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 the University of Iowa 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.
Eligible students apply to the following three-year tracks:
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) and General and Vascular
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) and Cardiac and Vascular
- Radiologic Technology (RT) and Cardiovascular Interventional (CVI)
- Radiologic Technology (RT) and Computed Tomography (CT)
- Radiologic Technology (RT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Students are advised for success, based on academic strength, not necessarily for a four-year plan. Prerequisites for these programs may take more than one year to complete.
Eligible students apply to the following two-year track:
- Radiation Therapy (RTT)
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. Previous hands-on patient care and job-shadowing experience are highly recommended.
Admission Requirements Tabs
Students in this major are encouraged to join the Radiation Sciences Student Organization and participate in numerous networking opportunities with both students and radiation sciences alumni.
Radiation Sciences graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate and the University of Iowa's Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find jobs.
Graduates generally find jobs in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, and physicians’ offices. Most radiation sciences professionals with full-time jobs work 40 hours a week and may have holiday, weekend, evening, night, and on-call hours. With experience, and sometimes additional education, graduates may find related jobs in management, sales, or education.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists' 2016 Wage and Salary Survey reports the following mean national salaries:
- $56,071 for radiologic technologists
- $65,775 for CT technologists
- $71,063 for MRI technologists
- $71,491 for CVI technologists
- $73,299 for DMS technologists
- $82,798 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 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.
The Department of Radiology awards the Scot Heery Scholarship to three selected senior students each year in recognition of their work ethic and daily commitment to quality patient care.
Application Process Tabs
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences declaring a "radiation sciences interest" on your application.