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Pathologists' Assistant (MHS)


One of only nine master's-level accredited programs, Quinnipiac's MHS program for pathologists' assistants prepares students for careers in great demand throughout the United States and Canada. Pathologists' assistants carry out increasingly sophisticated procedures, examinations and determinations in clinical laboratories, hospital laboratories and medical research centers.

The mission of the pathologists' assistant program is to prepare students with comprehensive knowledge in the practice and operation of a pathology laboratory. The program aims to maximize the students' technical proficiency and creative thinking by successfully integrating didactic biomedical knowledge with hospital-based training. The culmination of this type of training assures that the graduates of the program are able to carry out myriad of functions critical in becoming a successful pathologists' assistant.

Upon successful completion of their training, graduates are employed by pathologists in hospital laboratories, clinical laboratories and medical research centers. Currently, there is a nationwide demand for pathologists' assistants. This demand results from the tremendous explosion in medical information and technology, the demand for new and more sophisticated pathological determinations and a national decline in the number of medical residents in pathology.

For more information contact:
Graduate Health Sciences Admissions
Phone: 203-582-8672 or 1-800-462-1944
E-mail: paadmissions@quinnipiac.edu

Admissions Requirements

Students are admitted to the program on a rolling basis. The deadline for a complete application is Oct. 1. Interviews are conducted in the summer and fall semester, and the six-semester class cycle begins in the summer semester (May).

Interested candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada and must possess, at a minimum, the following courses to be eligible for admission:

  • two semesters of basic biology (or equivalent)
  • two semesters of general chemistry
  • two semesters of anatomy and physiology
  • one semester of organic chemistry
  • one semester of microbiology
  • one semester of mathematics
  • 16 additional credits of biology, particularly courses in microbiology, physiology, biochemistry.

All credits must be from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada. We are not able to accept prerequisites that have been completed online.  

All applicants must possess a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Completed graduate application form
  • $45 application fee
  • Letter of Intent discussing why you wish to pursue the pathologists' assistant program and how a degree from Quinnipiac will assist you in your career goals
  • Resume of personal, professional and educational achievements
  • Two professional reference letters
  • Official post-secondary transcripts with confirmation of undergraduate degree
  • Copies of relevant professional license certificates

Admission to the program is competitive. Personal interviews, required for admission, are offered to the most qualified individuals. Submit an online application

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.

For additional information about the program or to arrange a campus tour or interview, call the Graduate Admissions Office at 203-582-8672 or 800-462-1944. Write to Quinnipiac University Graduate Admissions at 275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518-1940. Send e-mail to graduate@quinnipiac.edu.

Curriculum + Requirements

Through their graduate studies, pathologists' assistant students are able to:

1. Develop a comprehensive knowledge of scientific facts, principles and data that contribute to the practice and operation of a pathology laboratory.
2. Understand performance‑based education in order to assist the anatomic pathologist in the hospital or in other medical environments.
3. Compare the structure and physiological functions of normal organs, tissues and cells to those of abnormal ones.
4. Understand the characteristics of stains and the staining properties of normal and abnormal cells and their cellular constituents.
5. Assist the pathologist who is determining the pathogenesis of disease by:

a. Properly collecting and handling specimens and keeping appropriate records using biomedical/photography techniques.
b. Submitting tissues and selecting the necessary and appropriate techniques for processing and proper staining procedures.
c. Reviewing histological slides for technical quality and collecting clinical information and laboratory data for final diagnosis by the pathologist.

6. Perform a postmortem examination and relate the clinical history to the results of the dissection.
7. Recognize and record anatomic and morphologic changes in relation to clinical manifestations and laboratory data for the pathologist's interpretation.
8. Understand the operation and services provided by the anatomic pathology laboratories and develop skills for the operation and management of the autopsy suite and surgical cutting room.
9. Interact with the pathologist by integrating didactic biomedical knowledge with practical hospital based training.
10. Through management training and experience, supervise and coordinate the work of other laboratory professionals.

The program is a cooperative educational endeavor between Quinnipiac University and a network of affiliations with leading hospitals. Those in Connecticut close to the University include: the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Connecticut State Medical Examiner Office, Norwalk Community Hospital, St. Vincent's Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital, UConn Health Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital St. Raphael Campus, and Yale University School of Medicine. Those outside of Connecticut include: Baylor University, Houston, TX; Crouse Hospital, Syracuse, NY; Dahl Chase Diagnostics, Bangor, ME; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; Mayo Clinic, Minneapolis, MN; and UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. 

The program consists of both classroom and clinical training.  Quinnipiac University is a charter member of the Association of Pathologists’ Assistant Training Programs, and its program meets criteria established by the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants (AAPA). This program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 8410 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 670, Chicago, IL 60631-3415, Tel: 773-714-8880.

Pathologists’ Assistant Program Curriculum

First Year (college‑based didactic course work)

Summer Session

Credits

PA 502

Medical Terminology: Advanced

2

PA 511

Human Microscopic Anatomy

4

PA 512

Human Anatomy

4

PA 515

Human Physiology

4

PA 526

Biomedical Photography/Forensic Imaging (online)

4

Total 18

Fall Semester

BMS 517

Human Embryology (online)

3

BMS 532

Histology

4

PA 513

Basic Human Pathology I

3

PA 518

Laboratory Management

3

PA 535

Disease Mechanisms

4

Total 17

Spring Semester

BMS 535

Histochemistry

3

BMS 572

Pathogenic Microbiology

4

PA 514

Basic Human Pathology II

3

PA 516

Clinical Pathology

4

PA 517

Applied Anatomic Pathology

4

Total 18

Second Year (12‑month hospital‑based clinical training session)

Summer Session

PA 520

Autopsy Pathology I

6

PA 523

Surgical Pathology I

6

Total 12

Fall Semester

PA 521

Autopsy Pathology II

6

PA 524

Surgical Pathology II

6

Total 12

Spring Semester

PA 522

Autopsy Pathology III

6

PA 525

Surgical Pathology III

6

Total 12



The program combines early integration of the classroom course work with intensive clinical training during the second year. Failure to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 at the end of the spring semester of the first year will result in automatic dismissal from the program.  

A laptop is required for the program.