MLS – Cytopathology



Cytopathology is the microscopic study of cellular samples from body tissues. Cytotechnologists are the medical laboratory professionals that evaluate specimens from various body sites to detect evidence of disease at the cellular level. Cytotechnologists use methods that can detect hormonal abnormalities, infectious diseases, premalignant and malignant lesions, and many other diseases. One of the most rewarding aspects of cytopathology is the opportunity to save lives by detecting early, many hidden cancers which are only visible at the microscopic level. Career opportunities are extensive and expanding. There is currently a 5-10% national shortage of cytotechnologists and a 10-15% national shortage of cytopathology managers.

The graduate program in cytopathology is divided into two phases. In the first, the student enrolls in a eleven-month clinical internship at the Rhode Island School of Cytotechnology with clinical training at eight different hospital and laboratories including Women and Infants,  Our Lady of Fatima and Massachusetts General Hospitals. The student is eligible to become a certified and/or licensed cytotechnologist upon completion of the internship. The second phase is a part-time, evening, Providence-based program with courses in advanced clinical practice, education, management, and research.


The Rhode Island School of Cytotechnology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health, Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Cytotechnology Programs Review Committee of the American Society of Cytotechnology.

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate degree in the life sciences, physical sciences, or health sciences with a minimum of 20 semester hours of biological sciences, (anatomy and physiology are recommended), 8 semester hours in chemistry and 4 in math. Admission into the Cytopathology track is contingent upon admission into the cytopathology practicum year. Applicants with deficiencies in background courses may be required to complete appropriate course work without graduate credit.

Core courses: 12 credits selected from

  • BCH(MLS) 551 (Advanced Clinical Biochemistry),
  • MLS 510(Laboratory Management),
  • MLS 512(Research Methodology) – Required
  • MLS 513(Advanced Clinical Immunology)
  • MLS 594 Special Problems in Biotechnology
  • MLS 591 Special Problems in Clinical Microbiology
  • MLS 590 Special Problems in Clinical Chemistry
  • BIO 437 Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
  • CMB 534 Virology
  • CMB 538 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • MLS 520 Advanced HCMB Website. MSematology

The Clinical Internship: 24 credits

  • MLS561 through 566 (the student may apply to take the national certification examination upon completion of the internship).
  • Comprehensive computerized written examination.
  • Major research paper.

MLS Courses (Cytopathology)
First Semester

  • MLS561 Introduction of Cytotechnology – 3 credits
  • MLS563 Cytopathology – 3 credits
  • MLS565 Cytology Practicum I(gynecological) – 6 credits

TOTAL 12 credits

Second Semester

  • MLS562 Special Topics in Cytotechnology – 3 credits
  • MLS564 Medical Cytology – 3 credits
  • MLS566 Cytology Practicum II-(Non Gynecological) – 6 credits

TOTAL 12 credits


(Subject to change; fees are same for Rhode Island residents and non- residents):

A) A 11-month clinical internship in the URI graduate cytopathology practicum.
B) Evening part-time courses (five 3-credit courses based in Providence) .

Graduate Faculty

University of Rhode Island

Gongqin Sun, Ph.D. Chairman
Gregory E. Paquette, Ph.D. MLS, Director of Graduate Studies

URI Cytopathology Practicum

Latha Pisharodi, M. D. , Medical Director
Barbara G. Klitz, M.S.CT (ASCP) Associate Clinical Professor and Program Director
Nadia Saadeh, MS, CT(ASCP), Education Coordinator
Adjunct Associate Professor Jacob Canick, Ph.D.(Director, Endocrinology and Pre-natal screening)
Adjunct Associate Professor Claire Eklund, M.S., SCT(ASCP)(Supervisor, Department of Cytology, Women and Infants Hospital)
Adjunct Assistant Professor Dr. Ali Amin, M.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Mazen Duwaji, M.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor Katrine Hansen, M.D.,
Adjunct Associate Professor Rekha Mehta, M.S.,CT(ASCP)
Adjunct Assistant Professor David North, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor Christopher Owens, M.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Dariusz Stachurski, M. D
Adjunct Professor M. Ruhu Quddus, M.D.
Adjunct Professor James Sung, M.D.(Associate Pathologist)
Adjunct Associate Professor Umadevi Tantravahi, Ph.D.(Cytogenetics)
Adjunct Assistant Professor David Wilbur, M.D
Adjunct Professor Jinjun Xiong, M.D

For More Information about this program contact:
Gregory Paquette Ph.D. MLS(ASCP),
Phone: (401) 874-2315