Enrollment for radiography and radiation therapy programs increased

January 14, 2014
by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor
According to a new study conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, enrollment in radiography and radiation therapy programs increased slightly in 2013.

In a reversal from years past, enrollment in radiography programs turned out to be the highest for radiologic technicians with 16,154 students in the country entering programs, followed by 1,513 students in radiation therapy in 2013.

The survey was sent electronically to 990 program directors listed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Roughly 500 responded.

The figures represent an average increase of close to one student per class for radiography programs and an average of one student per class for radiation therapy programs, according to ASRT.

But the picture is not completely rosy. Only about 1,280 students enrolled in nuclear medicine technology programs, indicating an average 0.5 decrease in students per program from 2012. Also, ASRT said that even with the slight enrollment increases in radiography and radiation therapy, many program directors are actually limiting enrollment numbers.

"After factoring in the number of students who weren't admitted and the available slots in programs, we estimated that more than 15,500 students were turned away in 2013," said John Culbertson, ASRT director of research, in a statement.

According to ASRT, radiography program directors turned away an average of 36.3 qualified applicants per class and radiation therapy programs passed on an average of 17.1 students. Nuclear medicine program directors turned away an average of 7.8 students. Last year, ASRT released a study that found that nuclear medicine grads also had a harder time finding work compared with graduates of radiography programs.