VS 331 - Histology

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Histology (microanatomy) is the study of the structure and function of cells, tissues, and organs. Particular emphasis is placed on histology at the light microscopic level. The course uses hundreds of high-resolution photographs and images of human and domestic animal tissues.

Histology laboratories involve finding and identifying histological structures at low, medium, high, and oil immersion views utilizing a cutting edge virtual microscope program. Students will have unlimited access to the virtual microscope as they develop their understanding of tissues in the course.

This course can be used to prepare individuals for material covered in: dental, pre-medical, pre-health, pre-clinical, and pre-veterinary programs. Careful attention has been given to include subjects that are essential to understanding the coursework involved in these programs.

Histology VS 331 topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Epithelium
  • Connective tissue
  • Blood cells
  • Muscle
  • Nervous system
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Immune system
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Respiratory system
  • Urinary system
  • Endocrine system
  • Reproductive systems


BZ 100 (Introduction to Biology) or LIFE 102 (Attributes of Living Systems). Credit not allowed for both VS 331 (Histology) and BMS 330 (Microscopic Anatomy).

Important Information

This course has online exams that require a proctor. Online proctoring is available through ProctorU. Local students may take exams at the University Testing Center.

Textbooks and Materials

No textbook required. Course uses online resources.


Shari Lanning
Shari Lanning


Dr. Shari Lanning is the instructor for the VS 331 Histology and VS 333 Domestic Animal Anatomy online courses. She has taught professional and undergraduate students for over 7 years, focusing on innovative learning strategies in the classroom. Dr. Lanning continues to advance her knowledge of new classroom, learning, and testing approaches to help students best learn and develop as professionals.

In addition to teaching at CSU, Dr. Lanning is also a small animal veterinarian. Her clinical interests are in pain management, acupuncture, physical rehabilitation, and behavior. She loves treating geriatric patients and helping them live a more fulfilling and comfortable life.

An alumna of Colorado State University, Dr. Lanning graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Zoology with a minor in Anatomy in 2000, continuing on to then receive her Masters in Anatomy. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2006 along with her certification in animal acupuncture. In 2012 Dr. Lanning became a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and in 2013 became certified as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist.

Dr. Lanning loves to bring her own clinical and personal experience into the classroom to help students apply their knowledge of the material. She is also happy to sit and exchange “war stories” of the clinic floor, which has only elevated her love and respect of veterinary medicine and the opportunities it has brought her.

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