Surgical Technology (AAS)

Degree: Associate of Applied Science
Major: Surgical Technology
Program Code: 1651

About This Major . . .

The Associates of Applied Science in Surgical Technology Program is designed to cover both the academic and clinical skills necessary to perform as a surgical technologist. The program begins fall semester of each year. Prerequisite courses, including Essential Learning courses, are completed in year one prior to admission to the professional portion (year two) of the program. The application process occurs in the second semester of the first year. Once accepted to the program, the second year prepares students to work as surgical technologists and assist in surgical operations.

Surgical technologists work as members of a healthcare team alongside surgeons, registered nurses, and other health care workers. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries. Students are prepared to work in a variety of surgical settings. A surgical technologist’s responsibilities include preparing patients for surgery, washing and disinfecting incision sites, positioning patients on the operating table, covering patients with sterile drapes, and transporting patients to and from the operating room. Surgical technologists prepare sterile solutions and medications used in surgery and check that all surgical equipment is working properly. They help the surgical team put on sterile gowns and gloves. During operations, surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants. They hold retractors and may hold internal organs in place during procedures. Surgical technologists may handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis. Surgical technologists who take and pass the certifying examination offered by the NBSTSA (National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting) are certified and authorized to use the initials CST to designate their status as Certified Surgical Technologists.

For more information, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU/WCCC associate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus‐wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Describe the scope and breadth of surgical technology and related skills using evidence-based resources. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning, Critical Thinking)
  2. Calculate therapeutic interventions for selected patient populations. (Quantitative Fluency)
  3. Summarize discipline-specific case presentations to professionals and peers. (Communication Fluency)
  4. Interpret administrative and clinical policies to advocate for patient safety during surgical procedures. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  5. Translate discipline-specific concepts into clinical surgical practice. (Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU and WCCC Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 60 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 of the final 30 semester hours of credit at CMU/WCCC.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU/WCCC coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 20 semester credit hours for an AAS degree.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Specific to this program:

  • 65 semester hours total for the AAS, Surgical Technology.

Essential Learning Requirements

(16 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA14
Other Essential Learning Core Courses
PSYC 150General Psychology-GTSS33
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences, History, Natural Sciences, Fine Arts or Humanities course3
Total Semester Credit Hours16

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one KINA Activity course1
Total Semester Credit Hours2

Foundation Courses

(12 semester hours)

BIOL 209Human Anatomy and Physiology3
BIOL 209LHuman Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory1
BIOL 210Human Anatomy and Physiology II3
BIOL 210LHuman Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory1
BIOL 241Pathophysiology4
Total Semester Credit Hours12

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(35 semester hours, must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework in this area.)

  • Surgical Technology (SUTE) courses must be completed in sequence and may only be taken after acceptance into the program.
SUTE 200Medical Terminology in Surgical Technology2
SUTE 202Fundamentals in Surgical Technology4
SUTE 202LFundamentals in Surgical Technology Laboratory 3
SUTE 206Pharmacology for Surgical Technology3
SUTE 210Safety and Equipment3
SUTE 212Surgical Procedures I4
SUTE 212LSurgical Procedures I Laboratory3
SUTE 218Specialty Surgical Procedures4
SUTE 220Surgical Clinical I2
SUTE 230Surgical Clinical II3
SUTE 240Surgical Clinical III4
Total Semester Credit Hours35
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 113 College Algebra-GTMA1 4
BIOL 209 Human Anatomy and Physiology 3
BIOL 209L Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory 1
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences, History, Natural Sciences, Fine Arts or Humanities course 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
BIOL 210 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3
BIOL 210L Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory 1
BIOL 241 Pathophysiology 4
PSYC 150 General Psychology-GTSS3 3
Select one KINA Activity course 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
SUTE 200 Medical Terminology in Surgical Technology 2
SUTE 202 Fundamentals in Surgical Technology 4
SUTE 202L Fundamentals in Surgical Technology Laboratory 3
SUTE 206 Pharmacology for Surgical Technology 3
SUTE 210 Safety and Equipment 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
SUTE 212 Surgical Procedures I 4
SUTE 212L Surgical Procedures I Laboratory 3
SUTE 218 Specialty Surgical Procedures 4
SUTE 220 Surgical Clinical I 2
 Semester Credit Hours13
Summer Semester
SUTE 230 Surgical Clinical II 3
SUTE 240 Surgical Clinical III 4
 Semester Credit Hours7
 Total Semester Credit Hours65

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.