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Radiology departments play an important role in disease detection and management, providing information that can lead to diagnoses.

Earning a bachelor's degree in radiology prepares graduates for careers that directly and positively impact people's lives. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% increase in jobs for MRI and radiologic technologists between 2018 and 2028.

Top 10 Radiology Programs in 2020

#1 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
#2 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO
#3 University of New Mexico-Main Campus Albuquerque, NM
#4 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Omaha, NE
#5 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME
#6 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
#7 Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR
#8 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN
#9 East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN
#10 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA

While nearly 60% of radiologic technologists work in hospitals, they can also work in settings like outpatient centers, physicians' offices, state agencies, and diagnostic labs. This guide ranks the best online radiology programs. We also cover important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Best Online Radiology Programs

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4

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 

Omaha, NE

About this school

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health

Omaha,

With just over 1,100 students, NMC offers small class sizes that do not exceed a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can access over 40 degrees offered both in traditional classrooms and online.

NMC offers an online bachelor's degree in radiology as a degree-completion program. Applicants must hold an associate degree from an accredited school. The 122-credit program offers specializations in computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and mammography.

Courses may include radiographic procedures and positioning, radiation biology and protection, advanced cross-sectional anatomy, and survey of U.S. healthcare systems. NMC also offers two complementary minor options for this major: spanish for healthcare professionals and healthcare sign language.

Depending on students' prior experience, NMC may require multiple clinical practicum experiences. This program also includes an educated citizen capstone course. Admission to the program requires a written statement and official transcripts. The best candidates have more than four hours of clinical observation experience in a radiology department.

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The radiology program holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%
5

Saint Joseph's College of Maine 

Standish, ME

About this school

SJC is the only Catholic college in Maine, offering undergraduate and graduate programs through a Chistian lens. Nontraditional learners can choose from multiple online programs, including an online bachelor's degree in radiology.

The 128-credit degree includes 42 general education credits, 24 radiologic science core credits, and 36 major electives. Students typically earn the degree in four years. Students can transfer up to 50 credits toward the degree.

Notable courses include introduction to long-term care administration, aging in America, ethics in healthcare administration, and healthcare informatics. Online courses span 12 weeks. Students access coursework through the Brightspace D2L learning management system. Courses use a mostly asynchronous format. Assignments include discussion board posts, essays, online readings, and exams.

SJC provides a dedicated support specialist to help students select courses and maximize digital resources. Students who need additional support can access online tutoring through Smarthinking. Admission requires official transcripts, letters of recommendation, SAT or ACT scores, and an interview.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
81%
6

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis 

Indianapolis, IN

About this school

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI values inclusion, hosting students from all 50 states and 142 countries. Enrollment exceeds 29,500 annually, including over 21,200 undergraduate students. Students can access over 250 programs, including 140 online degrees.

Radiologic technologists already working in the field can earn an online bachelor's degree in radiology. Applicants must hold unencumbered radiography, nuclear medicine, diagnostic medical sonography, or radiation therapy certification. The 120-credit program offers part- and full-time enrollment options. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate.

Courses may include multiplanar anatomy and pathology, archival and human subject research, seminar in medical imaging, and advanced topics in medical imaging technology. Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion posts, online chats, and email.

Assignments may include projects, digital readings, and exams. IUPUI also offers a program called eTexts, which provides digital versions of required textbooks at a lower cost. Students have access to one-on-one support coaching, career services, online tutoring, and library research assistance. Students can also access 24/7 technical support. Admission requires official transcripts, an essay, and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
7

Oregon Institute of Technology 

Klamath Falls, OR

About this school

Oregon Tech offers an intimate school environment, hosting around 5,400 students each year. Students can choose from over 45 undergraduate and graduate programs, including multiple online options. Registered radiologic technologists can earn an online bachelor's degree in radiology that integrates general education, fundamental medical science, and radiology courses.

This degree requires 199 quarter credits, including 89 radiology credits, 46 professional credits, and 64 general education credits. Courses include total quality in healthcare, essentials of pathophysiology, small group and team communication, and technical report writing. Students also complete multiple special radiologic science externships.

Online courses typically use an asynchronous format. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion board posts and email. Assignments include online readings, essays, and projects, and professors offer virtual office hours through Zoom.

Distance learners can access career services and peer consulting services. Oregon Tech also provides academic counselors and technical support. Admission requires official transcripts and a minimum 2.25 GPA.

Oregon Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The radiology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
8

University of Southern Indiana 

Evansville, IN

About this school

USI values innovation, diversity, and global awareness. The school hosts around 8,500 students annually, representing 42 states and 69 countries. USI offers nearly 80 programs, including 60 undergraduate degrees.

USI strives to accommodate working professionals through distance programs. The College of Nursing and Health Professions offers an online bachelor's degree in radiology that requires 120 credits and has both a new student track and a degree-completion track. Degree-completion applicants must hold unencumbered radiology certifications. Students must complete at least 30 credits at USI to graduate.

Students can choose from three specialty tracks: CT/MRI, clinical education, and radiology management. Courses include patient care for imaging sciences professionals, introduction to invasive imaging procedures, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography procedures, and radiation biology. Radiology students acquire hundreds of hours of applied experience during the program.

Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, a personal narrative essay, and an interview. Applicants are encouraged to tour clinical sites, complete a radiology observation, and complete a rank order of preference form for clinical rotations. The best applicants have direct patient care experience.

University of Southern Indiana is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
58%
9

East Tennessee State University 

Johnson City, TN

About this school

Established in 1911, ETSU is a public university dedicated to intellectual achievement, civic engagement, and diversity. The school hosts over 14,500 students through diverse undergraduate and graduate programs.

Nontraditional students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in radiology. This degree-completion program requires applicants to hold an associate of applied science in radiography science. The program emphasizes healthcare management, healthcare law, and patient information management. Graduates qualify to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists exam.

The 120-credit program includes courses like leadership in allied health, information management for allied health professionals, radiation and biology protection, and professional transition to radiography. Distance learners access coursework through the D2L learning management system. Courses follow an asynchronous format. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion board posts, email, and group chats.

The Department of Allied Health Sciences only admits one class each school year in the fall. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and official transcripts.

East Tennessee State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
10

Northwestern State University of Louisiana 

Natchitoches, LA

About this school

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches,

NSU has over 130 years of experience providing student-centered postsecondary programs, accommodating diverse learning needs through distance programs and competitive tuition rates. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live.

Radiology technologists with valid American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certifications and associate degrees can earn a bachelor's degree in radiology online at NSU. The 120-credit degree-completion program includes courses in leadership challenges for professional radiographers, introduction to healthcare quality, and directed study.

Distance learners access coursework through the Moodle learning management system. Online courses use synchronous and asynchronous learning formats. Students may engage with professors and peers through live web conferences or discussion forums and group chats. Assignments may include narrated presentations, essays, group projects, and exams.

Students gain access to online tutoring, counseling services, technical support, and digital databases. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA and official transcripts. Students can transfer up to 60 credits toward the degree.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
11

La Roche University 

Pittsburgh, PA

About this school

Founded in 1963, La Roche offers small class sizes that do not exceed an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers.

Applicants with unencumbered registered technologist certifications or American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography certifications can earn a bachelor's degree in radiology online at La Roche. The 120-credit degree-completion program includes 21 liberal arts credits, nine health sciences credits, nine core credits, and 21 elective credits. La Roche allows up to 45 transfer credits and awards an additional 15 credits for students with current certifications.

Courses include probability and statistics, biomedical ethics, fundamentals of management, and introduction to psychology. Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Online courses use an asynchronous format. Assignments include lecture videos, discussion board posts, essays, and exams.

Admission requires official transcripts. La Roche participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, allowing out-of-state learners from member states to apply.

La Roche University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
55%
Percent Receiving Loans
60%
12

Weber State University 

Ogden, UT

About this school

WSU is a public university that offers over 225 degrees, including 25 online degree programs. The Dumke College of Health Professions offers an online bachelor's in radiology degree-completion program designed for students who hold radiology certifications.

The 120-credit program offers a number of specializations, including advanced radiologic sciences, computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and women's imaging. Courses cover topics like 3D visualization and 3D printing, directed readings and research, the female patient and medical imaging, and managing clinical information. In addition to coursework, students must complete a clinical internship.

Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Weekly modules include supplemental readings and assignments. Assignments may include essays, group projects, and presentations. Professors typically use remotely controlled proctoring software called Chi Tester to administer exams. Learners gain access to online tutoring, academic counseling, library research services, and peer coaching.

Weber State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Graduation Rate
34%
Percent Receiving Loans
25%
13

Presentation College 

Aberdeen, SD

About this school

PC offers rigorous postsecondary coursework through a Christian lens. Core values include Catholic tradition, immersive learning, and innovation. Class sizes do not exceed an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers.

Aspiring radiology technologists can earn a bachelor's degree in radiology online. The 123-credit degree includes 68 major credits, six distribution elective credits, 46-47 general education credits, and nine general elective credits. Courses include image analysis and quality improvement, physical principles of computed tomology, radiobiology and radiation protection, and healthcare economics. In addition to coursework, students complete 12 months of clinical rotations.

Distance learners access coursework through the Moodle learning management system. Assignments include essays, exams, group projects, and online readings. Students have access to tutors, writing support, library services, and job search assistance.

Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, SAT or ACT scores, a health form verifying immunizations, and a background check. Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may request conditional admission under academic probation. Transfer students with at least 24 credits from accredited schools may apply.

Presentation College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Graduation Rate
27%
Percent Receiving Loans
79%
14

Concordia University-Wisconsin 

Mequon, WI

About this school

CUW offers postsecondary degrees through a faith-based lens. Yearly enrollment exceeds 7,400 students. The school's 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio allows students to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers. CUW offers over 70 degrees, including 50 online options.

Radiologic technologists can enroll in CUW's online radiology bachelor's degree-completion program. Students must pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists exam before applying. The 126-credit degree includes 45 core credits and 16 major credits. Courses include Christian faith, science and humanity, foundations of computer science, and cross-cultural communication.

Courses last 6-8 weeks and use an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments when their schedules permit within deadline dates. Assignments include lecture videos, discussion board posts, essays, and exams.

Students have access to librarian research assistance, tutoring, academic counseling, and technical support. Admission requires at least four hours of radiologic technology shadowing, a minimum 2.5 GPA, ACT or SAT scores, and official transcripts. Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher do not need to submit standardized test scores.

Concordia University Wisconsin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
64%
15

Colorado Mesa University 

Grand Junction, CO

About this school

CMU emphasizes student-centered learning to promote inquiry, critical thinking, and innovation. The school hosts over 11,000 students annually from 46 states and nearly 40 countries. Students with an associate of applied sciences can earn an online bachelor of science in radiologic sciences at CMU.

The 121-credit degree includes 31 essential learning credits, six lower-division credits, 15 foundation credits, and 61 program-specific credits. Full-time students typically earn the degree in four semesters.

Courses include human anatomy and physiology, principles of magnetic resonance imaging, information literacy in radiologic sciences, and sectional anatomy. CMU also requires a culminating capstone project. Distance learners access coursework through the D2L learning management system following an asynchronous format.

Assignments may include essays, exams, and group projects. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion boards and email. There is also a Tutorial Learning Center, which offers free online tutoring and writing assistance. CMU also offers career services, academic counseling, librarian research support, and technical assistance.

Colorado Mesa University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
36%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
16

Marian University 

Fond Du Lac, WI

About this school

Marian is recognized by the National Catholic Educational Association and offers rigorous degrees through a faith-based lens. Marian's classes do not exceed a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers.

At Marian, certified radiologic technologists can earn a fully online bachelor's degree in radiology that does not require any in-person attendance. The program features seven-week, accelerated courses that allow students to graduate in two years. The program offers concentrations in business administration, history, management, marketing, and healthcare administration.

Courses may include fundamentals of managerial finance, fundamentals of information technology, human resource management, advanced computer applications and systems, and operations management. Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Online courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to access coursework at any time.

Assignments include digital reading materials, essays, exams, and group projects. Admission to the program requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification, an associate degree from an accredited institution, and official transcripts.

Marian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
83%
17

University of Louisiana at Monroe 

Monroe, LA

About this school

ULM is a public institution that values practical learning, diversity, and academic excellence. Enrollment exceeds 9,000 students every year, representing 39 states and 47 countries. ULM offers 96 majors and minors, including over 35 online programs.

Registered radiologic technologists can earn an online bachelor's degree in radiology that does not require any in-person attendance. Students must complete general education credits, radiologic technology credits, and radiologic technology electives. ULM also requires a university capstone course. Graduates qualify for advanced imaging modality certification. ULM grants 38 credits to students who already hold American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certifications.

Online courses last eight weeks. Students access coursework through the Moodle learning management system, including discussion board posts, readings, and essays. Courses may require proctored exams at an approved facility. Students have access to technical support, online databases, and academic counseling.

Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and immunization forms. ULM offers multiple scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and transfer students. In fact, over 66% of students receive institutional awards.

University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
18

Mt San Antonio College 

Walnut, CA

About this school

Mt. SAC is one of the largest community colleges in the country. The school values accessibility, equity, and diversity. Students can choose from over 260 degree and certificate programs, including an online bachelor of science in radiologic sciences with a focus in education and management.

Courses include fluoroscopy and radiobiology, digital imaging in radiology, mammography principles and procedures, computed tomography, sectional anatomy and pathology, and theory of radiologic technology. In addition to coursework, students complete multiple clinical experiences.

Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Students interact with professors and peers through discussion boards, group chats, and email. Assignments may include online readings, group projects, essays, and exams.

Students have access to tutoring services, a writing center, an Academic Support and Achievement Center, librarian research services, and technical support. Mt. SAC also pairs students with an academic counselor. Admission to the program requires an orientation and an entrance exam.

Mt. San Antonio College is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). The radiology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Graduation Rate
37%
19

Missouri Southern State University 

Joplin, MO

About this school

Founded in 1937, MSSU serves over 6,000 students through over 140 programs, including 14 online undergraduate programs. The School of Health Sciences offers an online bachelor's degree in radiology.

The 120-credit degree includes 32 general education credits, 18 health sciences credits, one institutional credit, 64 radiology credits, and five elective credits. Courses include basic concepts in radiology, human anatomy and physiology, theory and practice teaching health sciences, and epidemiology. In addition to coursework, students complete multiple clinical experiences.

Students access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system, where weekly class modules provide recorded lectures, essays, supplemental reading materials, and exams. Online courses have the same active participation requirements as in-person courses. Students interact with classmates and instructors through discussion boards, live chats, and email.

Students should note that professors may require proctored exams. While students can complete exams at approved facilities, MSSU also offers an online proctoring option. MSSU also provides online support services, including synchronous online tutoring sessions, a student success center, academic counseling, and technical assistance.

Admission requires ACT or SAT scores, official transcripts, and an orientation. MSSU participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, allowing out-of-state learners from member states to apply.

Missouri Southern State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Graduation Rate
33%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
20

Adventist University of Health Sciences 

Orlando, FL

About this school

AHU is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers intimate class sizes that typically do not exceed an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school offers a variety of fully online programs, including an online bachelor's degree in radiology.

This degree-completion program requires 24 general education credits, 27 cognate credits, 15 core credits, and 12 specialty credits. Students can choose from six specializations: imaging leadership, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, vascular interventional, sonography, and interdisciplinary studies.

Courses include world religions for the healthcare professions, management principles for imaging professionals, issues and trends in the healthcare arena, and interdisciplinary imaging in leadership. Courses may use synchronous or asynchronous formats.

Admission requires an associate degree from an accredited program, a minimum 2.5 GPA, official transcripts, and American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification. AHU participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, allowing out-of-state learners from member states to apply.

AdventistHealth University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Graduation Rate
30%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Degrees

Online Radiology Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Radiology?

Radiology is a medical practice specialty that involves collecting images of different parts of the body to detect or diagnose diseases.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Radiology?

Radiology offers career opportunities at multiple levels. Entry-level positions only require a two-year degree, but professionals typically need a bachelor's degree to access higher-level positions, which means four years of education.

Where Can I Get a Degree in Radiology?

The ranking included on this page provides 20 of the top online radiology programs. However, students may also research other universities or local training programs.

What Kind of Degree Do You Need to Be a Radiologist?

Entry-level radiologists typically need at least an associate degree, but a bachelor's degree qualifies these professionals for higher-level positions.

What Is Radiology?

Radiology is a branch of medicine divided between diagnostic and interventional initiatives. Students can choose from multiple specializations, but not all colleges and universities offer the same concentrations. Potential concentrations include magnetic resonance imaging, cardiovascular-interventional technology, computed tomography, and women's imaging.

The best radiologic technologist candidates also understand anatomy and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Radiologic technologists work closely with physicians to capture and evaluate different images of patients' bodies. They also prepare patients for procedures by providing detailed information and reviewing patient medical histories. These professionals need to understand fundamental medical vocabulary and how to use radiologic equipment. The best radiologic technologist candidates also understand anatomy and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Radiology professionals usually work in hospitals. However, according to BLS data, physicians' offices are the second-largest employer after hospitals, and 20% of radiologic technologists work in medical and diagnostic laboratories.

The radiology field is continually evolving to meet new challenges as practitioners identify better methods for micro resolution, which can help detect diseases earlier. It's important for radiologists to keep up-to-date with changes in radiology technology.

What Is a Radiology Associate Degree?

Students interested in entry-level radiology careers can pursue an associate of science or associate of applied science in radiology. Both types of degrees typically require two years of full-time study to complete. These programs often include clinical experiences to help students qualify to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam.

Associate degree students gain a foundation in biology, anatomy, and physiology while also studying patient care and cultural sensitivity. An associate degree in radiology also helps students develop clinical and team-building skills.

What Is a Bachelor's Degree in Radiology?

A bachelor's in radiology prepares graduates for more professional opportunities than an associate degree. These programs typically require at least four years of full-time study, including clinical experiences. However, many universities also offer online degree-completion programs for students with associate degrees, which often take just two years to complete.

Bachelor's in radiology programs include general education and advanced radiology coursework. Students learn how to conduct advanced radiographic imaging procedures and understand ethical practices in healthcare. These programs emphasize fundamental skills like patient care, critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication.

What Else Can I Expect From a Radiology Degree Program?

Both an associate and a bachelor's degree in radiology lead to professional opportunities in the field. Online associate degree coursework focuses on medical imaging equipment, patient interactions, and other topics that prepare students to pass the ARRT exam.

A bachelor's degree in radiology covers more advanced topics than an associate degree, including things like healthcare organization and leadership or operations management. Many bachelor's programs also offer specializations in areas like leadership imaging, which can give students a competitive edge in the job market.

Both an associate and a bachelor's degree in radiology lead to professional opportunities in the field. Online associate degree coursework focuses on medical imaging equipment, patient interactions, and other topics that prepare students to pass the ARRT exam.

A bachelor's degree in radiology covers more advanced topics than an associate degree, including things like healthcare organization and leadership or operations management. Many bachelor's programs also offer specializations in areas like leadership imaging, which can give students a competitive edge in the job market.

Online Radiology Associate Program Curriculum

  • Radiologic Physics and Principles: This course presents basic principles of radiation physics. Topics include atomic structure, magnetism, electricity, and electromagnetism. Students also explore different elements of positioning and the components of the imaging system.
  • Methods of Patient Care: This course covers basic knowledge regarding patient care in radiology. Students explore standard precautions, infection control procedures, emergency and safety protocols, and patient communication best practices. Professors often use case studies, which allow students to apply their knowledge and skills prior to entering the field.
  • Clinicals: An associate in radiology requires clinical experiences to satisfy certification requirements. Clinical coordinators assign students rotation schedules at various facilities. During clinical experiences, students gain knowledge and skills in positioning, image processing, radiographic principles, and office procedures. Students typically need to complete background checks and fingerprinting to participate in clinicals.

Online Bachelor's in Radiology Program Curriculum

  • Imaging Techniques: Imaging techniques courses explore common imaging modalities, including computed tomography, ultrasound imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography. Topics include image quality, fourier analysis, and image contrast. Students gain knowledge and skills in the computational and analytical tools used in imaging.
  • Radiographic Positioning: This course teaches students how to conduct radiographic examinations of patients' soft tissue structures and skeletal systems. Course topics include characteristics of contrast media, pre-procedure preparation, patient care management, proper positioning, and exposure of structures. Programs may include more than one radiographic positioning course.
  • Externship: A bachelor's degree in radiology may require an externship, which differs from an internship. Externships may last for a few days or up to a few weeks. Students shadow an approved practitioner or group of practitioners. Depending on the university, students may need to find their own placements. Students do not get paid for externships.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Radiology Degree Program?

Program lengths for online associate and bachelor's degrees in radiology vary by school. An associate degree in radiology typically requires two years of full-time study, but clinical components may take students an additional year to complete. Part-time students should expect to double the amount of time required.

A traditional bachelor's degree in radiology requires four years to complete with full-time attendance. Again, clinical requirements may extend the length of a program, and part-time students should double anticipated timelines.

Radiologic technologists often earn an associate degree and board certification and begin working before acquiring a bachelor's degree. This prior coursework allows many students to earn a four-year bachelor's degree in just two additional years of study.

The structure of online programs may also influence how rapidly students graduate. For instance, synchronous courses require live attendance through video conferencing and chats. In contrast, asynchronous courses do not require set meeting times, allowing students to complete coursework at their convenience within deadline dates. Due to their increased flexibility, students can often complete asynchronous programs faster than synchronous programs.

What Can You Do With a Radiology Degree?

Graduates with a radiology degree enjoy many career opportunities. Graduates can begin working with an associate degree, but professionals with a bachelor's degree qualify for higher-level positions. The most advanced positions in the field require over eight years of additional education beyond a bachelor's degree in radiology. Such roles include cardiovascular radiologist and emergency radiologist.

Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic technologists play a vital role in early disease detection, intervention, and treatment. These professionals analyze medical images, adjust equipment, and position patients. The imaging methods they use include positron emission tomography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and x-rays.

Most professionals work in hospitals with a shift-based schedule. While employers typically look for full-time candidates, part-time positions also exist. This role requires at least an associate degree in radiology and 1-2 years of experience. However, the number of applicants with a bachelor's degree in radiology has been increasing.

Median Annual Salary

$62,280

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

9%

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists explain treatment plans to patients and determine what type of treatments patients need. Other responsibilities include maintaining records and monitoring reactions to treatment. Radiation therapists must know how to operate multiple machines, depending on what the patient needs.

According to BLS data, over 65% of radiation therapists work in hospital settings and nearly 25% work in physicians' offices. This role requires an associate or bachelor's degree in radiology. Most states also require radiation therapists to pass a national certification exam. They may also need a license, depending on the state.

Median Annual Salary

$85,560

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

9%

Transferring to a Bachelor's Program With an Associate Degree

Aspiring radiology professionals often begin their careers by earning an associate degree. This career-focused degree qualifies students for entry-level jobs. However, professionals often go on to earn a bachelor's degree, which helps them establish a competitive advantage in the field and qualify for leadership or management roles.

Bachelor's degree completion programs allow students with associate degrees to earn a bachelor's degree with just two additional years of study. Schools often offer completion programs online, allowing professionals to continue to work while earning their degrees. Completion programs typically prefer candidates with certification because it indicates that students completed pertinent clinical hours.

Accreditation for Radiology Programs

Postsecondary accrediting agencies ensure that schools meet a minimum standard of quality. Colleges and universities, employers, and licensing boards use these standards to affirm that students gained pertinent knowledge and skills during their educations.

Colleges and universities may hold national or regional accreditation. Nonprofit, degree-granting institutions typically hold regional accreditation, while for-profit, vocational, and technical schools hold national accreditation. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Programs within a school may also receive accreditation. Radiology students should look for programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

Financing Your Radiology Degree

Most students cannot afford to pay for their degrees out of pocket. However, students can access outside funding to finance their education, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Students can apply for federal aid by filing a FAFSA, which is free.

Federal awards include grants and loans. Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment. The federal government awards need-based grants based on student or family income. Military students and their families may also qualify for separate federally funded grants.

Scholarships often support various groups of students, including underserved populations, academically gifted applicants, and student athletes.

Federal aid also includes loans. However, students should approach loans cautiously and consider other options first. Students earning a bachelor's degree in radiology sometimes qualify for subsidized loans, and many private institutions and organizations may also offer loans. These loans do not honor the same locked interest rates as federal loans, however, which means students may end up paying more money over time.

Outside of federal aid, students can pursue financial aid from private or community organizations. For instance, religious institutions and recreation centers often offer grants. Unlike federal grants, community grants may target specific populations, which can increase students' chances of obtaining an award.

College scholarships also allow students to avoid out-of-pocket costs and repayment. In fact, scholarships account for over 30% of students' tuition coverage, on average. Scholarships often support various groups of students, including underserved populations, academically gifted applicants, and student athletes.

Some private organizations also provide scholarships. Radiology students should research organizations that support aspiring medical or radiology professionals. Professionals currently working in the field can also potentially offset school cost by asking their employers about tuition reimbursement policies.

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