Schools for Aspiring Magnetic Resonance Imaging Professionals

Dec 09, 2019

Colleges and universities across the U.S. offer associate's degree, bachelor's degree and certificate programs in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Programs can be found at community colleges and technical schools, as well as at 4-year colleges and universities.

MRI professionals use radio and magnetic frequencies to create images of internal organs in order to assist physicians with diagnosing illnesses and/or medical conditions. Programs are available at the certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree levels.

Schools with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Programs

The following schools offer magnetic resonance imaging programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Casa Loma College - Van Nuys Van Nuys, California 2-year, Private Associate's $35,772
Casper College Casper, Wyoming 2-year, Public Certificate $3,072 In-state
$7,584 Out-of-state
Lake Michigan College Benton Harbor, Michigan 4-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$4,500 In-district
$6,345 In-state and Out-of-state
St. Luke's College Sioux City, Iowa 4-year, Private Associate's $20,440
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin, Georgia 2-year, Public Certificate $2,842 In-state
$4,982 Out-of-state
Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, Michigan 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$3,051 In-district
$3,833 In-state
$7,681 Out-of-state
MCPHS University Boston, Massachusetts 4-year, Private Certificate
Bachelor's
$33,620
Galveston College Galveston, Texas 2-year, Public Certificate $2,050 In-district
$2,650 In-state
$4,600 Out-of-state
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College Orangeburg, South Carolina 2-year, Public Certificate $4,466 In-district
$5,234 In-state
$7,226 Out-of-state

Source: *NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

MRI technology programs generally require students to first acquire certification in the radiology field, which can include nuclear medicine, radiation therapy or radiography. Besides deciding on the type of degree to pursue and ensuring that they meet previous education requirements, aspiring MRI students will want to consider the following:

  • In some states, MRI professionals must be licensed or certified, so students should seek accredited programs that prepare them for their state or American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) credentialing exam.
  • The admission process for MRI programs is highly selective and usually favors those with previous experience or relevant education. Students with fewer credentials may want to look at less selective schools.
  • Students should weigh the length of time it will take to complete a program with the instruction it provides. Some certificate programs may be completed in less than a year if taken full time; associate's and bachelor's programs take two and four years to complete, respectively, and include more opportunities for practical experience.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs can take 26-52 weeks complete, with clinical hours ranging from 312-1,000. All certificate programs require students to be previously certified by the ARRT.

Associate's Degree Programs

Though some associate's degree programs accept students right out of high school, many require students to have obtained ARRT certification. Students should research a program's prerequisites before applying. Typically, these programs are two years in length and are highly selective. Some programs only admit 8-10 students per year.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Many Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science (B.S.R.S.) in Magnetic Resonance Imaging degree programs require students to have an associate's degree and to be registered with the ARRT to be admitted. A bachelor's degree program in MRI technology may also be a postbaccalaureate program, requiring students to have a bachelor's degree for admittance. These programs usually require students to complete a clinical practicum to supplement their didactic courses.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) programs are commonly available at the certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree levels. These programs emphasize principles such as imaging procedures, sectional anatomy, physics and radiation safety.

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