Radiography - Learn More


Associate of Applied Science

Credits Required for Graduation: 70.00

Learn More About This Program

A radiographer is a medical professional who performs diagnostic x-ray imaging examinations on patients with the use of ionizing radiation. The program's educational process is based on classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Clinical experience is gained at the program's various clinical educational sites in and around the La Crosse which will require student travel for this portion of their education.

Radiographers are responsible for accurately positioning patients and making sure that a quality diagnostic image is produced. We work closely with radiologists, the physicians who interpret medical images for diagnosis. Radiographers may perform radiologic images in the radiology department, emergency trauma center, intensive care, and surgery departments of hospitals and in clinics. We are employed in hospitals and clinics.

It takes hard work and dedication to become a radiographer, as well as a sincere desire to help ill and injured people. A strong background in math and science is necessary to handle the rigors of the curriculum, and to grasp the theories and knowledge of the profession. A radiographer is expected to be able to handle stressful situations and make multiple decisions regarding patient care during the course of the workday. Applicants for the program must be in good emotional and physical health. This profession requires a significant amount of physical body movement in assisting patients and equipment set-up. Applicants with certain chronic health problems may face many challenges due to the physical demands of the profession and may be less successful in carrying out their duties.

Radiography Student Handbook

To learn more about program specific information including polices for the Radiography program please in the Radiography Student Handbook.

Students are encouraged to complete the American Registry of Radiography Technologist within 6 months after graduation. The national certification examination is usually a basic requirement for employment as a radiographer throughout the United States. Western's Radiography Program first time exam pass rate for the American Registry of Radiography Technologist from 2008-2012 is a mean of 99%.

Program Head:

Program Chair
Tricia Pedretti

Summer Contact:

Kathy Gregerson
Health Science Center
Program Administrative Assistant

Web Related Links

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

Instructor Websites

Professional Organizations

Wisconsin Society of Radiologic Technologists
American Society of Radiologic Technologists

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the program?

The Radiography Program is two years long. The first year will consist of fall and spring semesters and an a 6 week summer session. The second year will include the fall and spring semesters and an a 5 week summer session. Some students, however, choose to spread the program out over three years by taking the sciences and general studies courses prior to formal entry into the program. This is a great help in reducing the course workload of the program and essential if the student must work and manage family responsibilities while in the program. Pregnancy during program sequence may delay graduation.

Will I have to travel?

The Radiography program utilizes clinical settings in the following cities in Wisconsin: La Crosse, Onalaska, Black River Falls, Viroqua, Mauston, Sparta, and Tomah, and in Winona, Minnesota. Students will rotate to the various settings throughout their two years. Students will be responsible for their own transportation. During the program educational activities may be planned and they will be the students' responsibility and all are expected to participate.

Will I work directly with real patients?

Yes, in the clinical settings. The Radiography Clinical Practice courses are essential in building the skills needed to be a successful radiographer. Not only will students practice in the laboratory environment on campus they will be working in a variety of clinical settings the entire two (2) years while in the program. Throughout the 2 year program the number of hours per term that students will be participating in clinical activities will vary. They will be anywhere from 8 hours per week to a maximum of 30. Students will plan their part-time jobs and/or other life commitments around their educational responsibilities to the program schedule. Your education will be your first priority.

What is the job market like?

There are job opportunities throughout the United States and also some locally. Advancement opportunities in areas of specialization in Radiology include: Mammography, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Medical Sonography (Ultrasound), Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, and Interventional procedures.

Can I become certified?

Upon completion of graduation requirements, the graduate will be eligible to take the national board certification examination through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). This certification is recognized in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Many states have state licensing requirements but this national exam (ARRT) meets those requirements. The Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JCERT). The ARRT requires that candidates for certification must be of good moral character. Certain crimes and offenses may indicate a lack of good moral character and prevent a person from becoming eligible for certification. Should there be a question as to an individual's eligibility, that individual should contact the ARRT for further clarification and pre-application to obtain a ruling.

Essential Functions:

Essential functions have been identified for each program. These essential functions specify the physical, environmental, and cognitive/mental requirements that students may be expected to perform to complete the program. To obtain a detailed list of these functions, or inquire about accommodations for a documented disability, please contact Kristina Stellpflug, Instructional Support Services at 608.785.9875, or . Students applying for admission to a program will be mailed a copy of the program's essential functions.