A radiology degree is an undergraduate or graduate education program that provides information on the use of radiation, medical imaging, and diagnosis. Students are trained to carefully examine images taken from scans or created through laboratory tests and combined medical training with specialized knowledge in radiologic sciences.
To become a radiologic technician, you need to complete an accredited program in radiologic technology at a community college or other institution approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARRT is a non-profit association of industry and regulatory professionals who establish and maintain the standards for all registered technologists.
Through this process, students can receive four-year and two-year degrees in radiology. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) represents more than 172,000 members worldwide.
Cost Of Radiology Degree
The cost of radiology programs varies widely by school and by program. Typically, tuition ranges from $10,000 to $15,000 per year and may include room and board at a private residence, if necessary.
American Board of Radiology (ABR) is the only national certifying body for radiologists in the United States. Individuals who pass this board exam are eligible to participate in radiology residency programs, which typically last four years. Job candidates without approved credentials may not receive consideration when employers hire new employees, so you must complete the proper training.
Accredited programs prepare students for the ARDMS registry exam and competency exams offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Not all radiologic degrees are alike. Different institutions have different requirements for the completion of the radiologic technology program.
Some institutions may require a certain number of credits in each area; others may require a certain number of courses =190 credits to graduate. You will need to achieve a minimum passing grade on the required exams to get certified.
Types of Radiology Degrees
There are four types of radiology degrees: traditional, combined, accelerated, and online/distance degrees. Conventional radiology is what most people think of when they hear the term “radiation.” It involves the use of radiation when imaging patients. Radiology combined programs are a blend of traditional and accelerated degree programs. They typically provide all the knowledge needed to become a radiologic technologist and then have courses that allow students to complete their radiology degree faster than traditional programs.
Accelerated and online/distance degree programs are unique in that they allow students to take their classes online and complete their studies without any travel or residency requirements. However, the problem with these types of programs is that no one sets the requirements for the courses. This means that you could complete a required course period faster than what is needed and with a degree that’s not worth the paper printed on.
A radiology degree can be pursued at two- and four-year universities, such as Emory University, Duke University, and University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). Earning a bachelor’s degree may allow you to gain admittance into a radiology program.
Radiologists work in various environments, including private clinics, hospitals, and medical schools. Some opt for a career as an academic radiologist, conducting research and acting as a teacher at a university or college. Other individuals pursue employment with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where they help to provide care for military veterans.
Radiology Degree Requirements
In order to become a radiologist, you typically must start by earning a bachelor’s degree in science or another subject area. Advanced training is required for this career, but it can be obtained through an undergraduate program (ACERT).
College Radiography Programs. Admission to an ACERT-accredited program does not require any specific prerequisite courses. However, you might expect to take biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics classes during your first two years of study. Your junior and senior years could consist of training in radiographic physics, anatomy, patient care, and other courses.
Both two-and four-year programs are available for bachelor’s degree candidates. The coursework completed at the undergraduate level should prepare you to pass an examination required to become licensed in your state. Once you have passed this test, you can begin training for a career as a radiologist.
A master’s degree in radiation oncology might be required to become a medical physicist, but it is not needed for other types of radiologists. Radiographers study the impact of electromagnetic energy on human cells and tissues during imaging exams.
Radiation therapists work with high-energy rays to treat ill patients. Nuclear medicine technologists are in charge of creating radioactive drugs used to diagnose diseases. Radiologic technologists conduct diagnostic imaging exams, such as X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans. Generally speaking, radiology education is conducted at the graduate level and beyond.
Job opportunities in this field often require a minimum of a graduate degree. Some students pursue their education through an online program, but programs offered at universities are also available.
Those who want to become radiologists must complete an accredited program in diagnostic medical sonography. This training is offered at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels, but it can take quite a few years on average to earn an advanced degree.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) awards certification to medical professionals who pass their examinations. This credentialing must be renewed regularly to remain eligible for employment.
Radiology Online Programs
Distance education is designed to allow students to have access to quality medical education from the comfort of their homes. Distance learning allows students the flexibility of taking classes at their convenience and at times that fit their schedule. Many online schools offer supplemental instruction through real-time webcasts, discussion boards, and chat rooms.
The online radiology programs focus on specialty areas, like nuclear medicine imaging, which are more popular than fields of radiology such as anatomic, ophthalmic, and interventional radiology. Some schools may offer a blended program that combines an online radiography program with a traditional classroom-based radiography program.
For Instance, Texas offers online/distance degree programs while others require residency requirements. Others may require students to take courses on campus, at a distance, or online.
Some schools have a blended program that combines residency requirements with online degree programs. Undergraduate or graduate programs in radiology are available to students who have completed high school and are over 18 years old. Most of the programs require a bachelor’s degree, but some may accept associate’s or master’s degrees in addition to a bachelor’s degree.
Most schools require students to take a series of core courses that cover basic medical sciences, specific body areas, pathology, biology, and imaging techniques. These courses are typically not available in traditional classroom settings, so online programs are a good choice if you want to learn these core courses.
The radiology degree programs require students to complete coursework in sonography procedures, equipment maintenance, patient care, and other related subject areas. Although you will have many opportunities for employment after completing your studies, you may find yourself limited to a hospital setting.
Admission’s Radiology Degree Process
The requirements for admission vary by school, but the majority require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or computer science. Radiology programs typically require that students have a 2.7 GPA or higher.
Accelerated radiology degree programs are designed to give students the background needed to take the related accreditation exams required to be a technician. The accredited program is compressed into a shorter period than normal.
Students can complete a four-year degree in less than three years and can complete their studies in as little as 18 months. Traditional radiology degrees may require about four years for completion. Several institutions offer radiology degree programs online, including the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
These programs are typically 12 months and allow students to complete all the course requirements to become radiologic technologists. Students can continue their studies and get their bachelor’s degree in allied health. They receive classroom instruction from their home computer or laptop and learn how to use radiology equipment by practicing simulation manikins.
A Radiology degree is a versatile and in-demand field that offers many work opportunities. You can find employment in hospitals, clinics, private practices, or even academic settings with the proper training.