The following requirements must be fulfilled: 63 credits, including 18 credits in general education courses, and 45 credits from courses in the major. The general education requirements may be completed by taking coursework at GW or another regionally accredited institution.
General Education Requirements (18 credits)
- English Composition I and II (6 credits)
- College Mathematics (3 credits)
- Social Sciences (3 credits)
- Humanities (3 credits)
- Chemistry (3 credits)
Major Courses (45 credits)
This consolidated course provides a welcome and orientation to the student and provides a tour of the facilities to include the microtomy area, special stains areas, classrooms, and areas of interest. Topics covered in this course include laboratory and environmental safety, mission and organizational structure, medical materials, and administration, professional standards of ethics, HIPPA, and customer service basics.
This consolidated course introduces the student to comprehensive medical terminology and its application to pathology. Emphasis is placed on word roots, prefixes, suffixes, spelling and analysis of unfamiliar terms. The importance of basic cellular organization and how those structures and processes contribute to tissue function are also emphasized. Students are introduced to basic chemistry vocabulary and concepts such as molecules and molecular compounds, ions and ionic compounds, chemical reaction types, atomic and molecular weights, the periodic table, and nomenclature, electronic structure of atoms, simple periodic properties of the elements, chemical bonding, acids and bases. The microscopy principles include the Kohler illumination, operation, function and maintenance of a compound light microscope and its components.
Theories, knowledge, and skills of tissue specimen processing; techniques and theories of tissue fixation, tissue decalcification, tissue dehydration, tissue clearing, and tissue infiltration, and the basic operation of automated tissue processors. The course provides a comprehensive knowledge of tissue processing in a typical histology laboratory.
Introduction to the knowledge and skills in the histological techniques of tissue embedding, microtomy, and frozen sections; the operation, function, and maintenance of the microtome and cryostat; nuclear and cytoplasmic staining theories and chemistry of routine tissue specimens; techniques for coverslipping microscopic slides, the different types of mounting media used, and the proper techniques for repairing damaged glass slides.
Concepts of laboratory measurements, nomensclature proper use, and maintenance of glassware used in the precise measurement of liquids and compounds; preparation and use of the six different categories of special stains used in the histology laboratory; identifying certain cellular structures based on microorganisms and pigments, minerals, and cytoplasmic granules.
Basic human anatomy and physiology with emphasis on human systems; function and microscopic arrangement of human cells, tissues and organs; identifying the most salient cellular and tissue structures of the human body; macroscopic and microscopic tissue identification; the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal tract, skeletal system, digestive accessory organs, and the circulatory, nervous immune, respiratory, urinary and male reproductive systems.
Knowledge, skills, terminology, and techniques needed to assist in routine and special postmortem examinations; safety precautions, use of specialized equipment, specimen recovery techniques, and toxicology specimen protocols necessary to perform routine and special autopsies; types of special autopsies, their functions, and support role with the pathologist or medical examiner.
Basic preparatory techniques of cytological specimens; receiving, fixing, and making cytologic preparations from GYN, NON-GYN, and FNA specimens to include smears, cytospins, thinpreps, and cell; shipment of specimens.
Fundamentals of immunohistochemistry as applied to the theory and practical techniques in histopathology; how immunology is applied in the development of immunohistochemistry reagents and techniques; clinical significance of diagnostic and prognostic indicators used in immunohistochemistry techniques; the purpose and use of companion diagnostic techniques, such as molecular diagnostics and flow cytometry.
Practical experience performing entry-level competencies and using equipment of a typical histology laboratory in preparation for clinical rotations; preparing chemical solutions, accessioning mock specimens, performing basic laboratory administration, performing gross surgical procedures, tissue fixation, decalcification, tissue processing, tissue embedding, routine microtomy, frozen sections, special/routine staining; preventative maintenance on histology equipment and specimen maintenance/disposition. Conducted in a functioning training laboratory where the operation of a histology laboratory is simulated in a controlled environment.
Practical course in the daily routine and work flow of patient specimens; grossing, embedding, frozen sectioning, microtomy and histochemical staining and cytopreparatory techniques; didactic review of all courses in preparation for the national board of certification exam. Students work with experienced technicians and pathologists while understanding their duties and responsibilities as a technician. Conducted under the supervision of the clinical preceptors and assisted by METC instructors at the San Antonio medical Center (SAMMC), Centers for Disease Detection (CDD), 711 Human Performance Wing (Research lab) and Lab Corp Histopathology laboratories.
Transfer Credit Policy
Previously earned coursework will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Academic in nature
- Completed at a regionally accredited institution
- Earned with a C or better (C- grades do not transfer)
CLEP and DSST Exams
Students may take eligible credit-by-exams to complete some of the general education requirements for the Associate of Science. Students can use up to 12 credits of credit-by-exam total. GW does not accept CLEP credit for the English Composition or College Mathematics Exams.