Students in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Radiological Sciences are trained beyond the technical levels of expertise. They can study the managerial aspects of the field, such as project planning and team building, as well as work towards their certification as a radiologist.
Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree Programs in Radiological Sciences
The bachelor’s degree program in radiological sciences is devised to impart a strong managerial perspective about the role radiological technologists perform. Students enrolled in the program study ethical and legal issues related to radiology. Training is also available in decision making and project management, whereby students are potentially prepared to assume administrative positions in the field of radiological sciences. They become adept at performing intensive research and hone effective communication skills that can aid the application of their research findings.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, in addition to submitting documentary evidence of a minimum grade point average and completion of prerequisite courses in science and math. Most schools admit high school graduates into the program, while some only permit associate’s degree holders in radiological sciences, who are also required to submit transcripts from any school they may have attended. Separate tracks are available in some radiological science programs that comprise fewer classes for students with prior work experience as radiation technicians.
Degree requirements can be fulfilled over four years through completion of 120-134 semester credits. Students may spend some of this time span at an offsite radiology education center. The curriculum may also include clinical exposure experiences, such as fieldwork or practicums or fieldwork. Programs typically include university graduation requirements; these include numerous classes in liberal arts, including government, psychology, sociology, science, math, history, and English. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Procedures in imaging
•Ethics in medicine
•Anatomy and radiation biology
•Physics of radiation protection
•Patient professional interaction
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of 21% have been predicted for radiologic technologists and technicians. During the same period, diagnostic medical sonographers are expected to see a job growth rate of 46% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, diagnostic medical sonographers brought home an average annual wage of $60,350, while radiologic technologists and technicians earned $56,450, over the same period (BLS).
Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek entry-level careers in clinics, imaging centers, outpatient centers, and hospitals. They can choose from popular career options such as:
•Director of radiology
•Radiology training administrator
•Radiology informatics specialist
•Imaging equipment sales
Continuing Education Choices
Licensure or certification may be compulsory in some states for radiological technologists who wish to practice their profession. Some may seek continued education to stay abreast of the latest radiology technology and techniques through enrollment in refresher courses – the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is among the organizations that offer such programs. Specialized certification courses are also available to those who graduate that seek training in subsets of radiology, including diagnostic sonography, echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Those seeking advanced degrees may choose to earn a master’s degree program in radiology that could lead to careers in research and development. Coursework in master’s degree programs may involve exploration of new methods of radiology both at a therapeutic and diagnostic level.