Diagnose a career in surgical technology.

Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology

Overview

Surgical technologists are important members of the surgical team who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other surgical personnel. Before, during and after surgery, they deliver critical patient care and help ensure a safe surgical environment. 

Surgical technology graduates can find careers in hospital operating rooms, delivery rooms, cast rooms, emergency departments, ambulatory care areas and central supply departments. They also work in clinics and surgical centers or as equipment vendors. Medical equipment, surgical equipment and instrument manufacturers recruit experienced surgical technologists as sales representatives.

Why choose COTC?

Flexibility

Students can also take a combination of in-person classes and online classes to give them some flexibility in their schedules and style of learning.

Students can choose whether to become Certified Surgical Technologists (CST). Students can gain employment with or without becoming a CST, but some employers may require or prefer graduates to be certified. COTC pass rates for CST exams are below.

Photo gallery

National Surgical Technologist Week

Photo Gallery

Students in scrub stand next to a table of instruments while an instructor gives instruction from the other side.

In 1984, the Association of Surgical Technologists Board of Directors dedicated the third week in September to recognizing the critical job surgical technologists perform every day. COTC celebrates our surgical technology students, faculty and alumni for all their hard work in the field, efforts to ensure patient safety, and their accomplishments in advancing the profession.

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Surgical Technology Application Requirements

The surgical technology program is a competitive, selective healthcare program. There are enrollment requirements in addition to the COTC admission application. Students must submit a surgical technology program application and supporting material to be considered for admission to the program. The deadline to apply to the program is May 15.

Download a printable application checklist. Surgical Technology Checklist

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Frequently Asked Questions

I applied to COTC. Is that the same as applying to the surgical technology program? 

No. The surgical technology 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 program.

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

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

Students can also review a surgical technology application checklist

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

Prerequisite 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. 

Health Selection Exam

Beginning the 2023 deadline, students must complete the HESI exam for the Surgical Technology program. View more information about the HESI exam, how to register, and the cost here.

Transcripts

Students must submit official high school transcript with graduation date or official GED transcript. High school seniors must send a current transcript during their senior year and a final transcript after graduation. Additionally, official transcripts from all career centers, colleges, and universities attended past and current with GPA must be sent. ALL foreign transcripts (high school and colleges) must be evaluated by a NACES Member- www.naces.org.

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

Applications are typically available one month prior to the deadline. The deadline to apply to the Surgical Technology program is May 1st each year. Request the application from your assigned advisor or email cotcadvising@mail.cotc.edu.

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

Students can complete the Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree in four semesters. 

Where can I find a list of classes (plan of study) for the program I want to study?

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 NWK-studentfinancialservices@mail.cotc.edu.

How do I get started at COTC?

Help us learn more about you by visiting our Future Students webpage, then follow the COTC Steps to Enroll to get started. 

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Accreditation

CAA HEP Logo

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits certificate and associate degree programs.

Arc/Stsa Logo

The Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting provides recognition for the quality of the education programs in its system to the public.

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Certified Surgical Technologist (CST)

Exam Pass Rates

Students have the opportunity to take the certified surgical technologist exam but are not required to be certified to be employed as surgical technicians.

Year CST Exam was taken Pass rate of COTC graduates
2021 58%
2020 37%
2019 57%