About The Program

The curriculum is designed to train students in the management of coding and classifications systems at both the inpatient and outpatient levels. The program provides students with a unique blend of courses in information technology, business management, and clinical knowledge. Additionally, graduates will be ready to obtain entry-level skills in healthcare data coding, and the opportunity to continue to earn an associate of applied science degree in Health Information Management. In addition, graduates are eligible to take either or all of the following national coding certification examinations: Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Coding Specialist-Physician (CCS-P).

Program Degrees and Certificates

Program Details

The coder’s role is vital in ensuring the exchange of correct financial transactions between healthcare providers and payers. The program’s curriculum is designed for persons who seek entry-level employment as clinical data coding specialists by providing them with knowledge in anatomy, medical terminology, pathology and pharmacology, skill development in ICD-10-CM/PCS and CPT coding classification systems, database management, and clinical data abstracting processes, prospective payment systems, and reimbursement strategies.

The Career Studies Certificate in Clinical Data Coding focuses on coding/classifications systems at both the inpatient and outpatient level. The certificate will allow students to obtain entry-level skills in healthcare coding and the opportunity to continue to earn an associate of applied science degree in Health Information Management. National credentialing exams are available at both the entry and advanced level.

  • Transfer Opportunities

    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.

  • Career Prospects

    Clinical Data Coding Specialists are in demand across the spectrum of healthcare organizations including hospitals, physician offices, insurance companies, managed care organizations, contracting groups, and accounting firms, state and federal government agencies, community healthcare organizations.

Information Session

The first step to beginning health career training at NOVA/MEC is to attend a mandatory Information Session. Please note that the online information sessions contain program information for the current academic year only.

Start the Information Session Online

There is no in-person Information Session for this program. You are required to include the code provided during the online session on your application as proof of completion.

Pre-Health students who have questions regarding program requirements or students who need academic advising are encouraged to visit Advising & Counseling.

Phone: 703.822.6570, Medical Education Campus, Room 302.



Continue your HIM education with a four-year degree that leads to certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). NOVA's HIM Program has articulation agreements with several baccalaureate-level HIM programs nationwide like DeVry University.

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