Top Radiology Schools
There are hundreds of radiology schools in the United States, some leading to certificates, most leading to associate's degrees, and a few dozen leading to bachelor's degrees. There are also radiology schools that are dedicated to advanced medical students, which should not be confused with the programs leading to careers as technicians and technologists.
Nearly every state has multiple radiology programs, and every major city in the country will have educational opportunities available for prospective radiologists, usually including placement at local hospitals to get practical training or career shadow experience.
When researching radiology schools and deciding which program to enroll in, students should consider the school's geographic placement, and whether or not the school has existing partnerships with local hospitals and clinics that will allow the student to get experience in an active medical setting. He or she should also talk to current students to determine how the program is structured, whether the workload is or is not manageable, and how much interaction the students get with faculty.
If students do not have direct, one-on-one access to qualified faculty, it will be difficult to master important skills. Employment rates for graduates of a program are also indicative of how the program is viewed by professionals in the community and how easy it will be for students to get jobs after they graduate.
Radiology programs that are accepted by state licensure boards are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. As of 2009, there were 213 accredited US programs that lead to a certificate in radiology, 397 programs leading to an associate's degree in radiology, and 35 programs that lead to bachelor's degrees in radiology, which are still exceptionally rare, but can be a good investment for students who eventually plan to advance to higher positions within the medical industry, and for those who are interested in earning advanced degrees.
In order to earn accreditation, programs must prove that they can properly prepare students for a variety of careers within the realm of radiology. Before enrolling in a radiology program, students should first ensure that the program is accredited by the JRCERT. Evaluation standards include questions regarding integrity, resources, curriculum and academic practices, health and safety, assessment, and institutional and programming data.
There are separate accreditation requirements for programs that concentrate on magnetic resonance, so those who are interested in these particular programs should make sure to check the school's accreditation in the proper section. Radiology programs are periodically up for review.
Here are some JRCERT-accredited schools worth considering: