University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Surgical Technology A.A.S.

The Surgical Technology program is designed to prepare the student for employment as a surgical technologist, an integral member of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients.

Surgical technologists work under the supervision of a surgeon to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of invasive surgical procedures. They ensure that the operating room environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.

Surgical technologists possess expertise in the theory and application of sterile and aseptic techniques and combine the knowledge of human anatomy, surgical procedures, and implementation of instrumentation and technologies to facilitate a physician's performance of invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

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 of each year. Students may apply while enrolled in the A.A. prerequisite courses with acceptance to the program to be determined after autumn semester grades are finalized. BIOH 201N/BIOH 202N (Anatomy and Physiology I and lab) must be passed with a minimum grade of B (3.0). The program-specific courses begin spring semester.

Once accepted to the program, a student must complete each Surgical Technology-specific course (those courses with the AHST subject code) with a minimum grade of C (80%) in order to continue in the program. Course grading scales may vary. If a student does not pass the required courses, they will not be able to continue in the program and will need to apply for readmission. If a student is re-admitted, they will be required to retake any AHST courses so that they are completed in the proper consecutive sequence. 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 second semester in the program. A student anticipating program completion will take the National Certification Exam prior to graduation. A student who successfully completes the Surgical Technology program is awarded an Associate of Applied Science 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 program. This credential 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, which may include rural and critical access facilities. During the final semester of the program, internships will be arranged outside the Missoula area for a minimum of two weeks. 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 and complete a drug screening. Many healthcare facilities have increasingly stringent requirements. A student may be refused entry into a clinical facility based on information disclosed in the background check. If this is a concern, 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 the inability to continue in the Surgical Technology program.

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709; Seminole, FL 33775  ( upon recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA), 19751 East Mainstreet, Suite #339; Parker, CO 80138 (

Associate of Applied Science - Surgical Technology


Surgical Technology Prerequisite Courses16
Surgical Technology Courses49
Total Hours65

Degree Specific Credits: 65

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

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.) BIOM 250N/BIOM 251 and  AHMS 270E may be taken prior to submission of the program application. 

Surgical Technology Prerequisite Courses

Note: Along with BIOH 201N, students must register for a BIOH 202N lab section. These must be passed with a minimum grade of B.  Additionally, students must register for a BIOM 251 section that will accompany BIOM 250N for a total of 4 course credits.

Complete all of the following courses:
AHMS 144Medical Terminology3
BIOH 201NHuman Anatomy & Physiology I (must be passed with a minimum of a B)4
M 105Contemporary Mathematics3
PSYX 100SIntro to Psychology3
WRIT 121Introduction to Technical Writing3
or WRIT 101 College Writing I
Total Hours16

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Surgical Technology Courses

Note: Along with BIOH 211N, students must register for a BIOH 212N lab section.

Complete all of the following courses:
AHMS 270EMedical Ethics3
AHST 101Introduction to Surgical Technology3
AHST 115Surgical Lab I2
AHST 154Surgical Pharmacology3
AHST 200Operating Room Techniques5
AHST 201Surgical Procedures I4
AHST 202Surgical Procedures II5
AHST 215Surgical Lab II2
AHST 250Surgical Clinical I4
AHST 251Surgical Clinical II5
AHST 298Surgical Internship5
BIOH 211NHuman Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOM 251
Microbiology for Health Sciences
and Microbiology Health Sciences Lab
Total Hours49

Minimum Required Grade: C