Radiation Therapy

About the radiation therapy major

Radiation therapy involves the use of different forms of ionizing radiation for the treatment of benign and malignant tumors. Radiation therapists administer the prescribed dose of ionizing radiation to specific sites of the patient’s body as directed by a physician. They operate various types of equipment, including high-energy linear accelerators, and work with radioactive materials. Radiation therapists also observe the clinical progress of the patient, note the first signs of complication, and determine when treatment should be withheld until a physician may be consulted.

Skills and abilities this major develops: effective communication, ability to think critically and problem solve in a health care environment, ability to perform radiation dose calculations, ability to assess treatment plans and apply basic research methods, and ability to evaluate a patient’s therapeutic responses.

Engaged learning experiences

Regardless of your major or future career, engaged learning is vital to your present and future. It makes you more marketable for jobs and professional schools upon graduation, it enables you to build deeper connections with faculty and staff in your field of study, and it makes your learning personal by connecting your interests and values with the curriculum from your classes. Check out the three ideas below for places to get started, or learn more at IU Indianapolis’s Institute for Engaged Learning website.

Quick facts

Sample coursework

  • Clinical dosimetry I and II
  • Human physiology
  • Physics of radiation oncology
  • Radiation and cancer biology
  • Sectional anatomy
  • Simulation/treatment procedures

Possible careers

  • Chief radiation therapist
  • Department manager
  • Educator*
  • Medical dosimetrist*
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Staff radiation therapists

*These career options require additional training or education.

Where could I work?

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient centers
  • Physicians' offices

Health and Life Sciences Cluster

This major belongs to the Health and Life Sciences (HLS) cluster.

Learn about the HLS cluster

Learn about other clusters

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