Oncologist Degree Programs with Course Information

Learn about residency programs for oncologists. Get detailed admission requirements and find out how residencies work. Explore professional oncology certification options, and take a look at employment outlook and salary data relevant to the field.

View 6 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Oncologists are medical doctors involved in the study, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. An oncologist degree is not earned, but aspiring oncologists who have already graduated from medical school can complete 4-year oncology residency programs in order to satisfy training requirements for this area of specialization.

Residents complete clinical rotations in the first half of their residency programs. During the second half, they focus on research and explore sub-specialties in oncology. Residents study carcinogens and malignancy in cells, blood, tissues and organs. They examine the anatomy and physiology of cancer cells as well as the genetics of cancer. The successful completion of an oncology residency program qualifies medical doctors to become board-certified oncologists.

Educational Prerequisites

A Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), which is earned after four years of medical school, is required for admittance into residency programs. Medical school applicants need an undergraduate degree in a science-related subject and acceptable MCAT scores. In addition to having an M.D., doctors must successfully complete an initial post-graduate year (PGY-1). During this year, they receive clinical training in an area such as internal medicine or surgery.

Program Coursework

Residents work closely with patients and conduct research to improve their clinical and research skills. Academic and clinical conferences occur regularly and are led by class faculty and residents. The rotation curriculum varies according to sub-specialty and may include:

  • Gynecological oncology: Residents study the treatment of cancer in women.
  • Medical oncology: Methods for ordering scans and diagnosing patients are covered.
  • Pediatric oncology: The focus is on treating children with cancer.
  • Radiology: Doctors learn how to use radiation treatment.
  • Surgical pathology: Surgical means of removing cancerous tissues and tumors are learned.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The job growth for physicians and surgeons was expected to increase by 24% by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Specialized doctors, such as oncologists, had especially good prospects. The BLS reported the mean annual salary for non-specialized surgeons and physicians as $184,820 in 2012.

Continuing Education Information

Oncologists become board certified by medical specialty boards, such as the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) or the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Certification involves passing written and oral exams. Due to ever-changing technology, re-certification is mandatory; the requirements vary by specialty.

Show me popular schools

Related to Oncology Degrees

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Oncologist Education Requirements and Program Overviews

Learn about fellowships in oncology, residencies in radiation oncology and fellowships in surgical oncology. Read on to find...

Oncologist: Employment Information & Requirements

Oncologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including palliative care. Learn about...

Medical Oncologist: Job Description, Salary and Career Outlook

Medical oncologists require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the education, job description, duties,...

Become a Pediatric Oncologist: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a pediatric oncologist. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the experience...

Become a Clinical Oncologist: Education and Career Roadmap

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
        • Cell Physiology
        • Neuroscience
        • Oncology
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
        • Molecular Physiology
        • Neuroscience
        • Oncology
        • Pathology
  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Utah include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
        • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology
        • Oncology
        • Pathology
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Wayne State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • General Biology
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
        • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology
        • Oncology
        • Pathology

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics