In the event of a radiation accident or attack, it will be imperative to quickly assess the amount of radiation exposure to accurately triage victims for appropriate care. RNA-based radiation dosimetry assays offer the potential to rapidly screen thousands of individuals in an efficient and cost-effective manner. However, prior to the development of these assays, it will be critical to identify those genes that will be most useful to delineate different radiation doses. Using global expression profiling, we examined expression changes in nonimmortalized T cells across a wide range of doses (0.15–12 Gy). Because many radiation responses are highly dependent on time, expression changes were examined at three different times (3, 8, and 24 h). Analyses identified 61, 512 and 1310 genes with significant linear dose-dependent expression changes at 3, 8 and 24 h, respectively. Using a stepwise regression procedure, a model was developed to estimate in vitro radiation exposures using the expression of three genes (CDKN1A, PSRC1 and TNFSF4) and validated in an independent test set with 86% accuracy. These findings suggest that RNA-based expression assays for a small subset of genes can be employed to develop clinical biodosimetry assays to be used in assessments of radiation exposure and toxicity.