Radiation therapy is the application of nuclear medicine in the treatment of cancer and other diseases of the human body. While major ranking organizations do not rank radiation therapy degree programs, top-ranked universities in medicine and the health sciences from 2013 to 2014 are the most likely to have outstanding research and faculty resources to offer top programs in radiation therapy. Top accredited radiation therapy programs are at the bachelor's degree level and distinctive for student opportunities in research, course work and clinical experience.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan at Flint offers an outstanding program focusing on a rigorous upper-level program that includes developing strong communication skills with diverse populations while acquiring proficiency in radiation therapy. The program collaborates with local and regional institutions for student access to clinical experience, service to the Southeastern Michigan community and the promotion of scholarly projects. The University is top ranked for research and scholarly production, such as by “U.S. News & World Report,” where it ranked eighth for medical research. Worldwide, the university ranked 12th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, or ARWU, and 36th by CWTS Leiden, demonstrating exemplary research, faculty and other resources to provide a top program in radiation therapy.
Oregon Health and Science University
The Oregon Health and Science University of Portland provides a distinctive program in radiation oncology that prepares the graduate to work as a member of the treatment team. Students gain skills in radiation therapy as they become skilled in patient, staff and public communication, including providing psychological support to the patient and family. Students also learn to develop treatment plans, selecting the correct treatment and spotting issues with treatment prescriptions. In addition, students have the opportunity to conduct independent research, plus extensive clinical experiences. OHSU received solid rankings, with “U.S. News” ranking it 31st, Leiden listing it at 42nd, and ARWU placing it in the 101st to 150th range. These are strong indicators of a university capable of offering high-quality facilities while requiring academic rigor.
University of Texas
The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, of Houston proffers a program that is exemplary for its state-of-the-art radiation oncology center that treats thousands of new patients each year. The program blends formal instruction with clinical experiences, demanding that students be clinically competent, critical thinkers, highly professional and good oral and written communicators. Students also have multiple opportunities for clinical experience in Texas and New Mexico, plus training with a wide range of faculty specialists, such as radiation oncologists and physicists. The University is highly regarded, ranking 19th by ARWU, 55th by “U.S. News,” and 101st by Leiden, bringing extensive faculty, research and hospital facilities to the table.
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, of Columbus offers an outstanding intensive program that begins at the upper-division level with full-time training without a summer break. The program has a strong research emphasis, encouraging students to participate in research with participation in the Lambda Nu Honor Society. Students also have extensive clinical experiences at clinics and hospitals in the region. OSU's rankings demonstrate a strong commitment to academics, research and faculty: “U.S. News” ranked OSU 38th, while Leiden ranked it 59th, and ARWU listed it in the 101st to 150th range.
- United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Radiation Therapists
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology: Find a Program
- CWTS Leiden Ranking: CWTS Leiden Ranking 2013, Biomedical and Health Sciences
- Institute for Higher Education Policy: Research, Ranking Systems Clearinghouse, National Ranking Systems, United States
- Oregon Health Sciences University: Education, Schools, School of Medicine, Academic Programs, Radiation Therapy, About
- The University of Texas: MD Anderson Cancer Center, Education and Training, School of Health Professions, Degree Programs, Radiation Therapy Program
- Ohio State University: College of Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Division of Radiologic Sciences and Therapy, Radiation Therapy
John Huddle is an Army veteran with enlisted service as general hospital staff and hospital chaplain's assistant. His career also included stints as a teacher, adjunct faculty, administrator and school psychologist. Twice, Dr. Huddle was a major party nominee for state office. He also served as a director on several nonprofit boards. Today he enjoys consulting and lobbying for underdog causes.