Bachelor of Science Major in Radiation Therapy

The Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy builds on a broad-based foundation in liberal arts and sciences designed to strengthen critical thinking and communication skills to work with a diverse population in multiple healthcare settings. Graduates of this major will be able to understand all aspects of radiation therapy including effective patient care and education, treatment planning and radiation physics as well as the biological effects of radiation in a rapidly advancing high touch, highly technical profession.

The Radiation Therapy major combines classroom with clinical experiences to prepare graduates for an entry level position in the profession as an integral member of the healthcare team using radiation to treat cancer and some benign diseases. Clinical internships are assigned by the Program and may require driving up to 100 miles from designated campus. This mileage is based on distance to the clinical setting from National University at each geographic site. Clinical internships require 40 hours per week in a clinical setting. Working while in the program is not encouraged. Graduates will use their competencies to assess the physical, emotional and educational needs of the patients they serve, determine the efficacy of a prescribed treatment and carry out the accurate delivery and documentation of treatment.

The Radiation Therapy major is a full-time, lock-step program in which each cohort of students progress in unison, taking each of the courses in a sequenced manner. Courses in the program build on knowledge from courses previously completed with medical terminology as an integral component of all courses. Students will also take two courses in one month as scheduled. Students must pass each course with a C or better to progress in the program. Once the program is completed, students will be eligible to apply to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national examination and apply for certification from the California Department of Public Health, Radiologic Health Branch. The Radiation Therapy Program has received accreditation by the California Department of Public Health, Radiologic Health Branch and has received accreditation by Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 704-5300.

The Radiation Therapy Program prepares the graduate to be able to fulfill the following outcomes as an entry-level professional.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Radiation Therapy major is to prepare students to assume the professional role of a radiation therapist. Graduates of the major will be skilled in critical thinking to provide the highest quality of patient care, education and treatment.


  1. Students will be competent in the delivery of radiation therapy treatments.
  2. Students will communicate effectively.
  3. Students will utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  4. Students will demonstrate professional and ethical behavior.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate patient, radiation and equipment safety at all times.
  2. Demonstrate clinical competence in the areas of patient care, treatment, and simulation.
  3. Effectively communicate with patient, families.
  4. Effectively communicate with members of the health care team.
  5. Formulate priorities in daily clinical practice.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to think critically to apply knowledge to new situations.
  7. Demonstrate the concepts of teamwork.
  8. Demonstrate attitudes congruent with professional standards and actions.

Admission Requirements

  1. Students seeking to study radiation therapy at National University must:
  2. Meet all requirements for admission to an undergraduate degree program at the University as outlined in the University Catalog.
  3. Have obtained a 2.50 cumulative GPA from all regionally accredited institutions attended.
  4. Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of observation in a radiation therapy department. A completed time sheet must be signed by the therapist at the observation site. Time sheets are available in the radiation therapy office. Observation site placement is the student's responsibility and can be completed at any radiation therapy department.
  5. Submit a minimum of 2 letters of reference forms from radiations therapists in the department where the student observed, and 1 letter of reference form from a teacher, and/or an employer. Reference forms are available from the radiation therapy office. All letters of reference must use the reference form. No other letters will be accepted. All letters of reference must be mailed to National University/Radiation Therapy, 3390 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
  6. Submit a separate application for admissions to the Department of Health Science, Radiation Therapy major.
  7. Complete the written essay describing motivation to be a radiation therapist. Maximum one page, 12 point font, 1.5 spacing.
  8. Submit a current resume with application.
  9. Interview with the Radiation Therapy Admissions Committee.
  10. Have been formally evaluated by the University Office of the Registrar.
  11. Completed all General Education in all Areas A-G prior to the start of the program.
  12. Completed all preparation for major courses with a "C" grade or better.
  13. Application is found in the student portal under e-forms.

**Note: According to California Department of Public Health requirements, a student must be at least 18 years of age to participate in Clinical Internship.

**Note: Meeting the minimum requirements, as listed above, does not guarantee admissions into the radiation therapy program.

Admission Process

Admission to the radiation therapy program is a three-step process: 1) Application to the University; 2) Application to the respective radiation therapy major; and 3) Participation in an interview with the Radiation Therapy Admission Committee. Prospective students should follow the University application requirements listed in the "General Admission Procedures" section of this catalog. In addition, prospective radiation therapy students will complete a separate application for admission. These applications, with supporting documentation, are accepted on January 30th of each year. A minimum GPA of 2.50 is required for entry into the Radiation Therapy Program.

A prospective student should first meet with an Admissions Advisor. The advisors are located at each of the University campus offices. The prospective student will arrange to have transcripts from all other Colleges and Universities sent to National University. These courses will be evaluated by the Registrar's Office for equivalency. All prospective students will enroll in RTT 201 Introduction to Radiation Therapy. This course will review all aspects of the Radiation Therapy curriculum, major and profession to provide applicants with a knowledge base to form their decision to enter the program.

A Calculation Worksheet will be used to evaluate each prospective student's application packet by the Radiation Therapy Admissions Committee. The prospective student will be ranked in comparison to the other applicants during that application year. Application deadline is January 30th.

The scoring will be based on:

  • Quality of grades in the prerequisite courses.
  • Ranking of the recommendation letters.
  • Knowledge of the profession.
  • Written essay included with the application packet.
  • Ranked interview.

Once all prospective students for a given year have been interviewed, the Radiation Therapy Admissions committee will rank applicants based on the interview and application materials. The highest ranked individuals will be invited to enter the program at San Diego, Costa Mesa or Sacramento educational sites. While student education site preference is followed, students may be accepted to another educational site based on the number of spaces available. If a student is unwilling to relocate to the education site for which they were accepted, the student will not be able to join the program. Based on ranking, a student may be invited to enter the program at their second or third preferred education site. There is no waiting list. Students who are not accepted may re-apply for admission one more time in the following year. They are encouraged to speak with the Program Director about strategies to strengthen their application.

Before participating in clinical internship, students must submit proof of the Radiation Therapy Health Clearance, current health insurance and current Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate from the American Heart Association (BLS-Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers). Students are responsible for determining if their health insurance coverage includes provisions for emergency room visits in the event of a needle stick or other injury in the clinical setting, as well as the costs of anti-HIV drugs if the physician determines the medications are warranted. Please note: if the student is out of the program for 5 months or more, she/he must re-do the drug screen and background check.

In addition, before engaging in clinical practice at health facilities, students will be required to obtain professional liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence/$3,000,000 aggregate. Continued liability coverage as well as current health clearance, clear background check and drug screen, and immunity coverage is required throughout the program.

 **Note: failure to maintain health clearance and a clear background check during the radiation therapy program may result in dismissal from the nursing program and possible refusal of the ARRT to allow the student to take the Radiation Therapy licensure exam. Students are responsible for meeting all of the above requirements.

Background Checks

Radiation therapy departments used by the Radiation Therapy major require criminal background and drug screening prior to internship. Students who do not pass the background check and/or drug test may be unable to attend the internship, therefore, may be unable to complete the program of study. Any fee or cost associated with background checks and/or drug testing is the responsibility of the student. Students may be subject to random drug testing. Any fee’s associated with this will be the responsibility of the student.

Students will need to provide their own transportation to class and clinical internship. Proof of auto insurance and a valid driver's license is required. Travel to clinical internships may require driving up to 100 miles as measured from the National University educational site.

Students successfully completing the Radiation Therapy major will be eligible to apply for state and national examinations. Upon successful completion of the final course within the program, application for the national exam will be provided in the last course of the Program. Students are responsible for submitting applications and fees to the State of California and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate patient, radiation, and equipment safety at all times.
  • Effectively communicate with patients/families and members of the healthcare community.
  • Demonstrate clinical competence in the areas of patient care, treatment, and simulation.
  • Formulate priorities in daily clinical practice.
  • Apply concepts of teamwork.
  • Evaluate the clinical significance of treatment parameters as prescribed and suspend treatment as appropriate.
  • Develop plans based on patient assessment to address physical, emotional, and educational needs.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply knowledge to new situations.
  • Analyze clinical data to ensure safety and quality improvement of radiation therapy operations.
  • Evaluate treatment plans to ensure accurate and effective treatment delivery.
  • Demonstrate values and attitudes congruent with the profession's standards and ethics.
  • Analyze current health care research for application to radiation therapy practice.
  • Apply strategies that promote professional development and life long learning.


To receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Radiation Therapy, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper division level and a minimum 70.5 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general education electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission requirements for specific information regarding admission and matriculation.
Preparation for the Major (12 courses; 42.75 quarter units)
Requirements for the Major (21 courses; 73.5 quarter units)
Students must pass all courses with a C or better to progress in the program. Students will need 76.5 quarter units of upper division level coursework. In absence of units students may need to take additional upper division electives to satisfy the total upper division units for the degree.
Core Requisite(s):