Studies lead to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nuclear Medicine
What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging that uses
radioactive isotopes to diagnose diseases. It combines knowledge from chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology and medicine. A nuclear technologist administers a small amount of radioactive material to a patient, then tracks the course of the radioactivity with equipment
such as a gamma camera or probe. Since radioactive particles
can move freely inside the body, nuclear imaging provides information about both the structure and function of major organ systems.
Demand for health care has never been greater. As the Baby Boom
generation nears retirement, the health care industry finds itself
facing personnel shortages in almost every area, including the
rapidly emerging field of nuclear medicine technology.
Robert Morris University offers the only four-year nuclear
medicine program in the Pittsburgh area. Traditionally, nuclear medicine
technologists have earned associate degrees. But today's
technology is more complex, and many institutions are looking
to hire graduates with the depth of experience and knowledge
that can only come from bachelor's-level education.
RMU's B.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology degree program, developed in keeping with the Institute of Medicine's vision for the future of health care, emphasizes digital technology and new imaging modalities. The program is organized in imaging studies tracks that provide specific instruction in areas such as nuclear medicine technology, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Students complete all coursework and clinical requirements necessary to sit for the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) or American Registry of Radiological Technologists (ARRT) certification exam.
Students also have the option of advancing their careers by pursuing additional certifications in imaging technologies such as MRI, CT and positron emission tomography (PET). The program includes coursework needed for these certifications, and faculty members will work with interested students to help them fulfill additional clinical requirements.
This program was developed around RMU's vision of high-quality
health care provided by teams of professionals who are trained to
work together. Nuclear medicine students take courses in team
building and teamwork, health economics, health law and ethics,
and health policy alongside students in RMU's nursing and health
administration degree programs.
Upon completing the B.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology
program, students will have:
Strong fundamentals in basic science relevant to nuclear
medicine technology, including chemistry, physics, anatomy,
pharmacology, psychology and biology;
Multidisciplinary skills that use rapidly evolving instrumentation in
nuclear medicine, CT, MRI and PET.
An empathetic and instructional approach to patient care;
Intra- and extra-disciplinary skills in teamwork that emphasize
The ability to prepare, safely handle, calibrate and administer
radiopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals;
The capability to demonstrate proper operation of imaging,
laboratory and computer instrumentation and their quality
control procedures to insure instrumentation credibility and
The skills necessary to utilize technologies to minimize radiation
exposure to patients, the general public and health care
personnel, consistent with the As Low as Reasonably Achievable
The B.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology program requires 128
credits in three areas:
Robert Morris University Core - 40 credits
These are the traditional liberal arts requirements of the
University. Studies in humanities, communications skills, and
social, behavioral, natural and quantitative sciences are included.
Science Requirements - 29 credits
This component includes classroom and laboratory work in
anatomy, physiology, biology, physics and statistics.
Nuclear Medicine Technology - 59 credits
This component includes courses in radiation physics,
radiation safety, nuclear medicine technology and techniques, health
care administration, quality control, radiopharmacy and
instrumentation as well as clinical practicum courses.
Employment prospects for nuclear medicine technologists are
excellent. The U.S. Department of Labor projects faster than
average growth in this sector through 2014 as the population ages
and technology continues to evolve. Western Pennsylvania is home
to nearly 75 hospitals, and since RMU is the first and only school in
the region offering a four-year degree in this field, the University's
graduates will hold a strong competitive advantage in the local job market.
According to a recent survey by the Society of Nuclear Medicine (www.snm.org),
the national average salary for full-time nuclear medicine
technologists is $70,470. The average in the Mid-Atlantic states
Applicants must submit the following to the Office of Admissions:
A completed application and a non-refundable $30
application fee. Or apply online for free at www.rmu.edu.
Official transcripts from high school and any colleges or
Official SAT or ACT scores
Two professional letters of reference
An interview may be requested by either the applicant or the
Department of Nuclear Medicine but is not routinely required.
Recommended Course Work
The following high school course work is recommended for
admission to the program:
Biology With Lab
Other Science With Lab
Other Program Requirements
Applicants must be able to:
Visually observe and assess a patient, discriminate color and
depth, read and accurately complete reports, and visualize
diagnostic/monitoring equipment in dimmed light;
Possess the auditory capabilities to monitor and assess patient
health needs, monitor various equipment and background
sounds, and communicate by telephone.
Verbally communicate in a clear and concise manner;
Communicate sufficiently to interact with others in appropriate
verbal and written form;
Read and interpret relevant medical data from patients' charts,
reports and orders;
Safely lift and transfer patients to beds, chairs and stretchers with
assistance or assistive devices;
Safely push a gurney or wheelchair;
Stand or sit for an extended period of time;
Demonstrate sufficient manual dexterity to perform activities
specific to this program;
Possess critical thinking skills sufficient to think clearly and act
professionally, safely, and accurately in stressful situations; and
Professionally interact with individuals, families and groups
from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
Students who have completed at least 12 credits or one full term of
study at another accredited post-secondary institution are
considered to be transfer students. All transfer applications will be
reviewed by the Department of Nuclear Medicine Technology.
To be considered for admission, transfer students must have a
cumulative GPA of 2.75 or greater on a 4.0 scale. Applicants who
have completed less than 30 college credits will be evaluated on
their academic performance in high school as well as college.
Courses with a clinical component taken at another school will not
be accepted for transfer credit.
For More Information, Contact
Office of Admissions
Robert Morris University
6001 University Boulevard
Moon Township PA 15108-1189