Radiation Therapist Schools

For those who are fascinated with the inner workings of the human body, there are a variety of career options in healthcare and research to consider. One of the better-paying paths may be a two- or four-year degree from a top radiation therapy school. With an average salary of $85,190 per year, radiation therapy is a relatively lucrative profession in the U.S., and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2017) projects that jobs in this field will grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026 — faster than the national average projected for all occupations.

Although it is a potentially lucrative and captivating field, the educational and certification requirements are significant. Students who complete a program that qualifies them for certification through the American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT) must have completed at minimum an associate’s degree in any field and an educational program in radiation therapy.

Fortunately, there are several high-quality, low-tuition schools that provide flexible ways to complete these requirements so that every student should be able to find a school to fit their needs and budget.

Radiation Therapist fast facts
Projected Jobs Created2,400
Projected Job Growth13%
Low Salary$55,530
Average Salary (Median)$85,190
High Salary$123,020
Entry-Level EDU Associate's Degree
Sourced from BLS, June 2018

Accredited Radiation Therapy Programs

In order to become a radiation therapist, students must complete a program at an accredited school. While certificate programs were common in the past, as of January 1, 2015, the ARRT, the primary licensing body for radiation therapists, requires that candidates have completed at least an associate degree to qualify for licensure. In addition to associate of applied science (AAS) degrees, students can pursue bachelor’s of science (BS) or post-baccalaureate specializations in radiation therapy.

Following is a sampling of esteemed, accredited programs in radiation therapy:

  • Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) : At VWCC, located in Roanoke, Virginia, the radiation oncology AAS degree prepares students to perform the tasks of a radiation therapist and has an impressive ARRT certification pass rate of 97 percent. In addition, VWCC reports that over 87 percent of their graduates are employed within six months of completing the two-year program. The curriculum at VWCC is considered intense and students are therefore discouranged from working while attending..

  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC) – Named recently as one of the top 30 national universities by the U.S. News and World Report (2018), UNC, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has a long-established tradition of excellence in healthcare education. In order to be eligible for the UNC program, applicants must have already earned (or be in the process of earning) a minimum of an associate’s degree and must be certified in radiography prior to entering the program. The 12-month, post-baccalaureate certificate program qualifies students to sit for the ARRT’s national board certification exam in radiation therapy. This program also has an impressive post-graduation employment rate of 100 percent.

  • University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) – The U.S. News and World Report named UNMC, located in Omaha, Nebraska, as one of the top 20 primary care graduate schools in the nation (2018). Students who complete the 12-month radiation therapy program can choose to earn either a BS in radiation science technology or a post-baccalaureate certificate, both of which qualify them to sit for the ARRT exam.

  • University of Vermont (UV) – UV, located in Burlington, Vermont, is one of the most cost-effective radiation therapy programs at less than $16,000 annually (in-state tuition). The university’s BS degree program provides the perfect career springboard, as their average job-placement rate for the last five years sits at 100 percent. As an investment, this is one of the lowest-cost, highest-yield options when it comes to radiation therapy programs.

  • Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) – Besides being placed in one of the most beautiful parts of the country (with campuses throughout Oregon and Washington state) OHSU school was ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as being the fifth best Primary Care Medical School in the Nation (2018). The OHSU BS in radiation therapy from OHSU boasts a 97 percent degree completion rate, a 95 percent exam pass rate, and an 87 percent job placement rate.

List of Radiation Therapist Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads (2018)
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida www.keiseruniversity.edu 339
West Coast Ultrasound Institute Beverly Hills California wcui.edu 127
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale Illinois www.siu.edu 124
Valencia College Orlando Florida valenciacollege.edu 103
Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland Ohio www.tri-c.edu 92
CUNY New York City College of Technology Brooklyn New York www.citytech.cuny.edu 83
Morehead State University Morehead Kentucky www.moreheadstate.edu 82
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn Illinois www.cod.edu 78
Baker College Flint Michigan www.baker.edu 66
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock Arkansas www.uams.edu 58
Niagara County Community College Sanborn New York www.niagaracc.suny.edu 55
Greenville Technical College Greenville South Carolina www.gvltec.edu 54
Lone Star College System The Woodlands Texas www.lonestar.edu 52
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg Pennsylvania www.bloomu.edu 50
Kent State University at Salem Salem Ohio www.kent.edu/columbiana 49
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Wisconsin www.uwlax.edu 47
Bunker Hill Community College Boston Massachusetts www.bhcc.mass.edu 46
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Aguadilla Aguadilla Puerto Rico aguadilla.inter.edu 46
Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga Tennessee www.chattanoogastate.edu 44
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Barranquitas Barranquitas Puerto Rico www.br.inter.edu 43
University of Hartford West Hartford Connecticut www.hartford.edu 43
Clarkson College Omaha Nebraska www.clarksoncollege.edu 42
Hillsborough Community College Tampa Florida www.hccfl.edu 42
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Carolina Campus Carolina Puerto Rico une.suagm.edu 42
University of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas Nevada www.unlv.edu 42
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida www.fscj.edu 41
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus Ohio www.osu.edu 40
Ferris State University Big Rapids Michigan www.ferris.edu 39
Broward College Fort Lauderdale Florida www.broward.edu 38
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana www.iupui.edu 38
Nassau Community College Garden City New York www.ncc.edu 38
Miami Dade College Miami Florida www.mdc.edu 37
CUNY Bronx Community College Bronx New York www.bcc.cuny.edu 36
Fort Hays State University Hays Kansas www.fhsu.edu 36
Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Florida www.palmbeachstate.edu 36
Loma Linda University Loma Linda California home.llu.edu 35
Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion Pennsylvania www.clarion.edu 34
Community College of Baltimore County Baltimore Maryland www.ccbcmd.edu 34
Roane State Community College Harriman Tennessee www.roanestate.edu 33
Bellevue College Bellevue Washington bellevuecollege.edu 32
Monroe Community College Rochester New York www.monroecc.edu 32
College of Lake County Grayslake Illinois www.clcillinois.edu 31
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City Oklahoma ouhsc.edu 31
Bergen Community College Paramus New Jersey www.bergen.edu 30
Central California School of Continuing Education San Luis Obispo California ccsce.org 29
University of Akron Main Campus Akron Ohio www.uakron.edu 29
Carrington College-Spokane Spokane Washington carrington.edu 28
Owens Community College Perrysburg Ohio www.owens.edu 28
Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology Delray Beach Florida www.cambridgehealth.edu 27
CUNY LaGuardia Community College Long Island City New York www.lagcc.cuny.edu 26
Hagerstown Community College Hagerstown Maryland www.hagerstowncc.edu 26
Portland Community College Portland Oregon www.pcc.edu 26
St Catherine University Saint Paul Minnesota www.stkate.edu 26
Middlesex County College Edison New Jersey www.middlesexcc.edu 25
Quinnipiac University Hamden Connecticut www.qu.edu 25
SUNY Westchester Community College Valhalla New York www.sunywcc.edu 25
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College Blue Ash Ohio www.ucblueash.edu 25
Columbus State Community College Columbus Ohio www.cscc.edu 24
CUNY Hostos Community College Bronx New York www.hostos.cuny.edu 24
Emory University Atlanta Georgia www.emory.edu 24
Volunteer State Community College Gallatin Tennessee www.volstate.edu 24
Avila University Kansas City Missouri www.avila.edu 23
Brookdale Community College Lincroft New Jersey www.brookdalecc.edu 23
Florida SouthWestern State College Fort Myers Florida www.fsw.edu 23
Long Island University Brookville New York liu.edu/cwpost 23
Massasoit Community College Brockton Massachusetts www.massasoit.edu 23
Misericordia University Dallas Pennsylvania www.misericordia.edu 23
Prince George's Community College Largo Maryland www.pgcc.edu 23
Southeast Community College Area Lincoln Nebraska www.southeast.edu 23
Weber State University Ogden Utah www.weber.edu 23
Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro Arkansas www.astate.edu 22
Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor Michigan www.wccnet.edu 22
York Technical College Rock Hill South Carolina www.yorktech.edu 22
Columbia State Community College Columbia Tennessee www.columbiastate.edu 21
Hudson Valley Community College Troy New York www.hvcc.edu 21
Naugatuck Valley Community College Waterbury Connecticut www.nv.edu 21
SUNY Broome Community College Binghamton New York www.sunybroome.edu 21
Trident Technical College Charleston South Carolina www.tridenttech.edu 21
Bellingham Technical College Bellingham Washington www.btc.edu 20
Idaho State University Pocatello Idaho www.isu.edu 20
Madison Area Technical College Madison Wisconsin madisoncollege.edu 20
Mercer County Community College West Windsor New Jersey www.mccc.edu 20
Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City Kansas City Missouri www.mcckc.edu 20
Midlands Technical College West Columbia South Carolina www.midlandstech.edu 20
Mohawk Valley Community College Utica New York www.mvcc.edu 20
New Mexico State University-Dona Ana Las Cruces New Mexico dacc.nmsu.edu 20
Polk State College Winter Haven Florida www.polk.edu 20
Regis College Weston Massachusetts www.regiscollege.edu 20
SUNY Downstate Medical Center Brooklyn New York www.downstate.edu 20
Wayne State University Detroit Michigan www.wayne.edu 20
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Ponce Mercedita Puerto Rico ponce.inter.edu 19
Montgomery College Rockville Maryland www.montgomerycollege.edu 19
Western Oklahoma State College Altus Oklahoma www.wosc.edu 19
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold Maryland www.aacc.edu 18
Howard Community College Columbia Maryland www.howardcc.edu 18
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill Schuylkill Haven Pennsylvania schuylkill.psu.edu 18
Rowan College at Burlington County Mount Laurel New Jersey www.rcbc.edu 18
Shawnee State University Portsmouth Ohio www.shawnee.edu 18
University of Central Arkansas Conway Arkansas www.uca.edu 18
Virginia Western Community College Roanoke Virginia virginiawestern.edu 18
Aiken Technical College Graniteville South Carolina www.atc.edu 17
Atenas College Manati Puerto Rico www.atenascollege.edu 17
Dunwoody College of Technology Minneapolis Minnesota www.dunwoody.edu 17
Jackson State Community College Jackson Tennessee www.jscc.edu 17
La Roche College Pittsburgh Pennsylvania www.laroche.edu 17
Lorain County Community College Elyria Ohio www.lorainccc.edu 17
Marion Technical College Marion Ohio www.mtc.edu 17
National University La Jolla California www.nu.edu 17
Newman University Wichita Kansas www.newmanu.edu 17
Northern Essex Community College Haverhill Massachusetts www.necc.mass.edu 17
Truckee Meadows Community College Reno Nevada www.tmcc.edu 17
Orange County Community College Middletown New York sunyorange.edu 16
Gulf Coast State College Panama City Florida www.gulfcoast.edu 16
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Pennsylvania www.ccac.edu 16
Rowan College of South Jersey Vineland New Jersey www.rcsj.edu 16
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Florida www.easternflorida.edu 16
Fulton-Montgomery Community College Johnstown New York www.fmcc.edu 16
Georgia State University-Perimeter College Atlanta Georgia www.gsu.edu 16
Indiana University-Kokomo Kokomo Indiana www.iuk.edu 16
Kapiolani Community College Honolulu Hawaii www.kapiolani.hawaii.edu 16
Lakeland Community College Kirtland Ohio www.lakelandcc.edu 16
Manchester Community College Manchester Connecticut www.manchestercc.edu 16
Mid Michigan College Harrison Michigan www.midmich.edu 16
Middlesex Community College Middletown Connecticut www.mxcc.edu 16
Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools Colonial Heights Virginia www.srmconline.com 16
St Petersburg College Clearwater Florida www.spcollege.edu 16
University of Charleston Charleston West Virginia www.ucwv.edu 16
West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling West Virginia www.wvncc.edu 16
Middlesex Community College Bedford Massachusetts www.middlesex.mass.edu 15
Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey Florida www.phsc.edu 15
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington New Kensington Pennsylvania newkensington.psu.edu 15
Saint Johns River State College Palatka Florida www.sjrstate.edu 15
University of Vermont Burlington Vermont www.uvm.edu 15
Ball State University Muncie Indiana www.bsu.edu 14
Horry-Georgetown Technical College Conway South Carolina www.hgtc.edu 14
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-San German San German Puerto Rico www.sg.inter.edu 14
Marion Technical College Ocala Florida www.mariontc.edu 14
Northwest Florida State College Niceville Florida www.nwfsc.edu 14
Piedmont Technical College Greenwood South Carolina www.ptc.edu 14
Rolla Technical Institute/Center Rolla Missouri rolla.k12.mo.us 14
Tacoma Community College Tacoma Washington www.tacomacc.edu 14
Community College of Beaver County Monaca Pennsylvania www.ccbc.edu 13
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Elizabethtown Kentucky elizabethtown.kctcs.edu 13
Florence-Darlington Technical College Florence South Carolina www.fdtc.edu 13
Hillyard Technical Center Saint Joseph Missouri www.hillyardtech.com 13
Kent State University at Ashtabula Ashtabula Ohio www.kent.edu/ashtabula 13
Rend Lake College Ina Illinois www.rlc.edu 13
Saint Louis University Saint Louis Missouri www.slu.edu 13
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford Oklahoma www.swosu.edu 13
St Francis College Brooklyn Heights New York www.sfc.edu 13
Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort South Carolina www.tcl.edu 13
Allegany College of Maryland Cumberland Maryland www.allegany.edu 13
American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education Piscataway New Jersey www.aimseducation.edu 12
Center for Allied Health Education Brooklyn New York www.cahe.edu 12
Erie Community College Buffalo New York www.ecc.edu 12
Mohave Community College Kingman Arizona www.mohave.edu 12
North Arkansas College Harrison Arkansas www.northark.edu 12
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay Wisconsin www.nwtc.edu 12
Passaic County Community College Paterson New Jersey www.pccc.edu 12
Rose State College Midwest City Oklahoma www.rose.edu 12
Texas State University San Marcos Texas www.txstate.edu 12
University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls South Dakota www.usiouxfalls.edu 12
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh Wisconsin www.uwosh.edu 12
Zane State College Zanesville Ohio www.zanestate.edu 12
Bluefield State College Bluefield West Virginia www.bluefieldstate.edu 11
Grand Valley State University Allendale Michigan www.gvsu.edu 11
MCPHS University Boston Massachusetts www.mcphs.edu 11
South Florida State College Avon Park Florida www.southflorida.edu 11
Spartanburg Community College Spartanburg South Carolina www.sccsc.edu 11
State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Bradenton Florida www.scf.edu 11
Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee Florida www.tcc.fl.edu 11
Amarillo College Amarillo Texas www.actx.edu 10
Bowling Green State University-Firelands Huron Ohio www.firelands.bgsu.edu 10
Capital Community College Hartford Connecticut www.ccc.commnet.edu 10
Chesapeake College Wye Mills Maryland www.chesapeake.edu 10
Davis Technical College Kaysville Utah www.davistech.edu 10
East Central College Union Missouri www.eastcentral.edu 10
Indian River State College Fort Pierce Florida www.irsc.edu 10
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield Pennsylvania www.mansfield.edu 10
Missouri Southern State University Joplin Missouri www.mssu.edu 10
North Country Community College Saranac Lake New York www.nccc.edu 10
Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore Maryland www.ndm.edu 10
Pensacola State College Pensacola Florida www.pensacolastate.edu 10
South Arkansas Community College El Dorado Arkansas www.southark.edu 10
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay West Virginia www.southernwv.edu 10
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina www.unc.edu 10
Upstate Medical University Syracuse New York www.upstate.edu 10
Daytona State College Daytona Beach Florida www.daytonastate.edu 9
Essex County College Newark New Jersey www.essex.edu 9
Grady Health System Professional Schools Atlanta Georgia www.gradyhealth.org 9
North Idaho College Coeur d'Alene Idaho www.nic.edu 9
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College Orangeburg South Carolina www.octech.edu 9
Western Wyoming Community College Rock Springs Wyoming www.westernwyoming.edu 9
Wor-Wic Community College Salisbury Maryland www.worwic.edu 9
UnityPoint Health-Des Moines School of Radiologic Technology Des Moines Iowa www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/radtech.aspx 8
Blessing Hospital School of Radiologic Technology Quincy Illinois www.blessinghealthsystem.org 8
Delta College University Center Michigan www.delta.edu 8
Forsyth Technical Community College Winston-Salem North Carolina www.forsythtech.edu 8
Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley Pennsylvania www.gmercyu.edu 8
University of Michigan-Flint Flint Michigan www.umflint.edu 8
Augusta University Augusta Georgia www.augusta.edu 7
Bacone College Muskogee Oklahoma www.bacone.edu 7
Briar Cliff University Sioux City Iowa www.briarcliff.edu 7
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis Indiana www.ivytech.edu 7
Manhattan College Riverdale New York www.manhattan.edu 7
Mott Community College Flint Michigan www.mcc.edu 7
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills Michigan www.oaklandcc.edu 7
Oregon Health & Science University Portland Oregon www.ohsu.edu 7
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Nebraska www.unmc.edu 7
University of St Francis Joliet Illinois www.stfrancis.edu 7
Vincennes University Vincennes Indiana www.vinu.edu 7
Memorial Hospital School of Radiation Therapy Technology New York New York www.mskcc.org/hcp-education-training/school-radiation-therapy 6
Carolinas College of Health Sciences Charlotte North Carolina www.carolinascollege.edu 6
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas Nevada www.csn.edu 6
College of St Joseph Rutland Vermont www.csj.edu 6
Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon Wisconsin www.cuw.edu 6
Galveston College Galveston Texas www.gc.edu 6
Georgetown University Washington District of Columbia www.georgetown.edu 6
North Central Missouri College Trenton Missouri www.ncmissouri.edu 6
Southeast Arkansas College Pine Bluff Arkansas www.seark.edu 6
Laboure College Milton Massachusetts www.laboure.edu 5
Gateway Community College New Haven Connecticut www.gatewayct.edu 5
Holyoke Community College Holyoke Massachusetts www.hcc.edu 5
Howard University Washington District of Columbia www.howard.edu 5
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Rochester Minnesota college.mayo.edu 5
Mitchell Technical Institute Mitchell South Dakota www.mitchelltech.edu 5
Mountwest Community and Technical College Huntington West Virginia www.mctc.edu 5
Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences Memphis Tennessee www.bchs.edu 4
Bellarmine University Louisville Kentucky www.bellarmine.edu 4
Community College of Denver Denver Colorado www.ccd.edu 4
Minot State University Minot North Dakota www.minotstateu.edu 4
NHTI-Concord's Community College Concord New Hampshire www.nhti.edu 4
Northeast Community College Norfolk Nebraska www.northeast.edu 4
Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud Minnesota www.stcloudstate.edu 4
West Virginia University Hospital Departments of Rad Tech and Nutrition Morgantown West Virginia www.wvuhradtech.com 4
East Arkansas Community College Forrest City Arkansas www.eacc.edu 3
Suffolk University Boston Massachusetts www.suffolk.edu 3
Widener University Chester Pennsylvania www.widener.edu 3
Drury University-College of Continuing Professional Studies Springfield Missouri www.drury.edu/evening-and-online 2
Universidad Central Del Caribe Bayamon Puerto Rico www.uccaribe.edu 2
Averett University Danville Virginia www.averett.edu 2
North Central College Naperville Illinois northcentralcollege.edu 2
Northcentral Technical College Wausau Wisconsin www.ntc.edu 2
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick New Jersey newbrunswick.rutgers.edu 2
University of Jamestown Jamestown North Dakota www.uj.edu 2
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas Texas www.utsouthwestern.edu 2
Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff Nebraska www.wncc.edu 2
William Rainey Harper College Palatine Illinois www.harpercollege.edu 2
Alderson Broaddus University Philippi West Virginia ab.edu 1
Alpena Community College Alpena Michigan www.alpenacc.edu 1
Kaskaskia College Centralia Illinois www.kaskaskia.edu 1
New York Chiropractic College Seneca Falls New York www.nycc.edu 1
San Diego State University San Diego California www.sdsu.edu 1
University of Kentucky Lexington Kentucky www.uky.edu 1
Washington Adventist University Takoma Park Maryland www.wau.edu 1
2017-2018 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in November, 2019)

Online Radiation Therapy Schools

The George Washington University
Online Healthcare MBA
HealthInformatics@GW - The George Washington University
Online Master's - Health Informatics
Johns Hopkins University
MS - Healthcare Mgmt (Online, On-Site, or Both)
*sponsored

There are a handful of online and hybrid radiation therapy programs that are well-respected in the healthcare community. In fact, the Joint Review Committee in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) has a comprehensive list of these programs that can be sorted by type of degree.

While there are no accredited programs that can be completed 100 percent online due to the essentially clinical nature of radiation therapy, there are a number of required general education and radiology courses that can be completed online.

Following is a sampling of accredited, hybrid, radiation therapy programs recommended by JRCERT: 

  • Gateway Community College (GCC)  – At just over $10,000 per year in out-of-state tuition costs, this is one of the most inexpensive radiation therapy AS programs available. GCC is well-known for its flexible and extensive online course options. Their radiation technician program is only 13 months long and offers a clinical radiation therapy course (RTT150) which can be completed partially online. Not only is it inexpensive and flexible, but the learning outcomes are stellar. A full 90 percent of graduates pass the national certification exam on the first try, and they have a 100 percent job placement rate upon graduation. It’s important to note that this program is only open to students who are already certified through the ARRT as medical radiographers. 

  • University of Texas – At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, radiation therapy students take a two-year BS program either in person or via distance learning. The distance learning option includes synchronous interaction between students and faculty, clinical rotations at affiliated facilities, and a brief session on campus in Houston.

  • Armstrong State University – Armstrong State University of Georgia offers both a B.S. and post-baccalaureate certificate option for registered radiology technicians. In this flexible program, students’ attendance in the brick-and-mortar facilities is necessary during the first semester of didactic instruction. For the remainder of the program, students can complete much of the coursework online and set up clinical rotations at a facility near their home at their convenience.

School City State Website grads (2018)
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale Illinois www.siu.edu 124
Morehead State University Morehead Kentucky www.moreheadstate.edu 82
Georgia Southern University Statesboro Georgia www.georgiasouthern.edu 75
Greenville Technical College Greenville South Carolina www.gvltec.edu 54
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Wisconsin www.uwlax.edu 47
Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga Tennessee www.chattanoogastate.edu 44
Clarkson College Omaha Nebraska www.clarksoncollege.edu 42
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana www.iupui.edu 38
Washburn University Topeka Kansas www.washburn.edu 36
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City Oklahoma ouhsc.edu 31
Santa Fe College Gainesville Florida www.sfcollege.edu 29
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College Blue Ash Ohio www.ucblueash.edu 25
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston Texas www.mdanderson.org 24
University of New Mexico-Main Campus Albuquerque New Mexico www.unm.edu 20
La Roche College Pittsburgh Pennsylvania www.laroche.edu 17
Southwest Tennessee Community College Memphis Tennessee www.southwest.tn.edu 16
Pitt Community College Winterville North Carolina www.pittcc.edu 15
Indiana University-South Bend South Bend Indiana www.iusb.edu 8
Indiana University-Northwest Gary Indiana www.iun.edu 7
National Park College Hot Springs Arkansas www.np.edu 7
Northcentral Technical College Wausau Wisconsin www.ntc.edu 2
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick New Jersey newbrunswick.rutgers.edu 2
2017-2018 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in November, 2019)

Core & Elective Courses

Radiation therapists undergo similar training to other radiological professionals (e.g., sonographers, dosimetrists, radiation technologists). Still, there are several courses that are unique to radiation therapy programs. Some of the most common include:

  • Principles of oncology – In this course, students learn how cancer affects a patient’s physical, mental, and emotional health. It also discusses typical cancer treatments and how to identify aberrations in cancer-related screenings.
  • Radiation pathology – Students study various types of illnesses, disease, and physical impairments. Although this is a common course for many types of healthcare workers, this course focuses specifically on cancer-related pathologies, such as carcinoma, melanoma, neoplasms, and tumors.
  • Medical imaging – This course teaches the different types of medical images and how to use various medical imaging equipment (e.g., computerized tomography [CT], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]). 
  • Sectional anatomy – In this course, students are introduced to advanced anatomy focusing on interpreting results in transverse and sagittal orientations. Students examine typical scans taken from these orientations, including spinal, abdominal, chest, and pelvic exams.
  • Practicum – This clinical component of allows students to apply their didactic knowledge to real-life situations. Comprising around 200 hours each, this series of clinical rotations must include the use of CT and MRI systems, analysis of radiological imaging results, standard radiological treatment procedures, and other key practical experiences.

Accreditation

There are two ways in which insitutitions of higher learning are accredited: programmatic and institutional. A program's accreditation status affects graduates' ability to apply for professional credentials, such as certification through the the ARRT.

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation involves the evaluation and approval of an institution as a whole, include all of its programs. The AART accepts institutional accreditation from a number of different agencies for the raditional therapy associate's degree prerequisite. In order to be considered valid, programs must be recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE) as an legitimate accrediting agency.

Some of the reputable national and regional accrediting agencies for the AART include:

In order to be accredited, schools must meet certain program requirements, including a thorough self-qualifying study to ensure that their program is meeting national standards. This study is typically followed by a site visit, wherein a team of radiation professionals evaluates the curriculum, technology, and course outcomes of the program. Finally, the evaluation team creates a findings report and the agency may choose to grant the program accreditation.

Programmatic Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation involves a similar process to institutional accreditation but applies specifically to the radiation therapy program. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is the only group that specifically accredits radiation therapy programs.

In order to be eligible for AART certification, a program need not be accredited by JRCERT, but it must appear on the AART list of approved programs, which is available on that organization's website.

Career Outlook

While the high-paying field of radiation therapy is expected to grow faster than the national average (13 percent from 2016 to 2026), very few jobs are expected to be created in this field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that only around 2,400 new jobs will be available to radiation therapists through 2026 (2017).

The growth is due partially to the rising number of aging Baby Boomers that are projected to need screenings and treatment for cancer. In addition, it is probable that there will be an increase in the number of younger people who will seek out early cancer detection options as affordable screening options become available.

Currently, 91 percent of radiation therapists work in general hospitals, private practices, and outpatient care centers, with an average wage of $85,190 (BLS 2017). However, the most highly-paid radiation therapists make an average wage of over $120,000 per year and usually work in specialty hospitals. The highest wages paid to radiation therapists are in California, New Jersey, Oregon, Connecticut, and Washington – averaging between $98,000 to $113,000 per year (BLS 2017).

Radiation therapists who complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy are most likely to get the highest-paid positions in this field. Board certification may also qualify students for more prestigious jobs. In addition, students who want to further their career in this field may continue their education to gain certification as a Medical Dosimetrist, which pays between $90,000 and $136,000 per year in California (2018).

Career Facts Radiation Therapist
Related CareersMRI Technologist, Neurodiagnostic Technologist, Radiologic Technologist
Common Job TitlesRadiation Therapist, Computed Tomography Simulation Therapist, Dosimetrist
Technology & EquipmentDefribrillators, Radiation Therapy Collimeters, Radiological Positioning Aids, X-Ray Intensifying Screens
Sourced from BLS, June 2018

Licensing & Certification

In order to be licensed as a therapist in most states, you must complete a clinical period of study (usually two years), in addition to passing the national exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). A complete list of the state licensure requirements for radiation therapists is housed by American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

As of 2015, students wishing to sit for the national exam administered by the ARRT must complete a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited college. This doesn’t have to be a Radiological AS degree, however. As long as the associate degree is completed at a college accredited by a body that is recognized by the ARRT, students may sit for the exam.

Although experience in a clinical setting is not necessary to take the exam, it is vital to becoming a licensed radiation therapist. Most states require at least 200 hours of clinical training in order to become licensed. In addition, those hours must be corroborated by a currently licensed and registered therapist to allow qualification for the licensure.