Future Students

Diagnostic Cytology Graduate Diploma Program

Diagnostic Cytology: At A Glance
Credential(s) Earned Graduate Diploma
Program Length 60 weeks (over 17 months)
Delivery Method Full-Time Distance: online, 11 one week residential sessions, 12 weeks simulated clinical at Michener and 18 weeks full-time clinical experience at a hospital and or private laboratory
Start Date September 2015
Tuition Canadian Student Tuition
  International Tuition
Application Deadline February 1, 2015
Apply Through OntarioColleges
Program Codes MICH CY222
  Click here to access the 2015 Viewbook

Interested in a career in diagnostic cytology?
What does a Cytotechnologist do?
Why become a Cytotechnologist?
Career Opportunities
How long does it take?
Admission Requirements
Minimum System Requirements
How do I apply?
What will I learn?
Textbook List
Clinical Education
Interesting Links

What does a Cytotechnologist do?

Cytology is the study of cells. Students in the Diagnostic Cytology program learn to detect and diagnose precancerous cellular changes, many different types of cancer and clinically significant infections.

After successful completion of the national certification exam, a working Cytotechnologist will evaluate microscope slides marking areas showing significant changes. In this profession, a Cytotechnologist may spend up to seven hours per day working at the microscope. Following standardized reporting terminology, the Cytotechnologist will make a diagnosis on each patient case. Abnormal gynecological cases and all non-gynecological cases will be sent to a Pathologist for final diagnosis. Cytotechnologists must be accurate, patient and have strong analytical and problem solving skills to rise to the challenge of making critical diagnoses. Cytotechnologists have limited contact with patients but still interact with other members of the health care team.

Why become a Cytotechnologist?

  • Play a key role in the fight against cancer. Working in collaboration with other health professionals, Cytotechnologists provide information used to assess patient health and aid in the diagnosis of cancer.
For an overview of programs and services offered at Michener download our 2015 Viewbook.

Career Opportunities

While most Cytotechnologists work in hospitals, private laboratories or commercial companies they also find challenging employment in other areas. Career advancement areas include education, laboratory management, research, sales, marketing as well as technical consulting .

Medical Laboratory Science which includes Diagnostic Cytology is a regulated health profession.

Michener's Diagnostic Cytology program is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Conjoint Committee on Accreditation and graduates are eligible to write the national certification examination conducted by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). Successful completion qualifies the graduate to seek employment across Canada; those wishing to practise in Ontario must also register with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO).

Graduates receive Michener's Graduate Diploma in Diagnostic Cytology and may apply for advanced standing at York University (Atkinson College) and in the Bachelor of Health Administration program at Ryerson University.

How long does it take?

Diagnostic Cytology is a 60 week, intensive full-time program. The theoretical or didactic component is delivered primarily through online education. You will need to study a minimum of 35 - 40 hours each week to complete all the educational requirements in the distance part of the program. Microscope skills are developed in 11, one week live laboratory sessions at Michener. The program also includes 12 weeks simulated clinical at Michener and a 18 week clinical experience in a hospital and or private laboratory.

Start Date

September 2015

Admission Requirements

  • Canadian certified Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT); OR
  • Bachelor of Science degree with one (1.0) full university course in Human Anatomy and one (1.0) full university course in Human Physiology with a minimum grade of at least 70%. All body systems must be studied. The course AP601-Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Professionals, offered through The Michener Institute's Centre for Continuing Professional Education is accepted as an equivalent for both university level credit pre-requisites.
  • CGPA will be calculated using entire undergraduate degree. Minimum CGPA of 70% must be attained in order to be considered.


Please click here for the 2015 Applicant Experience Checklist

To assess your experience, ALL applicants are asked to fill out this checklist and submit the requested supporting documents along with the form by February 13, 2015. Please note that this document must be submitted in person, by mail, or e-mail to the Admissions Office at The Michener Institute, 222 St. Patrick St. Room 500, Toronto, ON M5T 1V4 or admissions@michener.ca

Admissions to the Diagnostic Cytology program will be determined by an assessment of academic achievement, CGPA (35%), professional and academic experience (15%) and the Multi Mini Interview (50%).

Students must have access to a computer that meets the minimum system requirements and access to the Internet.

Students must meet Michener’s English language proficiency policy. Please view the English Language Proficiency Policy for further information. If you require an English language assessment, please review our English Language Assessment page for specific requirements.. Deadline for submission is February 13, 2015.

Internationally Educated Applicant

If you are an internationally educated applicant  living in Canada as a landed immigrant or permanent resident, please be aware that you must have a full Course by Course evaluation of your transcripts by the World Education Service(WES) or a Comprehensive evaluation from the International Credential Assessment Service(ICAS). A document-to-document evaluation or the general evaluation offered through OntarioColleges(OCAS) is not sufficient. Documents must be evaluated to Canadian standards. Please note that WES does not do a course by course evaluation of High School documents. In order to have your International Education included in our initial admissions assessment we must receive all your documents by February 1, 2015


The fee policy for Canadian students can be found on the Canadian Tuition Fees web page.

The fee policy for International Students can be found on the International Student tuition fees web page.

How do I apply?

Step 1: Submit the following to the ontariocolleges.ca

  • Completed application
  • Official academic transcripts and official copies of certification documents. Official notarized copies will also be accepted.
  • Non-refundable application fee

Applicants must submit the application to Ontario Colleges at:



60 Corporate Court
Guelph, ON
N1G 5J3
Tel: (519) 763-4725 or 1-888-892-2228

Step 2: Candidates must ALSO supply the following to The Michener Institute:

  • A list of all relevant continuing education courses (if applicable), including final grades
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must provide proof of an english language assessment

All supporting documentation that is sent directly to Michener should be addressed to the Admissions Department. Click here for Admissions contact information.

Step 3: Following the application process:

  • View the laboratory tour video

All applicants will be mailed a Supplementary Application with an invitation to review, and sign off on important program specific material. This signed Supplementary Application must then be returned to Michener's Admissions Office along with the applicable fee.

Step 4:

Top ranked applicants to the Cytology program will be invited to attend the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), the final phase of our admissions process. What is MMI?

Application Process for International Applicants

All International students (on a study permit/work permit in Canada, or residing overseas) have a separate application process. Please apply directly to The Michener Institute. For more information please refer to the International Admissions page.

Offers Of Admission

Offers of admission will be made to students based on a combination of information received from application step 1 through 4. Any information received late, or not at all, will affect our ability to evaluate your academic and work related credentials and will severely impact on Michener being able to make an offer of admission. After the MMI is completed, offers of admission will be made. Offers of Admission will be mailed during the first week of May, 2015.

For more information on the application process please visit Michener's Admissions page.

International students have a separate application process. Please see the International Students page for more information.

Application Deadline:

February 1, 2015

What will I learn?

You will develop a broad knowledge base and practical skills that will enable an entry level Cytotechnologist to safely prepare specimens for diagnostic interpretation, perform the microscopic interpretation of those specimens, and issue reports according to institutional policies and professional standards. You will also become an integral member of the health care team who will share knowledge that is essential to the diagnosis and treatment of disease and will collaborate with other professionals in providing effective patient care. You will learn to become responsible and accountable for your professional acts and practices according to current standards of practice as well as laws and regulations governing the Cytology profession.

2014/2015 Textbook List


Semester 1-Fall:

  • MHCY111 - Microanatomy and Histotechnique 1
  • PGCY111 - Pathology 1
  • GYCY112 - Gynecological Cytology

Semester 2-Winter:

  • MHCY121 - Microanatomy and Histotechnique 2
  • PGCY121 - Pathology 2
  • BAIP125 - Foundations of Interprofessional Collaboration for Medical Laboratory Technology Programs
  • NGCY121 - Non-gynecological Cytology

Semester 3-Summer:

  • CLCY131 - Simulated Clinical Education

Semester 4-Fall:

  • CLCY241 - Clinical Education

Clinical Education

Length:             18 weeks

Start:                September

End:                  January

You will be assigned to clinical placement site(s) through Michener’s Office for Clinical Education. This process begins with an information session in the first semester of your program.

As clinical education is a major component of all Michener programs, our affiliated clinical sites are integral to your education. They include teaching and community hospitals and private laboratories in Ontario. Working closely under the supervision of Cytotechnologists, you will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills into practice during the clinical phase of your program. Clinical placements give you hands-on experience in work environments and the opportunity to network with potential employers.

Clinical partner sites are subject to change, therefore, specific geographic regions may not be available at the time of your placement; other regions may be added. Please note that when you accept a seat in the program, you also accept to go to any one of the program’s affiliated clinical sites available at the time of your placement. In addition, you agree to comply with the following mandatory requirements which must be completed prior to the start of your clinical placement: 

  • First Aid and CPR Certification for Health Care Providers
  • N95 Mask Fit Testing
  • Updated Vulnerable Persons Check (also required upon admission)
  • Updated TB Test (also required upon admission)

Michener highly recommends all students be vaccinated with influenza vaccine.  This vaccine may be mandatory at some clinical sites.  Students must follow clinical site protocol. 


The Diagnostic Cytology program is a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredited program.

The goal of accreditation is to ensure that programs enable their students to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes to function as competent health practitioners for the benefit of all Canadians. Accreditation, an external validation of program quality, is the public recognition that an educational program has met national standards (CMA 2010)

Graduating from an accredited program means that:

  • your education has met national standards
  • your program has patient care and student welfare at the forefront
  • your education is relevant to current medical practice
  • your have access to professional registration
  • you have attained the competencies required for entry to practice
  • your education is recognized by employers and the public
  • you have greater mobility as a health science practitioner

Diagnostic Cytology Scholarships

Dr. Hugh Curry Diagnostic Cytology Scholarship
Zonta Club of Toronto - Diagnostic Cytology Scholarship
General Scholarships and Bursaries


"Michener and the clinical instructors encouraged and motivated me to be successful. This program prepared me very well for the workplace."
Helen Yuehua Cao

Interesting Links

Cytology Stuff (Slide Images)
The Bethesda System Website Atlas
College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO)
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)
Canadian Society of Cytology
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)


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