Medical Imaging (Radiologic Technology) is the health profession concerned with the direct administration of radiation, primarily x-rays, in disease diagnosis and injury assessment. Medical imaging studies have been a cornerstone in medical diagnosis for decades; however, technological advances and the addition of new imaging modalities now place medical imaging among the most dynamic, expanding and high demand fields in clinical medicine.
Medical Imaging clinical practice includes: general radiography such as orthopedics, pediatrics and mammography, vascular imaging, cardiac catheterization studies, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Medical imaging professionals are employed in medical centers, community and private hospitals, clinics, and physicians' offices.
Upon completion of the program, graduates receive the Bachelor of Science degree and may be eligible to take the national certification examination in Radiologic Technology administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Mission Statement, Goals, and Accreditation
The Radiologic Science Program prepares students to practice competently and effectively as medical imaging professionals in diverse healthcare environments. The academic and clinical foundation in the curriculum develops graduates with professional flexibility and adaptability to assume prominent roles and responsibilities after graduation in both career and scholarly pursuits.
1. The program develops competent, effective, medical imaging professionals;
2. The program supports development of skills necessary to practice in diverse healthcare environments and to acquire prominent roles in radiologic science;
3. The program curriculum, teaching methods, and philosophy promote development of integrative, critical thinking, and communication skills to include written, oral, and electronic discourse
4. The program graduates successfully pursue scholarly activities such as contributions to the profession and post-baccalaureate education.
Student Learning Outcomes:
The fulfillment of our mission and goals through an integrated curriculum insures students attain the following learning outcomes:
- Obtain a level of clinical competence appropriate for an entry-level medical imaging professional
- Possess critical thinking skills to adapt to changing clinical environments and patient needs
- Exhibit professionalism through consistent ethical behavior and
- Demonstrate communication skills for effective communication with patients, families, and other healthcare providers.
Students progress through the curriculum and meet course learning objectives that culminate in the accomplishment of the above learning outcomes.
The University of North Carolina Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Radiologic Science is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). A current copy of the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program in Radiologic Sciences is available in the Division office. Students are encouraged to read these guidelines for medical imaging programs. Questions regarding this document or the program's accreditation status should be directed to the Division Director or the JRCERT office.
Program Outcomes and Information
The information below provides snapshots of academic related performance in the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science Program. Visitors to our Division website are encouraged to contact our office with any questions or requests for more information. The program director may be reached at 919 966-5147.
Our BS degree program has sustained a 100% pass rate on first attempts on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Radiography Certification Examination since the program began in 1976. All students taking the examination successfully passed the exam on the first attempt. The yearly exam score averages are consistently above the national average when compared to all radiography programs in the nation.
In addition, our students have a 100% pass rate on the post-primary examinations they pursue related to their area of clinical specialty studied while in the program.
Not all graduates of the program complete the national certification examination because of changes in career path or moving onto graduate school. The data below is based on the graduates who took the examination.
The numbers of first time examinees taking the national certification examination within the most recent five-year period are:
2013/2014 - 6; 2012 - 9; 2011 - 11; 2010 – 11; 2009 – 12
The percentage of first time examinees passing the national certification examination on the first attempt, within the most recent five-year period is:
2013/2014 – 100% ; 2012 – 100%; 2011 – 100%; 2010 – 100%; 2009 – 100%
Kudos to our graduates on their success rate with national certification! These graduates have earned these scores with no examination preparation beyond their coursework and clinical experiences completed during the program. The program curriculum and learning outcomes for each course build a foundation of content knowledge and application strategies that allow the students to be highly successful not only on the certification examinations but in their careers and graduate school education.
Career/Job Placement Data
Our graduates pursue a range of career opportunities within medical imaging as well as pursue post-graduate education and professional school programs. The students have found success both in the employment market as well as in the post-graduate education market.
For those graduates pursuing a position in medical imaging, 100% have found a position within six months of graduation. Of the graduates during the previous 5 year period: 70% were employed in medical imaging, 14% went on to graduate school, medical school or other professional programs immediately following the program, 14% were lost in follow-up; 2% needed to help with a family business. The percentages change when we review positions many years out from graduation as more return for additional education and others complete their education and return to the employment market.
From 2009 to 2013, 35 graduates immediately sought employment in the medical imaging environment. Of these 35 graduates, all found themselves employed within medical imaging within 6 months of graduation and most were employed within one month of graduation.
The BS degree program provides the rigor expected at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in addition to providing the foundation for a health professions career. Given the nature of the program, our admissions process is designed to carefully seek candidates who are academically prepared as well as those having a keen sense of responsibility, maturity, and commitment toward their education. That being said, we would anticipate some attrition due to academic difficulties and life situations that may preclude the individual from fulfilling all the requirements and expectations of the program.
We offer the only BS Degree program for medical imaging professionals in our state. Our faculty feel an obligation to extend the degree opportunity to those medical imaging professionals who are in the field but have not yet earned their undergraduate degree. The number of students admitted each year to the entry level professional program may vary based on available high quality clinical sites and the number of returning imaging professionals entering the class.
Program Completion Rate Data
The 5 year completion rate for the program among the entry level students is 88%. The 7 students not completing the program were based on: one honor code violation, two academic difficulty reasons, two for personal reasons, one for academic major change, and one for health reasons.
By year, the completion rates are:
2009 - 92%; 2010 - 93%; 2011 - 92%; 2012 - 77%; and 2013 - 86%.
For our class graduating this May 2014, we admitted 14 students. One student left this cohort for academic reasons, for an anticipated program completion rate of 93%.
We encourage comments and suggestions from the community on our program design described on this website and reflections on our outcomes data presented in this section of the website. Primary program review occurs each summer with ongoing programmatic evaluation and assessment occurring mid-academic year, as well as the ongoing semester processes. There is ample opportunity for any interested parties to participate in the ongoing evolution of this degree program. You may contact any faculty member or the program director to find out how you can participate.
For further information please contact:
Joy Renner, M.A., RT(R), Director
Division of Radiologic Science
CB #7130, Bondurant Hall: Suite 3050
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7130