Concentrations in Radiation Sciences

Radiation Sciences offers the following concentrations: Nuclear Medicine Technology, Radiography, Radiation Therapy and Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Nuclear medicine technology uses radioactive material for both diagnosis and therapy. Procedures consist of imaging studies, analysis of biologic specimens, and therapy. In imaging studies, patients are administered a radioactive material which localizes in a specific organ or system of the body. Learn more about the nuclear medicine concentration, including how prospective students will know if nuclear medicine is a fit for them, and why they should choose VCU.

Radiographers use radiation and other forms of energy to look inside the human body. This area of diagnostic medicine is called imaging technology or radiography. Diagnostic techniques include radiography (x-ray),computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Radiation therapy utilizes ionizing radiation in a strictly controlled environment to treat disease, primarily cancer. High energy x-rays, gamma rays, and electron beams are common forms of ionizing radiation used. Ionizing radiation can be administered using external beam therapy or by placing a radioactive material directly into a body tissue or cavity. The ultimate goal of radiation therapy is to destroy all abnormal cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue as much as possible.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography frequently referred to as sonography or ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to produce images for diagnosis and treatment purposes. Unlike radiography, sonography is a career field that does not use radiation. Sonographers are skilled technologists that use medical equipment and ultrasound technology to view internal structures of the body like organs, tissues, blood vessels and musculature. Graduates of the diagnostic medical sonography program will be prepared to become registered in abdominal and OB/GYN sonography after successfully passing the national registry examination.

The Second Modality BS programs are for certified radiographers who desire to continue their professional education and concentrate in either Nuclear Medicine Technology or Radiation Therapy. All programs are full-time.

The Department also offers a program for certified radiologic technologists to complete their bachelor's degree. The degree completion programs are available on a full- or part-time basis. To be eligible for admission to a completion program, the applicant must be certified (ARRT or NMTCB) in the appropriate discipline or eligible for certification.

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