Starting on Jan. 1, 2015, candidates for certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists will be required to have earned a minimum of an associate degree in order to be eligible for examinations in radiography, nuclear medicine technology, and radiology.

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the changes in eligibility requirements, which will be published in the 2009 Annual Report for Registered Technologists.

Degrees, which do not have to be in radiologic sciences, can be earned before entering the radiologic science educational program or after graduation from the program. Also, the degree requirement will apply to graduates on or after Jan. 1, 2015. Those who complete a recognized non-degree granting program and apply for ARRT certification prior to that date will not be required to obtain an associate degree.

According to the St. Paul, Minn., organization, “the decision is not based on unequivocal, empirical evidence linking professional competence and academic degrees or on the belief that non-degree-granting programs are in any way deficient.”

“Rather, the ARRT believes that the general education courses required for an academic degree will provide a firm foundation to support the evolving role of the technologist and the lifelong learning necessitated by the increasing rate of technological change,” the statement continued. “The quantitative and communication skills and understanding of human behavior that are acquired through general-education classes are believed by ARRT to have particular value.”