Surgical Technology A.A.S.

Students in the program are educated to be Surgical Technologists who work as part of the surgical team to ensure the operative procedure is conducted under optimal conditions. The ST is responsible for three phases (preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative) of patient care with minimal direction. All surgical team members must adhere to the principles of asepsis and the practice of sterile technique. The ST normally functions in a sterile capacity by passing instruments, equipment and supplies to the surgeon during the surgical procedure but may also perform many non-sterile duties throughout the workday.

Students admitted to the University of Montana enter as Associate of Arts (AA) General Studies majors with an emphasis in the program of their choice. Students must select the specific prerequisite courses required for their chosen area of study after meeting with the program advisor. Students must apply to the program by October 1. Students may apply while enrolled in the A.A. prerequisite courses with acceptance to the program to be determined after the Autumn semester grades are finalized. BIOH 201N/202N, Anatomy and Physiology I, and lab, must be passed with a grade of B (3.0) and be a face-to-face course. The program-specific courses begin spring semester.

Once accepted to the program, a student must complete each Surgical Technology-specific course (those courses with an AHST) with a minimum grade of ‘C' (80%) in order to continue in the ST program. Course grading scales may vary. If a student does not pass the required courses, he/she will not be able to continue in the program and will need to apply for readmission. If a student is re-admitted, he/she will be required to complete skills labs, AHST 115 and AHST 215, to ensure sterile technique skills are acceptable for patient care. A student may take any required course a maximum of two (2) times.  A student may apply to the program a maximum of two (2) times.

A student will become a member of the Association of Surgical Technologists ( during the first year in the program. A student anticipating program completion will write the National Certification Exam prior to graduation. A student who successfully completes the ST program is awarded an A.A.S. degree in Surgical Technology. The credential of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) will be awarded to a student upon passing the National Certification Exam and graduation from the ST program. The credential of Certified is awarded by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

Students are required to rotate sites during the clinical portion of their education. During the last semester of the program, internships may be outside the Missoula area. Transportation and housing are the student's responsibility. Prior to entering a healthcare facility for clinical experiences, a student will be required to submit a background check.  Many healthcare facilities have increasingly stringent requirements.  A student could be refused entry into a clinical facility based on information disclosed in a background check. If this is a concern for you, please consult the Program Director. If a student is denied agency access based on the background check, there will be no placement at an alternate site, and the subsequent inability of the student to complete the clinical education will result in inability to continue in the Surgical Technology program.

The University of Montana Missoula College Surgical Technology Program also has Outreach campuses in Butte and Billings. The Butte site is the Montana Tech of the University of Montana Highlands College campus in collaboration with St James Healthcare. The Billings site is the Montana State University-Billings City College campus in collaboration with St Vincent Healthcare and Billings Clinic. Students at those sites take the equivalent prerequisite courses on their respective campuses. The Surgical Technology-specific courses begin spring semester. Students must apply to the ST program by October 1. Students may apply while enrolled in the prerequisite courses with acceptance to the program to be determined after fall grades are finalized. The classroom portion of the ST program curriculum is delivered in web-based format using the Moodle course delivery system from the Missoula campus. Lab and clinical courses are conducted on each Outreach campus. Outreach students are required to travel to Missoula to write the National Certification Exam and to participate in Commencement exercises. Prospective students may contact the Health Professions' Office at 406-243-7868 for more information regarding the ST Program on the Butte and Billings campuses.  Please refer to the specific course catalogs on the Butte and Billings campuses for prerequisite requirements.

The ST program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 25400 U. S. Highway 19 North; Suite 158; Clearwater, FL 33763, 727-21002350,

Associate of Applied Science - Surgical Technology

Missoula College

Degree Specific Credits: 70

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

Catalog Year: 2017-2018

Note: It is preferred that students have the prerequisite core completed by the end of the semester in which they intend to apply to the program (i.e. applying to the program in the fall semester and completing the core by the end of that fall semester.) CAPP 120 may be challenged by testing out. WRIT 101 or WRIT 121 only one is required. BIOM 250N and AHMS 270E may be taken prior to applying.


Surgical Technology Prerequisite Courses23
Surgical Technology Courses47
Total Hours70

Surgical Technology Prerequisite Courses

Rule: All courses required

Note: WRIT 101 can be taken instead of WRIT 121; BIOH 201N/BIOH 202N must be passed with a minimum of a B

AHMS 144Medical Terminology3
BIOH 201NHuman Anat Phys I (equiv 301) (must be passed with a minimum of a B)4
CAPP 120Introduction to Computers3
M 105Contemporary Mathematics3
PSYX 100SIntro to Psychology3
WRIT 121Intro to Technical Writing3
or WRIT 101 College Writing I
Total Hours19

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Surgical Technology Courses

Rule: All courses required

AHMS 270EMedical Ethics3
AHST 101Introduction to Surgical Techn3
AHST 115Surgical Lab I2
AHST 154Surgical Pharmacology3
AHST 200Operating Room Techniques5
AHST 201Surgical Procedures I4
AHST 215Surgical Lab II2
AHST 250Surgical Clinical I4
AHST 251Surgical Clinical II5
AHST 298Surgical Internship5
BIOH 211NHuman Anat Phys II (equiv 311)4
BIOM 250NMicrobiology for Hlth Sciences3
Total Hours43

Minimum Required Grade: C