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Pathologists' Assistant (MHS)

One of only eleven master's-level accredited programs in the country, 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 an anatomic 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

Robert D. Cottrell
Director, pathologists' assistant program

Admissions Requirements

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. The deadline for a complete application is September 1. We encourage applicants to apply early, as spaces fill quickly. Interviews are conducted in the summer and fall semesters. Please complete the online application.

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 and a one semester course in microbiology, anatomy and physiology (or a two-semester anatomy and physiology course).

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. Selected candidates are required to undergo background checks and drug screening (at the student's expense) before classes begin. 

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

Curriculum + Requirements

The program consists of both classroom and clinical training.

In addition to the college-based classroom course work taken during the first year, the student is introduced and oriented to the pathologists’ assistant profession by weekly attendance at clinical and gross conferences during their second year. This facilitates 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.

Course Title Credits
First Year (College-based didactic course work)
Summer Session
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

Program Outcomes

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. Proving accurate gross descriptions and selective sectioning of surgical specimens following established protocols and procedures.
    • d. 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.

Clinical Partners + Accreditation

The program is a cooperative educational endeavor with Quinnipiac involving:

  • Baylor University, Ben Taub Hospital, Houston, Texas
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.
  • Crouse Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • CT State Medical Examiner Office, Farmington, Conn.
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.
  • The Hospital of Central Connecticut–New Britain Campus
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass.
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Norwalk Community Hospital, Norwalk, Conn.
  • St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, Conn.
  • St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, Conn.
  • UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Haven, Conn.
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital–Saint Raphael Campus, New Haven, Conn.

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.