Master of Cytopathology Practice (MCP) Program Description
The mission of the UTHSC Master of Cytopathology Practice (MCP) degree program in cytotechnology and histotechnology is to produce highly skilled, entry-level cytotechnologists and histotechnologists able to meet the current demands of the profession and prepared to assume positions in education, research and management after appropriate clinical experience.
The UTHSC Master of Cytopathology Practice (MCP) degree program is the only program in the country that prepares graduates for certification in both cytotechnology and histotechnology. Graduates of the program will have the skills necessary to prepare and process tissue and cellular material for microscopic analysis as well as the ability to evaluate and interpret all types of cytologic material. They will be able to perform, interpret and correlate ancillary testing for proper triage of patients. They will be able to meet the current demands of the profession and will be able to engage future technology as it becomes standard in the anatomic pathology laboratory. Graduates will also have the necessary assessment skills to direct quality improvement activities and assume positions of leadership in management, research and education.
Students enter the program with 85 credit hours of pre-requisite courses detailed on the admissions requirement page. No baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the program.
The program is 2 calendar years or 21-months in length and is extremely intense and fast-paced. MCP students are in classes and laboratory sessions from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Clinical experience and didactic instruction are provided throughout the program. Students are assigned to off-campus clinical experiences in the fall and the spring terms of the second year.
Graduates may choose employment in cytotechnology or histotechnology or both. Many employers seek graduates who can work in both areas of the laboratory. The shortages of medical laboratory professionals is critical and expected to increase as older professionals retire.
Program History and Accreditation
The UTHSC Master of Cytopathology Practice degree program is accredited by both the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) for the cytotechnology portion and by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) for the histotechnology section of the curriculum. The cytotechnology program was established at UTHSC in 1951 and is one of the oldest programs in the country and among the first to convert to graduate level education in 2006. It has always maintained full accreditation. Histotechnology was incorporated into the curriculum in 2008 and initial accreditation was granted by NAACLS in 2012.