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Radiation Therapy


Radiation therapy programs prepare people to treat tumors in cancer patients with prescribed radiation treatments.

Radiation therapy programs prepare people to treat tumors in cancer patients. Students learn to operate machines and comfort patients. They learn to keep records and help put together treatment plans.

Radiation therapy programs include topics such as:


Many community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs in radiation therapy. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

A few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in radiation therapy. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years of full-time study.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Some programs require you to take pre-professional or general education courses before applying. These programs may admit you before you have finished these courses, but might want to see proof that you have started them or plan to start them soon.

These prerequisite courses usually include some combination of the following:

Other requirements may include:

Some programs prefer applicants who have a background in radiography (x-ray technology). However, many programs offer two options: course work for those who have this background and course work for those who do not. If you don't have a background in radiography or some other radiation science, your studies usually take longer to complete.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Bachelor's degree candidates may also need to complete an independent research project on radiation therapy.

All programs include a clinical externship or practicum in their curriculum. Under the supervision of a registered radiation therapist, you can apply your knowledge and skills in real-life clinical settings. You might help draft a treatment plan, operate equipment, or properly position patients for radiation.

Things to Know

Some states require you to have a license before practicing. You may have to pass a certification exam before getting licensed.

Radiation therapy programs require you to wear a radiation detection badge to monitor your exposure to radiation.

Fees in addition to tuition in this program include allied health insurance, uniform and shoes, radiation monitoring, and registry applications.


King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College