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Radiation Oncology

The program is designed to prepare selected students to qualify as contributing members of the allied health care team who provide a variety of therapeutic services through the use of ionizing radiation. The curriculum is an intensive, five semester associate degree program beginning in August of each year. Through a collaborative arrangement with Virginia Western Community College (VWCC), NOVA students have access to the VWCC Radiation Oncology program. The prerequisite, general education, and clinical courses are offered through NOVA. Clinical course affiliations are located throughout Northern Virginia. Didactic classes are offered from VWCC and are delivered to a classroom on the NOVA Medical Education campus through distance learning technology.

Program Details

Radiation Therapists administer targeted doses of radiation to the patient’s body to treat cancer or other diseases. As the radiation strikes human tissue, it produces highly energized ions that shrink and destroy the nuclei of malignant tumor cells. Radiation therapists are highly skilled medical specialists educated in physics, radiation safety, patient anatomy and patient care. They typically see each of their patients three to five days a week throughout a four- to seven-week treatment plan. Computed tomography is commonly used in radiation therapy to simulate radiation treatments, and MRI is becoming a popular modality for treatment simulations as well. The program consists of formal classes and clinical experiences conducted at various area facilities where the student will be exposed to the most modern equipment and techniques available for the treatment of cancer. This curriculum prepares selected students to perform the responsibilities of an entry-level radiation therapist. Upon completion, graduates will be eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) examination leading to certification as a registered Radiation Therapist, RT(T).

Transfer Opportunites

Transfer is not the primary purpose of this credential; however, NOVA may have agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. In order to learn more about possible transfer opportunities please visit: https://www.nvcc.edu/transfer/. Students interested in transferring should contact an advisor or counselor to discuss their options and plans.

Credit for Prior Learning

Northern Virginia Community College accepts industry-standard certifications, credentials and/or professional courses for credit. Broadly, licenses, credentials and/or certifications must be current and valid for consideration. For more information regarding the status of the certification and its eligibility for credit, please see an advisor or faculty members in the discipline area that awards CPL credit.

The most current information can be found here for CPL: Certifications and Credentials.

Program Degrees and Certificates


Get Started

Want to get started with this program? Speak with an adviser to start shaping your educational journey at NOVA.

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