Texas has more than a few schools that offer programs for radiation therapists. Such programs lead to the award of certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees. The certificate programs are designed for either currently registered radiologists or those holding a bachelor's degree in a medically-related field, depending on the school. All radiation therapy programs include practicum or clinical requirements that allow students to interact with real patients under supervision.
Amarillo College offers an associate's degree in radiation therapy. The 24-month program consists of primarily day courses, as well as 1,500 hours of clinical training. Students complete their coursework on campus and participate in five clinical practicum experiences throughout the program. Coursework examines medical terminology, anatomy, technical procedures and oncology. This school is one of the few campuses in the country that has an energized lab to practice radiation techniques. This program also is open to radiographers and nurses, who can complete the program in 16 months.
Galveston College offers an associate's degree in radiation therapy, as well as a certificate program for registered radiographers. Within the programs, students engage in classroom instruction and clinical practicum experiences. The certificate program consists of 34 credit hours, and the associate's program requires 71 credit hours. The associate's degree program is the oldest in the state of Texas and is accredited by JRCERT. The programs prepare students for national certification, and the school boasts a national credential exam pass rate of 96.7%.
Texas State University - San Marcos
Texas State University - San Marcos offers a bachelor's degree in radiation therapy through its College of Health Professions. Within the JRCERT-accredited program, students complete coursework in biology, medical terminology, health law, radiation oncology and radiobiology. The program also features simulation labs and directed clinical experiences. Graduates are prepared to complete the ARRT national certification exam. Additionally, the school has cooperative relationships with 16 cancer centers for clinical education and a dedicated dosimetry and treatment planning computer lab.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a bachelor's degree in radiation therapy through its School of Health Professions. Students are required to complete didactic classes in health care ethics, dosimetry and treatment planning, human pathology, clinical radiation oncology and digital imaging, which might be offered in an audio-video conference format. The program includes clinical experiences, where students gain hands-on training in therapeutic treatment, treatment planning and simulation. The program prepares students for ARRT certification. Additionally, students have access to a state-of-the-art oncology center and numerous medical conferences.
University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center
The School of Health Professions at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in radiation therapy. This is a full-time, 21-month program that offers weekday-only classes. The program includes 65 program hours and covers oncology nursing, medical imaging and ethical issues in radiation therapy. Students complete four clinical education experiences during normal weekday business hours. Graduates should have the skills and knowledge to pass the ARRT certification exam in radiation therapy.
Although not all medical radiologic technologists are required to be certified, all technicians must complete training based on a curriculum outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, and non-certified technicians are required to be registered by the state.
All programs are recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), and all programs but one are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). It's important to note that as of 2015, all candidates seeking certification from ARRT are required to have an associate's or bachelor's degree.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Radiation Therapy Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (per year, 2018-2019)|
|Amarillo College||Two-year, public; midsize city||Associate in Applied Science in Radiation Therapy||$2,136 in-district; $3,168 in-state; $4,704 out-of-state*|
|Galveston College||Two-year, public; fringe town|| Associate of Applied Science in Radiation Therapy Technology,
Radiation Therapy Technology Certificate
|$2,050 in-district; $2,650 in-state; $4,600 out-of-state*|
|Texas State University - San Marcos||Four-year, public; small suburb||Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy||$10,280 in-state; $21,900 out-of-state*|
|The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center||Four-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy||$5,474 in-state; $22,904 out-of-state*|
|UT Southwestern Medical Center||Four-year, public; large city||Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Radiation Therapy||$13,972 in-state; $33,090 out-of-state (first year)**|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, ** UT Southwestern Medical Center