Medical Radiation Sciences FAQ
What are the Ontario high school course requirements for Medical Radiation Sciences I?
Six Grade 12 U/M courses including;
- ENG4U (English)
- MHF4U (Advanced Functions)
- MCV4U (Calculus & Vectors)
- SBI4U (Biology)
- SCH4U (Chemistry)
What if I don’t have SPH4U (Physics)?
SPH4U is highly recommended, but not required. The fundamental physics relevant to Medical Radiation Sciences will be taught in LIFESCI 1D03 – Medical Imaging Physics.
What is the admission average or cut-off?
85% to 88%
What is the Level I class size (or enrollment target)?
Approximately 130 students.
How many (and what type of) courses are taken in first year?
Normally, students with a full course load complete 10 courses in first year. Medical Radiation Sciences I students are required to take the following:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I
- Human Anatomy and Physiology II
- Cellular & Molecular Biology
- Inquiry in Medical Radiation Sciences
- Introduction to Pathology
- Medical Imaging Physics
- Professions in Medical Radiation Sciences
Can I transfer out of Medical Radiation Sciences?
Yes, if students don't find that the Medical Radiation Sciences program is a good fit, they can transfer into a different program for which they are eligible. Students are strongly encouraged to speak with an academic advisor if they are considering a program change.
Can I transfer into the Med Rad Sci program from a different program?
Although this is possible in principle, it is not the best route of entry. In the first year of the program, 9 courses (27 units) are required. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that someone pursuing the first year of another program would have the right preparation to enter the second year of the MRSc program directly. Admission to the MRSc program is limited; therefore, it is possible that someone, who was otherwise qualified to enter the second year of the MRSc program, may not be admitted if there are no spaces available.
What are the three Specializations?
Beginning in Level II, students will pursue one of the following specializations:
- Radiation Therapy
The program is structured so that the specializations are parallel paths of education. They have the same number of academic units and quantity of clinical education, and share many courses.
Note: "Effective September 2020, admission to Level II of the Medical Radiation Sciences-Radiation Therapy Specialization will be reinstated".
What are the differences between the Specializations?
The specializations are three different fields of practice within the broad area of Medical Radiation Sciences.
- Each are ‘front-line’ health professions that use some sort of radiant energy for either the diagnosis or treatment of patients:
- Ultrasonography uses sound waves.
- Radiography uses x-rays.
- Radiation Therapy uses high energy x-rays
*Availability of spots in each specialization vary from year-to-year
When do I choose my specialization? What is admission into each specialization based on?
Students rank their specialization choices at the end of first year and are evaluated for their top choices based on their GPA from first year. Because there are limited spots in each specialization, those with fewer spots available will be more competitive and require a higher GPA for admission.
What is involved with the placements?
Each of the three placements is a 15-week, full-time experiential learning course in one of our affiliated clinical facilities located throughout Ontario. During each term, students obtain hands-on experience in performing clinical procedures under the supervision of qualified professionals. Because these placements are courses, there are objectives to be met, and students are evaluated on their performance. The same tuition applies to a clinical placement term as for an academic term. Allocation of students to clinical facilities will be determined by the program (students cannot choose or arrange their own placements), and completion of a placement may require relocation to a city outside of Hamilton.
(September – December)
(January – April)
(May – August)
|Level II||30 units from Academic Level II||Clinical Practicum I|
|Level III||45 units from Academic Level III|
|Level IV||Clinical Practicum II||Clinical Practicum III|
*NOTE: PROGRAM FUNCTIONAL DEMANDS
The Medical Radiation Sciences health professions are intellectually, emotionally and physically demanding. It is important that students become familiar with the profession(s) before entering the program to ensure that they are able to function at an acceptable standard.
What will I graduate with?
Medical Radiation Sciences students will graduate with both the McMaster University Bachelor of Medical Radiation Sciences Degree and the Ontario College Advanced Diploma from Mohawk College.
What options are available after graduation?
Graduates will be ready for professional certification in their specialization. Graduates may also pursue advanced degrees in their field or in broader fields, such as health administration or sciences, or second degrees in other health professions. Post graduate studies in magnetic resonance imaging or cardiac ultrasound are also options.
Can international students apply to this program and work within this field in Canada?
Students may be required to become permanent residents before they are able to practice in Canada.
What is unique about your program?
- This is the only collaborative diploma-degree program in Ontario that provides students at entry with three possible professional pathways – Ultrasonography, Radiography, and Radiation Therapy.
- The program’s first year of study provides opportunities to learn about each specialization and about being a health professional, so that students can make informed decisions about their specialization path.
- The collaborative nature of the program means that the education is fully integrated.
- Students take college and university courses in the same terms all on one campus.
What teaching/learning facilities do you have on campus?
The Medical Radiation Sciences program has a variety of teaching and learning facilities in IAHS – including:
Medical Imaging Laboratories
- Five general radiography units with computed radiography (CR) capabilities
- One direct-read (DR) digital radiography unit
- A multi-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner
- A mammography unit
- Five state-of-the-art ultrasound units
- A simulated ultrasound scanning system
- Connectivity to digital imaging networks
- A radiation therapy simulator
- A radiation therapy treatment planning lab (with software consistent with clinical environment)
Image Viewing and Manipulation Laboratory
- Two Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS)
- Database of teaching files of medical images
Patient Care and Nursing Skills Laboratory
- Simulated hospital ward environment
- Computerized patient mannequins
- Anatomical models
What exam(s) needs to be written for professional certification?
Graduates of the MRSc Radiography and Radiation Therapy specializations are required and eligible to sit the certification examinations of the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). All employers in Ontario require registration by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO) and the CAMRT exam is the approved examination of the CMRITO. Other provinces may also have their own registration or licensing processes.
Graduates of the MRSc Ultrasonography specialty are eligible to sit the Canadian Generalist Sonographer certification examination of Sonography Canada. Additionally, graduates may select to sit the American certification examinations of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Upon certification with Sonography Canada and/or ARDMS, the sonographer may become a member of several professional associations dedicated to the promotion and development of the profession and the practice of sonography. However, all persons within the profession who wish to work in Ontario require registration by the College of Medical Radiation & Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO). Sonography Canada's Generalist Sonographer certification exam is the approved examination of the CMRITO. Other provinces may also have their own registration or licensing processes.
Does the program lead to Medical School?
Although graduates of the Medical Radiation Sciences program may apply to Medical School, we do not suggest this is the best pathway. It is a progessional degree achieved over 10 terms. By contrast, some people are successful in gaining entry to Medical School after a three year B.Sc., taken over 6 terms.
**The goal of the program is to produce technologists in one of Ultrasonography, Radiography, or Radiation Therapy.
What are employment rates for graduates?
- Medical Radiation Sciences graduates have a very high employment rate. Employment opportunities include community and teaching hospitals, independent diagnostic imaging centres, physicians’ offices and commercial companies.
- In Ontario, there are approximately 5,800 Medical Radiation Technologists are employed in hospitals, private clinics, research laboratories, industry, education and administration. Nationwide, there are approximately 11,000 technologists.
- Starting salaries range from $52,000 to $55,000. A new graduate can expect a starting salary ranging between $52,000 and $55,000 annually.
Why should I select McMaster?
- Research-intensive university (awards for our research productivity) AND we make a point of including students in our research
- Medium-sized institution big enough to have strong programs and good support, small enough that you are ‘not just a number’
- Flexible and innovative undergraduate programs
- Strong student support services from application to post-graduation
- Beautiful and safe campus in a great part of the city.
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