of 43 credits taken over 4 semesters. 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. Program graduates are eligible for certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Fully online, 35 credit, Post Professional Program
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) and looking to update skills to advanced practice level.

Application deadline: March 1st-application and all required supporting documents.

The program admits students for the fall semester only. Selection of applicants for admission to the MS Diagnostic Cytopathology
program is a competitive process that is the responsibility of the program faculty/admissions committee. The Admissions Committee
carefully reviews each application and only the most competitive applicants are invited for an interview.

Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US college or university*
A minimum of 28 credits of coursework in biology, chemistry and the health sciences taken within 7 years of planned enrollment to the program
3 credits of precalculus or calculus
3 credits of statistics
Overall minimum GPA of 3.0
Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for science courses
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 college professors, supervisors, lab managers, pathologist, and/or anyone with knowledge to evaluate the
applicant’s academic and professional performance.
Personal interview

It is highly recommended the courses listed below be included in the 28 credits of coursework and taken within 7 years of planned enrollment to
the entry-level program:
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)
Genetics (3 cr)
Biochemistry with Lab (4 cr)
Molecular Biology (3 cr)

Individuals seeking career opportunities in New York State, please note the New York State education requirements for licensure to practice:
http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/clt/clp-cytforms.htm

*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) or other SHP approved equivalent evaluation services. Course and grade evaluation are
both 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

Technical Standard: Color Blindness Color blindness makes it challenging for some individuals to differentiate between some colors, shades of colors or see color brightness. These individuals see colors differently than most people. Color blindness may diminish observational skills required for laboratory testing. Recognizing color blindness is important. Individuals with color blindness can be trained to differentiate and characterize the colors of stains, reagents, microscopic cells, labels, biologic devices and or any device or printout used in diagnostic laboratory procedures.

To accommodate and provide training for our students with color blindness, newly admitted students are required to submit the results of color-blind testing to the Program Director. The School of Health Professions makes arrangements for color blind testing for those incoming students who are not able to obtain the testing privately.

https://shp.rutgers.edu/admissions/rbhs-technical-standards/

Online application.

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) or other SHP approved equivalent evaluation services. Course and grade evaluation are both 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

Technical Standard: Color Blindness Color blindness makes it challenging for some individuals to differentiate between some colors, shades of colors or see color brightness. These individuals see colors differently than most people. Color blindness may diminish observational skills required for laboratory testing. Recognizing color blindness is important. Individuals with color blindness can be trained to differentiate and characterize the colors of stains, reagents, microscopic cells, labels, biologic devices and or any device or printout used in diagnostic laboratory procedures.

To accommodate and provide training for our students with color blindness, newly admitted students are required to submit the results of color-blind testing to the Program Director. The School of Health Professions makes arrangements for color blind testing for those incoming students who are not able to obtain the testing privately.

https://shp.rutgers.edu/admissions/rbhs-technical-standards/

Online application

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

908-889-2425

Program Goals

The goal of the MS Diagnostic Cytopathology program is to educate advanced practitioners who will function competently, creatively, responsibly, and collaboratively in a dynamic healthcare environment. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to practice in scientific/technical areas, supervision and management, education and research. It is also designed to socialize the student to the attitudes and values of the diagnostic cytology profession, to provide an overview of the legal, ethical, economic, political, and social aspects of the profession and health care delivery systems in general, and to instill a commitment of life-long learning. The curriculum is designed to develop generic skills in effective communication, problem solving, and self-directed learning.

Entry-Level Program Curriculum

Post-Professional Program Curriculum
The post professional curriculum requirement is subject to change pending final course approvals

Program Outcomes CT(ASCP) Board of Certification Examination

2018 2019 2020
Program Passing Rate 1st Attempt 100 % (3/3) 0% (0/1) NA
Program Mean Scaled Score 638 335 NA
Program Minimum Scaled Score 618 335 NA
Program Maximum Scaled Score 649 335 NA
Program Passing Rate 2nd Attempt NA NA 0% (0/1)
National Passing Rate 1st time 87% 86% 89%
National Mean Scaled Scores 525 537 536
National Minimum Mean Scaled Scores 185 264 275
National Maximum Mean Scaled Scores 791 775 736
  • Minimum score is 400. High