CIM Certificate and Associate of Science Degree

SBCC offers both an associate degree and a certificate program in Cancer Information Management (CIM). Both the CIM associate degree and certificate programs are designed to prepare you for a career working in hospital-based and population-based cancer registries. The certificate program is provided for students who already possess a college degree. Completion of either program leads to eligibility to take the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) national credential exam.

  • The CIM Programs are fully open to any person who has been admitted to SBCC. No additional application or prerequisites are required.

  • To be eligible to take the CTR exam, candidates must meet education and experience requirements. The routes (A1, A2 and B) are detailed below.

    Route A. Experience: Successful completion of 160 hours of work practicum in a CTR-staffed Cancer Registry (may be part of a NCRA-approved program curriculum) AND Education Path 1a): Successful completion of an NCRA-Accredited Associate Degree Program, OR Education Path 2a): Successful completion of an NCRA-Accredited Formal Education Certificate Program AND successful completion of a minimum of an Associate’s degree or equivalent (60 college-level credits).

    Route B. Experience: 1,950 hours (equal to one year full-time) experience in the Cancer Registry field AND Education: Successful completion of a minimum of an Associate degree or equivalent [60 college-level credits] INCLUDING or IN ADDITION TO SPECIFIC COURSEWORK: SPECIFIC COURSEWORK: Two semesters of HUMAN Anatomy and/or Physiology. (Grade of C or better is required).

    The CIM program at Santa Barbara City College is an NCRA-Accredited Formal Education Program. For more information on the CTR exam eligibility routes, please go to CTR Exam Eligibility.

  • For eligibility purposes, the Council on Certification-approved definition is: the cancer registry field consists of individuals working in or supervising cancer registry and organizations or companies that actively support cancer registration. Cancer registration involves collection, management and analysis of cancer incidence data for all of the following purposes:

    • research
    • quality management/improvement
    • cancer program development
    • cancer prevention and surveillance
    • survival and outcome data
    • compliance of reporting standards
    • development of accreditation standards for Cancer Registration

    A well-prepared candidate's experience should include all basic aspects of a cancer registry, including but not limited to casefinding, abstracting, follow-up, reporting, cancer committee, cancer conference, state and/or NCDB submissions.

  • Cancer registries play an important role in the fight against cancer. Cancer registration is the basic method by which information about the incidence, type, extent of disease at time of diagnosis, treatment methods used and survival of patients with cancer is systematically collected. Cancer registry professionals are responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of cancer data. Specific duties include:

    • Identifying reportable cancer cases.
    • Abstracting patient cancer data from patient records, pathology, radiology and surgical reports.
    • Coding and staging primary site, histology and extent of disease.
    • Monitoring timeliness, completeness and accuracy of cancer data.
    • Performing cancer patient follow-up activities to identify second primaries, recurrence and spread of disease.
    • Reporting cancer data to health care officials, hospital administrators, physicians and regulatory organizations for use in cancer prevention and control.
    • Assisting medical staff and epidemiologists in special studies and research.
    • Supervising staff.
    • Assuring patient privacy and data integrity and security
  • Cancer registry professionals are needed in hospital-based and central cancer registries throughout California and the United States. Since the passage of the Cancer Registries Amendment Act (Public Law 102-515) in 1992, the number of central cancer registries has increased dramatically. Legislation has been enacted throughout the country requiring health care facilities and physicians to report their cancer cases. Due to limited educational opportunities, there are not enough cancer registry professionals to fill available positions in this rapidly growing field.

  • $25,000 to $100,000

  • With the exception of the 160 hours of work practicum in a CTR-staffed Cancer Registry (CIM 275), all courses in the CIM Program are offered totally online. All course content and exams are delivered online. Students interested in pursuing a degree must be highly motivated, independent learners, possessing excellent organizational and time management skills. Students must have email and Internet access. No on-campus attendance is required.

    Since these are entirely online programs, students must be familiar with how to use the internet, email, uploading and downloading files, and the use of various common word processing programs.

  • SBCC’s CIM program provides high quality cancer information management education and training to a diverse population of students in order to fill community and employer needs for credentialed CIM professionals.

  • The CIM Program is approved by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA). As graduates, students are eligible to apply for the national examination for certification as a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR).

  • Please go to our Apply and Enroll page for the instructions on applying to our program.

  • To earn the CIM Certificate, you must complete all of the CIM Department requirements. And to earn the CIM AS Degree, you must complete all CIM Department requirements plus SBCC's General Education requirements. CIM department requirements in their recommended course sequence are listed here.  Check out specific prerequisites here. 

  • Students enroll in classes prior to each semester and fees are paid prior to each semester.
    Fees are different for students who are California residents and non-residents.
    California resident enrollment fee = $46 per unit
    Non-resident tuition and fees = $331 per unit

    Cost of CIM Department Requirements:
    California residents = $46 x 47 units = $2,162
    Non-residents = $331 x 47 units = $15,557
    (Transfer credit will reduce the cost. If GE classes are taken through SBCC, then that will increase the cost.)

    Additional fees will apply. A full list of fees is available HERE.

  • For procedures to verify completion of HIT prerequisites and to view a specific list of CIM Program class prerequisites and course advisories. Instructions for Completing a Transcript Evaluation can be found on our Transcript Evaluation page. 

  • SBCC's financial information is available online at: or call the office at: (805) 965-0581 x 2417. Advance planning is required to complete the necessary paperwork in short timeframes!

    For information on Board of Governors Fee Waivers, scholarships, etc., please go to the SBCC Financial Aid page.

  • Once you have registered and have received confirmation from Admissions, please send an email to us to provide the HIT/CIM Department with your email address. Your logon and orientation information will then be emailed to you. During the first week of class, you will complete online orientation exercises designed to familiarize you with the course and the online classroom. If you have any problems or difficulties with one or more of these steps, contact us immediately.

  • Textbooks are available for online order at once you have registered and the online bookstore has opened for the semester.

  • Below are the required GE areas, with SBCC's fully online course options in parentheses following each category:

    A. Natural Science with lab (BOT 121 or BIOL 120 or BIOL 122+123)

    B. Social and Behavioral Science (HIST 100 or 101 or 102 or POLS 101)

    C. Humanities (AJ 105 or ART 215 or MUS 115 or 118)

    D-1. English Composition (ENGL 110)

    D-2. Communication and Critical Thinking (will be met with Math)

    E-1. Intermediate Algebra (MATH 107 or placement higher than MATH 107)

    AND Choose 3 out of the following 4 -

     E-2. American Institutions (met with area B courses listed above HIST 100 or 101 or 102 or POLS 101)

    E-3. PE/Health (PE 163A + HE 101)

    E-4. Oral Communication (COMM 122 or 162)

    E-5. Multicultural/Gender Studies (met with area C courses listed above - AJ 105 or ART 215 or MUS 115 or 118)

    AND you also need

    F. Information Competency (LIBR 101)

  • Students must complete all department requirements with a grade of 'C' or better. Pass grading is not permitted in a student’s major area of study. An overall grade point average (gpa) of 2.0 is required at SBCC and across all colleges attended.

    Candidates must complete at least 20% of the CIM department requirements through SBCC.

  • Students who are newcomers to online learning or have a low comfort level with computers may want to limit their first semester to 3 units. Students who work full-time and have family and personal commitments are advised to limit enrollment to 6 units per semester. Students who work 20 hours per week and have family and personal commitments are advised to limit enrollment to 9 units per semester. It is recommended that students limit their enrollment in SBCC's short 6 week summer session to one HIT/CIM class.

    For more information, go to our Course Guidelines page.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Gwyer Schuyler
HIT/CIM Academic Counselor
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive,
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 965-0581 x 2569
Fax: (805) 560-0591 ATT: Gwyer