Those who are fascinated by the human body often pursue careers in the medical or scientific fields. A radiation therapy degree can be earned in four years.
A degree in this area will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to employ technological solutions to help in the fight against cancer. As a result, the aim of this piece is to compile data on the top radiation therapy programs for 2023.
The desire to help others is what sets radiation therapists apart. Given the prevalence of cancer, their expertise is always in demand.
Although there is financial and intellectual appeal in the field, students must first complete extensive training and earn relevant credentials.
Students who earn an accredited degree are eligible to sit for ARRT certification exams upon graduation.
Seeking a career in radiation therapy? Check out this comprehensive guide to the best schools for radiation therapy degrees.
The schools mentioned in this article, as well as other questions related to this syllabus, are listed in the table of contents.
Best radiation therapist schools
Since this is a professional certificate program, applicants must have earned at least an associate’s degree to be considered. The program takes 13 months to complete and prepares students for ARRT certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
These radiation therapy degree programs are convenient for working adults because they combine online instruction with hands-on clinical training.
Students and teachers can learn and collaborate in real time thanks to the synchronized classes. Students also have to participate in weekly virtual meetings that are mandatory to attend.
Students complete their clinical rotations at a radiation therapy center with which their university has a formal affiliation. Students should make preparations for a Monday through Friday unpaid internship.
The curriculum covers a total of 40 credits with a focus on radiation therapy. Some of the topics covered in these programs include therapeutic radiology, radiation physics, oncology, simulation, and treatment protocols.
Students studying radiation therapy online have access to the same excellent student resources available to their on-campus counterparts. A writing center, tutoring for online courses, and other IT services are all offered with the goal of helping students succeed in their studies.
Ivy Tech Community College
Students in this six-semester, seventy-credit program are expected to meet all academic and clinical course requirements.
Due to Ivy Tech’s selective admission policy, students who meet the prerequisites are given priority for enrollment in the Healthcare Support program. After that, they submit an additional application to the Radiation Therapy track.
Each year, enrollment is capped at a specific number of students. To be considered, applicants also need to score well on the challenging TEAS test.
Once accepted, students are responsible for paying for their own medical checkup, drug screening, and criminal record check. The nature of a radiation therapist’s work necessitates these strict prerequisites.
The completion schedules provided to students are broken down into eight-week terms. Course recommendations for each semester are available from academic advisors.
Radiation physics, pathology and treatment principles, and radiation biology and safety are just a few of the rigorous subjects offered at Ivy Tech. Since radiation therapists work with patients and other medical professionals, they must also learn about patient care and professional ethics.
Training with real-world equipment like the Virtual Linear Accelerator (VERT) is an integral part of clinical training. Clinical rotations provide students studying to become radiation therapists with hands-on experience in the planning of patient treatments.
Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology
The two-year Associate of Science (AS) in Radiation Therapy program combines traditional classroom instruction with distance learning via the internet. On the other hand, this creates a favorable environment in which students can successfully juggle their academic and extracurricular commitments.
Students learn the skills necessary to work as radiation therapists in medical settings like hospitals and cancer centers. This is available in a number of locations, such as Atlanta and Orlando in Florida.
Cambridge College is renowned for producing high pass rates on the ARRT National Registry certification exam for its graduates. For entry-level positions in radiation therapy, an associate degree and certification are sufficient.
The curriculum is designed to equip students with the theoretical understanding and hands-on experience they’ll need to succeed in their chosen careers.
Radiation therapy physics, treatment planning, and health sciences are among the topics covered. As interacting with patients is a regular part of the job, students learn to communicate effectively and build empathy.
The campuses’ amenities, such as libraries and garage parking, are conveniently located for students. There are career counseling offices on every campus where students can start making connections in the workforce right away. Students also gain hands-on experience with medical equipment through clinical rotations at area healthcare facilities.
Texas State University
Students at TSU who have earned at least semester credit hours can earn a BS in Radiation Therapy. Professional coursework developed in accordance with ASRT standards is at the heart of this JRCERT-approved program.
Freshmen and sophomores who are accepted into the program go on to complete their general education requirements in the junior year. Coursework and clinical rotations typically take up to two and a half years to complete.
The coursework consists of foundational classes meant to get students ready for the rigorous nature of radiation therapy. Students learn to perform technical tasks such as developing, implementing, and documenting radiation therapy plans for patients.
Courses in fields such as radiation physics, radiation oncology, radiologic science, and medical imaging help students acquire these abilities.
The clinical training takes place at approved local medical facilities such as hospitals and cancer centers. Clinical simulation laboratory and directed clinical learning are prerequisites for the experiences here.
Graduates are prepared for the technical, physical, and psychological aspects of the job thanks to the extensive training they received.
After passing the national certification exam, graduates will be eligible for entry-level positions. They may move up the corporate ladder more quickly thanks to their bachelor’s degree.
Virginia Western Community College (VWCC)
Roanoke, Virginia’s Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) offers an Associate of Applied Science in Radiation Oncology program that trains students to become radiation therapists. Its ARRT certification approval rate is an impressive 97%. It has a stellar reputation as one of the finest institutions of its kind.
More than 87% of VWCC’s graduates find work within six months of finishing the two-year program, according to the college.
It is not recommended that students work while attending VWCC because of the rigorous nature of the curriculum.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska, is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 20 primary care graduate schools in the country in 2018.
In order to sit for the ARRT exam, graduates of the 12-month radiation therapy program must earn either a degree in radiation science technology or a graduate certificate.
Oregon University of Science and Health (OHSU)
The University of Oregon and the University of Washington (OHSU) are both located in two of the most beautiful states in the country, and in 2018 the US News and World Report named OHSU the fifth-best primary care medical school in the country.
There is a 97% graduation rate, a 95% exam pass rate, and an 87% employment rate for students who earn their BS in radiation therapy from OHSU.
Ohio State University in Columbus
The Medical School at OSU is tied for 30th in the nation for its research. Ohio State University is home to the Wright Innovation Center for Biomedical Imaging.
The Bachelor of Science in Radiological Sciences is offered through the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in the OSU School of Medicine. The program offers electives in radiography, radiotherapy, and ultrasound.
If you already have your medical imaging certification, you can choose to continue your education by completing your degree or earning a Certificate of Study in radiological sciences.
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate medical school as number one for primary care and number 23 for research. Students with an associate degree and valid radiography certification can enroll in a 12-month Radiation Therapy certificate program through the Department of Radiation Oncology.
Radiation oncologists and biologists, medical dosimetrists, medical physicists, and registered radiation therapists will serve as your supervisors throughout your education. The UNC Hospitals and the Duke University Medical Center are both possible locations for your clinical rotations. External beam radiation therapy, image guided radiation therapy, CyberKnife Robotic Surgery, and a Brachytherapy Suite are all available at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital at the University of North Carolina. After finishing the course work, you will be prepared to take the radiation therapy section of the AART exam.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas
In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked this medical center’s medical school as the 26th best in the nation for medical research, with one nationally ranked specialty. Together with the School of Health Professions, the Department of Radiation Oncology funds a radiation therapy program and a residency for radiation oncology physicians. There are yearly openings for 4-6 students in the program.
You can learn the fundamentals of radiation physics, radiation safety, and patient anatomy while earning your Bachelor of Science or post-bachelor’s certificate in radiation therapy. You will help a group of radiation oncologists who use imaging equipment to find tumors. You will spend your junior year doing clinical rotations at University Hospital-Zale Lipshy, specifically at the Moncrief Radiation Oncology Center or the Annette Simmons Stereotactic Center. You can finish your bachelor’s degree or build on an existing one by enrolling in the radiation therapy post-baccalaureate certificate program, which lasts for 5 semesters.
University of Missouri at Columbia
This is a BHS degree, but it specializes in the clinical and diagnostic aspects of health care. The JRCERT (Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology) has given their stamp of approval to this course of study.
Radiation therapy programs typically require students to complete 120 credit hours, including a variety of prerequisite courses in areas like mathematics, English, chemistry, biology, statistics, and more. You’ll take classes like “Radiography Procedures,” “Imaging Modalities,” “Basic Radiographic Skills,” “Principles in Radiographic Exposure,” “Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” “Computed Tomography,” “Radiation Safety and Biology,” and “Clinical Experience” as part of your major. After graduating, you can take the ARRT exam to become certified as a radiologic technologist in the United States.
This is a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy program with select enrollment. Baker’s program has been granted accreditation by the JRCERT (Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology).
A total of 120 credits are needed to earn the degree, some of which must be taken outside of the Radiation Therapy major. Science, mathematics, and various other disciplines will be part of your academic experience. Other courses include Radiation Therapy Physics, Dosimetry, Quality Management, and Operational Issues in Radiation Therapy. You will observe simulations, patient care, block marking, and treatments during your three required clinical experiences, as is standard in RT programs.
To participate, you’ll have to compete with others. The application fee is $30 (nonrefundable), official transcripts are required, and standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) are recommended but not required.
Wayne State University
Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, collaborates with Henry Ford Hospital to provide a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology.
General education requirements for this bachelor’s degree include studies in diversity, equity, and inclusion; global learning; civic literacy; and social inquiry. Anatomy and human physiology are two examples of mandatory pre-requisite science courses. The curriculum for this major includes courses in Radiology, Radiology Pathology, Radiology Circuitry, Radiology, and Radiology Pharmacology. You’ll also get hands-on experience treating actual patients under the supervision of a seasoned Radiology Technician as part of your formal training.
To be eligible for admission to this program, you must have earned at least a 2.8 GPA in your prerequisite and general education coursework totaling at least 60 credits. Wayne State University, like many other universities, no longer requires applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process. An application, academic reference, transcripts, etc. will be required.
What exactly does a Radiation Therapist do?
Radiation therapists are doctors who specialize in treating patients with cancer and other diseases through the use of radiation therapy. They should also locate the tumor and describe available treatment options.
Radiation therapists aren’t the only ones who need to be shielded from harm, though; patients do, too. You will also be responsible for operating the machinery used in radiation therapy, which delivers the radiation used to treat cancerous tumors. The administration of radiation therapy calls for pinpoint accuracy.
You’ll also have to keep an eye on your patients’ responses and regularly update patient records. Patients’ levels of comfort are an additional responsibility of radiation therapists.
The role of the certified Radiation Therapist is often that of program manager and educator.
Where does a Radiation Therapist work?
Certified radiation therapists collaborate extensively with oncology physicians, nurses, and other specialists. Radiation therapists typically work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, cancer centers, outpatient clinics, and physicians’ offices to treat patients with radiation. Nearly every sizable city has at least one cancer hospital.
What Are The Working Conditions For A Radiation Therapist?
Radiation therapists help people who are getting radiation therapy to shrink or get rid of cancerous tumors.
As a result, you can expect to devote some of your appointments to educating patients who are curious about this treatment but have never tried it before.
The treatment area must be pinpointed, and the equipment must be adjusted accordingly, before any work can begin. Due to the need for meticulous attention to detail, this kind of work can be quite demanding.
The knowledge that they are assisting patients during trying times is rewarding for radiotherapists, however. Due to the potential for accidental radiation exposure in this role, you will receive instruction in how to keep patients safe.
Can I become a Radiotin Therapist with an associate degree?
Although an associate degree is sufficient for entry into the field of radiation therapy, many employers seek out candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. The majority of radiation therapists have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in the field.
Schools for radiation therapists typically offer courses in radiation therapy and radiation oncology. Some universities and colleges provide courses that can be taken online and finished at a later time.
Radiation therapy education is available at the certificate, associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree levels for those interested in entering the field.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Virginia Western Community College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are just a few of the schools that feature approved radiation therapy degree plans.