Radiation sciences professionals work with a team of health professionals to gather accurate patient information for diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury. Technologists operate x-ray, CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), radiation therapy, ultrasound, and similar equipment essential in a hospital or health care setting.
Technologists must possess knowledge, skill, and mature judgment to operate complex equipment safely and efficiently. They produce quality images using multiple sources of radiation and they deliver quality patient care during diagnosis and treatment procedures.
Pursuing this degree as an undergraduate at Iowa allows you to complete the mandatory competencies and courses that allow you to apply to take the national board exams required to practice professionally.
Why Study at Iowa?
Iowa's Radiation Sciences program has an excellent reputation and student pass rate for certification exams. It offers six areas of specialization within the field.
The program is sponsored by University of Iowa Health Care in cooperation with the university's Carver College of Medicine and the Department of Radiology. It is affiliated with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), one of the nation’s largest public university teaching hospitals.
These connections, and the program’s location on the University of Iowa health sciences campus, provide a wealth of world-class resources and learning opportunities for students.
Iowa offers a related undergraduate degree program in Nuclear Medicine Technology.
There are two components to the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in radiation sciences: prerequisite course work and courses for one of six professional programs or tracks.
Prerequisite course work is completed in accordance with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' General Education Program, including the required courses for Radiation Sciences outlined in the UI General Catalog.
During the fall semester of their first year, students may be eligible to apply to an area of specialization in one of these three-year tracks:
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) and General and Vascular
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) and Cardiac and Vascular
- Radiologic Technology (RT) and Cardiovascular Intervention (CVI)
- Radiologic Technology (RT) and Computed Tomography (CT)
- Radiologic Technology (RT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
During the fall semester of their second year, students may be eligible to apply to a two-year track:
- Radiation Sciences (Radiation Therapy) BS
See Radiation Sciences in the UI General Catalog for additional information.
Students interested in Radiation Sciences initially apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a Radiation Sciences Interest major and complete the prerequisite course work.
Acceptance into the Carver College of Medicine Radiation Sciences major is selective, requiring an application, essay, and interview. Hands-on patient care and job-shadowing experience is highly recommended.
Admission Requirements Tabs
Iowa graduates have excellent job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find jobs.
The career outlook for radiation sciences graduates is bright and the majority of students are employed shortly after graduation. Graduates generally find jobs in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, and physicians’ offices. With experience, and sometimes additional education, they may find related jobs in management, sales, education, or as application specialists.
Most radiation sciences professionals with full-time jobs work 40 hours a week and may have holiday, weekend, evening, night, and on-call hours.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists' 2013 wage and salary survey reports the mean national salary at $63,545 for CT technologists, $67,379 for CVI technologists, $68,384 for MRI technologists, $70,701 for DMS technologists, and $78,602 for radiation therapists.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook reports the national median wage estimates in May 2012 were $54,620 for radiologic technologists, $65,360 for MRI technologists, $65,860 for diagnostic medical sonographers, and $77,560 for radiation therapists.
Students who complete Iowa's professional radiation sciences programs are eligible to apply to take national certification exams administered by the appropriate national agency in order to practice.
Licensure laws for radiographers vary from state to state. Iowa is a licensing state, requiring radiographers to have a permit to practice. Passing the national exam is a criterion used to issue a permit to practice.
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences declaring a "radiation sciences interest" on your application.