How Can I Learn Radiation Science?
Individuals who want to study radiation science can find degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Find out more about the educational opportunities in this field.
Radiation Science Educational Options
The most common educational option for students who want to learn about radiation science is a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Radiation Science, Radiologic Sciences, or Radiation Science Technology. Another degree option at this level is the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Radiation and Imaging Sciences. Although uncommon, there are also Associate of Science (AS) programs in medical radiography. For more those who are interested in more advanced studies in the field, it is also possible to earn a Master of Science (MS) in Radiation Sciences.
Important Information About Radiation Science Education
|Prerequisites||Some programs are intended for imaging professionals and require applicants to already hold licensure or certification; other programs have more typical prerequisites like a high school diploma for undergraduate programs and a bachelor's degree for graduate programs|
|Online Availability||Courses may be offered online and/or on campus, depending on the program|
|Possible Careers||Radiation therapist, MRI technologist, CT technologist, CVI technologist, DMS technologist|
|Continuing Education||Required to maintain licensure or certification|
|Median Salary (2018)||$59,520 (for radiologic technologists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||12% (for radiologic technologists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science
In BS in Radiation Science programs, students learn about the use of radiation-based technology to diagnose and treat disease. They gain familiarity with x-ray, CT, MRI, radiation therapy and ultrasound equipment. Some programs allow students to specialize in a particular area of radiation science, such as diagnostic sonography, cardiac sonography, special imaging (CT/MRI), cardiovascular imaging, radiation therapy, or dosimetry. Other topics of study include health research and writing, legal and economic aspects of healthcare, leadership strategies, and radiation-related ethics. Some programs require students to complete an internship and/or capstone course. In addition, students must take general courses in the liberal arts and sciences.
Associate of Science in Medical Radiography
AS in Medical Radiography programs are shorter and less extensive than BS programs, as they are designed to be completed in two years or less of full-time study. Students learn to effectively provide patient care through both classroom coursework and on-site clinical experience. They also take general education classes.
Master of Science in Radiation Sciences
Some two-year master's degree programs in radiation sciences focus heavily on advanced topics in medical physics and extensive clinical practice, while others prepare students for management and leadership positions in the field. Interested students may choose between them based on their previous experience and career goals.
To work in the field of radiation science, individuals must be licensed or certified. Earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiation sciences from an accredited institution provides the necessary background. From there, students must pass the certification exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).