Radiation Therapy program

MUndergrad major

Combine high-precision treatment and empathetic support to help cancer patients.

If you are interested in a healthcare career that allows you to see your patients daily, while using the latest technological equipment to provide treatment, then radiation therapy might be the field for you. Radiation therapy is all about using "technology with a human touch."

UWL's Radiation Therapy program is nationally-accredited and is the only bachelor’s degree radiation therapy program in the UW System. Since the program started in 1997, graduates have held a perfect, first-time pass rate on the national certification exam. In cooperation with local and regional cancer centers in Wisconsin and Illinois, students gain hands-on experience with courses and rotations at clinical internship sites during their final year of training.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy is one of several ways to treat cancer. Often combined with chemotherapy and surgery, radiation therapy is effective at targeting specific cancerous areas within a patient’s body. While not all patients are curable, radiation also offers control of disease and relief of symptoms, improving a patients’ quality of life.

What is it like to be a radiation therapist?

Radiation therapists find that work with cancer patients, while sad at times, is more uplifting than depressing. They have the opportunity to get to know people whose strength and courage shine through their difficulties. Because radiation therapists see patients daily, they can develop relationships with them that are unique and satisfying. Radiation therapists work with a team on the patients' behalf. This team often includes other therapists, physicians, nurses, social workers, medical dosimetrists and physicists. The same characteristics that make ionizing radiation valuable in killing cancer cells can be a safety concern for radiation therapists. Because of this, radiation therapists monitor any potential exposure and are shielded when the treatment beam is on.

Job opportunities are prevalent for radiation therapists in hospitals and freestanding radiation therapy facilities. Radiation therapists enjoy mostly daytime and weekday hours and excellent compensation. Additionally, radiation therapists may further their education and specialize. 

Radiation therapy jobs

  • Radiation therapist
  • Simulation therapist
  • Lead therapist
  • Proton therapist
  • MRI therapist

Further development

  • Medical dosimetry
  • Medical physics
  • Education
  • Management and leadership
  • Sales/applications
  • Quality improvement

What distinguishes UWL's Radiation Therapy program?

Perfect pass rate

Graduates of UWL's Radiation Therapy program have had a 100% first time pass rate on the The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification exam since the program began in 1997. ARRT is the world’s largest organization offering credentials in medical imaging, interventional procedures, and radiation therapy. 

Outstanding job placement rate

Graduates of UWL's Radiation Therapy program have a 100% job placement rate for those actively seeking employment within six months of graduation.

Nationally-accredited program

UWL Radiation Therapy is nationally-accredited by The Joint Review Committee of Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), the only agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), for the accreditation of traditional and distance delivery educational programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry. 

High-rank nationally

The program is No. 2 on the Best Value Schools list. The rankings highlight tuition and enrollment, while listing notables such as UWL’s 13-month internship program and its national accreditation. 

Student involvement opportunities

Students have opportunities for involvement on campus through the Radiation Therapy Club & Lambda Nu Honor Society- Alpha Chapter. They can also join state and national professional organizations such as Radiation Therapists of Wisconsin-RTOW and The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).   

Professional clinical experience

Students in the program have a 13-month clinical internship with supervised, clinical experiences working with real patients and equipment in tandem with a rigorous professional curriculum. Students are able to learn and apply skills and concepts in a supervised setting with real patients. The program seeks to foster in its students, professional development, resiliency, critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and leadership skills needed for current, future and diverse health care environments.

Hands-on, innovative approach to education

Students learn through real-life scenarios that aim to teach patient safety and critical thinking. Experience with these situations helps student to think on their feet when they have similar experiences in clinical internships and their future career.

Areas of study

Sample courses