Radiography simulation on NMU's campus

Program Overview

NMU radiography program offers a learning opportunity in the radiologic sciences; which allows a graduate the ability to prosper as a professional entry-level radiographer or seek further advancement through the diverse opportunities in diagnostic imaging. The radiography program is a five-semester, consecutive 21-month program divided into theory and clinical practicum components.


Radiography simulation on NMU's campus

Program Curriculum

Northern Michigan University’s radiography program results in an Associate of Applied Science degree. The program consists of 89 total credits with 12 in liberal studies, 18 required non-core courses (mostly science and math courses) and 59 credits for courses in the radiography core.


Students in NMU's radiography lab

Clinical Experiences

A student will complete assigned clinical rotations each semester. Students will need transportation to attend clinical rotations.

  • Semester 1 and 2: Advanced Center for Orthopedics, UPHS - Bell and UPHS - Marquette
  • Semesters 3-5: Students may need to relocate for clinical internship during this time


Close up of a hand under an imaging machine

Program Faculty

Faculty members are highly credentialed, active in the profession of radiologic sciences, hold leadership positions in state organization and national honor societies, and published in prestigious journals.  This combination of strong academic credentials and professional experience allows our faculty to guide our students through a meaningful learning experience that will prepare them for an entry-level role in diagnostic imaging.


Group of NMU radiography students

Program Accreditation

NMU's Medical Imaging Sciences - Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The program last received an eight-year accreditation award.

20 N Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606-3182

Program Effectiveness Data

Application Policy

Northern Michigan University radiography program seeks to admit students who can provide evidence of potential to succeed in the health care profession of radiologic sciences. Applicants who meet all entrance criteria will be fully considered on an individual basis for admission.

The admission process is completed in four parts. An applicant must meet all application requirements/deadlines from Part I and Part II to participate in Part III. Admittance into the program is finalized by Part IV completion of proof of immunizations and a criminal background check.  Student selection is based upon a point system for the following application criteria:

  1. Letter of introduction/intent
  2. Community service/healthcare experience
  3. Supportive course cumulative GPA
  4. Interview

The top 20 cumulative scores representative of a good academic standing, motivation, dedication, adaptability, good interpersonal skills, and a discernable interest in others will be accepted into the program. In the event there are two or more applicants with the same point total, the highest student overall GPA will be used to break the tie.​

Admission Process:  January 1 – April 1


Applying to the program

An applicant must:

1) Have the academic skills that will allow enrollment in college level general education courses such as College Composition and College Algebra. This may require testing through an Academic Skills Assessment Program (ASAP) administered by a college or university.

2) Complete all prerequisite general educational courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above by May 15 of the application year. A list of general education courses is located under Curriculum.

  • College Composition II, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology must have a minimum grade of a C.
  • Human Anatomy and Human Physiology must have been completed within a six-year period.
  • A higher-level course may be substituted for MA 104, LB, CH 105, HL 101                

An applicant must submit the following by April 1:

1) A completed official program application/attachments.

     a. Letter of introduction/intent

          i. Maximum 3 pages

                   1. Short autobiography (life experiences, aspirations, etc.)

                   2. Description of how you determine or evaluate your success

                   3. Example of when you gave up your personal time for a community or organization as a volunteer

                   4. Reasons for selecting radiography as a future career

                   5. Description of how you will benefit diagnostic imaging

2) Official transcripts of all college/university courses must be on file with the NMU registrar. (An official transcript must have been mailed directly from the institution).

3) Documentation of community service/healthcare experience form

Application Point Award Criteria

All applicants will be evaluated equitably according to the following point-award system. The highest-ranking applicants will be invited to participate in a personal interview with the Admission Committee

Letter of Introduction / Intent:

Addressed topics 0-0.25 point
Demonstrated insight 0-0.25 point
Demonstration of personality 0-0.25 point
Grammar 0-0.25 point
Demonstration of interest in others 0-0.25 point
  1.25 points maximum


Community Service/Healthcare Experience

Health Occupations (4 points)

Work experience with direct patient care > 1000 hours of experience

Proof of Work Experience:  (Note all information below must be included in the letter to receive points)

Letter from current/former employee verifying employment.  The letter must be on organizational letterhead with an original signature and must include applicant’s name, start date and end date (if applicable), employee status (full-time/part-time), number of hours worked per week (or total hours from/to date), job title, and examples of duties including type of patient interaction.  Experience must be within the last 7 years.

Previous Patient Care Experience (2 points)


Proof of patient care Experience:  (Note all information below must be included in the letter to receive points) 

Requires certificate of completion indicating a formal training program and clinical experience but not necessarily a licensure or certification.  (Ex. Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Home Health Aide (HHA), Medical Assistant (CMA), Medication Aide, Patient Care Technician (PCT), or Patient Care Assistant (PCA), EMT or Paramedic, Phlebotomist, Psychiatric Technician, or Completion of at least 1 semester of a Vocational Nursing or Registered Nursing program with a grade of at least “C” in all courses.  Must provide proof of certificate of completion. Experience must be within the last 7 years.

Work/Volunteer experience (1 point)

Credit for working while attending college (not health care related area)

Minimum – work 16 hrs/wk with 6 credit hours


(Note ALL information must be included in the letter to receive the points)

If you have maintained employment or volunteered at least 16 hours per week while attending college taking at least 6 credit hours, you may be eligible to receive additional points on the application.  The letter from current/former employee verifying employment or volunteerism must be on  organizational letterhead with an original signature and must include applicant’s name, start date and end date (if applicable), employee status (full-time/part-time), number of hours worked per week (or total hours from/to date), job title, and examples of duties including type of patient interaction.  If self-employed, a notarized letter will be accepted.  Experience must be within the last 7 years.

Observation hours in Diagnostic Imaging (1-3 points)

>100 hours    3 points

81-99 hours  2.5 points

60-80 hours  2 points

41-59 hours  1.5 points

30-40 hours  1 point

Observation:  Must include a letter from the institution or school detailing the # of hours completed, supervisor signature, and one page summary of activities.  Observation must be in a hospital Diagnostic Imaging Department for full credit.  You must have a minimum of 30 hours for points. Experience must be within the last 7 years.

Observation hours in Health Care Facility Non-Diagnostic Imaging (1-2 points)

Ex. HOSA or other school program

> 40 Hours     2 points

20-39 Hours  1 point

Observation:  Must include a letter from the institution detailing the # of hours completed, supervisor signature, and one page summary of activities.  Observation must be in a Health Care facility for full credit.  You must have a minimum of 20 hours for points.  (Ex HOSA) Experience must be within the last 7 years.

Volunteer in health care (1-2 points)

> 40 Hours     2 points

20-39 Hours  1 point

Volunteer:  Submit a letter on the institution or organization’s letterhead verifying volunteer service.  The letter must include original signature and applicant’s name, start date and number of hours volunteered and examples of duties including type of patient interaction. Experience must be within the last 7 years.

Community service or /Service Learning or Other volunteer activity  (1 – 2 points)

> 40 Hours     2 points

20-39 Hours  1 point

Community Service: Documentation (letter of certificate) of participation in a community service to benefit a health care related organization or other service learning/volunteer activity.  (Ex. American Heart Association, Hospice, Health Fairs, nursing home, YMCA,UPAWS, church activities) Experience must be within the last 7 years.

RT Program – Clinical Experience (1-3 points)

Minimum 200 documented hours

RT Program – Courses

Intro Courses or Program courses will be evaluated by the Program Director for additional points on application – must have completed at least 8 credit hours with a B or better.

  Previous Radiologic Technology Program Experience.  For applicants previously admitted in the NMU or other RT program, applicant must submit a self-evaluation letter describing reasons for leaving the program, and what steps have been taken to ensure success if applicant is admitted to the NMU RT program.  The Program Director must verify the number of clinical hours completed by providing a letter documenting attendance in program, number of clinical hours completed, and reasons for leaving the program early.  Only students in Good Standing will be given additional points.  Per the ARRT Code of Ethics, students who have been dismissed from a program due to Ethics violations such as patient safety/radiation safety, many not be eligible to be admitted into another program.  Background and/or ARRT clearance may be required.  For Rad Tech Course evaluation, a copy of transcripts from the institution must be included with the application for credit.*Applicant still must complete 16 credit hours at NMU.

Supportive Course Cumulative GPA

(College Composition II, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, College Algebra)

3.8 – 4.0

7 points

  3.6 – 3.79

6 points

3.4 – 3.59

5 points

3.2 – 3.39

4 points

3.0 – 3.19

3 points

2.8 – 2.99

2 points

2.7 – 2.79

1 point

7 points maximum

Application interviews will be conducted mid-May.

An applicant will be evaluated on the following criteria in their interview

Knowledge of profession 0-1 point
Dedication 0-1 point
Managing change 0-1 point
Accountability 0-1 point
Interpersonal skills 0-1 point
Total/3 interviewers 15 points maximum

Applicants will receive notification of their acceptance into the program by formal letter in May. Information in regards to program entrance status is mailed to the last address provided. It is the applicant’s responsibility to maintain current contact information. An applicant that cannot be reached will forfeit their position of acceptance.

Applicants who are not selected in the initial round are ranked highest to lowest according to their total award points and assigned alternate status. Alternates are offered enrollment in ranked order if a selected candidate declines admission or does not qualify based on health status or criminal background search. Alternate status terminates when the new school year begins in August. Those wishing to be considered for the following year must reapply. NMU radiography program does not maintain an applicant waiting list.

Only those applicants accepted into the program complete Part IV of the admission process. This includes: immunizations, a criminal background check, AHA BLS certification, drug screen, and completion of the required forms of documentation.  Select clinical affiliates may require fingerprinting. 

Please be advised: The cost of immunizations, criminal background check, AHA BLS certification and drug screen is the responsibility of the student. (Healthcare services may be available at your local health department or university health center).  The party responsible for the cost of the fingerprinting is determined by the clinical affiliate.

Enrollment into and graduation from the radiography program is contingent upon an accepted candidate’s demonstration of the health requirements listed below.

Health Status:

The following forms and supporting information are to be completed with authorized signatures.

1. Immunizations. Please provide documentation of your immunization record by completion of the School of Clinical Sciences immunization form.

         a.       Varicella, rubella and rubeola immunity

2. Hepatitis B.  Please provide a copy of your Hepatitis B vaccination series completion or declination.

3. TB skin test to be completed after admission to the program. Please provide a copy of your TB skin test results.

4. Tetanus within the last 10 years.

5.  Influenza immunization - to be completed in season no later than November 1.

All requirements are subject to change based on clinical affiliate requirements.

Criminal Background Check

For the protection of patients, employees and students, it is the policy of NMU to secure a criminal background check on all students if their clinical rotation exceeds 120 hours. Each student will complete and sign a disclosure/consent form. This completed form is to be returned to the program office with the School of Clinical Sciences immunization form by July 15. Criminal background checks will be completed at cost to the student.

Please be advised: Conviction of a crime may affect a student’s eligibility for licensure by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT). Any student with a conviction record is advised to contact the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists at 615-687-0048 or at in regards to their ability to complete the licensure registry examination upon completion of the program.

CPR/BLS Certification

For the protection of patients, employees, and students, it is the policy of NMU all students must successfully complete the American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers (CPR and AED) Program.  The American Red Cross Certification is not acceptable.  A copy of your certification card must be provided by July 15. Certification will be completed at cost to the student.

Drug Screen

For the protection of patients, employees, and students, it is the policy of NMU all students must complete a drug screen through Occupational Medicine Services in Marquette.  The drug screen will be completed at cost to the student.

Please be advised: Students demonstrating a positive drug test will be denied placement; however, they may have their application reconsidered for future admission to the Radiography Program at the Program Director’s discretion if clinical placement is available. 

Upon change in clinical placement, additional requirements may need to be completed.


Radiography simulation on NMU's campus

Take the Next Steps

For current NMU students: 

For future NMU students:

Contact Us

If you're not quite ready to apply and still have questions, we're ready to help:

Shaun Thunell, DC, MEd, RT(R)
Associate Professor, Program Director 
Office:  West Science 3713                                          

Janet Labron, BS, RT(R)(M)(QM)(CRA)
Educational Coordinator
Office:  West Science 2816

The Radiography Profession

radiographer is an allied health professional that uses ionizing radiation (x-rays) to produce images of the internal structures of the human body.  A radiologist (doctor who specializes in the interpretation and diagnosis of disease or injury) views these images. A radiographer assists the radiologist with many procedures including positioning the patient, administering contrast agents, operation of diagnostic imaging equipment, image processing, radiation exposure factors and radiation protection. Computer and digital equipment are utilized. A radiographer must have good interpersonal skills to deal with patients and health care workers. With additional education, a diagnostic imager may perform more specialized imaging procedures further assisting in the diagnosis of disease.

The field of diagnostic imaging has advanced significantly over the past two decades with its introduction of new equipment and imaging modalities. Skilled diagnostic imagers are in demand throughout the United States and the world, with career opportunities in hospitals, private practices, education, product development, technical sales and research.  Radiographers with experience and additional education may go on to perform advanced imaging procedures such as CT, MRI, and mammography will have the best employment opportunity.

Advancements: Radiographers may be promoted to supervisor, chief technologist, or department administrator or director. Some radiographers advance by specializing in the occupation to become instructors or directors in radiologic technology educational programs. Others may be employed as sales representatives or instructors with equipment manufacturers.

Job Outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists held about 250,000 jobs in 2018, and more than half work in hospitals. A number of new jobs are found in offices of physicians and diagnostic imaging centers. Employment is projected to grow 9 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. As the population grows older, there will be an increase in medical conditions that require imaging as a tool for making diagnoses.

Demand for radiographers tends to be regional with some areas having large demand, while other areas are saturated. Radiographers willing to relocate may have a better job prospect.

Earnings: A graduate from NMU’s program as an entry-level radiographer averages $18/hour to $23/hour as a starting wage in our geographic area. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $60,510 in May 2019.

Physical stamina is required in this occupation. Radiographers are on their feet for long periods of time, may be required to lift or position their patients and may have to perform radiographic procedures at a patient’s bedside. Although radiation is used in this profession, the use of lead aprons, gloves and other shielding devices minimize this exposure. Radiographers wear radiation-monitoring devices to measure and record levels of occupational radiation exposures.

Radiographers should be sensitive to a patient’s physical and psychological needs. They must pay attention to detail, follow instructions and work as part of a team. Radiographers must also operate complicated imaging equipment, which requires mechanical ability and manual dexterity.

Most full-time radiographers work about 40 hours per week. This may include evening, weekend or on-call hours. Some radiographers work part-time for more than one employer.

Information on careers in radiologic technology, contact:

American Society of Radiologic Technology
15000 Central Ave, SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123.

For the current list of accredited education programs in radiography, contact:

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
20 Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182.

For certification information, contact:

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
1255 Northland Dr, St. Paul, MN 55120-1155.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Northern Michigan University maintains ownership and accreditation of the radiography program. Northern Michigan University through affiliation agreements provides students clinical experience at MGHS and many others clinical sites throughout the Upper Peninsula, Lower Michigan and Wisconsin.

NMU seeks to admit students who can provide evidence of potential to succeed in the health care profession of medical imaging sciences – radiography. Our Admissions Committee evaluates many factors when selecting a student. No single attribute will guarantee acceptance into our program. 

A limited capacity provides students from a broad range of ability levels a one-on-one learning environment of guidance and feedback. Each two-week clinical rotation will have one student at a time to allow the student enough opportunity to reach competency in procedures performed in that clinical rotation.

The Admissions Committee looks for individuals who have a strong academic background in biological sciences and communication. This can be demonstrated through high school and college-level course work and service-oriented work experience. Applicants must possess good interpersonal communication skills and a discernable interest in others.

The Admissions Committee will not guarantee acceptance to any candidate. The ideal candidate:

  • is knowledgeable in the field of medical imaging sciences – radiography
  • has work experience with the public
  • communicates well verbally and in writing
  • possesses a positive attitude, caring demeanor and strong work ethic
  • has a proven record of academic success

Northern Michigan University offers a Bachelor of Science degree for allied health professionals.

Hospital-based graduates tend to have more clinical experience to master the same radiography curriculum as college-based programs. The NMU radiography program provides the student the best of both worlds: post-secondary diversity and an excellent clinical practicum.

Salaries for radiographers vary geographically. Starting wages in our geographical area range from $19 - $24/hour.

A student completing the pre-requisite courses will follow Northern Michigan University’s policy for transfer courses.  Once accepted into the radiography program a student will complete all RAD courses. The sequential radiography curriculum will be completed as listed in program publications. 

    No. Completing the Pre-RAD courses (general education courses) does not mean a student has been accepted into the radiography program. A student must still follow the application process and go through selection.

    Yes. Financial Aid is available to all applicable students through Northern Michigan University’s Financial Aid department.

    It is for each individual to honestly evaluate their abilities and determine if after the full-time commitment necessary to complete the program the individual can handle the added responsibility of full-time employment and maintain the performance standards expected by the program. The radiography program cannot dictate what a student does outside of the program, but past student experiences have demonstrated extreme difficulty for the student to successfully meet the requirements of both.

    Our program, which is built upon a sequential curriculum, including a very active clinical practicum is unable to accommodate students seeking alternative forms of education.

    Students who are not accepted into the radiography program may re-apply the following year if they remain in good standing academically. They may choose to begin completing the bachelor’s degree courses during the interim period.

    No. RAD courses listed are “closed” courses available only to students in the radiography program. The pre-RAD course schedule is a full course load for a student and RAD courses cannot be taken out of sequence.

    Diagnostic imaging is considered a safe working environment. Most of the procedures do not require a radiographer to be in the room when radiation is being used for image production. When an imager has to be in the room with the patient (during fluoroscopy) protective apparel, protection devices, radiation monitors and radiation safety practices are employed.

    NMU will not provide job placement upon program completion. A student may seek assistance in resume writing, interview procedures and job listings through the NMU Career Center. A student may review career outlook, work environment, earnings and job placement for previous graduates in the medical imaging sciences and standards and outcome sections of the website.

    Yes. NMU's program is accredited by:

    Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
    20 N Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
    Chicago, IL 60606-3182

    8 year award received by program

    Program Effectiveness Data

    Program completion is followed by a national registry examination for licensure. ($200 fee for licensure examination)

    American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT)
    1255 Northland Drive
    St. Paul, MN 55120-1155

    Yes. This is a limited enrollment program. There may be 20 first-year and 20-first year students enrolled at a given time.

    35 credits general education courses

    All pre-requisite courses must be completed before May 15 to qualify for application.    

    21 Months