Diagnostic Radiology Degree Programs and Courses

Diagnostic radiology helps physicians to discover health problems in a patient's body using x-rays. Learn about degree, certification and licensing requirements, and get career info for radiologic technicians. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A career in diagnostic radiology includes performing general x-rays or creating specialized images using MRI or computed tomography machines. You should choose a program that's accredited in order to qualify for certification and licensure in states that regulate radiology practice.

Degrees Associate of Applied Science in Radiology Technology, Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology, Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Imaging
Diploma/Certificates Diploma in Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Certificate in Radiology or Radiography
Courses Imaging technology, radiographic physics, radiological protection, radiographic exposure, radiographic positioning, radiation biology, sectional anatomy

What Is Diagnostic Radiology?

Diagnostic radiology is a technical skill where a medical professional takes radiological images of a patient's body tissue. Common methods a technician may use include x-rays, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. There are also specialized fields within radiology that focus on particular body systems or radiology instruments, such as mammograms. Diagnostic radiology professionals are technicians or technologists who help patients receive radiological imaging and then process the data for a physician to view.

What Kind of Degree Programs Are Available?

Programs can be offered as a certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree, with associate degree programs being the most commonly offered. Programs are typically available under the titles of radiography, radiologic technology or diagnostic medical imaging. Each state regulates radiologic technologists differently, but in most cases, professionals must be licensed. Some states require technologists to earn certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which requires completing a postsecondary program that the ARRT has approved.

What Courses Will I Take?

Most radiology programs are at least two years in length. Certificate programs typically remain focused on coursework directly relevant to diagnostic radiology, while associate and bachelor's degree programs commonly include general education requirements. Bachelor's degree programs may incorporate studies in:

  • Health science
  • Epidemiology
  • Health administration
  • X-ray equipment
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Patient care
  • Medical ethics

What Can I Expect from a Career in this Field?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists earned a median annual salary of $58,440 as of May 2017. In 2016, the BLS reported that 241,700 radiologic and MRI technologists worked in the field. This number is expected to increase by 13% through 2026.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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