The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
Center for the Health Professions



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» Nuclear Medicine Technology

Nuclear Medicine Technology

Nuclear medicine is an exciting field that involves the diagnosis, treatment, and study of human disease through the use of radioactive pharmaceuticals. Elmhurst College has affiliations with Northwestern Memorial Hospital or the College of DuPage, where students can apply to spend three years completing coursework at Elmhurst College and their final phase of courses and clinical experience in a hospital setting.

What does a nuclear medicine technologist do?
Will I need a graduate degree?
What should I major in?
What are the academic requirements?
What about advising?
How do I get certified?
Where can I find additional information?

What does a nuclear medicine technologist do?
Nuclear medicine technologists work with physicians and patients to create high-quality diagnostic images. Here are just some of the things you’ll do as an NMT:

  • Prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive chemical compounds)
  • Perform patient imaging procedures using sophisticated radiation-detecting instrumentation
  • Perform computer processing and image enhancement functions
  • Provide image, data analysis and patient information to the physician for diagnostic interpretation
  • Prepare patients for radioactive tracers and radioactive therapy
  • Apply knowledge of radiation physics and safety regulations
  • Use quality control techniques as part of the quality assurance program

What should I major in?
Students applying for the affiliations must major in biology. Students applying after graduation can major in anything they like as long as they complete the prerequisite courses for the program.

What are the academic requirements?
If accepted, students will complete three years of college courses on site at Elmhurst College, and then spend the final phase of clinical/academic educationon site at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (12 months) or through hospitals connected with the College of DuPage program. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of program completion as a nuclear medical technologist and be eligible to take required certifying examinations in addition to earning a bachelor's degree. Students accepted into the program pay Elmhurst tuition and fees for courses at Elmhurst and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Additional fees may be required by the hospital as well. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is located at 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Suite 950 in Chicago, IL 60611.


Below are the prerequisite courses for the affiliation with Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Please see the Patterson Center staff regarding courses for College of DuPage.

Required courses
BIO 200, 201, 315, 430, 442, 498 (note prerequisite) and three biology major electives
CHM 211, 212, 311, 312
PHY 111, 112 or 121, 122 (note prerequisites for these courses)
MTH 132 and MTH 345/MTH 346/PSY 355

Additional courses in the humanities, social sciences, and oral and written communication are required.

Recommended courses
CHM 315
MTH 151

What about advising?
Expert advising is an important part of the Patterson Center for the Health Professions. You will meet with one of our expert advisors to discuss your specific academic and professional interests. Your advisor will work with you throughout your Elmhurst career, clearing obstacles and giving expert guidance. Want to know more? See Advisors.

How do I get certified?
When you successfully complete your academic and clinical program, you’ll be eligible to take required certifying examinations administered by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, and the Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Where can I find additional information?
You can start by checking the web site of Northwestern’s School of Nuclear Medicine Technology or the College of DuPage's site. In addition to information about the Elmhurst College affiliations, you will find links to additional resources. For more help, contact Elmhurst’s Patterson Center for the Health Professions.

Any student interested in applying is responsible for learning about all the requirements for the program. Admission to Elmhurst College does not guarantee acceptance into a program affiliation.

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