About the Program
Cytotechnology teaches students to prepare, analyze and screen cell samples for evidence of disease, especially cancer. This is a very specialized field where less than 30 people graduate in Canada each year.
At NAIT, innovative technology is deeply integrated into the teaching and experiential learning process. Our students learn through hands-on training with a high-tech approach. Hands-on practicums, labs and clinics further enhance competency, confidence and outcomes for students. This means that you'll get both in-depth knowledge and hands-on skills – a combination that gives you a valuable head start in building a strong future.
Phase 1 of the Cytotechnology program consists of 30 weeks of classroom instruction and related practical laboratory sessions at NAIT followed by a 4 - 5 week Histotechnology Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at an affiliated clinical training site in Edmonton or Calgary.
Phase 2 of the Cytotechnology program consists of 15 weeks of classroom instruction and related practical laboratory sessions at NAIT followed by 49 weeks of Cytotechnology WIL at an affiliated clinical training site in Edmonton or Calgary.
The clinical training provides practical experience in Gynecological and non-gynecological cytology and cytopreparatory technique in a variety of clinical settings. It includes a comprehensive review of the student's theoretical knowledge through workshops, worksheets, case studies and exams. This may vary from one clinical site to another.
In 2010, two second-year Cytotechnology students received a $10,000 novaNAIT Applied Research Opportunities for Students grant for their research project "Are Female Students at Alberta's Polytechnics Aware of the Consequences of Sexual Health Risks Associated with HPV Infection?".
The research team hopes these results will encourage NAIT, other schools and provincial health organizations to develop HPV-related educational programs that target Alberta's student population. Read more about the Awareness of the Consequences of HPV Infection research project.
Tuition & Fees (Cost per semester)
Cost Per Credit: $223
Tuition Cap: $2,167
Health & Dental: $128
Rec. & Athletics: $70
Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)
Semester 3: $750
Semester 4: $750
Please note: This information is provided to help you estimate your costs for student financing. Some courses may also have additional expenses. Students who take all of their courses online are exempt from U-Pass, Health & Dental, and Recreation & Athletics fees. All fees are subject to change.
60% in each of
- English 30-1
- Pure Math 30 or Math 30-1
- Chemistry 30
- Biology 30
Additional Academic Requirements that may be completed after applying to the program:
- 5 or more credits of post-secondary Human Anatomy and Physiology or Human Physiology completed within 5 years of the application deadline with a final grade of 60% or greater. The NAIT Continuing Education Course that meets this prerequisite requirement is ANPH100 Anatomy and Physiology.
- One credit or more of post-secondary Medical Terminology completed within the last 5 years of the application deadline with a final grade of 60% or greater or completion of NAIT's Medical Terminology challenge examination with a minimum 60% pass. The NAIT course that meets this pre-requisite requirement is: ITMS100 - Medical Terminology.
- NOTE: The 2 post-secondary pre-requisites of Human Anatomy & Physiology and Medical Terminology DO NOT need to be completed by the application deadline. Interviewees will be conditionally accepted into the program pending completion of these courses. Proof of course completion with a passing grade of at least 60% MUST be submitted to the student application file by July 31st.
View the English Language Proficiency Requirements for the Program: NAIT | English Language Proficiency
- Online Interview
- Career/Program Assessment - Career Investigation Report is not required for admission. Your knowledge of the profession will be assessed during the interview process. The following activities are encouraged to ensure an adequate understanding of the expectations and duties of the program and profession:
- Review of program website
- Open House information sessions
It is highly recommended to tour one or two medical laboratories and/or speak to a Cytotechnologist.
Tours of Medical Laboratory Facilities
Selected dates for visits at one of the medical laboratories listed below are available:
- Edmonton: DynaLife, Process Excellence, Student Training and Business Integration - Administrative Assistant: 780-451-3702 Ext 3235
- Calgary Laboratory Services - Rosemin Kara, 403.770.3574 Rosemin.Kara@cls.ab.ca
- Red Deer Regional Hospital - Bev Krysko: 403-309-2894
- Lethbridge Regional Hospital - Wendell Gibbons: Wendell.Gibbons@albertahealthservices.ca
- Immunization Requirements - Students are required to be immunized against vaccine preventable diseases, as determined by Alberta Health. After acceptance into the program, students will be given further information on immunization requirements.Prior to starting the program, it is expected a minimum of the first doses of all required immunizations are received. If immunization requirements are not met, access to designated labs may be denied.
- Police Information Check - Students are required to provide a current Police Information Check (also referred to as a Security Clearance or Criminal Record Check) which must include a Vulnerable Sector Search. Please do not proceed with the Police Information Check until an offer of acceptance and follow-up instructions have been issued by the program. The Police Information Check is only considered valid when reviewed by a NAIT official within 90 days of completion.
- Biosafety Course Requirement - Biosafety is mandatory for all students in the CYT program to ensure compliance with the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act. A biosafety course will be delivered online using Moodle. Students will be directed on deadlines and completion requirements during program specific orientation. If course requirements are not met, access to designated labs may be denied.
- Computer Literacy - It is the student's responsibility to ensure they possess basic computer literacy.
Please note: This program only accepts TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores.
Student Selection Process and Criteria
Student selection is competitive and based on criteria that may include academic achievement beyond the stated minimum prerequisites. The selection process is based on:
- Phase 1 - Academic entrance requirements are reviewed by the Office of the Registrar and applicants are shortlisted for an interview and career assessment based on academic achievement. Applicants with prior NAIT Health Sciences credentials or who have successfully completed at least one approved Open Studies course in the School of Health and Life Sciences with a minimum of 75% may be given special consideration for the interview shortlist.
- Phase 2 - Shortlisted applicants are interviewed and ranked based on:
- Academics - 40% (based on academic average of the required 30 level courses)
- Interview - 40%
- Career/Program Assessment - 20%
The following NAIT Continuing Education courses are recognized in the Cytotechnology program:
The Work Integrated Learning (WIL)/clinical placements provide practical experience in histology, gynecological and non-gynecological cytology, and cytopreparatory technique in a variety of clinical settings. It includes a comprehensive review of the student's theoretical knowledge through workshops, worksheets, case studies and exams. This may vary from one clinical site to another.
- Length: Phase 1 WIL 4 - 5 weeks; Phase 2 WIL 49 weeks - 7.75 hours per day, 5 days per week
- Salary: No salary/stipend is received during the clinical placement.
- Relocation: All clinical training sites are located in either Edmonton or Calgary. Room and board, transportation and incidental expenses for the WIL/clinical placement are the responsibility of the student.
Accreditation & Industry Certification
Graduates are eligible to challenge examinations set by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) to obtain national certification as a registered Cytotechnologist in Canada.
Scholarships & Bursaries
|Coca-Cola Bottling Ltd. Scholarship I||$1000||7|
|Coca-Cola Bottling Ltd. Scholarship II||$1000||4|
|Dr. T.A Kasper Award of Excellence - Winter||$$4,000||1|
|Eileen Turgeon Bursary||$2000.00||1|
|Histotechnology Proficiency Scholarship I - Spring||$500||1|
|International Health and Life Sciences Scholarship||$2500||1|
|Katie & John Lashuk Bursary||$2000||2|
|TH Bursary I||$1000||1|
|TH Bursary II||$1000||1|
|The Alberta College of Medical Laboratory Technologists - MLT/CYT Award - Spring||$500||1|
For general application and special selections, ranging from $500 to $5,000, see Scholarships & Bursaries.