Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Austin Community College (ACC) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Program?

The ACC MRI program is a two semester advanced certificate program. The MRI program is designed to prepare the student to take the post primary certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The courses offered are traditional classroom instruction. This is not an online program.

Who can apply to the MRI program?

The MRI program is offered to imaging professionals with a primary current certification in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).

Please note that the ARRT requires the candidate must hold primary pathway registration with the ARRT (or in some cases, NMTCB or ARDMS) in an appropriate discipline and document completion of specific clinical experience requirements.

Applicants with non-ARRT credentials, such as RDMS or NMTCB need to personally contact the ARRT for eligibility verification. The ARRT will determine if your primary license and school program meets the eligibility requirements for post-primary certification in MRI.

How many students are accepted into the MRI program?

The number of students that we accept is based on the number of clinical training facilities that we have available. Typically, we accept 8 – 10 students to start in the Fall.

Is the MRI program offered every year?

The program is offered on an as needed basis. It is dependent on MRI faculty staffing and having 70% student enrollment to make the program. If there are not sufficient applications, the program will not be offered. The program only starts in the Fall semester.

What is the difference between declared and undeclared student?

Declared – Declared applicants are classified as students who require the clinical and didactic component. These students are eligible to enroll in the three didactic courses and two clinical courses covered in the Fall and Spring semester.

Undeclared – Undeclared applicants are classified as students who do not require the clinical component. Undeclared means that only the didactic coursework is required. These applicants may already work in the MRI field or have made personal arrangements for clinical training, and only are seeking the didactic portion of the coursework.

As an undeclared student, do I have 2 years to complete all the procedures?

Yes, the ARRT policies and guidelines apply to both declared and undeclared applicants. ​Both students will have 24 months to complete the ARRT competency requirements.

From ARRT.org: Candidates for ARRT post-primary certification and registration must — within the 24 months before submitting their applications — complete and document specific procedures as outlined in the clinical experience requirements (see Appendix B). 

Please visit www.arrt.org for more information on the MRI post primary pathway option.

How do I apply to the MRI program?

Visit the MRI Application Process page for more information.

I do not have a medical imaging background. Can I apply to the MRI program?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC MRI program. You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary license in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).

I am a Limited Radiologic Technologist (LMRT) and hold a current state license. Can I apply to the MRI program?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC MRI program. The state license allows you to be employed in that state to perform limited radiography. The state license and ARRT certification are two separate entities.

You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary certification in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).

Please note that the ARRT does administer a Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography Examination. The ARRT administers the examination to state approved candidates under contractual arrangement with the state and provides the results directly to the state. This examination is not associated with any type of certification by the ARRT.

I have a certification from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). However, my employer requires a certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Can I apply to the MRI program?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC MRI program. The MRI program is designed to prepare the student to take the post primary certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary certification in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).

I am a new radiology graduate. Can I apply to the MRI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. You must hold a current ARRT radiology certification by the start of the MRI program in late August. You must submit a copy of the ARRT card prior to the start of the program. If you have not tested or passed your ARRT examination in radiology by the first day of class, then your application will be withdrawn and you will not be eligible to start the MRI program.

I am a new graduate in one of the following areas: Nuclear Medicine, Sonography, or Radiation Therapy. Can I apply to the MRI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. You must hold a current ARRT certification in your discipline by the start of the MRI program in late August. You must submit a copy of the ARRT card prior to the start of the program. If you have not tested or passed your ARRT examination in your discipline by the first day of class, then your application will be withdrawn and you will not be eligible to start the MRI program.

I am a new imaging graduate. Is patient care experience in imaging required?

Patient care experience is preferred, but not required. You will find that patient care experience is extremely helpful in the MRI environment. Patient care experience used to rank applicants is defined as employed either full-time in radiology, sonography, nuclear medicine, or radiation therapy. Clinical patient care experience as a student will not be accepted in the applicant ranking process. Applicants with zero to less than one year will receive zero patient care experience points in the ranking process.

I have been employed in the imaging field for more than one year. How does this help me in the ranking process?

Full-time employment will help you in the ranking process. You must submit a current resume and a patient care experience form completed by a supervisor or human resources representative to verify employment as an imaging professional. Points will be awarded as follows:

  • New graduates and/or less than one year full time work experience = 0 points
  • 1-5 years full time employment = 1 points
  • 6-10 years full time employment = 2 points
  • 10 years & over = 3 points

I hold a primary ARRT certification, but I have never been employed in the imaging field. Can I apply to the MRI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. Please note that the absence of patient care experience may lower your overall ranking score against other applicants. Clinical patient care experience as a student will not be accepted in the applicant ranking process. Applicants with zero work experience in the discipline will receive zero patient care experience points in the ranking process.

What is the MRI ranking process?

The MRI ranking process helps determine which applicants will be accepted into the MRI program. The process uses grade points that are awarded for supporting coursework. Patient care experience points are awarded based on documented paid work experience in radiology, nuclear medicine, sonography, and radiation therapy. The completion of the information session will be added into the ranking process.

What supporting courses are used in the MRI ranking process?

Supporting courses are used to award grade points in the application process. You must submit school transcripts that clearly show the grade awarded. Transcripts that do not clearly show grades awarded will not be accepted in the MRI ranking process. The following courses are supporting courses that are used to rank MRI applicants:

  • College Algebra/Equivalent or Passing math placement test
  • Introduction to Speech Communications
  • Introduction to Computing
  • Patient Care Course

Grade Point Distribution:

  • A = 4 grade points
  • B = 3 grade points
  • C = 2 grade points
  • D = 1 grade point
  • F = 0 grade point
  • CR = 2.5 grade points

Prerequisite Course(s) not taken earn 0 grade points.

I have not taken one or more of the supporting MRI courses? Can I apply to the MRI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. Please note that the absence of one or more of the supporting courses may lower your ranking amongst other applicants. Absent supporting courses will receive zero grade points in the ranking process.

What courses are in the MRI degree plan and when are they offered?

The Fall courses are:

  1. RADR 2271 – Sectional Anatomy and Patient Care
  2. MRIT 2330 – Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  3. MRIT 2460 – MRI Clinical

RADR 2271 and MRIT 2330 are the didactic courses and they are offered only in the Fall semester. They are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Round Rock Campus. Class times are 6 – 7 p.m. (RADR 2271) and  7:10 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (MRIT 2230).

MRIT 2460 Clinical is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Clinic times typically are 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Clinic times vary from site to site. Clinicals are offered in the Austin metro area. The clinical training sites consist of hospital and outpatient clinic facilities.

The Spring courses are:

  1. MRIT 2276 – Magnetic Resonance Physics and Procedure
  2. MRIT 2561 – MRI Clinical

MRIT 2276 is the didactic course that is offered only in the spring semester. It is offered on Tuesday evening at the Round Rock Campus. Class time is 6 – 8 p.m.

MRIT 2561 clinical is the second semester of clinical training. MRIT 2460 Clinical is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Clinic times typically are at 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Clinic times vary from site to site. Clinicals are offered in the Austin metro area. The clinical training sites consist of hospital and outpatient clinic facilities.

The MRI clinical times conflict with my current schedule. Can I change my clinical training hours or days?

Unfortunately, clinic training days and times cannot be changed or altered.

As a declared student, can I do clinicals at my current place of employment?

No, you are not allowed to do clinicals with your employer. ​You will be assigned to a different site.

How are clinic hours structured?

Clinic hours are structured and are not flexible. There may be a slight variation on start and end times depending on the clinical site, but it will be during the day and on M-W-F (ex. 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., or 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., or 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

Will I be assigned to more than one clinical facility while in the program?

Yes. Typically you will be assigned a different clinic site for the Fall and Spring semester. However, the option to stay at the same site may be requested by the student or the clinic staff. If this option can be accommodated, then the student may remain at the same clinical site for the duration of the program.

Are there any safety concerns with training in the MRI environment that will prevent me from applying to the MRI program?

Yes. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field that can create a dangerous clinical environment for some applicants. Students with cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, neurostimulators, and some aneurysm clips will not be allowed in the MRI suite. Other metal implants or devices will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If you have a metal implant or device, and you are unsure if it is MRI safe, please contact the ACC MRI Faculty prior to submitting your application.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Please feel free to contact MRI program faculty member, Teresa Garza at tgarza@austincc.edu, for more information. You may also contact a Health Sciences Office.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Updates

  • The ACC Early Alert Referral System

    The ACC Early Alert Referral System (EARS) is a new resource hub for ACC students seeking assistance with Academics, Health Care, Child and Family Care, Mental Health, Transportation, Civil Rights, Food Assistance, and more. Click here to visit the website.

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  • MRI Program Application Status

    The Fall class has been filled. We are now accepting MRI applications for Fall 2020. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. For more information, please visit the Application Process page.

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  • MRI Program Applications for Declared Students

    To apply to the MRI program, please create an account with CastleBranch. You will need to use code UL64im and upload your immunizations. When you are are ready to upload your application documents, you will use code UL67im

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