Colleges That Offer Radiology Graduate Programs: How to Choose
Graduate degrees in radiology are typically for those interested in furthering a career in radiologic imaging or radiological physics. Radiologic imaging includes X rays, CT scans and MRIs used to diagnose and treat patients. These programs are typically available as master's degrees.
How to Select a Radiology School
Graduate degree programs in radiology are available at the master's level through select schools graduate departments and medical schools.
Summary of Important Considerations
- Program variety
- Focus of program
- Resources available
- Program structure and distance education
Due to the specialized nature of master's degree programs in radiology, programs vary from school to school. Some programs are focused on a specific type of imaging, while others focus on education or management in radiology. Graduate students in radiology may need to narrow their interests in the field and select a school that reflects those interests.
Focus of Program
Students interested in a research-based career might want to choose a school that offers a program focused in the physics of radiology. A Master of Science in Radiological Physics degree program prepares students to become members of research teams that investigate problems in the fields of radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiation biology.
Working radiologic technologists seeking advancement may be interested in obtaining a master's degree in radiology assisting. Technologists can become radiologist assistants with additional education and training, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Master of Science - Radiologist Assistant degree program prepares students to earn the Registered Radiologist Assistant (RRT) credential offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (www.arrt.org).
Before applying to a graduate radiology program, students may want to investigate a prospective school's resources. The availability of technical equipment, including MRI scanners, CT scanners, image-processing labs and PET scanners, varies from school to school and may have a direct impact on a student's educational experience.
Program Structure and Distance Education
Students with careers or time constraints may want to consider programs that offer flexible formats. While some programs have more hand-on instruction, other programs are offered through distance education, requiring minimal in-class attendance.
Master of Science in Radiological Physics
This program focuses on the medical applications of radiology, such as radiation oncology. Students usually spend a great deal of time in radiation labs. A thesis consisting of an approved project in the field of radiological physics is included. Coursework includes:
- Diagnostic radiology
- Magnetic resonance
- Nuclear medicine
- Radiation dosimetry
- Radiation therapy
Master of Science - Radiologist Assistant
The title of this degree varies, but the purpose of the program is to produce competent radiologist assistants. This program requires hundreds of hours spent in a clinical setting, allowing the student to gain knowledge from qualified professionals in the working environment of radiology. Students study:
- Human anatomy
- Patient diagnosis and management
- Image critiquing
- Medical terminology
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