What is Advanced Placement?

With advanced placement, an educational program admits students who have previous education at a point beyond the program’s usual entry level. Advanced placement might be appropriate for students who:

  • Completed a professional educational program that isn’t accredited by an agency ARRT recognizes (If a student has already completed part of a program that is accredited by an ARRT-recognized mechanism, he or she would apply as a transfer student as opposed to applying as an advanced placement student.)
  • Became ineligible for certification and registration as a result of three unsuccessful examination attempts within three years
  • Became ineligible for certification and registration because their exam eligibility time expired (students who graduated from an educational program on or after January 1, 2013, have three years to establish eligibility for ARRT certification and registration; those who graduated on or before Dec. 31, 2012, have five years)


Although each program may set its own requirements for advanced placement, ARRT requires that all advanced placement candidates must:

  • Have previously completed a professional educational program in imaging or radiation therapy
  • Complete didactic and clinical assessments for each course in your program’s non-advanced placement curriculum. If students were previously enrolled in your program and are now applying for advanced placement, you must conduct new assessments.


Use the Advanced Placement Assessment form (available on the Program Director’s website) to record all didactic and clinical assessments. You’ll find detailed instructions on the form.  


Initial: You must assess all applicants’ current didactic knowledge of the subject matter of each program course before determining their entry point into the program. Use the same type of assessment that you do for students not admitted under advanced placement (e.g., examination, research paper, presentation).

It isn’t enough simply to review and evaluate a student’s transcripts, course descriptions, and letters of recommendation.

If advanced placement candidates successfully complete an initial assessment in a given course, you may allow them to bypass the course.

Final: If advanced placement students don’t demonstrate sufficient didactic knowledge during the initial assessment, they must complete the appropriate course or didactic activity in order to gain the appropriate knowledge. They must also successfully complete the same final assessments at the end of the course (e.g., examination, research paper, presentation) that non-advanced placement students are required to complete.


By the end of your program, advanced placement students must prove competence in all required clinical procedures (as defined by ARRT’s clinical competency requirements and any program requirements above and beyond ARRT’s requirements). You or your designee must base your assessments on procedures you witness the student performing at your program’s clinical facility. You must also follow the same evaluation criteria your program uses for students not admitted under advanced placement.

NOTE: Advanced placement students must complete all didactic and clinical competency assessments within the 24 months immediately before they apply for certification and registration with ARRT.  


  • Do you want to be sure your program is complying with ARRT’s requirements for advanced placement programs?
  • Do you have a question on didactic or clinical assessments for advanced placement students?
  • Would you like to have your advanced placement option listed on our education lookup tool?

If you need additional help, call our Initial Certification Department at 651.687.0048. Choose the option for earning an ARRT credential.