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If you’re work­ing as a radi­ol­o­gist or sim­i­lar job with an associate’s degree, you should con­sid­er find­ing an afford­able bachelor’s in radi­a­tion science. 

Earn­ing an asso­ci­ate’s degree in radi­a­tion sci­ence pro­vides you with ample edu­ca­tion to begin a career in the field of radi­ol­o­gy, but you’ll find you hit the radi­a­tion ther­a­py tech salary ceil­ing pret­ty quick­ly. In order to earn more mon­ey, your best option is to earn your bach­e­lor’s degree in radi­a­tion ther­a­py. A bach­e­lor’s degree helps you gain access to bet­ter-pay­ing jobs in the field, and posi­tion your­self to even­tu­al­ly earn your mas­ter’s in radi­a­tion technology.

How­ev­er, a bach­e­lor’s degree is a more expen­sive degree than an asso­ci­ate’s, but you can still save mon­ey on a four-year edu­ca­tion. State uni­ver­si­ties are sim­i­lar to com­mu­ni­ty col­leges in that they offer afford­able tuition to in-state stu­dents. The schools that offer a bach­e­lor’s degree in radi­a­tion sci­ence are also accred­it­ed by JRCERT or one of six region­al accred­it­ing agen­cies. You earn your bach­e­lor’s degree with a much low­er amount of debt than you would if you attend­ed a pri­vate school and still have the same employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties as state uni­ver­si­ties fre­quent­ly have high­ly-regard­ed radi­o­log­ic tech­nol­o­gy programs.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Radiation Science Degree Programs

For stu­dents who are pay­ing their own way and need to keep costs (and stu­dent loan debt) down, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter has ranked the most afford­able bachelor’s in radi­a­tion sci­ence pro­grams. The fol­low­ing schools are fea­tured in order of their tuition cost, using cur­rent IPEDS data. Only accred­it­ed, rep­utable insti­tu­tions have been considered.

1. California State University, Northridge

Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, North­ridge has a BS in Radi­o­log­ic Sci­ences that con­sists of two phas­es. The afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree con­sists of Pre-Pro­fes­sion­al and Pro­fes­sion­al phas­es. In the first phase, stu­dents fin­ish their require­ments for gen­er­al edu­ca­tion and pre­req­ui­sites for the pro­gram. Then, stu­dents begin their radi­o­log­ic sci­ence cours­es. The pro­gram includes an intern­ship of 2,600 hours at and the area Med­ical Center.

CSU North­ridge offers 60 majors and there are hun­dreds of orga­ni­za­tions that stu­dents can join. This diverse and vibrant com­mu­ni­ty focus­es on both aca­d­e­m­ic pro­grams and stu­dent life. 82% of stu­dents receive some form of finan­cial aid.

What We Like: Approx­i­mate­ly 80% of stu­dents say that pro­fes­sors put a lot of effort into teach­ing their classes.

Degree: BS in Radi­o­log­ic Sciences

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2. Indiana University Northwest

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty North­west-Gary has a BS in Radi­a­tion Ther­a­py that’s among the most afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degrees. This pro­gram pro­vides instruc­tion in tech­ni­cal cours­es, prin­ci­ples and clin­i­cal appli­ca­tion of radi­o­log­ic ther­a­py. It also includes gen­er­al edu­ca­tion cours­es in a vari­ety of lab, lec­ture and clin­i­cal set­tings. Stu­dents learn the skills and tech­niques need­ed to become suc­cess­ful radi­a­tion therapists.

Locat­ed in the Chica­go area, Indi­ana North­west is in Gary, Indi­ana. This pub­lic school is open to all appli­ca­tions. The admis­sions team accepts three out of four can­di­dates who apply. In all, there are over 2,500 stu­dents enrolled in majors that include nurs­ing, busi­ness and radi­o­log­ic technician.

What We Like: The school has a 75% accep­tance rate and 85% of stu­dents receive finan­cial aid.

Degree: BS Radi­a­tion Therapy

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3. Northern Kentucky University

The BS in Radi­a­tion Ther­a­py at North­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty focus­es on radi­a­tion oncol­o­gy. Stu­dents who com­plete this afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree are pre­pared to take on roles as radi­a­tion ther­a­pists. The equip­ment uses radi­a­tion, such as radioac­tive sub­stances or high ener­gy X rays to kill can­cer cells. This tech­nol­o­gy is also used to shrink tumors and relieve symp­toms relat­ed to can­cer. Radi­a­tion ther­a­pists deliv­er treat­ment to patients under the guid­ance of radi­a­tion oncologist.

North­ern Ken­tucky admits nine out of 10 stu­dents who apply and there are cur­rent­ly more than 8,200 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents study­ing at the uni­ver­si­ty. The school is locat­ed in the Cincin­nati area giv­ing stu­dents access to urban ameni­ties. Oth­er pop­u­lar majors include lib­er­al arts, nurs­ing and business.

What We Like: Near­ly all, 99%, of stu­dents receive some kind of finan­cial aid, mak­ing the school high­ly acces­si­ble to those on a lim­it­ed budget.

Degree: BS in Radi­a­tion Therapy

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4. Midwestern State University — Texas

Mid­west­ern State Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Radi­o­log­ic Tech­nol­o­gy. This afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree falls under the Shi­madzu School of Radi­o­log­ic. The pro­gram pre­pares learn­ers for radi­og­ra­phy careers. One sec­ond delete the course, grad­u­ates are pre­pared to sit for the Amer­i­can Reg­istry of Radi­o­log­ic Tech­nol­o­gists (ARRT)’s nation­al cer­ti­fi­ca­tion exam­i­na­tion. The pro­gram has received accred­i­ta­tion from the Joint Review Com­mit­tee on Edu­ca­tion in Radi­o­log­ic Tech­nol­o­gy (JRCERT). Stu­dents will learn to take a diverse approach to treat­ing patience and devel­op­ing on a per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al level.

MSU Texas is a small school in Wichi­ta Falls, Texas. this small school has over 4,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. It has a mod­er­ate­ly com­pet­i­tive accep­tance rate of 79%, mean­ing that near­ly eight out of 10 appli­cants who apply receive an accep­tance let­ter from the uni­ver­si­ty. Besides radi­o­log­ic tech­ni­cian, oth­er pop­u­lar pro­grams include lib­er­al arts human­i­ties and nursing.

What We Like: Approx­i­mate­ly 93% of stu­dents receive some kind of finan­cial aid.

Degree: BS in Radi­o­log­ic Technology

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5. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

North­west­ern State Uni­ver­si­ty of Louisiana’s afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree cul­mi­nates in a BS in Radi­o­log­ic Sci­ences. This pro­gram helps stu­dents devel­op the skills need­ed to begin work as radi­o­log­ic tech­nol­o­gists. Grad­u­ates emerge ready to begin jobs in this impor­tant health care pro­fes­sion. Using state of the art tech­nol­o­gy, stu­dents mas­ter imag­ing tech­niques and also learn how to treat patients with com­pas­sion. This reward­ing career pro­vides essen­tial ser­vices. Grad­u­ates tran­si­tion into jobs where they admin­is­ter ion­iz­ing radi­a­tion and treat and diag­nose injuries. Stu­dents learn to observe pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards, admin­is­ter care with com­pas­sion and exhib­it eth­i­cal behav­ior in their deal­ings with fam­i­ly mem­bers and patients.

North­west­ern State Louisiana has Approx­i­mate­ly 6,300 stu­dents. This mid­sized school offers dozens of majors and is locat­ed in Natchi­toches, Louisiana. About 82% of stu­dents who apply or accept­ed and choose from major such as psy­chol­o­gy, nurs­ing and lib­er­al arts and humanities.

What We Like: North­west­ern State Louisiana is the 5th rank­ing pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty in the state.

Degree: BS in Radi­o­log­ic Sciences

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6. Baker College

Bak­er Col­lege in Owos­so offers a BS in Radi­a­tion Ther­a­py. This afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree teach­es stu­dents how to admin­is­ter radi­a­tion to treat can­cer and relat­ed dis­eases. This impor­tant role is inte­gral when it comes to the man­age­ment of life-threat­en­ing can­cer cas­es. It’s an allied health dis­ci­pline and tech­ni­cians inter­face with physi­cists and physi­cians to advance the field. It requires strong skills in med­ical sci­ence, psy­chol­o­gy, and math­e­mat­ics, among oth­er diverse skillsets. Radi­a­tion ther­a­pists treat patients for months and become cen­tral to their health­care and well-being.

Bak­er Col­lege has been edu­cat­ing stu­dents for more than 100 years and is con­tin­u­ous­ly adopt­ing new tech­nol­o­gy to pro­duce well-pre­pared stu­dents for the work­force. The school only offers majors that cor­re­late to high-growth careers. That way, stu­dents can rest assured that they are get­ting a high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion and mar­ketable skill sets.

What We Like: Approx­i­mate­ly 89% of stu­dents receive some form of finan­cial aid.

Degree: BS in Radi­a­tion Therapy

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7. Oakland University

Oak­land Uni­ver­si­ty has an afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree result­ing in a BS in radi­o­log­ic tech­nol­o­gy. Locat­ed with­in the Depart­ment of Clin­i­cal and Diag­nos­tic Sci­ences, the pro­gram offers stu­dents access to unique train­ing in radi­o­log­ic tech­niques, includ­ing treat­ment tech­niques requir­ing advanced under­stand­ing of Phys­i­ol­o­gy, anato­my, and imag­ing tech­nol­o­gy. Grad­u­ates treat patients with ion­iz­ing radi­a­tion as well as con­duct research.

Oak­land Uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in the Detroit area. It’s a large insti­tu­tion with over 12,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. it accepts most appli­cants who apply. Pop­u­lar majors include health pro­fes­sions, nurs­ing, and psychology.

What We Like: Oak­land Uni­ver­si­ty is the num­ber 10 top-rat­ed pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty in the state.

Degree: BS in Radi­o­log­ic Technology

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8. Weber State University

Weber State Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Advanced Radi­o­log­ic Sci­ences that’s one of the most afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degrees. Stu­dents who choose Weber State I’ve tak­en the next step in their career to becom­ing cer­ti­fied radi­o­log­ic tech­ni­cians. Mas­ter­ing the skills need­ed to per­form this job involves more than one dis­ci­pline. How­ev­er, Weber State deliv­ers the edu­ca­tion need­ed to mas­ter this inten­sive degree. The degree pro­gram includes class­es in radi­a­tion biol­o­gy, patient edu­ca­tion, patient care and assess­ment, patho­phys­i­ol­o­gy, anato­my, image eval­u­a­tion, and relat­ed topics.

This pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed and the Salt Lake City area, specif­i­cal­ly in Ogden, Utah. This large school has near­ly 12,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. Every­one who comes to the uni­ver­si­ty gains accep­tance and pop­u­lar majors include nurs­ing, lib­er­al arts and human­i­ties, and com­put­er science.

What We Like: Weber State Uni­ver­si­ty is num­ber six among Utah’s best val­ue colleges.

Degree: BS in Advanced Radi­o­log­ic Sciences

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9. Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State Uni­ver­si­ty has a BS in Radi­o­log­ic Sci­ence degree that trains stu­dents to become radi­o­log­ic tech­ni­cians. This afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degree focus­es on the uses of ion­iz­ing radi­a­tion too help those diag­nosed with can­cer and relat­ed dis­eases. When they grad­u­ate, stu­dents will work under a spe­cial­ist who diag­noses and ion­izes radi­a­tion for the ther­a­peu­tic treat­ment of can­cer and oth­er dis­eases. This career requires empa­thy, strength of char­ac­ter, and a deep knowl­edge of anato­my, radi­ol­o­gy, and oth­er dis­ci­plines. Using the lat­est tech­niques, radi­o­log­ic tech­ni­cians show com­pas­sion and com­pe­tence in the work­place. They deal direct­ly with patients and fam­i­ly mem­bers, so the job requires com­mit­ment to a wide treat­ment framework.

Austin Peay State is locat­ed in Clarksville, Ten­nessee. It has approx­i­mate­ly 6,800 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents major­ing in phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion, teach­ing, coach­ing, and lib­er­al arts and human­i­ties, among oth­er majors avail­able at the school. The school has a phe­nom­e­nal accep­tance rate of 95%.

What We Like: The 95% accep­tance rate along with the afford­abil­i­ty of tuition makes this a great choice for those who wish to become radi­o­log­ic technicians.

Degree: BS in Radi­o­log­ic Science

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10. University of Michigan Flint

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan Flint has a BS radi­a­tion ther­a­py that is one of the most afford­able radi­a­tion sci­ence degrees. Those who choose this field have to mas­ter a deep knowl­edge of high ener­gy radi­a­tion that is used to treat ill­ness­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fer­ent forms of can­cer. Radi­a­tion ther­a­py is usu­al­ly part of a broad­er treat­ment strat­e­gy that often involves chemother­a­py and surgery. These pro­fes­sion­als admin­is­ter radi­a­tion dosage that is deter­mined by physi­cians who are spe­cial­ists in the field. Often, radi­o­log­ic tech­ni­cians treat the same patient sev­er­al times a week for weeks or months, giv­ing them con­tin­u­ous access to patients. This pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op rela­tion­ships with patients which can be extreme­ly rewarding.

UM-Flint stu­dents attend class­es in the heart of the city. The close-knit com­mu­ni­ty on cam­pus help stu­dents grow both per­son­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. The school offers some online study that may or may not be avail­able for radi­o­log­ic tech­nol­o­gy majors.

What We Like: The school has a com­pet­i­tive admis­sions process and just 66% of those who apply receive admis­sion approval. How­ev­er, 96% of stu­dents who do attend receive some kind of finan­cial aid.

Degree: BS in Radi­a­tion Therapy

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How Can I Save Money on a Radiation Science Degree?

When it comes to sav­ing mon­ey on a radi­a­tion sci­ence degree, you have a few options avail­able to you, but they depend on your edu­ca­tion­al goals. You can become a radi­ol­o­gy tech­ni­cian and make an excel­lent radi­a­tion ther­a­py tech salary after you earn an asso­ci­ate’s degree in radi­a­tion sci­ence. Anoth­er way to save mon­ey, espe­cial­ly if you’re inter­est­ed in get­ting a bach­e­lor’s degree in radi­a­tion sci­ence, is to attend a com­mu­ni­ty col­lege for an asso­ci­ate’s degree and trans­fer the cred­its to a four-year school. A pro­fes­sion­al cer­tifi­cate is anoth­er option, but only if you have a degree in a field relat­ed to radi­o­log­ic technology.

One of the edu­ca­tion­al path­ways to get­ting an afford­able sci­ence degree is to enter into an asso­ci­ate’s degree pro­gram for radi­a­tion sci­ence. It takes about two years to earn the asso­ci­ate’s degree and the edu­ca­tion can get you into entry-lev­el posi­tions as a radi­a­tion tech­nol­o­gist. Many com­mu­ni­ty col­leges offer an asso­ci­ate’s degree pro­gram in radi­a­tion sci­ences and the per-cred­it cost of a com­mu­ni­ty col­lege edu­ca­tion is much low­er than at a uni­ver­si­ty that has the same types of degree programs.

You may be resis­tant to going to a com­mu­ni­ty col­lege for your degree because there’s a com­mon per­cep­tion that going to com­mu­ni­ty col­lege means you’re not going to get a qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion. The fact is, com­mu­ni­ty col­leges around the coun­try deliv­er an edu­ca­tion that’s on par with four-year uni­ver­si­ties. They fre­quent­ly hire edu­ca­tors who are pro­fes­sion­als in the field of radi­ol­o­gy, use recent tech­nol­o­gy for teach­ing tools, and have accred­i­ta­tion from orga­ni­za­tions such as the Joint Review Com­mit­tee on Edu­ca­tion in Radi­o­log­ic Tech­nol­o­gy (JRCERT). Accred­i­ta­tion ensures your degree is rec­og­nized and accept­ed by licens­ing bod­ies and employers.

Last, but not least, you can attend school online and save mon­ey on costs such as room and board, meal plans, and a com­mute. You also have more time for your stud­ies so you can focus on earn­ing the best grades pos­si­ble. Employ­ers won’t know that you attend­ed school vir­tu­al­ly unless you bring it up in an inter­view. Schools that offer online degrees don’t indi­cate how you attend­ed class­es on the diplo­ma, and pro­vide the same edu­ca­tion to tra­di­tion­al and online students.

Will I Make More with a Bachelor’s Degree?

Yes, you will make more with a bach­e­lor’s degree in radi­a­tion ther­a­py tech­nol­o­gy than you would if you earned a pro­fes­sion­al cer­tifi­cate or asso­ci­ate’s degree. Accord­ing to the BLS, the aver­age radi­a­tion ther­a­py tech­nol­o­gist salary was $86,850 in 2020. Those who have a bach­e­lor’s degree in radi­a­tion sci­ence are more like­ly to earn the medi­an wage and high­er, while those who have a cer­tifi­cate or asso­ci­ate’s degree earn less and their income may top out at the medi­an. Oth­er fac­tors that influ­ence the radi­a­tion ther­a­py start­ing salary are your geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion, the demand for radi­a­tion ther­a­pists, and your degree.

The aver­age hourly pay for a radi­a­tion ther­a­pist is $34.65 with the 90th per­centile earn­ing $48.87 an hour and the low­est 10th per­centile earn­ing 27.56 an hour. The aver­age radi­a­tion ther­a­py tech­nol­o­gist salary is well-com­pen­sat­ed even at the low­er end, but there is a lot of poten­tial for high­er income, and that typ­i­cal­ly comes with high­er lev­els of edu­ca­tion along with experience.

The field of radi­a­tion sci­ences is one with mul­ti­ple sub-branch­es and offers stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow their knowl­edge and career as a gen­er­al radi­ol­o­gist or in a more focused area in the sci­ence. Earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s degree in radi­a­tion ther­a­py helps you earn more mon­ey and earn more than the aver­age radi­a­tion ther­a­py tech salary. You may also find that you want to even­tu­al­ly earn a doc­tor­ate in radi­a­tion tech­nol­o­gy because you enjoy this par­tic­u­lar field of med­ical sci­ence. As your knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence in radi­a­tion tech­nol­o­gy grows, so does your radi­a­tion sci­ence salary.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Radi­a­tion Science

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Radi­a­tion Science

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Radi­a­tion Science