Students interested in the pre-health major in clinical radiation sciences must complete the one-year program requirements for application to the Bachelor of Science degree program in clinical radiation sciences offered by the VCU School of Allied Health Professions. The pre-health major in clinical radiation sciences program requires specific prerequisite courses (outlined below). Once accepted, students will spend three years in the clinical radiation sciences degree program, which begins in the fall. At the time of application, normally spring of the freshman year, the student will be able to indicate their choice of concentration: nuclear medicine technology, radiography or radiation therapy. All three of these concentrations require the same academic prerequisite courses. Completion of the pre-health major in clinical radiation sciences does not guarantee admission to the program for the B.S. in Clinical Radiation Sciences nor does it result in a college degree. Students must be admitted to and complete the baccalaureate program to earn a B.S. degree in clinical radiation sciences. Admission into the program is based on scholastic record, demonstrated aptitude and interest, and a personal interview conducted by the departmental admissions committee. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a UAA pre-health major academic adviser to learn about admission requirements that are specific to the program and to speak about alternate/parallel majors. For more information about the admission requirements for the B.S. in Clinical Radiation Sciences, visit the department’s website.
Radiologic technologists (radiographers) use X-ray equipment to help diagnose diseases or injuries. They work under the direction of a physician. Radiographers work in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers or physicians’ offices. Some operate mobile X-ray equipment at the patient’s bedside, in the emergency room or in surgery. Others work in medical laboratories or for private industry.
Radiation Therapists use high doses of ionizing radiation to destroy cancerous tissue, while sparing non-cancerous tissue. The field of radiation therapy employs the use of linear accelerators and requires a high degree of technical expertise and patient care skills.
Nuclear medicine technology evaluates the body’s physiological processes via the administration of radioactive compounds known as radiopharmaceuticals. After the radioisotope is administered, the technologist will image the biodistribution of the radiotracer with a gamma camera to determine the presence of disease. Sophisticated computer software applications can further investigate and quantify radiopharmaceutical uptake to determine the presence of disease.
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.
Current VCU students who wish to change their major to the pre-health major in clinical radiation sciences must meet the following criteria to be considered for the major:
Minimum GPA of 2.8. No more than 75 credits completed. Students who do not meet these requirements may see a pre-health adviser, but they will be referred for programming and not assigned to an adviser.
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