Schools for Aspiring Radiation Therapy Technicians: How to Choose

Nov 29, 2017

Associate and bachelor's degree programs are available in the field of radiation therapy. Certificate programs are offered to licensed and registered radiation technologists.

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Radiation therapists treat cancer patients under the direction of an oncologist. Radiation therapy technology programs can be taken at the certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree levels through the health science departments of community colleges, technical institutes and universities.

10 Radiation Therapy Schools

These accredited schools offer radiation therapy programs at the bachelor's degree level.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Arkansas State University - Main Campus Jonesboro, AR 4-year, public Bachelor's $8,050 in-state, $14,050 out-of-state
Armstrong State University Savannah, GA 4-year, public Bachelor's $5,360 in-state, $15,616 out-of-state
Augusta University Augusta, GA 4-year, public Bachelor's $8,282 in-state, $22,990 out-of-state
Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis 4-year, public Bachelor's $9,056 in-state, $29,774 out-of-state
Kent State University at Salem Salem, OH 4-year, primarily associates, public Bachelor's $5,664 in-state, $13,864 out-of-state
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH 4-year, public Bachelor's $10,037 in-state, $27,365 out-of-state
Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR 4-year, public Bachelor's $18,159 in-state, $28,779 out-of-state
University of Michigan - Flint Flint, MI 4-year, public Bachelor's $9,936 in-state, $19,392 out-of-state
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX 4-year, public Bachelor's $5,337 in-state, $24,027 out-of-state
University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK 4-year, public Bachelor's $6,501 in-state, $19,887 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Prospective students may want to consider the following:

  • Students should ensure that a program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), which prepares graduates for radiation therapy certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
  • Research how many graduates from the school's program pass the ARRT radiation therapy credentialing exam.
  • Clinical experience that is included as part of the curriculum provides valuable hands-on experience, and students should make sure they can fulfill the clinical experience requirements of the programs they are considering.
  • Some radiation therapy programs include more instruction on psychology, sociology, patient care and bedside manner than others, so students should ensure that the desired program includes the kind of patient care training they feel they need.

Certificate in Radiation Therapy

Radiation technologists are not radiation therapists; technologists perform x-rays, electrocardiograms and other tests to diagnose illnesses. To be able to administer treatments, those who are already technologists must complete a therapist training program. Radiation therapy certificate programs provide licensed radiation technologists with instruction in nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. Participants complete clinical rotations under the supervision of oncologists at local hospitals.

Associate of Science in Radiation Therapy

In these 2-year programs, students learn how to participate in treatment plans, analyze radiographic tests, administer treatment and care for patients.

Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy

This program requires four years of study comprising general education and radiation therapy courses. Students are also required to complete several internships. Some programs may also focus on health care administration, potentially preparing graduates to assume leadership positions.

Prospective radiation therapy students should look for accredited schools with high graduate pass rates on certification exams. Other considerations include internship settings and the availability of specializations.

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