In New York, radiation therapy training programs are offered at several 2- and 4-year public and private not-for-profit schools. Studies are offered through associate and bachelor's degree programs. Undergraduate certificate programs are also available and are designed for students who already have an associate degree or are in the process of earning one. In addition, one school listed in this article offers a certificate program for existing bachelor's degree holders. Radiation therapy students complete classroom studies as well as clinical rotations.
Erie Community College (SUNY)
Erie Community College in Buffalo is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, and the school offers an Associate in Applied Science in Radiation Therapy Technology. Both the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) accredit this 24-month course of study.
Through classroom and hands-on training, students learn how to use radiotherapy to treat cancer and other diseases. The curriculum cover topics in anatomy and physiology, radiologic biology and physics, radiotherapy technology and health care law. They also participate in over 2,200 hours of clinical work at hospitals and other facilities. Learning outcomes for entry-level professionals include the ability to deliver safe radiation therapies, observe patients' reactions to treatment and maintain accurate treatment records.
Located in Riverdale, Manhattan College is affiliated with the Catholic Church. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy Technology, and those who already hold a bachelor's degree can earn a certificate in radiation therapy technology. Both programs are accredited by the ARRT.
The requirements for the bachelor's degree include 3 courses in radiation therapy and 6 internships, as well as studies in nursing procedures and patient care, radiation physics and chemistry. The 52-credit certificate takes 6 semesters and 2 summer sessions to complete and covers topics in CT imaging, cross-sectional anatomy, treatment planning and radiation biology.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Through the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's School of Radiation in New York City, students can earn a 2-year Certificate in Radiation Therapy. To be admitted into the program, applicants must be 18 years of age or older and have at least an associate's degree from an accredited college. The requirements include 2 clinical setups and courses in radiation physics, patient care methods, ethics, medical terminology and treatment planning. This certificate program is accredited by both the ARRT and JRCERT.
Nassau Community College (SUNY)
At SUNY Nassau Community College in Garden City, students can pursue an Associate in Applied Science in Radiation Therapy Technology that is accredited by the AART, JRCERT and the New York State Department of Health. In addition to learning how to treat cancer patients with oncologist-ordered therapies, students take courses in quality assurance, radiation biology and treatment planning. They also complete 5 radiation clinics, and these include 2 summer sessions. Unique to the program is a co-curricular Radio logic Technology Club.
New York Methodist Hospital
The Bartone School of Radiography at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn offers a certificate program in radiation therapy that has been accredited by ARRT and JRCERT and recognized by the New York State Department of Health. As of September 2013, students in the certificate program must simultaneously complete an associate's degree at St. Francis College in Brooklyn or through Clarion University of Pennsylvania's Online College.
During the course of study, students learn to design and follow a treatment plan, employ safe radiation procedures, communicate with other professionals and make decisions pertaining to radiation administration. In general the course schedule requires 2-3 days of in-class work and 2-3 days of clinical rotations.
St. Francis College
In partnership with St. John's University, St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights offers a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences. The program is available through the Biology Department, and the core curriculum includes courses in cell, general and molecular biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics. Coursework specific to the major covers topics in anatomy, physiology and psychology. Students also complete 63 credits in radio logic science at Catholic Medical Center.
Stony Brook University (SUNY)
The state university in Stony Brook offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Science program that allows students to pursue a clinical concentration in medical dosimeter. The program is accredited by both the ARRT and JRCERT.
Curriculum requirements include topics in medical imaging and processing, radiation oncology physics and radiation principles. Major courses address medical terminology, clinical monitoring, professional ethics and health care issues. Students also learn how to create and implement treatment plans, develop communication skills and act in a professional manner.
SUNY Upstate Medical University
The Upstate Medical University in Syracuse is also part of the SUNY system, and the school offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Radiation Therapy. Respective admission requirements include 60 undergraduate art and science credits for the Bachelor of Science and an associate's degree and registry eligibility for the professional studies degree.
The programs are designed to prepare students for work in fast-paced and stressful environments, which can include administering daily treatments to patients for up to 7 weeks. Requirements for both degree programs are similar and include sequences in medical dosimeter, imaging and oncology, clinical simulations and 2 clinical internships that take place during the final semester. Currently, the radiation therapy programs are accredited by the AART.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, aspiring radiation therapists must have at least a 12-month certificate in radiation therapy, and an associate's or a bachelor's degree is preferred. To become a radiation therapist in New York, applicants must file an application with the New York State Department of Health (Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection) after completing an accredited program and passing a written exam. Read on to learn about several schools in New York offering training programs in radiation therapy.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Radiation Therapy Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Erie Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Radiation Therapy Technology||$5,189 in-state, $9,784 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Manhattan College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy Technology,
Post-Graduate Certificate in Radiation Therapy Technology
|Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||2-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Certificate in Radiation Therapy (undergraduate)||$5,000**|
|Nassau Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Radiation Therapy Technology||$4,854 in-state, $9,388 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|New York Methodist Hospital||2-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Certificate in Radiation Therapy (undergraduate)||$47,500 (2016-2018)***|
|St. Francis College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences||$23,800 (undergraduate)*|
|Stony Brook University||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Health Science (concentration in medical dosimeter)||$8,855 in-state, $23,935 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|SUNY Upstate Medical University||4-year, public; midsized city|| Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy Technology,
Bachelor of Professional Studies in Radiation Therapy Technology
|$7,279 in-state, $17,129 (undergraduate)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center, ***New York Methodist Hospital.