Diagnostic Cytology Program

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Program at a glance:

Credential Earned: Advanced Diploma


Program Length: 5 Semesters across 2 years (Full-time)


Program Delivery: On site with online components


Start Date: August 2022


Application Deadline: February 1, 2022


Program Code: MICH CY222


About the Program

Cytology is the study of cells. Students in the Diagnostic Cytology program learn to detect and diagnose precancerous cellular changes, many different types of cancer and clinically significant infections.

Michener offers one of the only Diagnostic Cytology programs in Canada. Graduates are eligible to write the national certification examination conducted by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) . Successful completion qualifies the graduate to seek employment across Canada; those wishing to practise in Ontario must also register with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO) .

The Diagnostic Cytology program is accredited by Accreditation Canada . Accreditation is a quality improvement process that ensures educational programs meet national standards and that students acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies for safe and effective care at entry to practice.

“The Diagnostic Cytology course structure and content is not only interesting, but also tailored to provide the exact tools needed to flourish in the profession.”

Garry R.
Diagnostic Cytology Student

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About the Profession

Cytotechnologists play a crucial role in the fight against cancer by examining human cells and preparing reports on any abnormal results for a pathologist who will make a definitive diagnosis based upon the Cytotechnologist’s initial findings. After successful completion of the national certification exam, a working Cytotechnologist will evaluate microscope slides marking areas showing significant changes. In this profession, a Cytotechnologist may spend up to seven hours per day working at the microscope.

Following standardized reporting terminology, Cytotechnologists detect and diagnose precancerous cellular changes by looking at specimen slides taken from pap smears, the lung, bladder, lymph nodes, thyroid gland and other parts of the body. Abnormal gynecological cases and all non-gynecological cases will be sent to a pathologist for final diagnosis.

Most Cytotechnologists work in hospitals or community laboratories, but they may also find employment in areas such as laboratory management, research, education, sales and marketing and technical consulting.

Admission Requirements

Offers of admission will be allocated with equal consideration among candidates applying through option A and option B:

OPTION A

  • Canadian certified Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) with a minimum cGPA of 70% during degree/diploma.
  • cGPA will be calculated using entire degree/diploma.

OPTION B

  • Bachelor of Science degree AND
  • One (1.0) full university course in Human Anatomy (2 semester-length courses) AND one (1.0) full university course in Human Physiology (2 semester-length courses) with a minimum grade of at least 70%. All body systems must be studied. The course AP601-Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Professionals, offered through The Michener Institute’s Continuing Education department is accepted as an equivalent for both university level credit pre-requisites.
  • cGPA will be calculated using entire undergraduate degree. Minimum cGPA of 70% must be attained in order to be considered.

Applicant Experience Checklist

To assess your experience, ALL applicants are asked to fill out this checklist and submit the requested supporting documents along with the form – deadline February 8, 2021. Please note that this document must be submitted via the Ontario Colleges application portal.

Diagnostic Cytology Applicant Checklist

Each program offered by Michener has a fixed class size, reflecting labour market demand and clinical education spaces. Therefore, enrolment in the program is limited and admission can be very competitive. Admissions to the Diagnostic Cytology program will be determined by an assessment of academic achievement, cGPA (35%), professional and academic experience (15%) CASPer assessment of non-cognitive skills, as well as interpersonal and professional (50%).

See Selection Process for more information.

For offers of admission, preference will be given to Ontario residents.

Additional Requirements

All applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency. Applicants providing documents from overseas must complete specific document requirements.

What Will I Study?

You will develop a broad knowledge base and practical skills that will enable an entry level Cytotechnologist to safely prepare specimens for diagnostic interpretation, perform the microscopic interpretation of those specimens and issue reports according to institutional policies and professional standards. You will also become an integral member of the health care team who will share knowledge that is essential to the diagnosis and treatment of disease and will collaborate with other professionals in providing effective patient care.

You will learn to become responsible and accountable for your professional acts and practices according to current standards of practice as well as laws and regulations governing the Cytology profession.

Please see detailed course descriptions on the Diagnostic Cytology Curriculum page.

Clinical Education

Length: 24 weeks
Start: August
End: February

Note: dates for Fall 2021 semester are tentative and subject to change based on timing of CSMLS exam.

You will be assigned to a clinical placement site(s) through Michener’s Office for Clinical Education. This process begins with an information session in the first semester of your program.

As clinical education is a major component of all Michener programs, our affiliated clinical sites are integral to your education. They include teaching and community hospitals and private laboratories in Canada. Working closely under the supervision of Cytotechnologists, you will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills into practice during the clinical phase of your program. Clinical placements give you hands-on experience in work environments and the opportunity to network with potential employers.

For more information about Clinical Education, please see Michener’s Clinical Education Model page.

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Scholarship & Bursaries

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