Indiana University Bloomington
Health Professions and Prelaw Center
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Radiation Therapy

For more complete information about prerequisite courses, the application process, and other important admission information, refer to the HPPLC [PDF File] Radiation Therapy handout.

Description of the Profession

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Radiation Therapists administer differing forms of ionizing radiation to specific sites of a patient body to treat benign and malignant tumors. They operate various types of equipment and observe the clinical progress of patients to identify and minimize complications.

Skills and Characteristics Important to this Profession

Prospective Radiation Therapists have a desire to work in a team environment with physicians, nurses, physicists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals. They have well-developed communication skills and enjoy direct patient contact. As professionals, they will be interacting with a patient and the patient's family from Monday-Friday for approximately 3-8 weeks. Radiation therapists keep handwritten records of their patients' treatments, so accuracy and spelling are very important.

Description of the Indiana University Radiation Therapy Program

Potential applicants to the IU School of Medicine Radiation Therapy program (Indianapolis) may have already received a degree in radiologic technology. However, most of the students that attend IU Bloomington to complete their prerequisite coursework have not. The course of study for non-radiographers requires the applicant to complete two years of prerequisite work equaling 50 credit hours at Indiana University in Bloomington (or another campus or college) and 22.5 months of professional and clinical work at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.

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Other Accredited Programs

For a list of accredited radiation therapy programs, see The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Additional Notes and Recommendations

Radiation therapists must monitor their patients' emotional health, as well as physical condition; therefore, we recommend you take courses that will help you develop the understanding and skill necessary for you to better assist your own patients when the time comes. Examples of such courses include SPH-H 320 The Nature of Cancer, and SPH-H 220 Death and Dying. For additional options, refer to the PDF document linked from the top of this page.

Job Shadowing / Observation

On-site observation in a radiation oncology department is required for admission to the IU School of Medicine Radiation Therapy B.S. program. An observation form must be completed and sent with the application to the program. The form is available on the Program Specific Requirements website of the IUSM Health Professions Programs.

Additional Resources

If you are interested in other health professions that are advised through HPPLC, we encourage you to sign up for the HPPLC email list associated with your program(s) of interest. Feel free to sign up for more than one list. Also refer to the HPPLC handout, [PDF File] Health Professions Descriptions.