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2023 Best Online Radiology Degrees

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 11/29/2023
2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Radiology Badge

Radiologists with a solid foundation in operating imaging diagnostic tools and interpreting the results often seek career advancement beyond their initial training and certification. An online bachelor’s in radiology can help prepare these professionals for leadership roles within the industry by building on existing expertise. 

We’ve ranked our list of programs by Salary Score so you can find the one that provides the biggest return on your investment. If you are undecided, check out our list of online bachelor’s degree programs in healthcare administration, healthcare informatics degrees, and nursing programs. View our methodology for details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU.

2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Radiology Badge
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#1 Oregon Institute of Technology

  • Salary Score: 89
  • Median Starting Salary: $74,921
  • Locations: Klamath Falls (OR)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management - Radiologic Science for those currently registered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) and seeking career advancement. This online degree program requires completing 205 quarter credit hours in order to graduate. However, 89 prior learning credits are awarded due to the current AART registry enabling many students to finish quickly. Oregon Tech accepts 95% of applicants, and 50% of undergraduate students graduate.

Oregon Tech delivers online coursework and instruction via Canvas, a popular learning management system (LMS). Distance learners in the Radiologic Science program take classes such as Principles of Healthcare Marketing, Introductory Statistics, Introduction to Report Writing, and Healthcare Management. They must also complete a senior project. A radiology degree from Oregon Tech can help enable advancement into middle-management healthcare roles.

#2 Pima Medical Institute

  • Salary Score: 87
  • Median Starting Salary: $72,901
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: ABHES

Pima Medical Institute (PMI) is a private, for-profit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences. This bachelor’s completion program is for students who currently hold ARRT certification. Graduation requires completing 120 credit hours of coursework. Full-time students may be able to finish in as few as 16 months. However, students generally transfer with 70 credit hours. PMI has a 100% acceptance rate, and 81% of students graduate with degrees.

PMI’s online students access their coursework and instruction via Blackboard. The radiologic sciences distance learning program has a range of courses that include Advanced Sectional Anatomy, Patient Information and Management, Healthcare Law and Compliance, and Technical Writing. Students must also complete a professional capstone. Occupations of interest include department director, clinical supervisor, clinical director, pharmaceutical sales representative, and applications specialist.

#3 Upstate Medical University

  • Salary Score: 74
  • Median Starting Salary: $64,336
  • Locations: Syracuse (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Upstate Medical University is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Medical Imaging Science. Students must currently hold ARRT certification, be certificate-eligible in radiography (X-ray), have an associate or bachelor’s degree, and have completed the required prerequisites to enroll. Track options include Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This full-time-only program requires completing 48 semester credit hours of coursework — regardless of a student's chosen track — which takes approximately one year. Upstate has an 84% graduation rate.

Upstate provides the Brightspace LMS to its distance learners. Online students in the medical imaging science program can access coursework and instruction for classes such as Imaging Pathology, Healthcare Ethics, and Advanced Imaging Procedures. Students must also complete clinical rotations to graduate.

#4 University of Cincinnati

  • Salary Score: 74
  • Median Starting Salary: $64,156
  • Locations: Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Cinncinating (UC) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology to current radiologic technologists seeking career advancement. This bachelor’s completion program requires 60 semester credit hours to graduate, which may take full-time students less than two years. The required internship allows students to focus on management, clinical practice, or education. UC accepts 76% of applicants, and 66% of students at the school graduate.

Students use Canvas to access UC’s online curriculum. Distance learners studying radiation science technology enroll in courses such as foundations of Imaging Modalities, Diversity in Medical Imaging, Leadership Strategies in Healthcare, and Current Topics in Healthcare. Additionally, they must complete a capstone project. Alums work as clinical instructors, program directors, CT technologists, and shift supervisors.

#5 Boise State University

  • Salary Score: 69
  • Median Starting Salary: $61,487
  • Locations: Boise (ID)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Boise State University is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences as an associate to bachelor’s degree completion program. Seven-week courses enable full-time students to complete the required 120 semester credit hours in as little as a year. Students may be awarded 25 credits for holding a current ARRT certificate and 62 transfer credits for an associate degree. Boise State has a 77% acceptance and a 50% graduation rate.

Boise State delivers online curriculum and instruction via the LMS Canvas. In the online imaging sciences program, students may choose to enroll in courses such as Study of Diseases in Imaging Sciences, Preventative Care and Patient Advocacy in Imaging Sciences, and Comprehensive Analysis on Radiation Protection. The program's curriculum helps prepare students for various roles in the field, such as healthcare managers and instructors.

#6 Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

  • Salary Score: 63
  • Median Starting Salary: $58,687
  • Locations: Indianapolis (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a public institution, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology for working professionals who have already earned certification in a medical imaging-related field. The curriculum includes courses from four key categories: principles of technology, technical procedures, multiplanar anatomy and pathology, and medical imaging research. The program's coursework is also designed to help students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

IUPUI delivers its online courses through the Canvas learning platform. The school provides support services such as tutoring, success coaching, and writing assistance for distance learners.

#7 Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

  • Salary Score: 63
  • Median Starting Salary: $58,573
  • Locations: Carbondale (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

At the state-run Southern Illinois University (SIU) - Carbondale, students may enroll in an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences Management and Education program. Only working professionals who hold a credential related to the imaging sciences are accepted into the program. Because the program is designed to train future managers and educators, the curriculum combines radiologic science courses on radiation physics, radiation biology, pathology, and imaging modalities with courses on management theory and education theory. Students must complete a research/thesis project to graduate.

Online students use the D2L learning management system to access course materials and submit assignments. SIU has a 95% acceptance rate and a 45% graduation rate.

#8 Midwestern State University

  • Salary Score: 59
  • Median Starting Salary: $56,852
  • Locations: Wichita Falls (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

At Midwestern State University (MSU), a public university, students enrolled in the online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree completion program can choose to focus on mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, or computed tomography (CT) scanning. Some of the courses in the program include Pathophysiology, Advanced Clinical Practice Skills, and Introduction to Nuclear Medicine. Students are also required to accumulate a number of clinical practice hours to graduate. To qualify for admission, applicants must either be certified or in the process of earning certification in the radiologic sciences.

MSU students view lectures and course materials, complete homework assignments, and engage in group learning activities through the D2L learning platform.

#9 University of Southern Indiana

  • Salary Score: 57
  • Median Starting Salary: $55,913
  • Locations: Evansville (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Southern Indiana (USI), which is a public institution, offers an online degree completion program for a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences. Students enrolled in the program can choose one of three concentrations: clinical education, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography, or radiologic management. Each track has its own curricula, but most students take courses in the healthcare delivery system, ethics, leadership, and current issues in the field. Applicants must hold an associate degree from an allied health professions program and be currently certified in medical imaging to be accepted into this program.

USI presents its online courses through the Blackboard learning management system. The school has a 96% acceptance rate and a 50% graduation rate.

#10 University of Missouri

  • Salary Score: 55
  • Median Starting Salary: $55,017
  • Locations: Columbia (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The public University of Missouri — commonly known as Mizzou — offers an online Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences with an emphasis in radiography. The program is designed for medical imaging professionals who want to move into advanced roles in patient care management, teaching, or sales. Courses included in the curriculum cover topics such as advanced CT and MRI procedures, anatomy, pharmacology, clinical ethics, and public health principles.

Mizzou uses the Canvas learning platform for its online courses. The school provides a number of support services for distance education students, such as library resources, tutoring, writing assistance, and academic coaching.

2023 Best Online Radiology Degrees

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 Oregon Institute of Technology 89 89 $74,921
# 2 #2 Pima Medical Institute 87 $72,901
# 3 #3 Upstate Medical University 74 $64,336
# 4 #4 University of Cincinnati 74 $64,156
# 5 #5 Boise State University 69 $61,487
# 6 #6 Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis 63 $58,687
# 7 #7 Southern Illinois University - Carbondale 63 $58,573
# 8 #8 Midwestern State University 59 $56,852
# 9 #9 University of Southern Indiana 57 $55,913
# 10 #10 University of Missouri 55 $55,017
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Online Radiology Degrees: An Overview

Radiology is a crucial healthcare field for diagnosis and imaging. Online radiology degrees provide specialized education for individuals seeking a career in medical imaging and diagnostic procedures. These programs equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this important healthcare sector. Radiology online degrees cover a wide range of topics, including medical imaging principles, radiation safety protocols, and the operation of cutting-edge diagnostic equipment. 

Note that the job title radiologist refers to the medical doctors who interpret diagnostic imagery and communicate results to patients. Becoming a radiologist requires a medical degree, while becoming a technician or technologist does not. However, there is a distinct difference between a technician, who operates machinery and may run tests but does not make assessments, and a radiologic technologist, who may take part in running tests as well as assessing the results with a medical team.

It's important to mention that accreditation should be a priority when choosing an online radiology degree program as it indicates adherence to industry standards, ensuring a high quality education and professional recognition. OnlineU only features accredited schools on its website.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Radiology Degree Online?

Most online bachelor's degrees in radiology are degree-completion programs for students who have an entry-level associate degree and are already registered radiologic technologists. These degrees can take 16-24 months of full-time study or 24-36 months of part-time study to complete all 120 credits. In addition to regular coursework, the bachelor's degree includes a field experience with a set number of required clinical hours in a healthcare practice setting. This experience can last from a few months to a year but may occur simultaneously with online classes.

Radiology Degree Specializations

Starting in their degree program, radiologic technologists can specialize in one or several imaging modalities, which include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, and bone densitometry. There are a number of online bachelor's degree concentrations that can help prepare graduates for different career paths, such as MRI technologists or nuclear medicine technologists. 

If you're specifically looking to become a diagnostic medical sonographer, specifically, you may want to research online sonography degrees.

Common Courses in Radiology Degree Programs

Enrollment in a radiology degree — even a program with fully online courses — requires an in-person field experience, where students will have supervised practice on the complex machinery they'll use in their jobs. Students currently working as technologists may be able to complete this at their place of employment, or they may need to arrange for another location.

Course offerings can differ across radiology programs, but most of them have a few courses in common. This is because faculty want to train diagnostic imaging specialists who are not just proficient at one set of tests but also adept at cross-training on new technology according to the needs of their employers. 

Below, we've listed a few classes that radiology students are likely to encounter:

Fundamentals of Computed Tomography

Students learn the uses and limitations of CT scans in diagnosing illnesses and injuries. Professors teach the scan process, including safety protocols and administration of contrast agents. Although a doctor is responsible for diagnoses, professors may cover a basic interpretation of results.

Introduction to Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Lessons in this course cover the use of sound waves to retrieve images. Students learn the practical applications of sonography, including echocardiograms for cardiovascular imaging and ultrasound for obstetrics and gynecology. Faculty generally cover patient care, professional behavior, and ethics.

Introduction to MRI

This course introduces the principles of MRI, including the operation of machinery and the interpretation of results. Students learn about the physical processes behind using magnets and contrast agents to reveal organs and tissues. Faculty emphasize safety around magnets and common patient reactions to immersion in an MRI tube.

Physics in Diagnostic Imaging

Faculty teach the scientific principles that allow machines to render diagnostic images. Coursework may cover image formation and processing, magnetism, and basic electronics. Students are introduced to concepts explored in more depth in later courses, such as contrast (including the use of nuclear medicine) and the effects of the body's structures on imaging.

Sectional Anatomy

Radiology students learn the human body's systems and how they interconnect. Professors often discuss which imagining machinery best reveals each system in this class. The focus is generally on the physical plane viewable in different types of images, along with the limits of each.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Radiology Degree?

All radiologic technologists train in human anatomy in order to take precise and accurate images. Their responsibilities usually also include maintaining complex radiology equipment, managing patient records, and occasionally helping doctors interpret image results. Depending on their state regulations, an aspiring technologist generally needs to obtain certification after earning a degree.

Graduates of an online radiology degree program can pursue various careers in medical imaging, diagnostics, and patient care:

Radiologic Technologists

Median Annual Wage: $67,180
Job Growth: 6%

Radiologic technologists administer diagnostic imaging exams on patients.

MRI Technologists

Median Annual Wage: $80,090
Job Growth: 5-8%

MRI technologists run MRI scanners, overseeing patient safety and comfort. They analyze the scanned images of the scanned areas to ensure image quality. 

Cardiovascular Technologists

Median Annual Wage: $63,020
Job Growth: 2-4%

Cardiovascular technologists carry out tests to analyze the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients to help determine the diagnosis and the best path for treatment.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Median Annual Wage: $85,300
Job Growth: 0%

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare and deliver radioactive drugs for imaging or treatment purposes.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Radiology Degree?

A radiology degree offers multiple career options, with salaries varying based on the specific role. To give some examples, radiologic technologists specializing in diagnostic imaging earn a median annual salary of $67,180, while nuclear medicine technologists can earn a median annual salary of $85,300. Overall, a radiology degree is likely a great investment toward a promising career path.

Applying For a Radiology Degree Online

The typical requirements for radiology degrees generally include the following:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent

  • Standardized test scores, like the SAT or ACT

  • Letters of recommendation

Some programs may have additional requirements, like prerequisite courses or work experience, so it’s helpful to check for those before applying online.

FAQs About Degrees in Radiology

Can You Get Radiology Degrees Online?

Yes, you can pursue radiology degrees online through accredited institutions. Online programs offer flexibility that allows students to balance education with other commitments. It's essential to choose reputable online programs to ensure quality education and recognition within the field. 

What Bachelor’s Degree Is Best for Radiology?

While a specific bachelor's degree isn’t always required for entry into the field, degrees in fields such as radiologic technology, medical imaging, or healthcare administration can provide a strong foundation. These degrees cover essential concepts in anatomy, biology, and medical imaging technology, preparing students for success in radiology-related careers.

Is Radiology Harder Than Becoming an RN?

The difficulty of pursuing a career in radiology versus in nursing depends on individual preferences and strengths. Radiology relies on medical imaging technology and diagnostics, demanding proficiency with technology and attention to detail. Becoming a nurse involves getting a nursing degree to gain an understanding of patient care and medical procedures. Prospective healthcare professionals should choose a career path that aligns with their interests and talents.

How Difficult Are Online Programs in Radiology?

There's no absolute answer to this question because individuals have different strengths, experiences, and learning styles. One way to gauge the difficulty of individual online programs is by reviewing graduation rates. These can be hard to find for individual programs, but the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology provides a helpful data search tool. Prospective students can review JRCERT-accredited programs for their student completion rate and credential exam pass rate to get a sense of how well a college supports its students and how prepared graduates are for their necessary certifications.

Depending on your aptitude for science and technology, you may find one of these aspects more difficult to learn than the other. Many radiology programs feature courses covering a variety of imaging machines, so current radiology techs may find new equipment difficult to learn if it differs from the equipment they already use in their work. It's also possible that students will excel in their health science and imaging science courses but struggle in some required general education or liberal arts classes.

Is a Bachelor's in Radiology Worth It?

A bachelor's degree in radiology can unlock a range of fulfilling career options in medical imaging and diagnostics. That said, it’s possible to enter a field with an associate degree. The main advantage of a bachelor's degree is a wider range of job opportunities, including more specialized roles and potentially higher pay. However, it's important to consider the stress that comes with a radiology career, which can involve intense, high-stakes decisions and patient care.

Here are some pros and cons to weigh:


  • Diverse career opportunities

  • Solid earning potential

  • Advanced knowledge of radiology

  • Professional advancement in the field


  • Financial and time investment to earn a degree

  • High stress levels

  • Rapid technological changes in the field

  • Licensing requirements for some advanced positions

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