Radiation Therapy Majors

Radiation therapy is offered at the bachelor's degree level for those interested in a career of clinical treatment with radiation. Read on to learn about common classes, online availability, certification requirements, and the job outlook for radiation therapists. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Classes Will I Take for A Bachelor's Degree Program in Radiation Therapy?

To complete a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Radiation Therapy, you will first complete foundational coursework in math and science. This commonly includes classes in general and organic chemistry, biology, physics and calculus. You will also study anatomy, physiology and medical terminology.

Your radiation therapy coursework will cover many aspects of how radiation is used as a treatment tool. You will learn about safety protocols that are followed when using radiation, as well as basic operational procedures. Other courses will cover the physics of radiation and how it works to fight cancerous cells. While much of your initial coursework will be lecture and lab-based, you will begin to participate in clinical training at an affiliated hospital or medical center as your knowledge increases. This will require training in developing treatment plans and providing patient care.

Common Courses Physics of radiation, organic chemistry, biology, anatomy, radiation treatment methods
Online Availability Some schools offer hybrid programs in the field
Certification ARRT certification may be required for state licensure
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 14% growth* (for radiation therapists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Is This Degree Program Online?

Due to the clinical requirements of a radiation therapy major, you will not be able to complete your degree entirely online. However, many schools offer some coursework through online study. If you choose to take some courses for your major online, check to be sure that the credits you earn are transferrable to the school at which you will complete your major. It will be important to verify that the online and on-campus programs are both accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

What Certification Will I Need?

Most states required you to earn a state license in order to work as a radiation therapist. Though requirements vary by state, certification through the ARRT is often required. Regardless of state requirements, many employers will require ARRT certification. You can obtain certification after completing a bachelor's degree program in radiation therapy and passing an examination. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the field with regards to topics ranging from treatment planning to highly specific clinical practices.

What Is the Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 16,000 radiation therapists were employed in 2014 (www.bls.gov). Most jobs that you may find will be in hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians' offices. Between 2014 and 2024, employment in radiation therapy is expected to grow 14%, providing you with strong opportunities relative to other fields. You can expect growth due to both overall expansion of the field and the need to fill positions left open by retiring workers.

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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  • The George Washington University

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