Frequently Asked Questions


I applied to COTC, is that the same as applying to the surgical technology certificate program?

No. The surgical technology certificate program is a competitive, selective healthcare program. Students first apply to COTC (the college) and indicate interest in a health technologies program (or apply to a pre-health track). Then students complete a separate application to apply to the surgical technology certificate program.

How do I learn about the application process for the surgical technology certificate program?

Students interested in the surgical technology certificate program must register and attend an information meeting

What are the requirements to apply to the surgical technology certificate program?

Pre-requisite classes must be taken 

There are classes students must take, have taken or have been awarded transfer credit for before they can apply to the surgical technology program:

  • A full unit of high school Biology or Intro to Biology (BIO-010)
  • High school Chemistry or Intro to Chemistry Principles (CHEM-020)
  • Or higher college equivalents
  • Or approved COTC transfer credit for Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO-130)

Students who have taken the courses or receive transfer credit for the courses must have gotten a grade C or higher. 


Students must complete an ATI TEAS exam before applying to the surgical technology program.  Students must create an account to register. 

There is also a fee students must pay to take the ATI TEAS test, so we highly recommend students prepare for the exam and take advantage of test prep materials. Students can re-test if they choose. 

ATI TEAS exam scores are good for 12 months, and the most recent score will be the one considered as part of a student’s surgical technology application.

When are applications for the surgical technology certificate program available/due?

Applications are typically available in late March each year. The deadline to apply to the surgical technology program is May 15 each year.

Are there additional requirements if I’m accepted into the surgical technology certificate program?

Yes. Students must have a CPR—American Heart Association Healthcare Provider Certificate for clinical sites upon being selected into the program.

How quickly can I complete the surgical technology certificate program?

Students, who have an existing degree, can complete the surgical technology certificate in three semesters (one calendar year). Students who do not have an existing degree must complete the Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree (and will earn the Surgical Technology Certificate as part of their degree).

What classes do I need to take?

Each program at COTC has a plan of study that lists the courses students take to complete a certificate or degree. 

Can I take classes online or face-to-face?

Students will be required to take classes on campus for the surgical technology program. Some core courses are available online, but students should plan to be on campus to use equipment and engage in hands-on learning. 

What type of financial assistance is available to help me pay for college? 

COTC awards more than $1 million in scholarships to students each year.

Every student is encouraged to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for grants, scholarships and loans. 

Students who complete a FAFSA are automatically considered for some scholarships. Other scholarships require an application. 

Connect with the Office of Student Financial Services at 740.366.9435 or email