Histology, Associate in Science

The Associate in Science - Histology equips students with the academic and technical skills necessary to obtain employment in a variety of histology laboratory settings. This program meets the current minimum educational requirements to practice Histology. This program may be completed on-ground or in a hybrid format.

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), the program’s accrediting body, approved a change to Standard 1.D.1.g, requiring HT programs to culminate in either an associate degree or higher, or a certificate for students who hold an Associate degree or higher; therefore, students must hold a minimum of an Associate Degree before they are eligible to sit for the HT (ASCP) Board of Registry Certification Exam. Students are advised to meet with the Program Director before the start of the program to determine their eligibility to sit for the certification exam. Students may also refer to the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences’ website at www.naacls.org for additional information.

Students in the associate degree are simultaneously enrolled in the Certificate in Histologic Sciences. Students must complete the certificate as part of the Associate degree in order to be eligible to sit for the Histotechnician (HT) exam. Students may either complete the Certificate in Histologic Science and then continue on in the Associate in Science in Histology program or simultaneously pursue both credentials.

Graduates of the Goodwin College Histotechnician Program are eligible to sit for the HT (ASCP) certification exam category, via the following route:

Conferral of an Associate's degree or higher and successful completion of a NAACLS accredited Histotechnician Program within the last 5 years prior to the date of application for examination. Students may visit the American Society for Clinical Pathology website at www.ascp.org for additional information.

Admission Requirements

The specific admission requirements are outlined below. Not all qualified candidates can be offered admission to the Histology program due to the limited number of seats available.

  1. Complete the application for admission into Goodwin College. Applicants to the Histology program must first meet the requirements for admission and be accepted into Goodwin College.
  2. Complete the Histology Program Application. This application must include:
    1. A signed attestation that the applicant possesses the ability to perform the tasks as stated in the Essential Functions of a Histotechnician.
  3. Complete the required College Placement Evaluations. Applicants must qualify for a minimum of ENG 099 and MATH 125.
  4. Complete all prerequisite courses. 
  5. Earn a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the most recent course work (college). College GPA is based on a minimum of 12 completed credits at Goodwin College. 
  6. Complete the following prerequisite courses with a "C" or better:
    1. Chemistry - CHEM 101 (Goodwin College) or equivalent.
    2. Human Biology - BIO 120 (Goodwin College) or equivalent with a laboratory component. 
    3. MATH 125 (Goodwin College) or higher level Math. Statistics does not meet the Math prerequisite for the Histology Program.
  7. Interview with the Program Director.
  8. Student essay.

Accepted Students

Histologic Science students will be required to provide documentation of a Physical Exam (within 2 years) and immunizations prior to starting the program. Student immunizations must remain current throughout the program. Immunization requirements include:

  • Hepatitis B vaccination or titer
  • Influenza vaccination (within 1 year)
  • MMR vaccination or titer
  • Varicella vaccination or titer
  • Tetanus vaccination (within 7 years)
  • Two-step PPD (within 1 year)

All students must successfully pass a background check and drug test before official acceptance into the Histologic Science Program will be granted. Forms are provided by program personnel.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  1. Receive and accession tissue specimens;
  2. Prepare tissue specimens for microscopic examinations, including all routine procedures;
  3. Assist with gross examination and frozen section procedures in histopathology;
  4. Identify tissue structures and their staining characteristics;
  5. Perform preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments or refer to appropriate sources for repairs;
  6. Recognize factors that affect procedures and results, and take appropriate action within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated;
  7. Perform and monitor quality control within predetermined limits;
  8. Express themselves clearly in written, oral and electronic modes of communication using Standard English; read and comprehend information; organize ideas and demonstrate competency in research modes including use of information technology;
  9. Exercise principles of leadership, management, safety, and supervision;
  10. Recognize the responsibilities of other laboratory and healthcare professionals and interact with them with respect for their jobs and patient care;
  11. Recognize and act upon individual needs for continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence;
  12. Identify the ethical, legal, and regulatory framework of the healthcare industry;
  13. Analyze and synthesize ideas; apply critical thinking skills in professional and personal problem solving; understand and respect a multicultural society; 
  14. Experience a variety of general education courses that contribute to a greater understanding of opportunities that will lead to future education;
  15. Take the national examination given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) which leads to certification as a Histotechnician (HT).

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all the general Associate graduation requirements as stated in the catalog. In addition, students must complete all Histology (HLT) core courses with a minimum grade of "C+".


Associate in Histology

Non-Major Core Requirements - 10 credits

CHEM 101Chemistry


HSC 105Medical Terminology


HSC 111Medical Law and Ethics


General Education Core - 22 Credits

ENG 101English Composition


ENG 1XXEnglish Elective


CAP 110*Computer Applications


MATH 1XXMathematics (MATH)


BIO 120Human Biology


PSY 112Introduction to Psychology


Humanities (HIS, PHIL, SPAN, ASL, HUM)


*Students have the option to test out of CAP 110 and take a General Education elective instead.  The test must be completed prior to the first attempt.  See CAP 005 policy.

Elective credits may be chosen from any general education course, unless directed by the program.  General Education courses contain the following prefixes:  ENG, MATH, STAT, CAP, COM, IDA, BIO, CHEM, SCI, HIS, HUM, PHIL, SPAN, PSY, SOC, and PSC.

Histology Core Requirements - 28 Credits

HLT 102Introduction to Histology


HLT 110Histologic Techniques


HLT 113Concepts of Staining and Fixation


HLT 115Histology Laboratory Application


HLT 210Staining II


HLT 209Special Staining Lab


HLT 290Histology Clinical Experience


HLT 230Histology Capstone and Seminar


Total Credit Hours: 60