Image: Banner image of campus logo Merritt College

-Certificate of Achievement Program Curriculum


The Histotechnician program provides on-campus and on-site technical training, focusing on routine tissue sample preparation, special stains and techniques such as immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, fluorescence microscopy and genomics. Training on campus will utilize samples routinely prepared in both clinical and research facilities. As part of their formal training, histotechnician students will work through study guides provided by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) for its certification examination. Partnerships with local facilities will allow for work experience and clinical rotation sites, required for certification as histotechnician graduates, and will provide further training for those interested in research and/or careers in the private sector.

In order to complete the NAACLS approved histotechnician program and receive a Histotechnician Certificate of Achievement, you must complete a chemistry course, a microbiology course, and a human anatomy and physiology series (19-20 units). These courses do have prerequisites. It is recommended that you speak with a counselor about completing these courses before, during, or after completing the histotechnician certificate specific courses.

In order to take the certification exam, and complete this NAACLS approved histotechnician program, the following courses are required and can be taken anytime:

  • Chemistry 30A, Introductory General Chemistry (4 Units) a higher level chemistry course is acceptable
  • Biology 2, Human Anatomy (5 units) AND Biology 4, Human Physiology (5 units)
    Biology 20A, Human Anatomy & Physiology (5 units)
    Biology 20B, Human Anatomy & Physiology (5 units)
  • Biology 3, Microbiology (5 units)

Histotechnician Certificate of Achievement additional Requirements:

Dept/No. Title Units
BIOSC 101 Theory and Practice of Microscopy 6
BIOSC 102 Fluorescence Microscopy and Specimen Prep 6
BIOSC 9 Histology 5
BIOSC 55 Beginning Histotechniques 4
BIOSC 56 Advanced Histotechniques 4
BIOSC 57 Advanced Immunohistochemistry 2
BIOSC 58 Cytopreparation for Histotechnician 2
BIOSC 30 Genomics Theory 4
COPED 476G Occupational Work Experience in Histotechnology 4
Total Required Units for Certificate of Achievement:

Suggested Sequence of Courses:

First Semester
Biosci 101  Theory and Practice of Microscopy 6 units
Biology 2 or
Biology 20A
Human Anatomy
Human Anatomy & Physiology (Part 1)
5 units
Second Semester
Biosci 102   Fluorescence Microscopy and Specimen Prep 6 units
Chem 30A Introductory General Chemistry 4 units
Third Semester
Biosci 9 Histology 5 units
Biology 4 OR
Biology 20 B
Human Physiology OR
Human Anatomy & Physiology (Part 2)
5 units
Fourth Semester
Biosci 55
Beginning Histotechniques 5 units
Biosci 57 Advanced Immunohistochemistry 2 units
Fifth Semester
Biosci 56 Advanced Histotechniques 4 units
Biosci 58 Cytopreparation for the Histotechnician 2 units
Any Semester
Biology 3 Microbiology 5 units
Biosci 30
Genomics 4 units
Final Semester
Coped 476G Occupational Work Experience in Histotechnology 4 units
Total  56-57 units

See our HT Program Outcomes.