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A Mayo Clinic surgical first assistant in the OR

Program overview

Program length: 6 months
Class size: 25 students a year
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Affiliated schools: Rochester Community and Technical College, Southeast Technical Sioux Falls, Western Technical College, South Central College, and Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Students enrolled in the Surgical Technology Program at affiliated schools complete six months of surgical rotations in general and specialty areas at Mayo Clinic during the final year of their education. Arrangements are made through your program director.

Graduation and certification

You will obtain voluntary professional certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting by graduating from a CAAHEP-accredited program and passing a national certification examination. You then may use the designation Certified Surgical Technologist, or C.S.T. Continuing education or re-examination is required to maintain certification, which must be renewed every four years.

Upon successful completion of your surgical technology program, you will graduate from your college, receiving your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

Application process


You must successfully complete the required pre-professional and professional college coursework at our affiliated schools before you are eligible to begin the surgical technology rotation. 

Non-U.S. citizen applicants

Admission to Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is open to U.S. workers in the four categories below. Therefore, visa sponsorship is not available.

  1. U.S. citizens
  2. U.S. nationals
  3. Lawful permanent residents
  4. Asylees and refugees

Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT). Scores from the speaking portion of the exam are given particular consideration in admission decisions. Learn more about the exam and register online at the Educational Testing Service.

The Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences code for the TOEFL iBT is 5784.

Educational transcripts from schools outside the U.S. must be translated (if they are not already in English) and evaluated for U.S. equivalence by an accredited credential evaluation service company prior to submission. Please refer to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for a list of qualified companies. The applicant pays for the examination and credential-evaluation services.

How to apply

The affiliated schools process the applications for their Surgical Technology programs and work with students to plan their training rotations.

Tuition and financial aid

Tuition rates are determined by and paid to the affiliated schools. Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences charges a tuition sharing fee for each student that begins clinical to be collected by each affiliated school.


The Surgical Technology programs at our affiliated schools incorporate a combination of classroom studies, labs, and clinical experiences to prepare you to assist members of the surgical team, such as surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and surgical technologists.


Rotations take place on weekdays, with specific hours determined by the affiliated institution.

Accreditation information

Programs affiliated with Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on recommendation of the Association of Surgical Technologists and sponsored by the American College of Surgeons and the American Hospital Association.

See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

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