- According to the National Center for Education Statistics College, there are 17 colleges and universities with radiologic technology degree programs in Minnesota (MN)(1).
- Some of the colleges that offer accredited radiologic technology programs include Dunwoody College of Technology, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, Minnesota State Community and Technology College, and St. Catherine University.
- To become a radiologic technologist in MN, one needs to complete a program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam.
- Minnesota offers state licensure for radiologic technologists and limited X-ray technicians.
- According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 4,690 radiologic technologists and radiology technicians employed in Minnesota(2).
Best Radiology Schools in Minnesota
|Colleges||Program Type||Degree Level||Duration||Program Effectiveness(3)*|
|Completion Rate||Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Century College (White Bear Lake)||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science (AAS)||24 months||97%||98%||95%|
|Dunwoody College of Technology (Minneapolis)||Radiography||AAS||24 months||90%||86%||96%|
|Lake Superior College (Duluth)||Radiography||AAS||22 months||78%||92%||95%|
|Mayo School of Health Sciences (Rochester)||Radiation Therapy||Certificate||18 months||100%||100%||100%|
|Minnesota State College Southeast (Winona)||Radiography||AAS||21 months||63%||87%||96%|
|Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Detroit Lakes)||Radiography||AAS||27 months||93.75%||95.4%||96.6%|
|Minnesota West Community and Technical College||Radiography||AAS||24 months||80%||98%||100%|
|Northland Community and Technical College (East Grand Forks)||Radiography||AAS||21 months||100%||88%||100%|
|Riverland Community College (Austin)||Radiography||AAS||24 months||76%||96%||100%|
|St. Catherine University||Radiation Therapy||Bachelor of Science (BS)||12 months||100%||97%||96%|
|Saint Cloud State University||Radiography||Certificate||22 months||100%||100%||100%|
*Data retrieved on Sept. 1, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.There are 17 colleges and universities with radiologic technology degree programs in Minnesota(4). Students may choose from certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree programs. Radiologic technology programs also include specialty areas, such as radiation therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, sonography, computed tomography (CT), and nuclear medicine. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology is the organization responsible for accrediting various radiology programs. JRCERT-accredited schools are rated according to the program effectiveness data. This data includes students’ completion rate, credential exam pass rate, and job placement rate. Here are some of the accredited schools in MN for aspiring radiologic technologists, MRI technicians, radiation therapists, and X-ray technicians.
Dunwoody College of TechnologyDunwoody College of Technology offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiologic technology. It takes two years to complete. This JRCERT-accredited program prepares students to work as entry-level professionals in the healthcare industry. Students also learn to use imaging technologies, such as digital X-rays and CT scans. On-campus classes are held during daytime hours. Meanwhile, clinical experiences take place at 10 partner clinics and hospitals in the Twin Cities area. Clinical rotations allow students to practice medical imaging and work with physicians and patients. Students also complete one rotation at North Memorial Hospital to learn about fluorescent imaging and special procedures for the emergency room. Coursework includes radiologic procedures, radiologic exposure, patient care, and ethics in healthcare. Prospective students must submit a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) result. Those who meet the general education requirements are ranked and selected using a point system. The total estimated program cost is $56,800(5).
Mayo Clinic School of Health SciencesMayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers a certificate program in radiation therapy. It takes 12 months to complete. This full-time program provides aspiring radiation therapists with experience in all areas of radiation oncology (the treatment of cancer). Academic coursework is coordinated with monthly clinical rotations to optimize students’ learning experiences. Aside from classroom lectures, students learn special treatment techniques. These include stereotactic body radiation therapy, total body irradiation, proton beam therapy, intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT), and brachytherapy(6). Students also participate in off-site rotations to different Mayo Clinic Health System locations in Mankato, Minnesota; Northfield, Minnesota; and La Crosse, Wisconsin. The application process is competitive. However, admission to the program is achievable. Requirements include academic transcripts, admission essays, and interviews. The total estimated cost of attendance is $20,174(7). Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences also offers financial aid to its students. Scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans may be available to those with financial needs.
Minnesota State Community and Technical CollegeMinnesota State Community and Technical College offers an AAS in Radiologic Technology, which requires 79 credits. This 27-month program prepares entry-level radiologic technologists to produce medical images needed to diagnose and treat patients. Courses include proper positioning skills, patient care techniques, radiographic evaluation for appropriate anatomy, positioning and image quality, radiation safety standards, and professional and ethical behavior standards. During clinical experiences, students also work under the supervision of registered radiologic technologists. Upon completing the program, graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Admission into the program is selective and highly competitive. Applicants must submit an online application, high school or GED and college transcripts, and pay a $20 application fee(8). The program tuition for resident and non-resident students is $6,010.20(9).
St. Catherine UniversitySt. Catherine University, also known as St. Kate’s, offers a Bachelor of Science degree in radiation therapy. It takes one year to complete. The radiation therapy program helps students develop good communication skills, critical thinking, ethical behavior, compassion, and sensitivity to patients. Students learn about the different types of cancer, its impact on the body, and multidisciplinary approaches for its treatment. The curriculum also includes radiation physics, radiobiology and radiation safety, dose calculation and treatment planning, and patient care(10). Moreover, students participate in a cancer support group and community service project, highlighting patient and family interaction outside of the clinical and didactic setting. To get into the program, applicants must have an accredited associate or bachelor’s degree in radiography. Prospective students must also complete all core liberal arts and elective courses.
Other Schools to ConsiderIn addition to the colleges above, Minnesota has other radiography programs that are currently not JRCERT-accredited. However, most of these schools have been accredited by other organizations or have applied for JRCERT accreditation.
- Argosy University (Eagan)
- North Hennepin Community College (Brooklyn Park)
- Rochester Community and Technical College (Rochester)
- Ridgewater College (Willmar)
Radiography Program vs. Radiology ProgramRadiography programs typically require completion of one to four years. Aspiring radiographers must be a high school graduate to pursue available degree programs in radiography. Prospective students may choose from a one-year certificate program, one to two-year associate degree, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Students seeking advanced knowledge in biomedical imaging may also pursue a master’s degree program. The general courses for a radiography program include anatomy, pathology, patient care, medical ethics, radiation physics, and radiation protection. Specializations or concentrations may also be taken and usually depend on the individual’s educational level attainment. Areas of specializations include radiologic technology, radiation therapy or radiotherapy, sonography or ultrasound, nuclear medicine technology, and magnetic resonance imaging. Meanwhile, radiology programs are for individuals who want to become a radiologist. Radiologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat diseases using medical imaging techniques(11). Radiology students must attend four years of medical school. Once they have attained a bachelor’s degree in medicine, prospective radiologists must serve two years of internship in an accredited hospital. After completing two years of clinical rotations, radiologists must work as a resident for four years. They may continue their education while practicing. Additional education programs are also available for radiologists who want to expand their specialties. After completing their residency, a prospective interventional radiologist must serve two years of fellowship training. Radiologists may pursue a master’s degree or graduate school. Moreover, the continuing developments of new technology in the medical imaging industry require radiologists to undergo further training.
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in MNTo become a radiologic technologist or radiology technician in Minnesota, one needs to meet the minimum educational requirement and obtain state licensure. The first step is earning a high school diploma. Having knowledge in math, anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics helps students prepare for college studies. The most common degree among entry-level radiologic technologists is the Associate of Applied Science. Before enrolling, students should also make sure that the program is accredited by the JRCERT. After graduation, students may take the ARRT certification exam. Passing this exam helps rad tech graduates obtain state licensure. Minnesota law does not require radiologic technologists or radiology technicians to be licensed. However, most employers prefer to hire those who have obtained these credentials. The Minnesota Department of Health oversees the licensing and regulation of all practicing radiology techs in the state. Aside from radiologic technologists and radiology technicians, Minnesota also offers a license for limited X-ray technicians. Limited X-ray technicians must pass the Minnesota limited scope X-ray operators exam, which includes a core of positioning modules(12). However, limited X-ray technicians are prohibited from operating machinery related to fluoroscopy. Only a registered radiologic technologist or radiology technician may perform this procedure. The radiology tech license in Minnesota is valid for two years. Rad techs need to renew their licenses by submitting a renewal application and completion of MN’s 24-hour continuing education requirement.
Career and SalaryRad tech graduates may become X-ray technicians, radiologic technicians, sonographers, MRI technologists, or nuclear medicine technologists. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 4,690 radiologic technologists and radiology technicians employed in Minnesota(13). Rad tech professionals may work in diagnostic imaging centers, such as Consulting Radiologists in Edina, Midwest Radiology in Maplewood, Center for Diagnostic Imaging in Mendota Heights, West Imaging in Robbinsdale, or St. Paul Radiology. Employment opportunities are also available in the state’s top hospitals, including Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Fairview Ridges Hospital, Mercy Hospital, University of Minnesota Medical Center, and St. Cloud Hospital. Radiologic technologists in MN earn an average annual salary of $69,140 and make $33.24 per hour(14). Other radiology tech professionals, like limited scope X-ray technicians, earn an average annual salary of $44,842(15). According to Projections Central, the employment rate for rad techs in Minnesota is projected to increase by 14.6% in the decade ending in 2026(16).
ConclusionSome of the best radiology schools in MN include Dunwoody College of Technology, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, Minnesota State Community and Technology College, and St. Catherine University. These schools are accredited by the JRCERT. They are also determined by the program effectiveness data, including completion rate, credential exam pass rate, and job placement rate. Aspiring radiology techs may choose from a one-year certificate program, a two-year associate’s degree, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Radiography programs also include specializations, such as radiation therapy, sonography or ultrasound, MRI, CT, and nuclear medicine technology. Upon completion of a JRCERT-accredited program, a rad tech graduate may take the ARRT exam to obtain certification and state licensure. Minnesota offers licenses for radiologic technologists, radiology technicians, and limited X-ray technicians. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, radiologic technologists in MN earn an average annual salary of $69,140 and make $33.24 per hour.
- National Center for Education Statistics. (Accessed 2020). College Navigator. Retrieved from: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
- US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). (May 2019). Minnesota May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimate. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Program Effectiveness Data. Retrieved from: https://www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
- Dunwoody College of Technology. (Accessed 2020). Radiologic Technology Application and Information Packet. Retrieved from: http://www.dunwoody.edu/pdfs/RadTech-Application-InfoPacket.pdf
- Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. (Accessed 2020). Radiation Therapy Program (Minnesota) Curriculum. Retrieved from: https://college.mayo.edu/academics/health-sciences-education/radiation-therapy-program-minnesota/curriculum/
- Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. (Accessed 2020). Radiation Therapy Program (Minnesota) Tuition and Financial Aid. Retrieved from: https://college.mayo.edu/academics/health-sciences-education/radiation-therapy-program-minnesota/tuition-and-financial-aid/
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Accessed 2020). Radiologic Technology Application Packet. Retrieved from: https://www.minnesota.edu/sites/default/files/2019-07/MS%20-%20Rad%20Tech%20Fall%202020%20Start_1.pdf
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Accredited Program Details. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/details/d2df52b1-4b8d-42d9-bb8a-fbf6e4e948c5
- St. Catherine University. (Accessed 2020). Radiation Therapy. Retrieved from: https://catalog.stkate.edu/undergraduate/health/radiologic-studies/radiation-therapy-ba-bs/
- American College of Radiology. (Accessed 2020). What Is a Radiologist?. Retrieved from: https://www.acr.org/Practice-Management-Quality-Informatics/Practice-Toolkit/Patient-Resources/About-Radiology
- Minnesota Department of Health. (Accessed 2020). Limited Scope X-ray Operator and Bone Densitometry Exams. Retrieved from: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/radiation/xray/xrayoperator.html
- US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). op. cit.
- Zip Recruiter. (Accessed 2020). Limited Scope X Ray Tech Salary in Minnesota. Retrieved from: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/How-Much-Does-a-Limited-Scope-X-Ray-Tech-Make-a-Year–in-Minnesota
- Projections Central. (Accessed 2020). Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm