Oncology Degree Programs

Oncology related fields can be studied through degree programs at the associate's and bachelor's levels. Learn more about these degree programs and the oncology coursework they contain. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Oncology Degree Programs Are Available?

Oncology involves the study and treatment of cancer. If you're interested in becoming an oncologist, you'll need to complete a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program followed by a 3-4 year residency in a hospital's oncology center. The most common available degrees in this subject are offered through associate's and bachelor's programs in radiation therapy.

Some schools may expect you to complete an associate's program in radiation therapy before starting a bachelor's program. Associate's programs generally take two years to complete. Before beginning an associate's or bachelor's program, some schools recommend that you obtain high school-level experience in algebra, physics, chemistry and biology.

Degree Programs Associate's and bachelor's levels, usually in radiation therapy
Job Skills Delivering radiation treatment, working with patients, pathology, anatomy, medical imaging and chemistry
Online Availability Online programs are rare, but may be available through a bachelor of health science in medical imaging
Median Salary (2014) $80,220 per year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Skills Will I Gain?

Undergraduate programs in radiation therapy show you how to deliver radiation treatment to patients and detect cancerous areas in patient X-rays. You'll also learn how to work with a variety of patients suffering from different stages of illness. Programs typically involve multiple clinical experiences at a medical center to give you hands-on practice assisting physicians and observing other radiation therapists. Common topics that you'll cover during both an associate's and bachelor's degree program include:

  • Radiation oncology
  • Patient care
  • Medical imaging
  • Human anatomy
  • Chemistry lab
  • Pathology

Can I Take It Online?

Online undergraduate radiation therapy programs are rare, but you can enroll in an online Bachelor of Health Science in Medical Imaging program. You might need to be a registered radiologic technologist in order to qualify; a criminal background check may also be needed.

Coursework can be completed online, but in-person clinical practicums are required. You also may be required to attend an on-campus orientation before starting your program. Technical requirements usually include a computer with high-speed Internet, headphones, speakers and a printer.

How Do I Become a Radiation Therapist?

With your associate's or bachelor's degree, you might find work at a hospital or health clinic as a radiation therapist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many states require radiation therapists to obtain licensure; professional certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is often one way of meeting this requirement (www.bls.gov).

To earn ARRT certification, you'll need to graduate from an accredited postsecondary program, acquire clinical experience hours, provide a clean criminal record and successfully complete the radiation therapy certification exam (www.arrt.org). According to the BLS, radiation therapists earned a median annual salary of $80,220 in 2014.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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