Radiography Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Radiography programs train students in the use of diagnostic imaging technologies such as x-ray, computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in radiography are available throughout the U.S.

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Students who are interested in radiography can find undergraduate degree and certificate programs at teaching hospitals, technical schools, community colleges or universities. Those who earn bachelor's degrees are qualified to apply to medical school in the future.

Top 10 Medical Schools with Radiology Programs

According to U.S. News and World Report, these are the top ten medical schools in the country as of 2016, and each has a radiology department:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, public $33,519 in-state, $63,954 out-of-state
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, public $21,837 in-state, $48,716 out-of-state
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, public $32,751 in-state, $44,996 out-of-state
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, public $32,428 in-state, $50,854 out-of-state
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE 4-year, public $28,482 in-state, $70,850 out-of-state
Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR 4-year, public $39,196 in-state, $55,740 out-of-state
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, public $31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, private $53,575
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX 4-year, private $19,650
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 4-year, public $37,872 in-state, $51,510 out-of-state

Source: U.S. News and World Report

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following before choosing a program:

  • Applicants may look for schools that prepare students for certification and registration through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
  • Students are encouraged to consider the technology and facilities available, as familiarity with x-ray, CT and MRI machines is typically important for employment.
  • Students who want to specialize their training may look for schools that provide concentration options, which give students the chance to work with mammography technology or in a neurosurgery or organ transplant setting.
  • Students may want to find out if the school is affiliated with area hospitals because it typically allows for more clinical experience opportunities.

Certificate in Radiography

Certificate programs in radiography can typically be completed in approximately 24 months and qualify students to become certified by the ARRT as well as to seek entry-level employment. Clinical experiences are commonly required and extensive.

Associate Degree in Radiography

Associate degree programs in radiography are designed to be completed as 2-year programs and also to qualify students for certification and employment. General education courses are typically required, along with clinical experiences.

Bachelor's Degree in Radiography

Bachelor's degrees can typically be completed as 4-year programs and could lead to employment, certification and graduate-level radiography studies. Clinical experiences, including an internship, may be required. Besides general education courses, curricula may include coursework in radiation biology and safety.

Students who are interested in radiography can find accredited institutions that prepare for entry-level jobs through both general and specialized studies. In the future, students who are interested in this subject may pursue a higher level degree, such as an M.D.

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