Best Online Radiology Technology Programs of 2021

If you want an in-demand healthcare role that lets you help others, earning an online bachelor's in radiology technology may be a good fit.

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by Liz Simmons
Published on January 6, 2022

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A bachelor's in radiology technology prepares graduates to apply for healthcare jobs helping patients. Students learn to use specialized medical equipment to create diagnostic images, perform tests, and explain procedures to patients.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 9% job growth — about as fast as average — for radiologic and MRI technologists between 2020 and 2030.

The general median salary for graduates with a bachelor's in radiology technology ranges from roughly $60,000 for cardiovascular technologists and technicians to $75,000 for diagnostic medical sonographers.

A typical online bachelor's in radiology technology takes about four years of full-time study to complete. The cost of online and on-campus versions of this program vary by college, although distance learners can save costs on certain campus-based fees and transportation. Students commonly take classes in human anatomy, medical terminology, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Many top online schools offer bachelor's in radiology technology programs. Below, learn more about what to expect from this type of degree program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Program?

Specific classes, concentrations, and requirements for radiology technology majors vary by program. However, a typical bachelor's in radiology technology requires about 120 credits and takes full-time learners four years to complete.

Online bachelor's in radiology technology programs sometimes offer concentrations in areas like magnetic resonance imaging and sonography. Adding a concentration lets students focus on a subdiscipline and can make them more qualified to apply for specialized jobs after graduation.

Students learn about human anatomy, physiology, image creation, and radiation protection. They receive practical, hands-on training in diagnostic medical image production. Most programs require general education, major, and elective courses.

In addition to standard courses, some radiology technology programs also include clinical practicums, capstones, and internships. These types of professional experiences let learners apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.

As distance education becomes more popular, many people find earning an online bachelor's degree to be more convenient and flexible than enrolling in a traditional on-campus program. Make sure to think about how you will manage your time and stay motivated when choosing an online school.

Learn more about what to expect from an online bachelor's in radiology technology below.

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Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Program?

Principles of Human Anatomy

This introductory class explores the systems and structure of the human body at different levels. Topics include the nervous system, cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, and blood cells.

Medical and Technical Terminology

Students learn basic medical terms and their meanings. Coursework covers medical root words, suffixes, and prefixes and how they apply to the human body and its systems.

Informatics and Imaging

This class explores system architectures, telemedicine, electronic health records, and ethics. Students learn about the interplay of information technology with medical imaging and healthcare.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

This course focuses on the principles and practices of magnetic resonance imaging. Topics include parameters, instrumentation, screening, and system components. The class may include a practical laboratory component.

Clinical Practicum

A clinical practicum lets students learn radiologic skills in clinical environments under the supervision of a registered radiologic technologist. This course emphasizes patient care and assessment.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Program?

Admission requirements for online bachelor's in radiology technology programs vary by school, but usually include the same components as on-campus programs. Applicants typically fill out an online application and submit test scores, letters of recommendation, application essays, and official transcripts. Some programs require a telephone or in-person interview.

Application

Prospective students applying to bachelor's in radiology technology programs need to fill out an undergraduate application. Many colleges accept applications through the Common Application, which lets learners apply to multiple schools at one time. Some schools still require prospective students to apply through their own application system.

Test Scores

Many colleges require applicants to submit scores from college entrance exams — usually the SAT or ACT. Schools look at students' scores to assess their verbal, written, and math skills and to predict their likelihood of success in college. High school students usually take the SAT or ACT in their junior or senior year.

Letters of Recommendation

Some radiology technology bachelor's programs may require 1-3 letters of recommendation. Students usually ask for letters of recommendation from high school teachers, guidance counselors, and/or previous supervisors. Pay attention to deadlines, and give your letter-writers plenty of time to write and submit their recommendations.

Essays

College application essays are another common admission requirement. College admissions officers use your essay to get to know you better and assess your writing ability. To write a quality essay choose your words carefully, stay on topic, and revise and proofread more than once.

Official Transcripts

College applicants typically need to submit official transcripts from high school and/or previously attended postsecondary institutions. Many bachelor's in radiology technology programs accept transfer credit from community colleges or other accredited four-year institutions. Schools typically evaluate transfer credit after a student receives admission to a program.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Degree?

Career Outlook

A bachelor's in radiology technology prepares students to pursue careers in the rapidly expanding healthcare industry. The BLS projects 9% growth for radiologic and MRI technologists between 2020 and 2030. These projections would translate to more than 21,000 new job openings for radiologic and MRI technologists during this period.

Radiology technology graduates may work in hospitals, outpatient care centers, diagnostic imaging centers, and physicians' offices. The BLS reports that radiologic and MRI technologists earned a median salary of $63,710 a year as of May 2020 — significantly more than the median annual salary of $41,950 for all jobs in the U.S.

Find out where an online bachelor's in radiology technology can lead you. Learn more about radiology careers.

Career Paths

Radiologic Technologists

Radiologic technologists use medical diagnostic equipment to conduct diagnostic imaging exams on patients. Also called radiographers, they may specialize in mammograms, X-rays, or computed tomography imaging.

Radiologic technologists need at least an associate degree, although earning a bachelor's can boost job prospects. Most states also require licensure or certification for this profession.

Median Annual Salary: $61,900

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologists

MRI technologists use MRI scanners to make diagnostic images of patients. Typical duties include preparing patients for procedures, taking care of imaging equipment, maintaining patient records, and retaking images when necessary.

MRI technologists may start their careers as radiologic technologists. MRI technologists need at least an associate degree, although some positions may require a bachelor's. Additionally, many employers prefer certified applicants.

Median Annual Salary: $74,690

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Diagnostic medical sonographers create images of patients' organs and tissues using specialized imaging equipment. Physicians use these images and tests to make medical diagnoses.

Diagnostic medical sonographers need an associate degree, but a bachelor's can help workers differentiate themselves from others. Most employers prefer candidates with a professional certification.

Median Annual Salary: $75,920

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians use imaging equipment to create images and perform tests related to the heart and lungs. Typical duties include monitoring patients' heart rates, assisting with cardiac catheterization, preparing patients for procedures, and monitoring patients' lungs and breathing.

These professionals may specialize as electrocardiogram technologists, pulmonary function technologists, or cardiovascular invasive specialists.

Median Annual Salary: $59,100

Radiology Technology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Students who earn a bachelor's in radiology technology degree can continue their education by pursuing an advanced degree. Some schools offer master's programs in radiology technology or sciences that prepare graduates to pursue management or education careers in radiology and imaging.

Radiology technology professionals can also pursue certifications to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. Earning a professional certification can help people qualify for advanced career opportunities and higher salaries. Some states require certification or licensure for radiologic and MRI technologists.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists offer relevant credentials.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Program?

Cost

The cost of a bachelor's in radiology technology varies. Factors that impact price include type of college (public or private), program format (online or in person), and residency (in state or out of state).

Consider the true cost of an online bachelor's in radiology technology. In addition to tuition, this may include books and supplies, technology fees, transportation costs, and decreased income while in school.

Program Format

Program format varies widely by school. If you choose a remote option, consider the pros and cons of a synchronous versus asynchronous program. Asynchronous options often appeal to learners who need a more flexible schedule. Students' personal commitments and budgets can impact whether they might choose a part-time, full-time, or accelerated enrollment program.

Location

Do you prefer an on-campus or online bachelor's in radiology technology program? Think about your personal learning style, schedule, and what you want out of your college experience. Even students who choose an online degree should consider the impact of school location. Many online pathways include some on-campus requirements.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a process that colleges go through to ensure they meet certain educational standards. Attending a regionally accredited institution often makes it easier to get financial aid, transfer credit to another university, and qualify for graduate school. Online and traditional colleges can both apply for accreditation.

Student Support

Research student support services offered by potential bachelor's in radiology technology programs. Look for mentorship opportunities, tutoring assistance, internship programs, and career development services. Online student services are an important way for distance learners to get help, make connections, and find job opportunities.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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University of Louisiana at Monroe true View School Profile Monroe, LA

ULM offers an online bachelor's in radiology technology for professionals with American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification. In addition to ARRT registry, applicants must also have a minimum 2.35 high school GPA and a minimum 20 ACT score. All transfer students must complete at least 30 credits through ULM to graduate.

Before they graduate, all students must complete a radiologic technology capstone course. The program's self-paced, fully online format provides practicing professionals maximum flexibility.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $400/credit
  • Program Length: Varies
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 28 major credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Northwestern State University of Louisiana true View School Profile Natchitoches, LA

Based in Natchitoches, NSU offers an online bachelor's in radiology technology that helps professionals with American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification advance their education. Relevant courses in the curriculum include sectional anatomy, special imaging, healthcare management, and leadership challenges for professional radiographers. All students also complete a six-credit directed study.

In addition to ARRT registry, applicants need a minimum 2.35 high school GPA and must earn an ACT English score of 18 and an ACT math score of 19. Admission requirements may vary for working professionals.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $375/credit
  • Program Length: Varies
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 29 major credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Instruction Style: N/A
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
East Tennessee State University true View School Profile Johnson City, TN

Located in Johnson City, ETSU provides an online bachelor's degree in radiologic science that helps radiology professionals complete their education. Relevant courses include radiographic pathology, advanced radiologic imaging, digital imaging, and radiation biology and protection. All students also complete a clinical experience and a capstone course focusing on the professional transition to radiology.

Applicants must hold an accredited associate of applied science degree in radiologic science with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $422/credit in-state; $483/credit out-of-state
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of New Mexico true View School Profile Albuquerque, NM

UNM's online bachelor's in radiology technology program allows distance learners to enroll full time or part time. Applicants must already hold a valid radiology license and a certificate or associate degree in the field. The curriculum helps practicing radiology professionals expand their skills into fields like public health, education, administration, and research.

Notable required courses include medical imaging pathology, topics in healthcare ethics and diversity, and introduction to research and medical imaging. All incoming transfer students must complete at least 30 credits through UNM to graduate.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $383/credit
  • Program Length: Varies
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 21 major credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Instruction Style: N/A
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: N/A
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Marian University true View School Profile Fond Du Lac, WI

Based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Marian offers an online bachelor's in radiology technology program with six different start dates throughout the year. Each course in the accelerated program lasts for seven weeks. The curriculum features a four-part clinical experience in radiology.

All applicants must hold a two-year degree in radiology from an accredited school. Graduates from the associate in applied science program at Northeast Iowa Community College with American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification may be eligible for guaranteed credit transfer and a 10% tuition discount.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $480/credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Instruction Style: N/A
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Private
  • Program Accreditation: N/A
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Colorado Mesa University View School Profile Grand Junction, CO

Based in Grand Junction, CMU offers two radiologic sciences programs: a bachelor of science degree and a bachelor of applied science degree. The applied science program takes place entirely online, eliminating on-campus requirements. All students choose a specialization course in either magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography and complete an accompanying clinical experience.

All applicants need an associate degree in radiologic sciences from an accredited school.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $400/credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 121 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Instruction Style: N/A
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Radiology Technology Programs

Is a bachelor's in radiology technology worth it? true

The answer to this question depends on your career goals, personal interests and preferences, and budget. Earning an online bachelor's in radiology technology provides the training and education necessary to apply for a variety of healthcare jobs creating diagnostic images.

Completing a degree is hard work and requires a significant investment of time and money. In the end, only you can decide if this online degree is worth it to you. Factors to consider when making your decision include the cost of the degree, your projected salary after graduation, and potential challenges you might encounter while in school.

What can I do with a bachelor's in radiology technology? true

Earning an online bachelor's in radiology technology can open the door to entry-level jobs in the healthcare industry. Potential occupations include radiologic technologist, MRI technologist or technician, diagnostic medical sonographer, and cardiovascular technologist or technician. Other possible careers include pediatric radiographer, radiology administrator, and radiologist assistant.

Many of these jobs accept applicants with an associate degree in radiology technology. However, radiology technology professionals with a bachelor's degree typically earn higher salaries and may find better career opportunities.

Graduates with a bachelor's in radiology technology can also apply to graduate programs or consider completing medical school to become a radiologist.

Are radiology technology majors in demand? true

Graduates with a degree in radiology technology can pursue a career in the fast-growing healthcare industry. The BLS projects 16% growth, which is about two times than average, for healthcare occupations between 2020 and 2030.

Job openings will become available as workers retire or change occupations. Additionally, as baby boomers continue to age, there may be a greater need for professionals skilled in diagnostic imaging.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in radiology technology?

Earning a radiology technology bachelor's degree can help students qualify for well-paying careers in the healthcare industry. Potential salary varies depending on a worker's occupation, level of experience, employer, and location.

Payscale reports that people with a BS in radiologic technology made an average annual salary of $78,000 as of December 2021. Additionally, according to the BLS, radiologic and MRI technologists earned a median annual salary of $63,710 as of May 2020.

Additionally, a 2016 report from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists found that radiology professionals with a bachelor's degree made higher average salaries than those with an associate degree — about $5,600 more per year.

What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a bachelor's in radiology technology?

One of the highest-paying jobs for graduates with a bachelor's in radiology technology is diagnostic medical sonographer. As of May 2020, the BLS reports that this profession earned a median annual salary of $75,920. MRI technologists take home a similar wage, earning a median annual salary of $74,690. However, workers making wages in the 90th percentile earn six-figure salaries.

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