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Anatomy Lab Center

The Anatomy Lab provides unique, hands-on experience focusing on kinesthetic learning for students of many levels, health programs and educational pursuits. A fully-preserved and previously-dissected human cadaver and organs from the pathology collection are utilized as teaching tools. The anatomy lab sessions are intended to enhance lessons learned from previous classes. Cadaver labs can be customized for your group to focus on specific learning objectives or student knowledge outcomes that you wish to emphasize.

Click on the Gross Anatomy Lab Request Form link on the left to reserve the Center.

Gross Anatomy Lab Policies

For invoicing and payment contact our department at anatomyrequest@nvcc.edu or 703.822.6527.

To schedule a visit:

Please complete the request form and include possible dates. We will do our best to accommodate the dates requested and will reply promptly. If you have problems completing the request form you may contact the department at anatomyrequest@nvcc.edu.

For scheduling purposes, each session is 1 ½ to 2 hours long. If requesting a campus tour, please add an additional 30 minutes to your visit. For large groups, two sessions can be done back-to-back, but not three. The cost is $30 per person. Payment can submitted by individual or group check, made out to “NVCC” or “NOVA.” Cash is accepted, but discouraged.

The minimum group size is 12 and the maximum is 20. If your group size is less than 12, you must still pay for 12 students. NOVA will prepare and send an invoice based on your expected group size well in advance of the lab date. Payment must be received prior to lab session.

Each high school student group requires two adult chaperones per session. The primary instructor must stay with the group in the cadaver lab at all times.

Adult groups each need at least one chaperone that accompanies the group.



The anatomical donors are to be treated with the utmost respect at all times. Inappropriate behavior and/or comments within and outside the laboratory is/are unacceptable.

Maintaining integrity and respect for the cadaver is of the utmost importance to all instructors and students associated with the gross anatomy lab. No images of the cadaver are allowed to be taken by students out of respect for the individual who donated their body to be studied. Any derogatory, disrespectful or offensive comments made about the cadaver or the class in general on any social network (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are not tolerated.


Cadaver lab sessions are available for high school juniors and seniors ONLY, in appropriate classes (AP Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Sports Medicine, EMT, Forensic Medicine, Allied Health, Pre-Nursing, etc.)

Cadaver lab lecture should be utilized to reinforce lessons already taught by primary instructors. Students tend to be disruptive if the lecture is beyond their comprehension.

The presentation is informal -- students are encouraged to ask pertinent questions and to be involved in the discussion.

This activity/field trip should be optional, not mandatory for students. Students who do not want to be there will distract others from learning.

Immature and inappropriate students will be removed from the cadaver lab. Schools that demonstrate repeated issues with problematic students will lose the opportunity to bring future groups. NOVA anatomy lab director and assistant instructors solely reserve the right to bar students and/or groups from attending the cadaver lab sessions for behavioral or other issues.

Students need to wear appropriate clothing to the lab session -- layered clothing for a collegiate atmosphere, closed-toed and comfortable shoes. It is critical that students are not too warm in the lab, which is not a cold and/or refrigerated room. Students will be standing during the entire lab, so they need to wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Students need to eat adequately before the lab, and have a significant snack for after-school sessions. It is a common, but inaccurate myth that an empty stomach will help feel less queasy – this is a dangerous practice, especially with high schoolers. Teachers are responsible for ensuring food intake, so please bring snack bars, etc. for the ride to the Medical Education Campus.