Last Updated on January 17, 2023
Students learn the proper procedures used to x-ray the human body and the proper use of x-ray protection gear. They also gain knowledge of imaging principles, quality assurance, patient care, radiobiology and anatomy.
An associate’s degree in radiography may help graduates qualify for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification exam and obtain an entry-level position as a radiologist technician or technologist. Graduates may work in medical labs, physicians’ offices or for government agencies. Most states require licensure and/or professional certification in order to work.
Students can specialize in nuclear medicine scanning, computed tomography, ultrasound, angiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or fluoroscopy. Applicants will need a minimum GPA, transcript, and possibly SAT or ACT scores.
Medical imaging professionals are often employed in hospitals, clinics, and urgent care facilities. If you’re fascinated with the human body and want to learn how to capture 2D and 3D images of patients, then a radiology technology degree is perfect for you.
Individuals who pursue careers in radiology technology must not only have excellent technical, math and science skills, but they need to possess great people skills as well. You must be highly organized, a great communicator, and an avid learner to succeed in this field. While you will not diagnose people based off the images you take, you will often be the first person a patient interacts with. It will be your job to not only capture digital images, but to make sure the patient is comfortable and kept safe during the process.
Associate Degree Programs in Radiography Overview
Many colleges require a student to complete prerequisite courses to gain entry into the program. Hospitals will remain the number one employer of radiologic technologists, but work may be found in private clinics, doctors’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers. Licensure through ARRT is required in 40 states, with voluntary certifications available.
Online Bachelor’s in Radiology with the Highest Return on Investment
The ROI for the top online bachelor’s degrees in radiology ranges from $471,200 to $719,100. We calculated the ROI for each degree program using projected 10-year earnings and student loan repayment data. Prospective students can use these rankings to evaluate which online radiology degrees are likely to be most profitable in the long run. The national average ROI for a radiology degree is $494,719; our top 18 programs have ROIs above that average. The Oregon Institute of Technology tops this list with an ROI of $719,100.
ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Median Starting Salary||Median Debt||10-year ROI|
|# 1||Oregon Institute of Technology||$14,040||$73,052||$26,500||$719,100|
|# 2||Pima Medical Institute||$15,076||$69,505||$22,316||$687,800|
|# 3||AdventHealth University||$17,325||$66,355||$23,406||$654,000|
|# 4||Upstate Medical University||$16,980||$63,501||$15,000||$635,100|
|# 5||Boise State University||$8,690||$59,350||$17,872||$588,800|
|# 6||Cox College||$12,450||$58,673||$17,188||$582,600|
|# 7||University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center||$32,841||$58,378||$19,000||$577,300|
|# 8||University of Cincinnati||$13,710||$58,796||$24,393||$574,900|
|# 10||Midwestern State University||$8,377||$56,802||$21,241||$558,300|
|# 11||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences||$24,310||$55,443||$19,000||$547,100|
|# 12||Kettering College||$17,280||$55,964||$28,954||$540,100|
|# 13||Ohio State University-Main Campus||$9,445||$53,671||$25,000||$521,400|
|# 14||Washburn University||$12,060||$52,107||$18,499||$513,400|
|# 15||University of Southern Indiana||$19,622||$52,107||$21,077||$510,200|
|# 16||University of New Mexico||$21,673||$51,392||$16,747||$508,200|
|# 17||University of Missouri||$17,023||$52,316||$24,500||$508,100|
|# 18||Weber State University||$8,340||$49,832||$12,500||$497,500|
|# 19||University of Louisiana-Monroe||$12,000||$50,439||$21,500||$492,500|
|# 20||Marian University – Wisconsin||$14,100||$50,320||$25,000||$486,900|
|# 21||University of Iowa||$10,110||$49,425||$24,850||$477,900|
|# 22||Augusta University||$28,378||$49,270||$25,000||$476,100|
|# 23 (tie)||Fort Hays State University||$7,033||$48,432||$22,000||$471,200|
|# 23 (tie)||La Roche College||$29,470||$47,930||$17,859||$471,200|
Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Radiology Rankings Details
Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls (OR)
- 10-Year ROI: $719,100
- Median Salary: $73,052
- Annual Tuition: $14,040
- Median Debt: $26,500
The online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science degree completion program at the Oregon Institute of Technology allows practicing registered radiologic technologists to complete a bachelor’s degree, helping them qualify for a master’s program. Registered technologists in good standing receive 89 credits at the beginning of the program, and the institute may accept transfer…
Pima Medical Institute
- 10-Year ROI: $687,800
- Median Salary: $69,505
- Annual Tuition: $15,076
- Median Debt: $22,316
The online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree-completion program at Pima Medical Institute is designed for certified radiologists who are currently working in the field or have recently graduated from a radiography program. Students take courses such as Health Care Law and Compliance, Advanced Modalities, Culture and Human Diversity, Statistics, Spanish, Technical…
- 10-Year ROI: $654,000
- Median Salary: $66,355
- Annual Tuition: $17,325
- Median Debt: $23,406
The online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences from AdventHealth University allows students to keep their current career while pursuing further education and skills. This degree-completion program is for those who already hold an associate degree in radiography, radiologic technology, or radiologic sciences and are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists…
Upstate Medical University
- 10-Year ROI: $635,100
- Median Salary: $63,501
- Annual Tuition: $16,980
- Median Debt: $15,000
The Bachelor of Professional Studies in Medical Imaging Science at Upstate Medical University is a 48-credit degree completion program. This degree is intended for professionals who are already certified, or eligible to be certified, by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) and who have already earned an associate degree in imaging or a bachelor’s degree in another…
Boise State University
- 10-Year ROI: $588,800
- Median Salary: $59,350
- Annual Tuition: $8,690
- Median Debt: $17,872
The online Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences from Boise State University is a degree-completion program that has been developed specifically for previously credentialed imaging workers. Boise State’s online curriculum meets the requirements of the American Society of Radiologic Technology (ASRT) standards for undergraduate degrees. Classes in the Boise State Radiology degree…
- 10-Year ROI: $582,600
- Median Salary: $58,673
- Annual Tuition: $12,450
- Median Debt: $17,188
The online Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Imaging is a 120-credit program with several concentrations: computed tomography (CT), interventional radiography (IR), DMS echocardiography, (ECH), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and healthcare leadership. The degree programs range in length. For example, students can complete the CT program in 4-6 months or the IR program in two…
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City (OK)
- 10-Year ROI: $577,300
- Median Salary: $58,378
- Annual Tuition: $32,841
- Median Debt: $19,000
The University of Oklahoma offers an online Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences – Radiation Sciences through the College of Allied Health. This degree-completion program is for professionals who currently work in imaging or have a certificate in the industry. The program includes courses on correlative imaging, health administration, and instrumentation…
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
- 10-Year ROI: $574,900
- Median Salary: $58,796
- Annual Tuition: $13,710
- Median Debt: $24,393
The University of Cincinnati offers an online Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology degree-completion program for students who already have a certification and associate degree in medical imaging or radiation therapy. The program requires 60 online credit hours beyond the associate degree and can be completed full-time or part-time. It also requires an internship and capstone…
- 10-Year ROI: $560,700
- Median Salary: $57,554
- Annual Tuition: $10,500
- Median Debt: $25,558
IUPUI offers an online Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology, instructing students in medical imaging technology principles and procedures, anatomy and pathology, research, advanced diagnostic imaging, medical imaging theory, ethics and health professionals, and more. This 120-credit program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Faculty from several IU campuses…
Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls (TX)
- 10-Year ROI: $558,300
- Median Salary: $56,802
- Annual Tuition: $8,377
- Median Debt: $21,241
The online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree-completion program at Midwestern State University-Texas is designed for accredited radiologists. The 130-credit program includes 51 general education credits such as history, mathematics, speech, and government; 33 hours of advanced professional courses; and 42 professional certification credits that are granted to students…
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock (AR)
- 10-Year ROI: $547,100
- Median Salary: $55,443
- Annual Tuition: $24,310
- Median Debt: $19,000
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences offers an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Imaging Sciences degree completion program. This degree is for professionals who have completed 35 hours of prerequisites and hold an Associate of Science in Medical Imaging or Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology. The program requires a clinical practicum and between…
- 10-Year ROI: $540,100
- Median Salary: $55,964
- Annual Tuition: $17,280
- Median Debt: $28,954
Kettering College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree-completion program, with several concentration options that include respiratory care, management, education, sonography, or advanced imaging. Full-time students typically complete the program in five semesters, while part-time students complete the program in nine semesters or fewer. Kettering College…
Ohio State University-Main Campus
- 10-Year ROI: $521,400
- Median Salary: $53,671
- Annual Tuition: $9,445
- Median Debt: $25,000
The Ohio State University (OSU) offers an online, part-time AS to Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree completion program. OSU requires an associate degree or certificate and certification by the ARRT, NMTCB, or ARDMS for admission. The online 120-credit hour program focuses on administration and management. Students will take courses in statistics, quality control,…
- 10-Year ROI: $513,400
- Median Salary: $52,107
- Annual Tuition: $12,060
- Median Debt: $18,499
At Washburn University, students can pursue a Bachelor of Health Science in Medical Imaging with a concentration in diagnostic medical sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or radiation therapy. These concentrations focus on expanding students’ knowledge of imaging specialties. Students can take courses to earn a certificate in these fields, or they can apply courses in…
University of Southern Indiana
- 10-Year ROI: $510,200
- Median Salary: $52,107
- Annual Tuition: $19,622
- Median Debt: $21,077
At the University of Southern Indiana, the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences degree-completion program offers concentrations in clinical education, MRI and CT, and radiology management. These programs are designed for certified radiographers who want to expand their existing credentials. Depending on their focus area, students take courses on health care delivery…
University of New Mexico
- 10-Year ROI: $508,200
- Median Salary: $51,392
- Annual Tuition: $21,673
- Median Debt: $16,747
The Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences at the University of New Mexico is a degree-completion program for radiology professionals who have a certificate or an associate degree in medical imaging. In this program, students learn about education, management, imaging research, and public health. Students must complete 21 credit hours in courses on medical imaging pathology,…
University of Missouri
- 10-Year ROI: $508,100
- Median Salary: $52,316
- Annual Tuition: $17,023
- Median Debt: $24,500
The University of Missouri offers a Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences with an emphasis in radiology. This degree-completion program is aimed at imaging professionals who have an imaging certificate or an associate degree. Available 100% online, this program prepares students for a managerial career in imaging where they can focus on patient care, research,…
Weber State University
- 10-Year ROI: $497,500
- Median Salary: $49,832
- Annual Tuition: $8,340
- Median Debt: $12,500
The Bachelor of Science in Advanced Radiologic Sciences degree completion program at Weber State University is designed for people who want careers in the technical, managerial, and educational sectors of the medical imaging field. Courses in this program cover topics such as interventional technology (IT), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and women’s…
University of Louisiana-Monroe
- 10-Year ROI: $492,500
- Median Salary: $50,439
- Annual Tuition: $12,000
- Median Debt: $21,500
The University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology program. The program is designed for registered radiologic technologists with an ARRT certification, helps them expand on their existing radiology skills by offering courses on management, advanced imaging procedures, and specialized medical imaging modalities. Students receive…
Marian University – Wisconsin
Fond du Lac (WI)
- 10-Year ROI: $486,900
- Median Salary: $50,320
- Annual Tuition: $14,100
- Median Debt: $25,000
The Marian University online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology degree completion program offers the opportunity to minor in business administration, management, history, marketing, or health care administration. This program can be completed part-time or full-time, and is designed for certified radiologists who have already completed a two-year program in an accredited…
University of Iowa
Iowa City (IA)
- 10-Year ROI: $477,900
- Median Salary: $49,425
- Annual Tuition: $10,110
- Median Debt: $24,850
The University of Iowa offers an online RT to Bachelor of Science in Radiation Sciences degree-completion program for registered radiologic technologists and nuclear medicine technologists. Students in the program may choose a specialty such as cardiovascular interventional (CVI), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or breast imaging (BI). The online 120-credit…
- 10-Year ROI: $476,100
- Median Salary: $49,270
- Annual Tuition: $28,378
- Median Debt: $25,000
Augusta University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences with a major in Nuclear Medicine Technology for Military-Trained Nuclear Medicine Technologists. This degree-completion program combines computer technology, medicine, physics, and chemistry. Students at Augusta learn about diagnosing issues and providing medical therapies, the state of information technology…
Fort Hays State University
- 10-Year ROI: $471,200
- Median Salary: $48,432
- Annual Tuition: $7,033
- Median Debt: $22,000
Fort Hays State University (FHSU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Medical Diagnostic Imaging, instructing students in a wide range of imaging procedures and general medical practice. and more. This degree-completion program requires 124 credits for graduation, including courses on human biology, lab experience, bioethics, anatomy and physiology, sectional pathology and variant…
La Roche College
- 10-Year ROI: $471,200
- Median Salary: $47,930
- Annual Tuition: $29,470
- Median Debt: $17,859
The online Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging at La Roche University is a degree-completion program for students who have already completed hospital programs in radiography, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound. Students will take health services and academic core courses, along with liberal arts courses such as business communications, psychology, and public speaking. Students…
Online Radiology Degree Overview & Career Information
An associate degree is the minimum degree required within the field of radiology. Students can complete an associate program in two years through a total of 54 to 60 credit hours of coursework. This degree level will prepare graduates for entry-level technologist positions. A GED or high school diploma is a necessary prerequisite for admission into an associate program.
In order to qualify for management positions in imaging and patient care, professionals will want to consider pursuing their bachelor’s degree. Depending on their highest level of completed education, students can finish a 60 to 134 hour bachelor’s program in two to four years. Applicants must have a high school diploma, GED, or associate degree prior to enrolling.
Students interested in graduate programs will complete 30 to 33 credit hours over the course of one to two years to earn their master’s. A bachelor’s degree in radiology must have been previously earned and the applicant must possess three years of relevant work experience. Graduates will be eligible to work as radiologist assistants.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Radiology
An online bachelor’s degree in radiology is a great choice for individuals hoping to hold managerial positions in medical imaging, patient care, and research. This degree level can be pursued at both universities and vocational schools.
Students can graduate with their online bachelor’s degree in radiology in four years, although students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree completion program following an associate degree may be able to graduate in two years. Depending on the nature of the program, required credit hours vary from 60 to 134. For those who are entering an online bachelor’s program directly from high school, a high school diploma or GED is required. If the applicant is entering a degree completion program, a certificate or associate degree in radiology must be previously obtained. Some schools will also require their completion program applicants to already be certified by and in good standing with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Students enrolled in an online bachelor’s program can expect to take classes in the sciences like anatomy, physiology, and biology. In addition to these courses, radiology students at the bachelor’s level will most likely take a combination of classes that includes patient professional interaction, radiographic technique, physics of radiation protection, procedures in imaging, clinical training, anatomy, physiology and radiation biology. Coursework may include clinical lab work or an equivalent. Most schools and programs also have internship opportunities available.
Students may also be able to select a concentration within the bachelor’s program, such as computed tomography (CT), a technology used to detect cancers, or MRI technology. These concentrations will prepare students to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) CT certification exam and MRI certification exam, respectively.
The Importance of an Accredited Online Radiology Degree
Accreditation is an important qualification for all future college students to consider before committing to any online school or program. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is the main accrediting body for radiology programs, while the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) accredits MRI programs. These accreditation organizations check that schools teach to standards that will ensure the quality and safety of patient care. Students who have plans to earn their graduate degree at a different school than the institution previously attended will also want to pursue an accredited undergraduate degree, as this will make the application and acceptance process much simpler. Furthermore, many employers will only hire graduates with an accredited educational background, as they want the confidence that their employees have received a quality education.
Careers in Radiology
There are numerous different job titles and specialties within the field of radiology. After graduating with a two to four year degree, an aspiring technologist may need to become certified, depending on their state regulations, before starting work as a professional.
- Radiology Technologist: Radiology technologists take diagnostic medical images or x-rays for the physician to analyze and interpret. They must be well trained in human anatomy in order to get precise and accurate images for review. Their responsiblities also often include maintaining complex radiology equipment and managing patient records.
- MRI Technologist: MRI technologists perform many of the same duties as radiology technologists, but they specialize in performing MRIs and may also work with a physician to interpret the results.
- Mammographer: Mammographers specialize in taking images of the breast in order to detect potentially cancerous tumors.
- Ultrasound Technician: Ultrasound technician is another notable career title within the field. Ultrasound technicians use sound waves to perform health screenings for pregnant women, as well as gynecologic, abdominal, and cardiac sonography on patients who may not be pregnant. Ultrasound technicians often walk their patients through the procedure, and thus should possess strong social skills. Most states do not require that ultrasound technicians be licensed in order to work, but employers may require their technicians to pass a certification exam conducted by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
Job Outlook and Career Options
The job outlook for a radiologic technologist is solid, with a projected growth of 7% within the decade of 2019-2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). As of May 2020, the BLS lists the mean annual salary for radiologic technologists as $64,840.
New technological advances are being made that make it important that radiologic technologists continually seek training in new equipment areas to stay current. However, BLS warns that this new technology may not be deemed advantageous to a hospital due to high cost and billing issues.
Licensing, Certification and Continuing Education Information
Technicians and technologists, who use radiation in their work, were required (in 2013) to obtain licensure in almost 40 states before seeking a position (American Society of Radiologic Technologists data). Graduates may pursue a voluntary certification offered by ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). Some states use the ARRT certification as their licensure exam. Additional training in areas of specialization (i.e. nuclear medicine scanning, computed tomography, ultrasound, angiography, MRI or fluoroscopy), may increase the chances of obtaining a job, advancing or earning higher wages. Seeking additional degrees (i.e. a master’s) can qualify a radiologic technologist for a radiologist assistant position, according to BLS.
While the program length for an associate’s degree in radiography is just 2 years, students will still commit a significant amount of time to state licensure and professional certification through organizations like ARRT. Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile endeavor as the demand for radiologic technologists is projected to grow by 9% over the next decade.