Master of Science


Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology

Cells are often referred to as the building blocks of life, but they also hold clues that can help determine the presence (or absence) of disease. Cytotechnologists act as cell detectives – examining human cellular specimens under a microscope as they search for evidence to explain what is happening with a patient. Why is this work so important? Because great patient care begins with a great diagnosis.

Master's in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Overview
Cytotechnologists are licensed laboratory professionals who possess strong attention to detail and a passion for solving puzzles. But more than either of those things, they share a desire to improve the health of patients – many of whom they may never even see.

Before turning on a microscope, cytotechnologists begin by first reviewing a patient’s history to see if there are areas where they should focus their attention. Next they’ll look at a slide of a cellular specimen under the microscope trying to spot any abnormalities. They may find nothing, or they may see something indicating conditions such as infection or cancer. In some cases, just one cell among millions on the slide can hold the answer!

If there is still not a definitive diagnosis after this initial examination, the cytotechnologist may perform and interpret additional diagnostic techniques that enable them to go beyond the cellular level and explore what is happening at the molecular level (this is molecular cytology).

Once this process is complete, they assemble all the “pieces of the puzzle” and arrive at a diagnosis that often serves as the basis for how the patient will be treated.
Master's in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Coursework
The M.S. in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology is an accelerated master’s program, which allows you to earn your degree in just 18 months. Students typically enroll in September and graduate the following December.

You will have hands-on sessions with the microscope every day during your first year, both individually and as a group. Specialized equipment such as our “ten-headed” microscope provide groups of people with the ability to examine and discuss a single specimen at the same time, making it an invaluable teaching and learning tool.

The 55-credit program - which is split between courses in Cytotechnology (25 credits) and Biomedical Sciences (30 credits) - has been designed specifically to prepare you for the national cytotechnologist certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Cytotechnology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Professions (CAAHEP), 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763.
Master's in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Clinical Rotations
Clinical rotations provide you with the ability to apply what you have learned in the classroom and lab to a real-world environment. Students may choose among 40 different ACPHS partner sites in which to do these rotations, where they will work under the guidance of a licensed practitioner (referred to as the preceptor).

The first rotation is 7 weeks and takes place over the summer. The second rotation is 12 weeks and is completed in the fall of your second year. Below is a selection of sites where ACPHS students have performed their clinical rotations:

- Albany Medical Center (Albany, NY)
- St. Peter’s Health Partners (Albany, NY)
- Ellis Medicine (Albany, NY)
- SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital (Syracuse, NY)
- University of Rochester Medical Center (Rochester, NY)
- Northwell Health (Multiple sites in Long Island and New York City)
- Yale University Medical Center (New Haven, CT)
- Duke University Medical Center (Multiple sites in Durham, NC)
Master's in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Capstone Project
While on your clinical rotations, you will be required to do a three-credit capstone project where you will choose a particular aspect of the field to study in depth.

This project represents the culmination of all that you have learned in the classroom, lab, and on your rotations. It consists of four basic components: (1) Literature analysis, (2) Case presentation for the American Society for Cytotechnology, (3) Cytologic-histologic correlation, and (4) Review paper and presentation.

Titles of past capstone projects include:

- Next Generation Sequencing: Genetics, Molecular, and Therapy
- Diagnostic Pitfalls, Molecular Diagnostics, and Management Guidelines of Urothelial Cell Carcinoma
- Molecular Diagnostics, Genetics, and Targeted Therapy of Breast Cancer
- Circulating Tumor Cells: Methods, Applications, and Patient Management
Master's in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Life After ACPHS
Over the past three years, graduates of the Master's program in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology at ACPHS have achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the ASCP cytotechnology certification exam. Successfully passing this exam means you are nationally recognized as a certified cytotechnologist as denoted by the CT(ASCP) credential.

As the demand for cytotechnologists continues to outpace the number of licensed professionals, graduates of the program have enjoyed great success finding employment immediately following graduation. Having a master's degree also positions them well for advancement into senior laboratory roles as they gain more experience.

Below is a list of places where some of our recent graduates are now employed:

- Albany Medical Center
- Cleveland Clinic
- The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital
- Northwell Health
- St. Peter’s Health Partners
- University of Rochester Medical Center