Best Online Degrees in: Radiology
Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiology
Radiology is a specialization studied primarily at the graduate level. X-ray technician or radiologic technologists who adjust and maintain radiologic imaging equipment and aid radiologists through patient and imaging procedures may receive enough training at the associate degree level to become licensed or certified in X-ray technology, but radiologists begin their education at the bachelor’s degree level, where they train to take the MCAT and apply through a rigorous process to gain acceptance into a medical school with a radiology program.
Students who wish to become radiologists complete the courses in a pre-medicine tracks in addition completing the requirements of their chosen major at their college or university. Courses required by pre-medical programs usually consist of course work in chemistry, calculus, biology, and English, public speaking, and composition. Prospective medical students may enroll in any major in addition to pre-medical course requirements, but preparation for radiology typically involves experience in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, mathematics, and physics course work. The following are classes required for most pre-medical programs.
- Biology.A foundational biology course will introduce the structure and biology of the cell, and concepts of molecular biology and genetics. Evolution, the history of life, and forms and functions of different organisms may be covered in lecture, laboratory course work and supplemental assignments and projects.
- Chemistry. Introductory course work in chemistry covers atomic and molecular structure. Chemistry will also cover principles of biological, inorganic, and organic chemistry, thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics.
- Calculus. Introductory course work in calculus covers polynomials, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Limits, derivatives, differential calculus, and real-world application are also discussed.
Chemistry, biochemistry, and biology courses will coincide with laboratory projects pertaining to course lectures, reading, and problem set assignments. English course work usually requires reading and response assignments, and research and argumentative papers.
Building a Career
Pre-med programs prepare students for application to medical school and to take the MCAT. Getting into medical school is a highly competitive process, and successful applicants have a strong proficiency in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Radiology students begin the majority of their discipline-specific course work in a medical school program.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physicians and surgeons is equal to or greater than $166,400. Employment for physicians and surgeons is expected to increase by 24% between 2010 and 2020. X-ray technicians, who follow a different path of study than radiologists, had a median annual wage of $54,340 in May 2010. Radiologic technologist and technician employment is expected to increase 28% between 2010 and 2020, though wage and employment vary depending on factors like area, employer, experience, and position.