Frequently Asked Questions for Radiography

What do radiographers do at work?

Radiographers work with patients and x-ray equipment in order to produce medical x-ray images called radiographs. The radiographs are used to gain information about a patient's condition through interpretation by a doctor educated in x-ray diagnosis called a radiologist.

Radiographers are educated in human anatomy, patient positioning, radiographic procedures, imaging equipment, radiation biology, radiation protection and basic patient care.

Radiographers who perform imaging examinations are responsible for using independent judgment to accurately position patients and ensure that a quality diagnostic image is produced. Radiographers are responsible for minimizing radiation exposure to their patients and others in the healthcare environment.

Is there a "waiting list" for admission?

There is no waiting list. Each year, applications are taken until the June 1 deadline and those applicants are considered for the class beginning in the Fall. Applications are considered for the current application period only.

What should I include to make certain my radiography application is complete?

A complete application consists of the completed application form, a one page essay on personal and professional goals, and documentation of educational background. To document educational background, a high school graduate with no college credit should submit one copy of their high school transcript and one copy of their official ACT scores. A student with college credit must submit one copy of their transcript from each college previously attended including JSCC. Copies of transcripts from each college attended must be obtained by the student and submitted with the application. A single transcript showing transfer credit is not acceptable. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide complete documentation (transcripts from each college attended including JSCC). Applications submitted without complete documentation will not be considered. Unofficial or student copies of transcripts are acceptable for application purposes for the radiography program, although JSCC will require official transcripts as part of the college admission process. 

All my college work is at JSCC. Is attaching a transcript to the application still necessary?

Yes. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain and submit the transcript with the application. Program faculty will not provide JSCC transcripts for applicants. 

How are students selected for the program?

Students are selected primarily based on their educational qualifications. Educational qualifications carry a 75% weight in the admission process. The admission process also includes an interview which accounts for the remaining 25%. For high school graduates with no college, education is evaluated based on ACT scores and high school math & science courses. For applicants with college credit, education is evaluated based on grade point average and specific coursework (see below). In both cases, the applicants are evaluated in areas such as communication, knowledge about the profession, maturity, self-confidence, and professional appearance during the interview. The admissions committee reviews each applicant's essay prior to the interview.

Which courses should I take to improve my educational qualifications?

High school students should take as many mathematics and science courses as possible.

College students should place priority on completing the required general education component of the Radiography Program: Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II, English Composition I, General Psychology I or II, Topics in Contemporary Mathematics I or a higher level mathematics course (MATH 1420 - Topics in Contemporary Mathematics II is recommended), and a humanities course (see curriculum).

Note: As of the Fall 2011 term, PSYC 1030-General Psychology will replace General Psychology I or II. MATH 1530-Statistics and Probability (or higher level math course) will become the program's math requirement.

In addition, the following college classes are recommended in order to improve a student's academic background: Software Applications, Fundamentals of Speech or Interpersonal Communication or Communication for Health Care Professionals, Medical Terminology, Physical Science I and II or Physics (non-calculus based) I and II, and other college level mathematics and science courses.

A student preparing to make application to the Radiography Program should complete as many of the required general education courses and recommended courses as possible before the application deadline. In all cases, high grades are important.

Do I have to complete all the required general education courses before applying to the program?

No. For a college student, the minimum number of credit hours required before an application can be considered is 11 semester hours. The minimum grade point average is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

I have college credit from past years. Is there a time limit on how long courses are "good"?

For the Radiography Program, there is no time limit on how long credit earned in the past is good. In order to receive consideration in the evaluation of educational qualifications for admission to the Radiography Program, mathematics and science courses must have been taken in the past five (5) years.     

What about the interview? When, where, and how are the interviews conducted?

Interviews take place in June at each of the clinical education centers. Interview dates will be posted on the JSCC Radiography web page for applicants' planning purposes. Applicants to be interviewed will receive a letter with the date, time and place. Individual requests for changes in interview dates cannot be accommodated. Interviews are conducted by an admissions committee which includes individuals who supervise radiography students during clinical education. The admissions committee usually includes the administrative director(s) of the radiology departments and the clinical instructor(s). The interview is brief and similar to a job interview. Applicants should make every effort to be present for their interview as scheduled.

When will I be notified if I was accepted?

Applicants are notified by mail of the results of their interview in early July. Accepted students are required to attend an orientation session in late July (usually the fourth Friday) in order to accept their position and register for classes.

Do all students that meet the minimum requirements receive an interview?

No, the admissions committees can elect to interview a group of the best qualified applicants based on their educational qualifications.

Is there any required observation before my application may be submitted?

While there is no required observation/job shadowing, these activities can be beneficial in that the applicant becomes more knowledgeable about the profession and can be sure that radiography is a good career choice. The admissions committees do consider whether the applicants have made an effort to learn about radiography and are knowledgeable about the medical imaging profession.

How hard is it to be accepted?

Each year, more qualified individuals apply than can be accepted. In recent years, over one hundred qualified applicants have been considered for the program. Typically, the successful applicants significantly exceed the minimum educational qualifications required in order to be considered.

I have completed the general education requirements. Can I complete the program faster?

No, completing some of the required courses will lighten the course load while enrolled in the program, but will not decrease the six terms required to complete the radiography courses. Completing general education classes in advance may reduce the student's load to a part-time status.

Is the program offered at night, part-time or online?

The Radiography program is a traditional full-time educational program with classes, labs and clinical education during the day. Some clinical education may be scheduled on evening and weekend hours. The general education component of the program may be available at night, through extension centers, and/or online.

Will I be able to work while I am enrolled in the program?

Many radiography students do work while in school. Working while in the program presents some challenges. The program schedule varies each term and includes extensive clinical education assigned at clinical affiliate hospitals. Students' class and clinical schedules are not modified to meet employment needs. The demands of the program require that a student's work schedule be flexible.

What are the job opportunities in radiography?

Radiographers are currently experiencing excellent employment opportunities. Expanding health care facilities coupled with new applications of medical imaging and increasing demand for medical imaging services indicate that the demand for qualified radiographers will continue.

What is the job placement rate for JSCC radiography graduates?

JSCC radiography graduates have a near 100% placement rate within a few months of program completion.

Does JSCC offer courses in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy technology, ultrasound, etc?

Currently, Jackson State does not offer educational programs in the related medical imaging areas. Program faculty will assist program graduates in making application to other educational programs.