Skip to main content

METC Online

METC Online > Academics > Cytotechnology

METC Interservice Respiratory Therapy Program banner

About Cytotechnology

The Cytotechnologist screen human cell samples under the microscope, looking for early signs of cancer and other diseases. We trace the clues to disease in the nucleus and cytoplasm of cells that have been stained with special dyes. With expert eyes, we look for the smallest abnormalities in color, shape and size that can be clues to the presence of disease. We issue the final report on specimens which contain normal cells. When abnormal cells are present, we work with a pathologist to arrive at a final diagnosis. We work independently with little supervision. We must be disciplined, patient, precise, and have good eyesight. Above all, we enjoy making decisions and taking responsibility since our findings directly effect a patient’s course of treatment.

Scope of Instruction

During the year long course, each student receives comprehensive training covering microscopic evaluation of various normal cellular constituents, benign and inflammatory atypia, and malignancies from all body sites. Specific body sites covered include cervicovaginal, respiratory, oral and GI-tract, urinary tract, body cavities, CSF, soft tissue and bone, as well as Fine Needle Aspiration of the breast, lymph nodes, thyroid gland and salivary gland. The student is given an introductory lecture on the embryology, anatomy and histology of each body site covered. Additional presentation includes in-depth instruction on the detection of cellular manifestations of disease in order to develop a differential diagnosis based on the cellular evidence in conjunction with cognitive knowledge and clinical data. The program consists of 25-weeks of didactic instruction and 25-weeks of supervised clinical training in a military health care facility. Army course graduates are awarded the ASI M2. All graduates earn a bachelor of science degree from The George Washington University.

Army Requirements

  • 1. The course is open to MOS 68K soldiers, SPC and SGTs, in the active component with at least two years in the MOS.
  • 2. All students must possess at least an Associates Degree or must have completed at least 60 hrs of coursework from an accredited college/university including a minimum of the following semester hours; 20 of biological sciences, 8 of chemistry, 12 of social science, 6 of humanities, 3 of college algebra and 6 of English Composition. This coursework must be on an accredited college/university transcript. An American Council on Education (ACE) recommendation/transcript and Academy of Health Science transcript will not meet the college work requirement.
  • 3. For the Army, height and weight standards are IAW AR 600-9 and the minimum physical profile (PUHLES) is 323222.
  • 4. All soldiers must have normal color vision.
  • 5. Minimum Service Remaining Requirement (SRR) upon completing the course for Active Army students is 29 months IAW AR 614-200, Ch 4, Table 4-1, and for DoD civilians is IAW the Govt Employee Training Act of 1958. Prior to departure from home station, soldiers are required to reenlist or extend their term of enlistment in order to fulfill the SRR upon completion of the course. Those who report to the METC, not meeting the SRR, will NOT be enrolled until the SRR is met.
  • 6. The ASI M2 will be awarded upon successful completion of the course and meeting all Board of Registry requirements for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (Cytotechnologists).

The GWU Degree

Cellular changes consistent with herpes simplex virus. The 'ground-glass' appearance of the nuclei is due to the accumulation of viral particles leading to peripheral margination of the chromatin. In this specimen there are also fungal organisms morphologically consistent with 'Candida spp'.
In 2003, an educational affiliation with The George Washington University was established to confer a baccalaureate degree in Health Sciences with a major in Cytotechnology to students who successfully complete the Interservice Cytotechnology Program. All students must meet all Army or Navy academic requirements for the Interservice Cytotechnology Program in order to be admitted into the GWU baccalaureate program. The George Washington University provides educational services to include enrollment services and academic record maintenance. and confers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a major in Cytotechnology to all students successfully completing the Interservice Cytotechnology Program and two (2) distant learning courses (CLS 4151 Molecular Diagnostics and Hsci 2112 Writing for the Health Sciences). An official transcript for 126 hours and an actual degree is mailed to the Registrar, AMEDDC&S, Fort Sam Houston, Texas or unless mutually agreed by all parties to send the actual degrees and transcripts directly to the individual students.The Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences with a major in Cytotechnology and all semester hours is based on a combination of the prerequisites, and curriculum taught by the assigned military and Department of the Army Civilian personnel in the named courses at the METC Cytotechnology program, Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


METC Cytotechnology Program
Building 1356: MIF-3, Room: 3-308
3480 Garden Ave
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6137


Medical Director (210) 916-2956
Program Director (210) 808-5296
Education Coordinator (210) 808-5295
NCOIC (210) 808-5294
Instructor (210) 808-5298
Instructor (210) 808-5114
Instructor (210) 808-5115
Instructor (210) 808-5116
Instructor (210) 808-5297