Best Radiology Schools

  • Medical institutions offer various radiology programs, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), sonography, X-ray, and radiation therapy, for new and returning students.
  • Some of the best medical schools for radiology in the United States include Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California in San Francisco.
  • There are also courses for radiologic technologists at the University of Iowa, Newman University, Xavier University, and the University of Cincinnati.
  • While majoring in science is not a requirement for a radiology degree, aspiring radiologists may benefit from participating in programs that can increase their knowledge of the medical field.

Top Medical Schools and Radiology Programs

Individuals who have completed a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and wish to specialize in diagnostic imaging can find a range of radiology residency programs available. These programs are provided by reputable medical schools nationwide. Based on an article posted by the U.S. News and World Report, the following schools are some of the most notable medical institutions for radiology residencies(1).  The schools are listed together with their acceptance rate and approximate tuition fees.
School Acceptance Rate Tuition Note
Johns Hopkins University 3.9% $53,400 Offers a one month basic clinical elective
Duke University 3.2% $61,170 Average GPA is 3.8
University of Pennsylvania 4% $57,884 Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) median is 517
University of California in San Francisco N/A $39,671 (California residents) Average GPA is 3.8
Harvard University 2.6% $61,600 Average GPA is 3.9
Stanford University 2.5% $58,197 Receives 7,000 applications annually
Washington University in St. Louis N/A $66,913 Offers several radiology electives
Columbia University 3.4% $68,900 Offers financial aid packages

Johns Hopkins University

The university is known for its prestigious MD program that admits only a fraction out of thousands of applicants each year.  Their Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science offers a month of basic medical student clinical elective, its most popular elective in the past ten years. Course students are required to spend one or two days each week in various divisions. They are taught to observe how studies are acquired and how patient care is delivered. Students seeking a more advanced form of experience can also take interventional radiology, musculoskeletal, pediatrics, or a subspecialty observership.

Duke University

Duke’s MD program attracts more than eight-thousand applicants each year. Students accepted in 2019 had an average GPA of 3.8 and a median MCAT score of 520(2). Second-year students go through a four-week clinical core clerkship in radiology, providing them with an opportunity for clerkship before pursuing a radiology residency.  There are also electives for students who wish to further their knowledge in different fields, such as vascular and interventional radiology and breast imaging.

University of Pennsylvania

The Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania is among the most competitive medical schools in the United States.  Students of their 2019 entering class had a GPA of 3.7 and an MCAT median of 517(3). Their radiology electives offer several opportunities to branch out to breast imaging (mammography), gastrointestinal radiology, cardiovascular imaging sciences, neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology, nuclear medicine, and pediatric radiology.

University of California in San Francisco (UCSF)

UCSF has some of the most advanced technology in terms of providing radiology equipment to its students. It also boasts a high volume of imaging procedures each year. The University of California in San Francisco offers two residency program choices for postgraduate students who wish to specialize in radiology.  Its diagnostic radiology program focuses on general radiology. On the other hand, the one on nuclear medicine covers the diagnosing and treating of cancers. In 2020, the average GPA for admitted students was 3.8, while the median MCAT score percentile ranking was 93(4).

Harvard University

The university’s radiology clerkship through Massachusetts General Hospital is designed to teach students the basics of diagnostic imaging and clinical indicators for examinations.  Students can expect problem-based learning exercises, academic lectures, programmed audio-visual teaching seminars, observation of film interpretation, and tutorials from this clerkship.

Stanford University

Stanford’s Department of Radiology offers a range of elective clerkships to familiarize its students with interpreting medical images and nuclear medicine studies.  It also provides opportunities for research and observation in several subspecialty areas of radiology. Students have access to all radiologic imaging modalities, which include ultrasound, CT, fluoroscopy, MRI, and radiography.

Washington University in St. Louis

Three Washington University students matched into radiology residencies in the 2018 residency match. The Edward Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology serves as the university’s department of radiology. WashU offers several radiology electives, including a four-week general radiology clerkship and more advanced options, like thoracic imaging.

Columbia University

At the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, students study and practice radiology in several ways.  During their third year, students select specialized one-week courses in radiation and participate in a four-week elective clerkship in global health radiology. Meanwhile, fourth-year medical students choose from five different radiology electives. In 2019, nine of their students matched with diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology residencies. Achieving an MCAT score of about 520 is a competitive grade for most students in the university.

Top Medical Institutions and Programs in Radiologic Technology

Usually, a radiologic technologist has to complete an associate’s degree in the type of technology they desire to practice. Technologists who wish to add another modality to their resume can accomplish additional education and obtain certifications for their new discipline. Here are some of the top schools for radiologic technologists and technicians:
School Program Online?
University of Iowa Diagnostic Medical Sonography, MRI, and Radiation Therapy Yes
Newman University Associate of Science in Health Science Radiologic Technology Yes
Xavier University Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology No
University of Cincinnati Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science Yes
University of Louisiana Monroe Radiologic Technology Program Yes
Emory University Bachelor of Medical Science in Medical Imaging No
Arkansas State University Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science No
Oakland University Bachelor of Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences-Radiologic Technology No

University of Iowa

The Carver College of Medicine from the University of Iowa offers three pathways for a student to earn a bachelor’s degree in medical imaging They have a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, a Bachelor of Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy (radiation therapist). These on-campus programs are designed to prepare students for social learning, professional, and intellectual opportunities. These programs require students to work alongside faculty members and instructors of the university. The University of Iowa also has online programs in radiologic sciences that can lead to an online degree in radiologic or nuclear medicine technology.  This combination of on-campus and online learning makes them one of the best colleges of medicine for radiology programs.

Newman University

In Newman University, students of Associate of Science in Health Science Radiologic Technology program are trained and educated to become competent radiographers Rad techs in this institution follow the best safety practices and determine the proper radiation quantity for precise diagnostic images.  

Xavier University

Students graduating from the radiologic technology program of Xavier University are prepared to work as radiologic technologists in various specialties. These areas include fluoroscopy, surgery, mobile examinations, and diagnostic X-ray. The associate degree in radiologic technology program of the university also includes clinical competency training and evaluation.

University of Cincinnati

An online Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science (BSRT) program is available at the University of Cincinnati, offering radiology technicians the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field.  Aspiring students should have at least sixty transferable credit hours from an associate degree or a similar program. The university also has an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Radiologic Technology and an associate science degree in Pre-Health Professions.

University of Louisiana Monroe

The University of Louisiana Monroe offers a four-year radiologic technology program that is made up of two segments.  The first covers the basic physical and biological sciences, while the second prepares graduates for a career in radiologic technology. Students of the university gain hands-on experience and complete their clinical education through the institution’s association with various hospitals in the area.  Working professionals may sign up for the online Registered Technologist Education Plan (RTEP), leading to a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology degree when completed.

Emory University

Emory University offers a Bachelor of Medical Science in Medical Imaging degree that aims to prepare students to perform X-rays and use other equipment to diagnose and treat diseases.  The school also has a program in medical imaging with online coursework aimed at helping professionals expand their qualifications.

Arkansas State University

The Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences of Arkansas State University offers aspiring students a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science structured to produce competent radiologic technicians.  Past graduates of the university have already been placed in diverse roles, from technical advisors in medical centers and hospitals to sales representatives for diagnostic equipment.

Oakland University

A Bachelor of Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences – Radiology Technology program is available at Oakland University.  It prepares students for a career in clinical imaging by teaching them the principles and science behind the safe administration of ionizing radiation. The program also includes six semester-long rotations to help develop the skills and clinical experience of its students.

What is the Best Degree Path for Aspiring Radiologists?

An aspiring radiologist has to attend medical school and accomplish residency before they can obtain their license to practice. The pathway to medical school starts with an undergraduate degree. There are no bachelor degree programs in radiology. However, many high school students prepare for medical school by choosing to major in chemistry, biology, or other sciences. Although majoring in one of the sciences is not a requirement, there are prerequisite courses that need to be taken before one can be accepted in medical school The education requirements vary per school. However, completing one year of English, biology, physics, and chemistry are the most common. Students may also benefit from participating in clinical experiences or extracurricular activities to increase their knowledge of the medical field. Full-time radiologists, alongside radiation oncologists, have the highest average salaries in the field of radiology(5).  However, candidates may also find lucrative radiology careers (radiologist assistants) with high growth potentials in roles requiring less education.

What is the Best Degree Path for Aspiring Radiologic Technologists?

Postsecondary general education is necessary for aspiring radiologic technologists. Radiography education programs at the associate, bachelor, and graduate certificate levels are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Students should expect to spend time studying radiation physics, anatomy, image evaluation, patient care, and pathology at any level of education.  Besides learning course material in the classroom, radiography students also undergo clinical training for practical experience before graduating. Based on an article by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most entry-level radiologic technologists begin their careers with an associate’s degree level program(6) However, completing a bachelor’s degree can give candidates a competitive edge when seeking desirable positions. Bachelor’s degree level radiography programs go into greater detail while providing a more in-depth background than an associate’s degree. Having a bachelor’s degree in radiography can also prepare applicants for medical school if they decide to become a radiologist. As for licensure, technologists need to graduate from an accredited program and pass a certification exam given by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).  For MRI technologists, certifications are available from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). More information about specific licensure laws, financial aid, and continuing education can be obtained by contacting the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

What is Radiologic Technology?

Radiologic technology, also known as radiography, is the science of using radiation to generate images of organs, bones, vessels, and soft tissue in the human body. These X-ray images are recorded on film and are then used in diagnosing and treating diseases. Radiographic imaging is an invaluable diagnostic tool. It can help in aligning broken bones, detecting ulcers, and identifying other injuries.  The diagnosis and treatment of patients highly depend on the accurate and precise production of radiographic examinations. The health expert responsible for performing these examinations is a radiologic technologist. These individuals are crucial members of a healthcare team and work closely with physicians. A radiologic technologist can be known as an X-ray technician, MRI technologist, or a sonographer depending on their specialty. Associate degrees in radiologic technology can be found in community colleges nationwide.

Conclusion

Radiology schools offer radiology programs, such as MRI, CT, sonography, radiation therapy, and X-ray for both new and returning students. There are many radiology residency programs available and are provided by notable medical schools nationwide.  Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California in San Francisco are some of the best medical institutions for radiology. Meanwhile, students can study at the University of Iowa, Newman University, Xavier University, or the University of Cincinnati for rad tech programs. Although not necessary in obtaining a radiology degree, aspiring radiologists are advised to major in one of the sciences and participate in clinical experiences to increase their knowledge in medicine. Radiologic technologists need to pass a certificate program before they can obtain their license to practice. 

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  1. U.S. News and World Report. Best Radiology Programs. Retrieved from: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/radiology-rankings
  2. Duke University of Medicine. Program Statistics. Retrieved from: https://medschool.duke.edu/education/degree-programs-and-admissions/medical-scientist-training-program/about-mstp-program/statistics
  3. University of Pennsylvania. Medical School Admission Statistics. Retrieved from: https://careerservices.upenn.edu/medical-school-admission-statistics/
  4. University of California San Francisco. Learn About the Entering Class of 2020. Retrieved from: https://meded.ucsf.edu/learn-about-entering-class-2020
  5. Based on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bestcolleges.com/careers/healthcare/radiology/
  6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. How to Become a Radiologic or MRI Technologist. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-4

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