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Associate of Applied Science

Felicia Terrazas manipulates the X-ray tube while Charles Mayo looks on.

Be part of a health care career that combines art and science

Radiology is vital to the diagnosis and treatment of most every patient

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Is it an art? Is it a science?

Actually, the ever-evolving field of radiography is both, using the latest technology to produce diagnostic images of the human body using radiation. 

Producing the perfect picture of the tissue, organs, bones and vessels of the body is an art that leads to best medical diagnosis and treatment for a patient. TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Radiography prepares you to work with patients of all ages and conditions, under the supervision of a radiologist in settings that range from hospitals to imaging centers to clinics and doctors’ offices, where you will be an integral member of a skilled health care team.

Our program – featuring specialized courses in radiography with concentrated study in the basic sciences, mathematics and general education – prepares you to be a radiologic technologist, where you’ll work side by side with imaging professionals in the clinical setting learning something new about the exciting field of imaging sciences every day.

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to sit for one or more exams administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

View program curriculum
Admission Forms and Information

Your acceptance as a Tidewater Community College student does not guarantee admission to most TCC health profession programs. We want you to be aware of these additional requirements and important information for this program.

Admission to this program is competitive. For more information, download the program admission packet (PDF) and student handbook (PDF).

If you are a new TCC student, begin your journey by applying for admission and financial aid. On your application, indicate that you intend to pursue the Associate of Applied Science in Radiography.

As a prospective health professions student, you must also:

1. If possible, attend an information session, held the third Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. (except December) at the Regional Health Professions Center on the Virginia Beach Campus.

Topics covered are general information, admissions process, prerequisite courses, selection process, curriculum, hands-on learning in clinical settings, provisional acceptance requirements and more. Faculty and staff will be available to answer your questions.

2. Complete and submit the Health Professions Program Application by December 18 for admission in May the following year. Include unofficial transcripts from previous colleges you have attended.

3. Make sure you receive appropriate transfer credits from previous college studies and work experience.

Additional requirements:

Admission to this program is competitive based on a system of points using these criteria.

1. Placement into English (ENG) 111 College Composition I and Mathematics (MTH) 154 Quantitative Reasoning, based on your Virginia Placement Test (VPT) results

2. Mandatory admission session in January if you are notified by email that you are qualified for admission.

3. Completion of Biology (BIO) 141 Human Anatomy & Physiology I

After you’ve been accepted:

1. Submit the Health Professions Physical Examination Form showing satisfactory health status based on a physician’s exam within the previous 12 months.

2. Complete a criminal/sex offender background check prior to working at any clinical facility.* Order your background check here.

* Tidewater Community College does not assume any responsibility for obtaining or evaluating the results of a criminal background check, drug screen or other check, maintaining the records of results or for delivering them to clinical sites. It is the decision of the clinical affiliate (health care or medical facility) whether a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities should there be positive criminal or sex offender results. 

Recommended for application

1. Completion of the following general education courses before beginning the radiography portion of the program. These courses can be taken on most TCC campuses.

  • Psychology (PSY) 230 Developmental Psychology or an approved social science elective
  • Student Development (SDV) 101 Orientation to Health Care
  • Health (HLT) 141 Introduction to Medical Terminology or Health (HLT) 143 Medical Terminology I
  • Biology (BIO) 142 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • 1 humanities elective
  • Health (HLT) 150 Cross Cultural Health and Wellness Practices
  • Mathematics (MTH) 154 Quantitative Reasoning

2. Submit documentation of prior health care experience to Ellyn Hodgis, program director, by the second Friday in January following the December 18 application deadline. Please include your role, hours of service and any radiology-related experience or certifications received.

What does this program cost?

You can complete a 2-year associate degree for less than the cost of 1 year at a 4-year college or university.

TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Radiography consists of 6 semesters of full-time study, with classes held mainly at the Regional Health Professions Center on the Virginia Beach Campus.

Estimated Program Cost*:
72 credits x $185.35 per credit = $13,345.20 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Additional costs include two criminal backgrounds check (approximately $100), uniforms, shoes and lead markers for clinical practice.

Where can you go?

Most radiologic technologists enjoy successful careers with an associate degree. Bachelor’s degrees are preferred if you wish to leave the patient care arena to pursue careers in education, management and sales.

TCC's radiography program has transfer agreements with Old Dominion University's bachelor's program in health sciences. TCC also has transfer agreements with the University of Virginia for a bachelor's of professional studies in health sciences management and St. Joseph’s College of Maine and St. Joseph’s College Online for a bachelor’s in radiologic science administration. 

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • are able to multi-task
  • enjoy working with people
  • have an aptitude for science
Specializations/Advanced Certifications

Diagnostic Radiographers may choose to advance their careers by earning additional imaging science certifications in:
Nuclear Medicine Technology
Radiation Therapy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Computed Tomography and application checklist
Quality Management
Bone Densitometry
Cardiac-Interventional Radiography
Vascular-Interventional Radiography
Vascular Sonography Breast Sonography

Mission Statement/Learning Outcomes & Program Effectiveness Outcomes

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Radiography Program at Tidewater Community College is to prepare competent and professional technologists who will pass the ARRT Certification examination and gain employment as an entry-level radiographer. The program intends to help adults of all ages and backgrounds achieve their individual goals and contribute as citizens and workers to the vitality of an increasingly global community.

This mission is accomplished through:

  • Fair and objective admission standards.
  • Accessible and affordable education without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, handicap, national origin or other non-merit factors.
  • Commitment to high quality instruction, and a variety of instructional approaches and delivery methods to support student’s diverse learning styles.
  • Cultural diversity as a critically important strength for students to meet the changing needs of a pluralistic, democratic society.
  • Guidance and mentoring for students to achieve their educational goals and succeed in passing the ARRT Certification exam.
  • Provision of a comprehensive curriculum consisting of broad opportunities for students to develop skills in conceptual and theoretical understanding, analytical judgment, critical thinking, and the ability to problem solve.
  • Didactic and clinical objectives addressing radiation protection, professional ethics, and safe care for patients.
  • Provision of clinical practice to enable students to develop professionally and acquire the necessary knowledge base, communication, and practical skills to succeed in the profession.
  • Partnerships and proactive responsiveness to provide a balance of radiographers to the region and an attempt to meet the needs of the community it supports.
  • Encouragement and preparation for students to engage in professional development and lifelong learning activities

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Goal I.  Students will be Clinically Competent

  • Students will demonstrate accurate positioning skills
  • Students will apply appropriate radiation protection practices
  • Students will demonstrate appropriate and safe patient care skills

Goal II. Students will Apply Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills

  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking when performing radiographic procedures
  • Students will be able to adjust exposure factors to accommodate patient variables

Goal III.  Students will Demonstrate Effective Communication Skills

  • Students will communicate effectively in writing
  • Students will demonstrate effective communication skills with patients

Goal V.   Students will Demonstrate Professional Development and Growth

  • Students will exhibit professional behavior
  • Students will treat patients in a professional manner

Program Effectiveness Benchmarks

  • Graduates overall satisfaction with the program - 3.5 or higher on 5 point scale
  • Employers overall satisfaction with the program - 3.0 or higher on 4 point scale
  • 75% of students who enroll in the program will graduate
  • 90% of Graduates will pass the ARRT certification exam (5 year average)
  • 80% of Graduates will gain employment as a radiographer within 1 year (5 year average)

Program Effectiveness Data - Actual Outcomes for the Last 5 Years

ARRT Certification Exam 5-Year Average Pass Rate - 96.7%

  • 2017 - 31 out of 31 students passed on the first attempt = 100% pass rate
  • 2016 - 26 out of 29 students passed on the first attempt = 89.6% pass rate
  • 2015 - 34 out of 35 students passed on the first attempt = 97.1% pass rate
  • 2014 - 29 out of 29 students passed on the first attempt = 100% pass rate
  • 2013 - 32 out of 33 students passed on the first attempt = 97.0% pass rate

Graduate 5-Year Average Job Placement Rate - 95.6%

*JRCERT defines “not actively seeking employment” as a graduate:

  • Who fails to communicate with program officials regarding employment status after multiple attempts
  • Unwilling to seek employment that requires relocation
  • Unwilling to accept employment due to salary or hours
  • on active military duty OR continuing his or her education

This job placement rate is based on the number of graduates actively seeking employment and determined within 12 months of graduation

  • 2017 - 27 out of 28 students who sought employment gained employment = 96.4%
  • 2016 - 25 out of 26 students who sought employment gained employment = 96.1%
  • 2015 - 30 out of 30 students who sought employment gained employment = 100%
  • 2014 - 25 out of 27 students who sought employment gained employment = 92.6%
  • 2013 - 24 out of 26 students who sought employment gained employment = 92.3%

    5-Year Average Program Completion (Graduation) Rate  - 81.4%

Within 36 months of beginning the 24-month program

  • 2017 - 31 out of 38 students who enrolled in the program graduated = 81.5%
  • 2016 - 31 out of 38 students who enrolled in the program graduated = 81.5%
  • 2015 - 35 out of 38 students who enrolled in the program graduated = 92.1%
  • 2014 - 29 out of 40 students who enrolled in the program graduated = 72.5%
  • 2013 - 32 out of 40 students who enrolled in the program graduated = 80.0%

The accuracy of this data can be verified by visiting JRCERT's web site.

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96.1% pass rate on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination, the industry standard.*

*Complete 5-year program effectiveness data published below under Mission Statement/Learning Outcomes & Program Effectiveness Outcomes

Clinical rotations with every major health system in Hampton Roads, including Sentara, Bon Secours and Chesapeake Regional

Learn on state-of-the-art imaging equipment that you will be using on the job

National accreditation

TCC's radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
20 North Wacker Drive, Ste 2850
Chicago, IL 60606-3182
(312) 704-5300

Median annual salary

Jobs related to this field have a median annual salary of $52,728*


Grad finds another family, unique career in radiography

* Salary estimate is provided for comparison purposes only and doesn’t constitute a promise of employment or earnings. Salaries were calculated based on related job codes and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.