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Program Description

The purpose of our program is to prepare entry-level Surgical Technologists who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.

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.

Technical Standards and Occupational Risks

Surgical Technologists will be working in close proximity to other team members within the operating room. They must remain alert and stand for long periods of time and must have intact gross and fine motor skills; precise hand/eye coordination and dexterity and the ability to discriminate tactile sensations. They need to be able to pull 75 lbs.; lift 35 lbs.; and push 100 lbs. Students must be able to travel independently to clinical sites as assigned. For a more detailed list of technical standards, please refer to the ‘Essential Functions’ link under the application process section at the bottom of this page.

Surgical Technology students may be exposed to toxic drugs, anesthetic gases, ionizing radiation, infectious diseases, unpleasant sights, and odors. The student should be aware that they will be participating in real surgical interventions during their clinical rotations and there is an inherent risk of being exposed to airborne or blood-borne pathogens. There may be frequent exposure to electricity, electromagnetic fields, electronic media, and latex, as well as chemical hazards including but not limited to disinfecting solutions, dyes, acetone, bleach, and alcohol. Not all patients are aware of an illness or disease that they may have, nor are they required to disclose that information. CMU faculty prepare students for entry-level positions as Surgical Technologists, however the risk of contracting a disease or illness is understood to be a hazard of the profession. Faculty and instructors prioritize the safety of our students in the learning environment.

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.

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 April 15 (starting Spring 2024). NOTE: All applicants must be current CMU students with a mavs email before submitting the Surgical Technology application to [email protected]. If you are not currently a CMU student, the CMU application and the Surgical Technology application are TWO separate processes. Both application processes must be completed by the April 15 application deadline in order to be eligible for the program. 

CMU Transfer evaluations and credit information (including advanced placement)

CMU Credit for Prior Learning information

Please review the application checklist to ensure your Surgical Technology application is completed correctly. All Surgical Technology application 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. For CMU student related policies and code of conduct information, see the Maverick Guide, located on the Student Services website

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 April 15 deadline and MUST be submitted directly by the Testing Center.


Program Completion

Students that were enrolled in the program from 2019-2022 graduated.


Exam Pass Rate

Graduates from 2019-2022 passed the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) exam on their first attempt. *Percentage of those who took the exam. Certification is not required in the state of Colorado.



Graduates from 2019-2022 found employment and/or continued their education post-graduation.


Surgical Technology students enrolled in our program are required to sit for the national certification exam. This will take place during their final clinical rotation in the summer semester, as part of the SUTE 240 course. 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. Although certification is not required to practice as a Surgical Technologist in Colorado, students will take the exam as part of their required coursework. Student participation in this exam is a condition of the program’s accreditation status. Earning certification offers upward career mobility. It can also be a condition of employment, as well as a route to higher salary and a source of national recognition.


The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Accrediting Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). ARC/STSA contact information: Mailing address: 19751 East Mainstreet, Suite #339, Parker, CO 80138. Phone:(303) 694-9262, Email: [email protected]. CAAHEP contact information: Mailing address: 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775, Phone: (727) 210-2350.