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Practice as a cytotechnologist and the use of the title "cytotechnologist" in New York State require licensure, unless otherwise exempt under the law.

To be licensed as a cytotechnologist in New York State you must meet all requirements, including:

  • submit the application and fee for initial licensure;
  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • meet education or alternative to education requirements; and
  • meet examination requirements.

You must file an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure and definition of practice are contained in Title 8, Article 165 of New York's Education Law and Subpart 79-14 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The laws and regulations are available on this website.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.

The licensure and first registration fee is $345.

The limited permit fee is $50 (the limited permit fee is not refundable).

Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • If you apply for licensure electronically using the online Application for Licensure, you will be required to pay by credit card.
  • Other payments must be made by personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail any required forms and fees to the indicated address on the form.

NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by credit card, check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Clinical Laboratory Technology Unit by e-mailing or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 260 or by faxing 518-402-2323.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.

NOTE: Different licensure requirements may apply to persons who had applied for a New York State cytotechnologist license prior to September 1, 2013. For additional information, email

To meet the education or alternative to education requirement for licensure as a cytotechnologist, you must meet ONE of the five criteria described below.

You must document that:

  1. You are currently certified as a Cytotechnologist by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification with the ASCP (CT) or ASCPi (CT) credential. (Use ASCP’s online system to submit verification of your certification to the Department to document meeting this criteria.)
  2. You are licensed and in good standing in either California as a Cytotechnologist, or Hawaii as a Cytotechnologist. (Use Form 3 to document meeting this criteria.)
  3. You graduated from an bachelor or master degree cytotechnology program (or a similarly named program) while the program was fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) as a cytotechnology program at the time you graduated. (Use Form 2 to document meeting this criteria.)
  4. You graduated from a bachelor or master degree in cytotechnology from: a program registered by the Department as licensure qualifying at the time of graduation (A list of licensure-qualifying programs can be found on the Inventory of Registered Programs available at under "CYTOTECHNOLOGIST"). (Use Form 2 to document meeting this criteria.)
  5. You graduated from a bachelor or master degree cytotechnology program that is determined by the Department to be the "substantially equivalent"* to a Department-registered cytotechnologist program. (Use Form 2 to document meeting this criteria.)
  6. You graduated from a bachelor degree program in biology, chemistry, or the physical sciences registered by the Department (or determined to be acceptable by the Department) AND you meet criteria in EITHER (a) or (b) below:
    1. A credit-bearing advanced certificate program or a hospital-based cytotechnology program that, at the time of completion, was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) as a cytotechnology program; or
    2. a credit-bearing advanced certificate cytotechnology program that is registered by the Department or determined to be acceptable by the Department. (A list of acceptable advanced certificate programs can be found on the Inventory of Registered Programs available at under "CYTOTECHNOLOGIST".).
    (Use Form 2 to document meeting this criteria.)

*Substantial Equivalence

For a program to be determined substantially equivalent to a registered cytotechnology program, it must lead to a bachelor or master's degree and be designed and conducted by a degree-granting institution to prepare students for professional practice as a cytotechnologist using independent judgment and responsibility. It should be recognized by the appropriate civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which the program is offered as a program to prepare individuals for professional practice as a cytotechnologist. In addition, the program must meet all criteria described below to the satisfaction of the Department;

Provide didactic and clinical education that integrates pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical components of laboratory services, including the principles and practices of quality assurance/quality improvement;

  1. include didactic and laboratory coursework in each of the following subject areas (or equivalent subject areas) as determined by the Department:
    1. inorganic chemistry;
    2. anatomy and physiology;
    3. cell biology;
    4. cytopathology, including, but not limited to, female genital tract, respiratory tract, gastro-intestinal and genitourinary tracts, body fluids, evaluation of specimens from washes and brushes of all body sites, and evaluation of specimens from fine needle aspiration biopsies of all body sites;
    5. cytopreparatory techniques, including, but not limited to, preparation, staining and processing of body samples; and
    6. microscopic evaluation and interpretation of cytopathology of the sample types and body systems identified in item (4) of this paragraph; and
    7. include coursework in:
      1. organic chemistry;
      2. mathematics and statistics;
      3. infection control and universal precautions;
      4. human genetics;
      5. immunology;
      6. clinical microbiology;
      7. the maintenance of equipment and records; and
      8. ethics; and; and
  2. include a supervised clinical experience of at least 30 hours per week for at least 10 weeks (i.e. 300 hours) or its equivalent in the practice of cytotechnology..

Note: If you are currently ASCP (CT) certified, you have already met the examination requirement for a cytotechnologist license. If you were originally certified ASCPi (CT) on or after April 1, 2015, and are currently ASCPi (CT) certified, you have already met the examination requirement for a clinical laboratory technologist license.

To meet the examination requirements for licensure as a cytotechnologist, you must pass ONE of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification's examinations, as described below, with a converted score of at least 75. Refer to the chart below for the effective dates for acceptance of these exams.

Cytotechnologist Exam Requirements Date Accepted for Licensure
American Society for Clinical Pathology, Board of Certification (ASCP)

Cytotechnologist Examination

No cutoff date
American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP)

International Cytotechnologist Examination ASCPi (CT)
On or after April1, 2015

Examination Eligibility

Before you will be made eligible to take an examination for New York State, you must:

  • Apply for licensure, pay the $345 fee for licensure and first registration and submit all required documentation;
  • The Department will review your application to determine your eligibility. You will be notified when you are eligible for the examination; and
  • after the Department notifies you that you are eligible to take the examination, you must sign up directly with the ASCP Board of Certification by completing the New York State Licensure Application found at The ASCP Board of Certification will inform you of next steps, including how to schedule an appointment to take the examination. You should schedule an appointment to take the examination within the assigned three-month examination period.

Reasonable Testing Accommodations

If you have a disability and may require reasonable testing accommodations for the examinations, please contact the ASCP Board of Certification at the website above or at:

ASCP Board of Certification
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 1-800-267-2727
Fax: 312-541-4845

A limited permit authorizes an individual who has met all requirements for licensure as a cytotechnologist, except for the examination requirement, to practice as cytotechnology in a specific setting.

The permit is valid for not more than 24 months and is not renewable. The permit holder shall be under the general supervision of the director of a clinical laboratory. Limited permit holders may not work at more than one clinical laboratory at a time. A limited permit holder who seeks to work in a different clinical laboratory must submit a new limited permit application to practice in such clinical laboratory and may not start practice until the limited permit is issued for the new setting and supervisor.

The supervising clinical director must serve the laboratory full-time, or on a regular part-time basis; ensure the supervision and technical performance of the limited permit holder, and be readily available for consultation with the limited permit holder, as needed; shall be responsible for the performance and findings of all tests carried out by the limited permit holder, either by directly overseeing such testing or by assigning qualified supervisors to provide onsite supervision of the permit holder.

If the clinical laboratory director named on the limited permit ceases to supervise the limited permit holder or is replaced by another clinical laboratory director, the limited permit holder must submit a new limited permit application form identifying the new director to the Department. The limited permit holder may only practice under the supervision of the clinical laboratory director when the new permit is issued; the limited permit will be issued for the unused portion of the 24-month limited permit period.

You may apply for a limited permit by submitting the Application for Limited Permit (Form 5) and limited permit fee of $50 at the same time or any time after you submit your application for licensure (Form 1), $345 licensure and first registration fee, and evidence of meeting the education or alternative to education requirements.