Online Histology Education and Degree Programs

Histology technicians analyze human and animal tissue in a lab setting. Learn about online histotechnology programs, course topics, certification and salary information. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Online Histology Programs Can I Apply To?

Associate's degree programs in histotechnology are offered online with required in-person lab work. Online certificate programs also are available, and they specifically prepare you for certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a histotechnician. Associate's degree programs can take up to two years to complete, while certificate programs usually require a year or less to finish.

Degree Levels Available Associate's degrees and certification
Online Availability Some availability, but most blended programs with online and in-lab work
Online Learning Learn through discussion forums, broadcast lectures and video conferencing; requires high-speed internet connection
Common Coursework Chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, histology, medical ethics
Possible Careers Histotechnician, lab technician
Median Salary (2018)$52,330 (Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)13% growth (Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Do Online Programs Work?

During an online histotechnology degree or certificate program, you generally can communicate with your teachers by e-mail and can watch lectures and video presentations through video lectures and streaming online. Technical requirements for the online histotechnology program can include a sound card, speakers, a microphone and a high-speed internet connection.

Many online associate's degree and certificate programs require that you currently work in or otherwise have access to a pathology lab, since the coursework often requires you to complete clinical labs. You generally can conduct all lab assignments on your own time under the guidance of a professional mentor where you work. You then can mail in the results for later grading by your online program instructors.

What Is the Coursework Like?

Histology involves removing small layers of cells and tissue so that they can be tested by pathologists and other scientists. Tissue can come from humans, animals and plants and can be used to diagnose illness or disease.

Histology classes emphasize biology, math and chemistry skills, along with human anatomy and physiology. The coursework is very hands-on; you'll often apply the knowledge you gained from each lecture to a corresponding lab exercise. You'll practice actual tissue extraction during the lab portion of the coursework. Common histotechnology subjects include:

  • Medical terminologies
  • Human anatomy
  • Advanced biology
  • Histology
  • Histochemistry
  • Medical ethics

What Can I Do After the Program?

With your certificate or associate's degree in histotechnology, you can work as a histology technician. You can earn your histotechnician certification from the ASCP, which requires you to graduate from a histology program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. You must also hold laboratory experience and pass an examination to receive the ASCP certification. In 2018, the annual median pay for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians (including histotechnicians) was $52,330 per year, or $25.16 per hour (source:

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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