Radiological sciences students can study legal and ethical issues surrounding radiology. They also train in project management and decision making, potentially preparing them for administrative positions in the field. Some radiological science programs have separate tracks with fewer class sessions for students who already have experience working as radiation technicians.
Programs are usually four years in length and depending on the type of program, a portion of this time may be spent at an offsite radiology education center. Students may also be expected to participate in clinical exposure experiences, such as practicums or fieldwork. Applicants need a high school diploma, GED or associate degree in radiological science.
Bachelor's Degree in Radiological Sciences
Students generally complete 120-134 semester credits to fulfill degree requirements. In addition to program coursework, students must typically complete university graduation requirements, including classes in liberal arts, such as English, history, math, science, sociology, psychology, and government. Students may also be required to perform intensive research. Typical classes within the program could include the following:
- Patient professional interaction
- Radiographic technique
- Physics of radiation protection
- Procedures in imaging
- Clinical training
- Anatomy and radiation biology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates from this program are typically qualified to work as imaging or radiologic techs in hospitals, outpatient centers, imaging centers and clinics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists earned an average salary of $58,520 as of May 2015, while diagnostic medical sonographers earned an average of $70,880. For the 2014-2024 time period, employment of radiologic technologists is expected to increase by 9%, and diagnostic medical sonographers could experience growth of 26%.
Some students may progress beyond the level of technician and become a part of healthcare administration. Additional job titles could include these:
- Radiology informatics specialist
- Director of radiology
- Imaging equipment sales
- Radiology training administrator
Graduates must comply with state regulations to obtain and maintain their certification or license. Those interested in keeping up to date with the latest radiology methods and technology can enroll in refresher courses, such as those offered by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Graduates can also attend specialized certification courses for training in subsets of radiology, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiography and diagnostic sonography. For graduates who would like to pursue advanced degrees, a master's degree program in radiology offers the opportunity to focus on research and development. Students can explore new methods of radiology both at a diagnostic and therapeutic level.
A bachelor's degree program in radiological science combines class work and hands-on clinical work to prepare students for state certification. Graduates can find work as technicians and healthcare administrators, or they can pursue higher education.