Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I consider a master’s degree RA program?
- From a professional perspective, a master’s degree program is taught at a higher level than a bachelor’s degree program, thus enhancing your professional standing to the level that other advanced practice professionals, such as physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners, attain. From a practical standpoint, your investment in a master’s degree program may require a little more effort and expense than an undergraduate degree or certificate program, but it is likely to yield more opportunities and financial benefits for you over the duration of your career.
Will I qualify upon graduation to take the ARRT RA examination?
- Yes, currently the RA program is recognized by the ARRT through 2014. Students are advised that credentialing requirements for RAs may vary by location and with time. Some states, for example, may require that RAs be registered by the ARRT, licensed in accordance with state regulations, and/or granted practice privileges in writing at each facility for specific procedures to be performed. Accordingly, successful completion of the UAMS RA program does not in itself assure compliance with specific state practice requirements.
Is there a deadline on submitting paperwork?
- The RA program may be started in any semester. Applications postmarked by June 1st will be considered for admission for the following fall semester, which begins in August. Applications postmarked after June 1st but no later than November 1st will be considered for admission in spring semester, which begins in January. Applications postmarked after November 1st but no later than by March 1st will be considered for admission in summer semester, which begins in May. Please submit your application early so we know you are pursuing admission. Only applicants with completed application files will be considered for admission, so all remaining required documentation should be submitted as soon as possible after the application is submitted. This includes the reference forms, clinical preceptor form(s), official GRE scores and transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you attended, proof of current certification or registry, and verification of ACLS certification.
Are all the courses online?
- All courses are available online and an individualized course plan is developed for each RA student for a 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, or 9-semester degree program. Distance students may arrange with the program director to take a comparable course at another acceptable institution and transfer the credit to UAMS as a part of the RA program. At least 15 semester credits of the non-clinical courses in the program must, however, be taken at or through (via distance technology) UAMS.
How often will I need to be on campus for the RA program?
- Although no specific amount of time on campus is required, all RA students will come to the Little Rock campus at least twice during the program. The first campus visit is scheduled during the Patient Assessment course in order for the RA student to complete a clinical skills laboratory. The other campus visit will be scheduled near the end of the program for administration of comprehensive examinations. Additional visits to campus may be scheduled if requested by the RA student or if deemed necessary by the program director.
Do I need any special equipment for the program?
- Unlimited availability of a computer with Internet access will make it much easier to complete the RA program. Computer software used in the program includes, but is not limited to, Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat. Specific models of peripherals such as a Web camera, headset microphone, or PDA may be required for some courses. Obtain specifications from the instructor(s) before purchasing any required equipment.
Can you assign me to a radiologist preceptor?
- Most radiologists agreeing to serve as clinical preceptors have previously established professional relationships with the persons they mentor. The individual has demonstrated his/her commitment and ability and earned the radiologist’s confidence over a period of time. It may be possible to arrange specific rotations with other radiologists to meet program goals; however, recruitment of an acceptable radiologist preceptor(s) is ultimately the student’s responsibility. Applicants are encouraged to have more than one radiologist preceptor, if possible, to provide adequate support for the student to meet all program clinical requirements.
What does the radiologist preceptor have to do as a clinical preceptor?
- The radiologist preceptors guide the RA students’ clinical experiences. They help the RA students arrange the sequencing of their clinical rotations, supervise the RA’s clinical activities, and evaluate the RA students’ performance. Specific information to share with interested radiologists describing the role of the preceptors and explaining their responsibilities is included with the preceptor agreement form and is available on the RA application process Web page.
May I enroll in RA courses before being accepted into the program?
- Applicants within six months of admission consideration may enroll in non-clinical courses as non-degree, non-certificate seeking students for up to one course per semester if space is available. Enrolling as a non-degree, non-certificate student does not guarantee admission to the RA program nor does it enhance the likelihood of acceptance; however, the course credit earned may satisfy specific program requirements if the student is ultimately accepted into the RA program.
How are clinical rotations scheduled?
- The RA student and his/her radiologist preceptor create the clinical internship schedule. Each clinical internship course requires documenting a minimum number of contact hours that roughly equate to at least three full days per week. RA students may choose to increase their clinical time as needed to master clinical objectives. Some employers permit RA students to complete clinical requirements during work hours.
Will I need liability insurance protection?
- All enrolled students must be covered by the UAMS-prescribed liability insurance policy for the clinical activities directly associated with their program of study. An annual fee is paid by the student for this protection as part of the registration process. Proof of coverage may be obtained from the program director upon request.
Are scholarships or loans available for this program?
- Although no scholarships exist within the Department of Imaging and Radiation Sciences specifically for this program, resident graduate tuition at UAMS, even non-resident graduate tuition, may be less than resident graduate tuition at many other institutions. Contact the UAMS financial aid office at 686-5451 for current tuition rates and information on obtaining financial assistance. ASRT members may qualify for ASRT funding.
May I apply if I am currently working on my ACLS certification or if I do not yet meet the requirement of two years post-certification clinical experience?
- Yes. Applications will be accepted at any time, but only completed application files for qualified applicants will be considered for unconditional acceptance by the admission committee. Submitting an application early is encouraged, and remaining documentation may be submitted as you complete the requirements.