Radiation Science

As a radiation science major, you’ll focus on laboratory and research training over clinical training. By integrating biology, radiation, physics, and mathematics, our well-rounded program prepares you to forge your own unique career path in healthcare and the sciences.

During radiation physics lab at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, students gain first-hand technical experience using a linear accelerator.
During radiation physics lab at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, students gain first-hand technical experience using a linear accelerator.

You’ll also have the option to bolster your resume with hands-on experience through an optional internship at one of Boston’s many regional healthcare facilities, medical centers, and research institutions.

The radiation science major also serves as the foundation for the radiation therapy major. Students interested in radiation therapy begin as radiation science majors and can apply for a spot in our competitive radiation therapy program during the fall of their sophomore year.

Students in our radiation science program will:

  • Master the principles of radiation physics, radioactivity, and its effects on the body, such as radiation exposure and absorbed dose of radiation
  • Be equipped to educate patients on cancer treatments, symptoms, and life choices that decrease the risk of developing cancer
  • Gain essential laboratory skills, including pipetting, preparing solutions and buffers, isolating and analyzing DNA and proteins, and using a spectrophotometer
  • Identify human anatomical structures and organ system functions during anatomy & physiology lab
  • Understand the psychosocial aspects related to cancer and learn how to compassionately support and communicate with patients

Experience is Everything

Program Options

The Major

Radiation science majors, including those interested in applying for our radiation therapy program, will complete foundational coursework during their freshman and sophomore year in cancer care, biology, pre-calculus, calculus, anatomy & physiology, and physics. Many of these core courses will also include corresponding labs. During junior and senior year, radiation physics, radiation biology, biostatistics, and three additional electives will round out your education in this complex field.

Graduates of our program often go on to earn advanced degrees or work as clinical research coordinators/assistants, radiation safety office staff, radiation health physics assistants, and patient navigators.
View the Radiation Science Major Curriculum

The Minor

Complete a minor in radiation science just a short walk or T ride away from the nation's top medical facilities. Along with six required courses and corresponding labs, you'll take one course to fulfill our cancer care requirement and a radiation science elective of your choice.
View the Radiation Science Minor Curriculum

Customize Your Degree

Many radiation science students choose courses, minors, or double majors in areas that will complement their skills such as:


“I developed a passion for physics at math school in Moscow, Russia, and a love for helping people from my previous job working at a nursing home in Atlanta. I discovered I could have the best of both worlds by pursuing radiology. It’s a unique major that not many colleges offer. Suffolk partners with the best hospitals in Boston, so I chose to come to Boston. I would like to become a radiation therapist because it will allow me to work directly with patients, which I love most. Suffolk has the best professors to guide me toward my goals; with their help, I am confident I will achieve all my dreams.”

Tatiana Padervinskaite, Class of 2026 Radiation Science Major

Beyond the Classroom

Massachusetts General Hospital as seen from Cambridge Street

How will you make a difference? For some, the best way to help others is by providing direct patient care. You might decide to focus on maintaining a safe hospital environment, help patients navigate the complex healthcare system, or provide access to emerging treatments by facilitating research and clinical trials.

At Suffolk, our faculty will work closely with you—along with professionals from the University’s Center for Career Equity, Development & Success—as you prepare for your next step.

Our program provides a solid foundation and specific advising support for students who want to apply to medical school and other graduate programs in healthcare. We’ll also help you explore a range of career options in health and medicine so you can find the best match for your academic interests and overall life goals. Drawing from our strong ties to the world-renowned Boston medical community, we introduce students to a broad spectrum of specialists during class visits and events. And our relationship with the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions provides access to internships in a variety of clinical programs, including:

  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Audiology
  • Healthcare Data Analytics

Students working in a lab wearing protective gear

At Suffolk, you won’t have to wait in line to use the latest equipment or consult with professors. Our focus on undergraduate education means you’ll do meaningful research in the lab as soon as possible, working directly with faculty mentors.

In your courses, and through internship experiences, you’ll have opportunities to:

  • Study radiation physics on a linear accelerator through a collaborative effort involving medical physicists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Learn several different techniques that are used in molecular and cell biology research, such as how to pipette accurately, use a spectrophotometer, prepare solutions and buffers, isolate and analyze DNA, and isolate and analyze proteins
  • Know the cellular and histological underpinnings of physiology, including how to use light photomicrographs to characterize tissues
  • Present your findings and network with peers at academic conferences

Our students also take advantage of our central location and many connections to Boston’s world-famous medical and research institutions to find internships with experts in healthcare, and more. In addition, students may apply for a scholarship through the Phillips Family Fund to support their pursuit of an unpaid internship.

Students at the Winter Involvement Fair

During your time at Suffolk you’ll meet people who will support and challenge you. Classmates, faculty, alumni, and industry contacts will broaden your view of healthcare and help you find your place within it.

Service Learning

Many of our students work with Christopher’s Haven, a nonprofit organization that supports children with cancer and their families as they undergo treatment at Boston hospitals. Our students also participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities through Suffolk’s Center for Community Engagement.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Show support for the causes that matter most to you. Radiation science students participate in awareness and fundraising events together like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Rammython Dance Marathon at Suffolk, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night walk. You can also attend career and networking meetings, research presentations, and fun events through one of our active student groups, including:

  • Cancer Awareness Club
  • Health Careers Club
  • Rammython, a group that helps support kids with illnesses and disabilities at Boston Children’s Hospital through fundraising and events

Career and Alumni Networking Events

Explore different options by meeting people in the fields that interest you. We work closely with the Center for Career Equity, Development & Success to hold annual job fairs and career roundtables, promote opportunities within our Healthcare and Wellness career community, and regularly invite alumni back to campus for class visits and talks.

Success after Suffolk

Here's a sampling of recent graduates’ current job titles and employers.

Assistant Health Physicist
Beth Israel Lahey Health
Patient Services Coordinator
LifeStance Health
Vet Assistant for Nuclear Medicine
VCA Animal Hospital
Patient Access Representative
Virginia Mason Medical Center
Medical Administrative Assistant
Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Patient Services Coordinator
Tufts Medical Center
Radiation Control Specialist II
State of Nevada


Questions? Get in touch!

Eric Dewar

Eric Dewar

Associate Professor & Interim Department Chair of Biology

Email [email protected]

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