California Radiology Schools with Course and Program Summaries

Jul 29, 2019

California has 36 institutions that offer radiologic technology programs. Learn about the certificate and degree programs, tuition info and program options for the nine largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

The radiologic technology programs offered in California typically prepare students for careers as radiologic technologists. Most of these programs are offered at 2-year colleges and end in either a certificate or an associate's degree. Some of these programs also prepare students to take both state and national exams. Programs in radiology may have requirements for admission, such as holding a degree. Students will gain hands-on experience through clinicals in addition to classroom work. Some programs may only offer classes during the day.

California State University Northridge

The Northridge campus of this university offers students certificate programs and a bachelor's degree program in radiologic sciences. Students may acquire certificates in a range of radiology fields, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and cardiovascular imaging. Courses in these certificate programs may be applied toward obtaining a bachelor's degree in radiologic sciences. Students pursuing the bachelor's degree are required to complete an internship, as well as a battery of courses in topics such as pathophysiology, radiologic physics, biostatistics and epidemiology. Graduates of both the bachelor's degree program and clinical certificate programs will be prepared to sit for the national and state licensing exams.

El Camino Community College District

Located in Torrance, El Camino College has a 7-semester associate's degree program in radiologic technology, as well as a certificate in the field. Both programs prepare students to complete the national certifying exam and to obtain state licensing. Although graduates of this program may sit for the permit licensing exam in fluoroscopy, the program doesn't offer fluoroscopy as a specialized course.

Fresno City College

An associate's degree program in radiologic technology is available at this Fresno college. Student development in the program is tracked with an ongoing assessment system that evaluates for factors such as students' abilities to correctly apply positioning skills, employ appropriate radiation protection and think critically. Students may study areas such as advanced positioning, quality assurance, radiation biology and pathology. Graduates of this program will be eligible to sit for the state licensing and national certifying exams.

Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College, in Long Beach, offers both associate's degree and certificate programs in radiologic technology. The associate's degree program comprises two years of study in areas such as fluroscope procedures, clinical radiology, anatomy and radiological physics. Students will receive clinical training at local hospitals in the area that serve as extension campuses. Students enrolled in the certificate programs typically take similar core courses as those enrolled in the associate's degree program. In addition to the certificate program in medical imaging, Long Beach also offers computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging certificate programs.

Mt. San Antonio College

Based in Walnut, this college offers an associate's degree program in radiologic technology. Course topics may include medical terminology, radiographic positioning, radiologic nursing procedures and fluoroscopy. Students may supplement their conventional coursework with radiologic technology seminars and clinical training in hospitals. Not only have students been able to obtain employment within 6 months of graduation, but the program boasts a 92 percent passing rate of its graduates who took the ARRT examination. This 26-month program is comprised of both summer and winter sessions and only offers daytime courses.

Orange Coast College

This Costa Mesa college has an associate's degree program in radiologic technology that allows graduates to transfer their completed credits to California State University Northridge's bachelor's degree program. Students in the associate's program may study areas such as digital imaging, radiographic positioning, physics and patient care. Students typically take clinical labs in each of their four semesters. Once students have completed this program, they are eligible to sit for state and national certifying exams.

Pasadena City College

The 2-year radiologic program at this Pasadena school requires prerequisites such as algebra, chemistry, medical terminology and physiology. The associate's degree program includes the study of topics such as radiologic physics, radiographic exposure, anatomy and radiographic procedures. They'll supplement their classroom studies with clinical training. Pasadena City College also offers a certificate program in radiologic technology that includes clinical work, but also addresses basic radiology technology practices, radiographic venipuncture for technologists and radiographic positioning. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the national certifying exam.

San Diego Mesa College

This San Diego-based college offers both an associate's degree and certificate in radiologic technology. Students in both programs receive training in image processing, radiographic procedures, patient care and radiographic equipment operation. Mesa College requires students to have obtained at least an associate's degree before applying to either program in radiologic technology, since this is needed for national certification. Students in both the certificate and associate's degree programs study the same curriculum, which includes areas such as radiation biology, radiographic positioning, fluoroscopy and physics.

Santa Rosa Junior College

A certificate and associate's degree in radiologic technology are available at this college situated in Santa Rosa. Both programs combine conventional coursework and clinical training, but a course in registry exam review is also included in the curriculum. Common classes explore computer literacy, medical imaging, typing, radiation protection, special modalities and radiation physics.

Career Requirements

In order to practice as technologists, individuals must first successfully complete an accredited program and then pass an exam administered either by the state or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). California requires all prospective technologists to pass the general exam, which covers three sections that include diagnostic, therapeutic and mammographic CRT. Students must also pass the fluoroscopy examination in order to receive state licensure.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Radiology Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
California State University Northridge 4-year, public; large city Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate,
Computed Tomography Certificate,
Cardiovascular Imaging,
Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences
$6,893 (in-state)
$18,773 (out-of-state)
El Camino Community College District 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Radiologic Technology
$1,144 (in-state)
$6,520 (out-of-state)
Fresno City College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology $1,304 (in-state)
$7,496 (out-of-state)
Long Beach City College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Achievement in Diagnostic Medical Imaging,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Computed Tomography,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist,
Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology
$1,174 (in-state)
$7,750 (out-of-state)
Mt. San Antonio College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology $1,350 (in-state)
$9,414 (out-of-state)
Orange Coast College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology $1,186 (in-state)
$7,978 (out-of-state)
Pasadena City College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology,
Certificate of Achievement in Radiologic Technology
$1,166 (in-state)
$7,548 (out-of-state)
San Diego Mesa College 4-year, public; large city Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology,
Certificate of Achievement in Radiologic Technology
$1,144 (in-state)
$7,024 (out-of-state)
Santa Rosa Junior College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology,
Certificate of Achievement in Radiologic Technology
$1,328 (in-state)
$8,174 (out-of-state)

Source: *NCES Navigator

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