The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
Center for the Health Professions



Patterson Center

» Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapists use cutting edge technology and clinical skills to administer ionizing radiation to fight diseases (predominantly cancer). Elmhurst College has an affiliation with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where after enrolling at Elmhurst, students can apply to NMH to gain additional education and valuable hands-on experience. If accepted, Elmhurst College students spend three years on-campus taking courses and spend their final phase of academic and clinical training at the hospital.

What does a radiation therapist do?
Will I need a graduate degree?
What should I major in?
What are the academic requirements?
What about advising?
How do I become certified?
Where can I find additional information?

What does a radiation therapist do?
Radiation therapists collaborate with a diverse health care team to provide treatment to patients in primarily in hospitals and physician clinics. Here are just some of the things you’ll do as a radiation therapist:

  • Prepare patients for daily treatments
  • Deliver radiation treatments
  • Evaluate and monitor treatment delivery equipment
  • Perform radiation dose calculations
  • Provide high-quality patient care
  • Collaborate with physicians and other members of the health care team


What should I major in?
Students preparing for careers in radiation therapy major in biology if they apply to Northwestern Memorial Hospital through the Elmhurst College affiliation. Northwestern Memorial Hospital prefers science related majors for students applying after they receive an undergraduate degree.


What are the academic requirements?
If accepted, students will complete three years of college courses on site at Elmhurst College and then the final phase of clinical/academic education (14 months) on site at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion and be eligible to take required certifying examinations in addition to a bachelor's degree. Students accepted into the program pay Elmhurst tuition and fees for Elmhurst and Northwestern Memorial Hospital courses. Additional fees may be required by the hospital as well. The hospital is located at 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Suite 950 in Chicago, IL 60611.

Below are required courses for the affiliation as a biology major:

Required courses
BIO 200, 201, 315, 430, 442, 498 (note prerequisite) & three other biology major electives
CHM 211, 212, 311, 312
PHY 111, 112 or 121, 122 (note prerequisites for these courses)
MTH 132 and MTH 345/MTH 346/PSY 355

Recommended courses
CHM 315
MTH 151

Courses in computer science, research methods, and verbal and written communication are also required. Speak with a Patterson Center advisor to learn more about how to build them into a schedule and any other additional course information.


What about advising?
Expert advising is an important part of the Patterson Center for the Health Professions. You will meet with one of our expert advisors to discuss your specific academic and professional interests. Your advisor will work with you throughout your Elmhurst career, clearing obstacles and giving expert guidance. Want to know more? See Advisors.


How do I get certified?
When you successfully complete your academic and clinical program, you’ll be eligible to take certifying examinations administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.


Where can I find additional information?
You can start by checking the Web site of Northwestern’s School of Radiation Therapy. In addition to information about the Elmhurst/Northwestern program, you will find links to useful resources. For more help, contact Elmhurst’s Patterson Center for the Health Professions.


Any student interested in applying is responsible for learning about all the requirements for the program. Admission to Elmhurst College does not guarantee acceptance into a program affiliation.


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