IAC International Board of Cytopathology

Admission Requirements

Only applicants who have been medical members (MIAC) of the IAC for at least two years preceding the examination date may take examination of the International Board of Cytopathology.

Please note: IAC Membership or Fellowship does not circumvent regulations of licensing agencies of individual countries. Before seeking employment in another country it is advisable to check the national regulations.

Please send the completed application form for approval with two letters of recommendation, a passport-sized photograph (signed) and payment of the examination fee.

Please state your preferred examination site: From 2024 the examinations will be held digitally and not at a microscope. (Link to mock digital exam page) (Link to Exam schedule)

Mission Statement

The International Board of Cytopathology serves to:

Create an international network of recognized experts in the field of cytopathology. Give cytopathologists the opportunity to test their abilities in their field of practice. To allow cytopathologists to register with the International Board of Cytopathology To enhance mutual exchange and understanding on a global basis. Learn more about our Requirements, the Application process and our History.

Successful candidates receive a certificate of the IAC International Board of Cytopathology. They are also invited to become Fellow of the International Academy of Cytology for the duration of their membership in the IAC.

Examination Details

The Academy is currently in a transition phase. From 2024 the examinations will mainly be held digitally and without a microscope. Have a go at the mock exam.

The examination consists of a written, a visual and a practical (digital-slide) test.

There are approximately 80 written questions, 80 visual image questions and 30 digital slides.

The examination questions are exclusively multiple choice.

The examination lasts approximatley six hours.

The test is comprehensive and covers all body sites. (For example: Gynecologic, Urine, sputum, fluids and
fine needle aspirations of multiple organs).

Major emphasis lies on personal experience. Practice in cytopathology of all body sites on a regular basis should serve as sufficient preparation for the exam.

A valuable source of information are online educational sites such as the IAC Educational Resources page. Please note that these cases are excellent to sharpen your visual recognition capacity but are not representative of the examination as many present rare entities.

The examination for the International Board of Cytopathology is given approximately six to eight times each year worldwide.

How to Apply

You can download the PDF-Application Form here. Please complete accordingly and include:


  • Indication for your chosen Exam date from our Examination Schedule
  • Include two letters of recommendation from physicians who can attest to your character and professional standards
  • Your signature on page 4
  • The IAC International Board of Cytopathology Examination fee is 450 Euro. Payment can be made on-line by credit card or paypal.  Please use this link to a secure payment portal. Select Application Fee Cytopathology Board Examination 450
  • Completed application forms can be sent as PDF-Files to centraloffice@cytology-iac.org (It is recommended to use E-Mail due to COVID-19 restrictions for airmail.)

download application form

You can alternatively send us the application via airmail at the following address:

The International Academy of Cytology
Office of the Secretary
Massimo Bongiovanni, MD, FIAC
Wilhelmstraße 24a – Hinterhaus
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau