Get Matched With Colleges Offering Radiology

Overview of a Bachelor’s in Radiology

Radiology is one of the few medical professions you can enter with just an associate degree or certificate, and you may be wondering whether earning a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences or Radiologic Technology will be worth your time and money. Like most of life's larger decisions, there is no clear yes or no answer as to whether a bachelor's degree in radiology or radiologic technology, or even simply a medical sonography program, is the right course for your future. Your personal lifestyle, work and family schedule, and long-term professional goals are all part of the bigger picture and should be taken into account before you make your college enrollment for an education in radiography final. Your best bet is to become more knowledgeable about the field of radiology, as this will enable you to make an informed decision about your future career and education plans.

Whether students choose an on-campus or quality online degree like the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences or another similar degree in radiology, such as a medical sonography program, their program curriculum will cover general education and certain prerequisite courses to improve their knowledge and skills and prepare them for licensure in radiology, such as the following.

  • Imaging Processes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound Imaging, 3D Imaging, X-ray, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), etc.
  • Diagnostic Imaging Equipment
  • Advanced Imaging Techniques
  • Radiation Protection Procedures
  • Medical Terminology and General Health Sciences
  • Sectional Anatomy
  • Digital Image Acquisition and Quality Assurance Methods
  • Patient Care Procedures
  • Radiological Science Administration
  • And More

Once they earn their degree in radiology and gain licensure, students can start careers as medical imaging professionals, radiologic technologists, radiation therapists, and MRI technologist, Ultrasound imaging specialist, nuclear medicine specialist, in radiological science administration, and more. Taking courses at an accredited university will allow them to take national certification exams and gain licensure in radiology and credentials from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Licensure and experience in radiology will improve employment opportunities with prospective employers, including the opportunity for leadership roles.

Compare Popular Online Radiology Programs


  • Those who hold a bachelor's degree earn more on average than people without a degree, regardless of whether their employment is in the same field as their degree.
  • If an employer has narrowed his hiring choices down to two qualified candidates, a bachelor's degree holder will most likely be hired instead of a person who has only a radiology associate degree or certificate training.
  • This means that a bachelor's degree in radiologic technology will qualify you for more diversified positions as well as specialty careers within the field of radiology.
  • If you plan to eventually earn your graduate degree, you'll need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for entry into a master's degree program.
  • Some national certifications are only available to those who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Most supervisory positions are only open to those who hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • A bachelor’s degree program will allow you to concentrate on a specialized area such as ultrasound imaging, 3D imaging, radiation therapy, positron emission tomography, radiological science administration, etc. and allow you to stand out from your peers.


  • Higher education is expensive, and it may take you a considerable amount of time to see a return on your investment.
  • You may have a difficult time balancing work, family, and school while you gain an education in radiography.
  • If you're competing for the same position with someone who holds a master's degree , the person with the graduate degree is more likely to be hired than someone with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology.
  • You will still be required to pass national certification exams in order to qualify for many positions.
  • Because the field of radiology is constantly evolving, you will be required to take continuing education courses throughout your career.
  • A bachelor's degree will not guarantee that you will find work in your chosen field.

Associate vs. Bachelor's

What Radiology Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?

There are three basic types of online bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Applied Science. Because radiology is a medical field of study you will not normally find a Bachelor of Arts program in this field. Likewise, online Bachelor of Applied Science programs are scarce as they are usually designed for direct entry into the field rather than being transferrable for a graduate degree program. That leaves Bachelor of Science degrees, which is the most common type of radiology degree program. Your online program may have a different name other than radiology so you should look for online programs in the health field that refer to the field of imaging.

Here are some example titles of degree programs within the field of radiology:

  • Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences
  • Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences

Find Your Online Radiology College

Admission Requirements

Although each school sets its own admission requirements, there are standard requirements you can use as a rule of thumb. Most schools require you to have a 2.5, or higher, grade point average (GPA) in either high school or an associate degree program and a satisfactory score on your SAT. In addition, you must complete the application and usually submit a processing fee for each school you apply to.

Because this is a science degree, you can expect prerequisites to be part of the admissions requirement. You will most likely need to have completed specific courses in math and science to qualify for your online program of choice.

Some schools will require a personal statement and entrance essay on a given topic. Depending on the school, you may also need to submit personal references and a resume with your admission application. Schools that are more competitive will have higher admission standards than less prestigious schools, so they may require a higher GPA or a background check as part of the admissions process.

How long does it take to earn a Radiology Bachelor's?

An online bachelor’s degree is considered a four-year degree in that it takes an average of four years to complete if you take a full class load. You will need to complete 120 credit hours or approximately 40 courses to earn your degree.

If you already hold an associate degree, you can complete your bachelor's online in half the time. If you're still in high school, you can take college level courses and earn a semester or more of college credits for free before you graduate. On the other hand, if you can only attend school part-time it may take you twice as long to earn your degree. The main thing to focus on is what works for you and your personal situation.

Potential Careers in Radiology with a Bachelor’s

  • Radiologic Technologist:
    the position of technologist covers a wide range of medical imaging methods and your bachelor’s degree will allow you to specialize in ultrasounds, PET scans, MRIs, and similar imaging equipment. You'll also become proficient in the use of liquids such as barium and iodine and their use in imaging.
    The average annual salary of a radiologic technologist is: $59,600.
  • Radiology Manager:
    a radiology manager supervises the radiology departments within hospitals and similar medical offices. They are usually tasked with overseeing employees, maintaining inventory, scheduling of procedures, and equipment maintenance.
    The average annual salary for a radiology manager is: $83,000.
  • Radiology Supervisor:
    in larger institutions imaging equipment and operators may be in a department of their own under the guidance of a radiology supervisor. This supervisor oversees personnel scheduling, verifying accuracy of computerized appointments, and day-to-day supervision of employees within the department.
    The average annual salary of a radiology supervisor is: $70,900.
  • Special Procedures Radiology Technologist:
    this position is a specialized area within radiology. The special procedures radiology technologist works with a surgical team in a sterile operating room and is tasked with introducing invasive substances such as dyes directly into the patient via vein or artery. Typical examples are during cardiac stinting, catheterizations, or diagnostic studies.
    The average annual salary for a special procedures radiology technologist is: $66,900.
  • Radiology or Diagnostic Imaging Director:
    this is an advanced position that requires experience as much as education. The radiology or diagnostic imaging director has a wide range of duties that are both administrative and technical, as they are charged with ensuring the entire department runs smoothly and efficiently.
    The average annual salary of a radiology or diagnostic imaging director is: $99,800.

Salary by Occupation

Occupation Entry-Level Mid-Career Late Career
Radiologists $187,540 $208,000 $265,990
Radiologic Technologist $45,700 $52,100 $59,400
Radiation Therapist $61,900 $77,100 $90,900
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $51,500 $70,800 $84,000
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist $61,400 $76,000 $82,500
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technician $42,500 $52,500 $60,000
Nuclear Medicine Technologist $59,800 $71,900 $77,800

Search Online Schools Offering Radiology Majors

Options to Advance

There are many areas within the field of radiology, and once you earn your bachelor’s degree you may choose to pursue certification in one or more areas.

Here are some examples of national certifications you may earn to advance in these areas of practice:

  • Bone Densitometry (BD)
  • Cardiac Interventional Radiography (CI)
  • Cardiovascular Interventional Radiography (CV)
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR)
  • Mammography (M)
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology (N)
  • Quality Management (QM)
  • Radiation Therapy (T)
  • Radiography (R)
  • Vascular Interventional Radiography (VI)

You may also choose to continue your education and earn a radiology master's degree, which will allow you to enter administrative and upper management positions within the field of radiology.

Best Bachelor of Science in Radiology Programs

  • Morehead State University
    Morehead, Kentucky

    Morehead has a program with limited space and requires applicants to have certification, training, and a specific set of prerequisites in order to be approved for this program, which is geared towards those wishing to enter management or administrative positions within the field.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
    LaCrosse, Wisconsin

    Students must have a minimum of 40 hours of observation time in a radiation therapy department to qualify for admission. While some of the coursework in this program may be completed online, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed on campus.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    The UNC program is focused on medical imaging for injury evaluation and disease diagnosis with insight into the specific processes used for several common conditions. Graduates will be qualified to sit for the ARRT national certification exam in the field of radiologic technology.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science
  • Ohio State University-Main Campus
    Columbus, Ohio

    This program offers a choice of majors in Radiation Therapy, Sonography/Vascular Therapy, or Radiography and prepares the student for careers in administration, clinical practice, research, or education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science Radiologic Science and Therapy
  • Boise State University
    Boise, Idaho

    At Boise State, the radiologic sciences department is extensive, offering in depth training in three separate areas of the field of radiology. Approximately half of the credit hours are clinical, giving each student hands on training in their area of choice.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science Degree programs in: Diagnostic Radiology, Computed Tomography, and Advanced Imagery (MRI and Sonography).

Find Your Radiology Program

Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Radiology

Note: most degrees in this field require clinical hours, so verify that your school of choice has local clinical or intern training as part of their coursework.

  • Armstrong State University
    Savannah, Georgia

    Students may choose from five specialty areas: Nuclear Medicine, Cardiovascular/Interventional Science, Radiography, Radiation Therapy, or Sonography. Graduates are ready to sit for the AART exam. Those with experience in the field are more likely to be accepted into this program.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences
  • University of Missouri
    Columbia, Missouri

    This program is designed for those wishing to enter leadership roles within the field of radiology including patient care, sales and marketing, and research. The University of Missouri also offers a 10% tuition discount to veterans, service members and their dependents, and community college graduates.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, emphasis in radiologic science
  • Oregon Tech Online
    Klamath Falls, Oregon

    The program at Oregon Tech is designed for those working within the field of radiology that need their bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for entry into a master's degree program. Only registered radiologic technologists with access to a properly equipped radiology lab are eligible for this program; up to 89 credits are rewarded for experience in the field.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science
  • Pima Medical Institute
    East Valley, Arizona

    Pima offers a program modeled after the American Society of Radiologic Technologists standardized program and is designed to prepare those working in the field so they can enter administrative and leadership roles within the field.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences
  • Texas State University
    San Marcos, Texas

    At Texas State graduates are fully prepared to enter the field of radiology with the technical and psychological skills required to treat patients requiring a course of radiotherapy. This program is highly competitive; students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all science courses and may only repeat a failed course once.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work as a radiologist with a bachelor’s degree?

No. You’ll need an MD degree to find work as a radiologist. However, earning a bachelor’s in this field can give you a leg up before you move into an MD program, giving you a more than solid foundation in the exact field you will be studying later on. With a bachelor’s in radiology, you can also work as a radiology technician, which will allow you to get to work right away and start earning money and can also help you gain experience in the radiology field before moving into an MD program.

What is the difference between radiology and radiography?

Radiology is what you will do as an MD. In this role, it will be your responsibility to read and interpret scans and medical images to tell if a patient has anything from a broken wrist to lung cancer. However, in a role as a radiographer, you would be the one obtaining these images with a variety of imaging machines. The important thing to note is that, as a radiographer, you would not have the right to express an opinion about the images you take no matter how much experience you accrue in the field. You might be certain that an image shows no signs of cancer, but you must wait and allow the doctor to make that decision. This can be difficult when you are dealing with worried patients, but it is vital if you want to maintain your license.

Search All Programs