ASRT: Student enrollment in radiation therapy programs rising

A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Radiation Technologists (ASRT) found a small increase in the number of students enrolled in radiography and nuclear medicine programs, with the largest enrollment gains seen in radiation therapy programs.

Conducted every year since 2001, the “ASRT Enrollment Snapshot of Radiography, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine Technology Programs—2018” estimated that 16,374 students enrolled in radiography programs last year, up from 15,769 in 2017. That breaks down to 22.4 students enrolled per program, a 0.7 student increase compared to 2017.

Radiation therapy programs enrolled an estimated 1,356 students across accredited programs, up from 1,151 in 2017. This broke down to 1.9 students gained per program, the largest gain among radiography and nuclear medicine programs (0.1 students per program).

“Our survey results show a modest increase each year since 2014 in the number of students enrolled in radiography programs and some fluctuations in radiation therapy and nuclear medicine programs,” said ASRT Director of Research John Culbertson in a prepared statement. “Looking ahead, most of the program directors surveyed say they plan to maintain their current levels of enrollment with no increase, so we’ll continue to monitor trends to see if it continues in 2019.”

The online questionnaire was sent to 956 radiography, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine program directors as recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The study authors received 377 responses, 79 percent of which were programs in radiography, followed by radiation therapy (11 percent), nuclear medicine (7 percent) and other imaging programs (3 percent).

Read the full survey results here.