A woman holding up a slide while another woman looks into a microscope


The histotechnologist specialization prepares students to perform a variety of diagnostic and research procedures in the anatomic sciences. These laboratory professionals are responsible for applying proper histological techniques that involve processing, sectioning and staining of tissue specimens that have been removed from humans or animals by biopsy, surgical procedures or autopsy.

Program Overview Advising

B.S. in BDTS

A Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences with a specialization in HTL prepares students to assess real case studies and work with human samples to learn and execute the skills used in clinical practice and can ultimately earn a clinical internship to complete their education.

The pre-clinical education consists of 2-4 years of prerequisite and specialized classroom instruction meant to establish competencies in core scientific disciplines. Completion of courses within the BDTS core curriculum may be required for subsequent courses within a specialization. Consult the full the degree checklist for general education requirements that are satisfied by BDTS core curriculum courses. Checklists and 4-year plans can be found at the School of Health Sciences Advising.

Consider this profession if you:
  • are fascinated by science
  • enjoy solving problems
  • like challenges and responsibility
  • are accurate and reliable
  • work well under pressure
  • communicate well
  • set high standards for yourself
Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data on histotechnologists specifically, but histotechnologists are included under the broader occupational group of medical and clinical laboratory technologists. The salary for histotechnologists varies according to their level and location. According to the  American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 2013 Wage Survey of Clinical Laboratories in the United States, the staff level HTL national average salary is $55,390 per year and $59,820 per year at the supervisory level.

Students in the histotechnologist specialization must complete the following courses.  For a complete description of required courses, please review the Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Science Program entry in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Biomedical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Sciences major requires a cumulative GPA of 2.80 or higher for all specializations. Students are required to review the catalog for course grade requirements.

Please see the Histotechnology Plan of Study for a recommended year-by-year schedule of classes.

Clinical Internship

Students may apply for specialization standing in histotechnology after completing the BDTS core curriculum, generally at the end of the sophomore year. The junior year consists of the specialization course requirements at Oakland University and the senior year includes the completion of a 12-month internship at an approved hospital based program. The internship includes instruction on advanced techniques such as: muscle enzyme histochemistry, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence and immunoenzyme procedures, in situ hybridization, image analysis and medical photography. Techniques in education methodology, management, research, technical writing and presentation of scientific information are also included in the curriculum.

Application to the hospital-based clinical internship is made during the winter semester of the sophomore year. Oakland University is affiliated with the accredited histotechnology clinical program at Beaumont Health System. Acceptance into the internship program is competitive and is based on grade point average, personal interview and letters of recommendation. Desirable candidates possess qualities/abilities in communication, computer literacy, leadership, multitasking, problem solving, and critical thinking.