Program Mission

The Inova Histology Program will provide an educational program that teaches the art and science of Histopathology via lecture and lab. A certified Histotechnician or Histotechnologist plays a vital role in the preparation of microscopic routine and special stain slides for tissue abnormalities diagnosed by a Pathologist. This program’s focus will be on technical abilities, troubleshooting, confidence to pass the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification Examination and versatility to work as a Histotechnician or Histotechnologist in a hospital setting, reference lab, or research facility.

Program Goals

Inova Histology Program seeks to graduate students that will have the necessary skills to perform high complex testing in Histopathology Laboratories. The program will provide practicums as well as clinical rotations that emphasize technical skills and knowledge, resulting in a successful practicing histotechnician or histotechnologist. Both lecture and lab will be done in a safe atmosphere inspiring learning of various styles with aspirations to become educators and leaders in the field. The program goal is to graduate students with a high degree of professionalism and integrity, as they become an active member in the healthcare community.

Program Outcome Measures: Histotechnican (HT) Program*

Inova histology graduation statistics

outcomes measures chart

* There is not yet available data on the Histotechnologist (HTL) program, as this is a new program.


The Inova Histology Program will cover histology, immunohistochemistry, cytology specimen preparation, and light microscopy.

This program will also include principles and methodologies, problem‐solving, and troubleshooting for all major areas practiced in the contemporary histopathology laboratory. The Inova Histology Program is a full-time, 10 month (40 weeks) training program.


Inova Laboratories

Student Rotation Sites

In order to graduate from the Inova Histology Program and to qualify to take the Board of Registry examination, the requirements are as follows:


  • Inova New (Hospital Orientation)
  • Introduction to the Profession
  • Course Syllabus Review

Laboratory Operations

  • Safety
  • Laboratory Mathematics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Equipment

Basic Histology: Tissues Morphology/Anatomy

  • Integument System
  • Lymphatic System
  • Connective Tissue
  • Digestive System
  • Nervous System
  • Respiratory System
  • Endocrine System
  • Urinary System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Reproductive System


  • Tissue Identification
  • Reagents
  • Procedures
  • Parameters
  • Troubleshooting/problem solving of fixation artifacts


  • Procedures
  • Troubleshooting/problem solving
  • Reagents


  • Tissues
  • Tissue Orientation
  • Media
  • Troubleshooting/problem solving


  • Paraffin Embedded Tissue
  • Cryostat
  • Quality and Troubleshooting


  • Hematoxylin and Eosin
  • Quality control
  • Special Stains
  • Reagents
  • Procedures
  • Mounting

Cytopreparatory Techniques

  • Smears and Fine needle aspirations
  • Cell blocks and Papanicolaou Stains

Student Project

Students will complete three required projects for this program:

  1. The Basic Histology Project will include illustrations of cellular structure of tissue and organs that will be detailed, labeled, and colored accurately. Grading criteria will not be based on artistic ability. This project will be due at the end of week 10.
  2. The Special Stain Procedure Project will require the student to fill out the temple given for each special stain procedure and include an image. This project will be due at the end of week 20.
  3. The Slide Project will include embedding, cutting, and staining of given tissue. Grading for this project will be based on labeling of cassettes and slides, embedding, microtomy, and staining including special stains. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate competency under minimal supervision. This project will be due at the end of week 40.

Program Calendar 2023-24

Download the 2023-24 program calendar including topics covered by date, practicum dates and holidays.

Download Calendar

Student Employment Policy

Students can begin working after completing training in certain areas of the laboratory and they are compensated at a student rate salary. This is encouraged since it enhances a student’s job opportunities after graduation.

Student Employment Policy: Read more

  • Students accepted into Inova Histology Program become team members of Inova; therefore applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
  • To become a team member, the Federal Government requires a form of identification proving eligibility to work in the United States. Examples of acceptable documents include Social Security Account Number and Permanent Resident card or Alien Registration Receipt card.
  • Employment is contingent upon having satisfactorily passed all parts of the employment process which includes a health assessment, background check and a drug screen.
  • Competency will be assessed and documented as successful by the instructor before any work assignment in that specific section of the laboratory.
  • Students must demonstrate proficiency and competence before employment.
  • Service work by students in laboratory settings outside of academic hours will be noncompulsory.
  • Students may not be substituted for regular staff during instructional hours.
  • Students will be supervised by the mentor or program coordinator at all times.


The Inova Histology Program adheres to the following Inova policies found on Inova’s internal website:

  • Inova Health System Policy Preplacement Health Screen
  • Inova Health System Policy Immunization Program
  • Team Member Orientation

Grievance Policy

Any student may submit an appeal in writing to the Program Coordinator, with grievances or concerns to be brought before the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee consists of the following individuals: Program Director, Program Coordinator, as well as select Inova System Pathologists. Actions taken to resolve formal complaints will be communicated to the individual(s) involved as appropriate, and within a reasonable time period, not to exceed 10 business days. A record of complaints and steps taken to resolve any problem will be maintained by the Program Coordinator. Should the student find the resolution unsatisfactory, or if the complaint is specifically regarding the Program Coordinator, the complaint may be submitted directly to the Program Director who will then proceed accordingly with the remaining members of the Advisory Committee.

In addition, the Inova Dispute Resolution Policy defines the team member problem solving process. All Human Resource policies of this institution apply to histotechnician students, as they are also classified as team members of Inova. A student may choose to follow this Human Resource policy for work-related team member grievances instead of the Program's appeal procedure depending on the circumstances involved. Students are made aware of this process during the hospital orientation. Additionally, the Human Resources policy manual is available online at all times for student review.

Inova Histology Program adheres to the following Inova policies found on Inova’s internal website:

  • Inova Health System Policy "Internal Dispute Resolution"
  • Inova Health System Policy "Progressive Discipline"
  • Inova Health System Policy "Personnel Record Confidentiality

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) may be contacted as the agency of last resort for grievances that the student feels were not properly addressed by the Advisory Committee and or Inova Human Resources, as described above. In any case, the student will not be subject to any unfair action and/or treatment by any school official as a result of the initiation of a complaint. SCHEV, 101 N 14th Street, 9th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, phone number 804-225-2600, website

Contact the Inova Histology Program