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The Surgical Technology (ST) program at Colorado Mesa University is designed to cover both the academic and clinical skills necessary to perform as a surgical technologist. Small class sizes allow for more one-on-one interaction between the students and the instructors. The program utilizes a skills laboratory and classroom at St. Mary’s Hospital to engage students in an actual hospital setting in preparation for clinical experience.

Surgical technologists work as members of a healthcare team alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other healthcare workers. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment and help surgeons during surgeries. Students will be prepared to work in many areas of the surgery setting. 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 an operation, surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants. They also hold retractors and may hold internal organs in place during the procedure. Technologists also may handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis.

Students will complete this associate degree in sequence with prerequisites and Essential Learning courses the first year. Certain prerequisite courses must be completed prior to admission to the professional portion (the second year) of this program. Sixty-eight credit hours are required for program completion.

Academic Requirements for Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology
Surgical technologists are individuals with specialized education who function as members of the surgical team. With additional education and training, some surgical technologists function in the role of surgical first assistant.

Application Process

The program begins fall semester of each year. Application deadline is June 1st. Please review the application checklist to ensure your application is completed correctly. All forms must be submitted electronically to [email protected]. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above to be eligible for the program (starting in 2024, the pre-requisite GPA must be 2.5 or above to be eligible for the program). 

Students accepted into the ST program must be proficient in these essential functions.

Skills testing

The Test for Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) is scheduled throughout the academic year.

Students applying to the Surgical Technology program may take the ATI TEAS once in the year prior to the application deadline. If you reapply the following year, you may take the test again.

Exam results are required to be turned into the Department of Health Sciences by the June 1 deadline and MUST be submitted directly by the Testing Center.


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 a Certified Surgical Technologist. Certification can be a means of upward mobility, a condition of employment, a route to higher salary or a source of national recognition. Upon passing the certification exam, the initials, CST, can be placed after their names.


The Surgical Technologist program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee on Surgical Technology/Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) under the auspices of Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).