Online Masters Degree Programs Available in Radiology & Imaging Sciences
When pursuing a Master of Science in Radiology or Radiologic Science degree, you can usually choose a specific concentration. After completing an accredited program of study, you may be able to move on from an entry-level position as a radiologic technologist or radiation therapist to a mid or senior-level job... in radiology administration, radiologic education, or advanced clinical practice.
Your course of study will depend on your chosen concentration. For instance, if you are an experienced radiologic technologist, you might choose to enter a graduate certificate program designed for radiologist assistants and other clinical professionals. Graduate courses might help you to master radiology procedures such as fluoroscopy. You may also learn about making initial observations of diagnostic images, conducting patient assessments, and managing patients' treatment plans. As part of a graduate certificate or master degree curriculum, you may participate in advanced clinical training, as well.
Some master degree programs allow you to select a clinical track. For instance, if you already have your credentials in nuclear medicine, you might select the position emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) track. If you are certified in radiography, cardiac sonography, or vascular sonography, you might select the ICVT track.
If you wish to pursue a career in administration, your coursework could include classes that focus on management techniques and financial matters. You may participate in a practicum and be required to take a certain number of electives in the major. To prepare for a career in radiologic education, you would need to study curriculum development and take courses related to the administration of education programs in radiologic science. Whichever concentration you choose, graduate students are usually required to produce a graduate thesis.
Radiology graduate programs can be competitive. To be accepted, you need to hold an accredited undergraduate degree in a related field and have some professional experience. Many master degree programs in radiology offer opportunities for distance learning, allowing you to complete all or part of your studies online. This means you may be able to take classes according to your own schedule, and continue working while you earn your advanced degree.
With your master degree, you may qualify for a leadership position in the overall field of radiology or in your chosen subfield. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technology jobs are expected to grow faster than average in the coming years.* Students with specialized knowledge in multiple areas — including mammography, magnetic resonance, radiation therapy, and radiologic science administration — may be poised for quality employment opportunities.
* The preceding information was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) online resource, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition," available at: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos105.htm