We have reported the radiation could activate STAT3, which subsequently promotes the invasion of A549 cells. We here explored the dose- and time-response of STAT3 to radiation and the effect of radiation on upstream signaling molecules. A549 cells were irradiated with different doses of γ-rays. The expression of and nucleus translocation of p-STAT3 in A549 cells were detected by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence, respectively. The level of phosphorylated EGFR was also assessed by immunoblotting, and IL-6 expression was detected by real time PCR and ELISA. Radiation promoted the phosphorylation of STAT3 at Y705 in a dose- and time-dependent manner and nuclear translocation. The level of phosphorylated EGFR in A549 cells increased after radiation. In additional, the mRNA and protein levels of IL-6 in A549 cells were also up regulated by radiation. STAT3 is activated by radiation in a dose-and time-dependent manner, probably due to radiation-induced activation of EGFR or secretion of IL-6 in A549 cells.