Radiation therapy is an interdisciplinary field that combines chemistry, physics, biology, radiobiology, radiation safety, anatomy and patient care to administer targeted doses of ionizing radiation to treat cancer and other diseases. Radiation therapists work for hospitals, clinics, and technical companies within the industry. Advanced career opportunities exist in fields including education, administration, and research.
Daily tasks of radiation therapists include: Reviewing prescription and diagnosis; preparing patients for daily radiation treatments; delivering daily radiation treatments; evaluating and monitoring treatment-delivery equipment; performing radiation dose calculations; assisting in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization; providing high-quality patient care; and collaborating with physicians and other members of the healthcare team.
North Central College’s degree in Radiation Therapy prepares students for a career as a radiation therapist through a 3+1 program with NM School of Radiation Therapy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Students spend three years at North Central College, where they complete their liberal arts general education core along with prerequisite science and math courses. This is followed by a 14-month program of study (35 credits) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The student then graduates from North Central College with a degree in Radiation Therapy.
Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to the NM School of Radiation Therapy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in January of junior year. Student applicants are considered and evaluated solely by the faculty/staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Student admission to the program is not guaranteed.
Students intending to major in Radiation Therapy must meet with the Pre-Professional Health Program Coordinator or the Chemistry Department Chair for the most recent information. Prerequisite courses and other requirements are subject to change.
For additional information about this program, see Chemistry and Physics.