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Curriculum

The challenging, high-quality curriculum for the Radiation Therapy Program is designed with courses in a specific sequence, progressively building students' expertise as they advance through the program. Academic course work is coordinated with clinical rotations to optimize students' learning experiences.

Through our well-planned and supervised clinical and didactic program, you will gain experience in all areas of radiation oncology.

Clinical training

During your clinical education, you will observe and participate in special treatment techniques. These include:

  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy
  • Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT)
  • Brachytherapy
  • Hyperthermia
  • Leksell Gamma Knife radiosurgery

Didactic training

This program is a full-time, day school program. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You will spend an average of 15 to 20 hours a week in didactic instruction, with the remaining time in clinical rotations.

Clinical rotations

During monthly rotations, under the supervision of qualified radiation therapists, you will have learning opportunities in all aspects of radiation oncology, simulation, treatment and dosimetry.

Off-site rotations

All students will participate in off-site rotations to Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Mankato, Minn., Albert Lea, Minn., and La Crosse, Wis. A rotation to the Mayo Clinic Radiation Therapy Center in Northfield, Minn., may be added in 2014.

While it is your responsibility to commute to these sites, Mayo Clinic provides assistance with housing and travel. During the rotation, you will receive didactic course work via a videoconferencing system. It is recommended that each student have his or her own laptop computer to complete homework assignments while off site.

Students will be responsible for driving to these sites for a one- to two-week rotation.

Course sequence

These three semesters of courses, which include 46 total upper division credits, are required to complete the Radiation Therapy Program. All courses are taught in Rochester, Minn., using a combination of face-to-face and videoconference delivery.

Year 1: Fall semester (September-December)
Number Course Credits
RTT 3501 Introduction to Radiation Therapy 2
RTT 3521 Patient Care in Radiation Oncology 2
RTT 3561 Cross-Sectional Anatomy 4
RTT 3541 Pathology 2
RTT 3551 Radiation Oncology Physics 4
RTT 3596 Clinical Practicum I 4
Total credits   18
Year 1: Spring semester (January-May)
Number Course Credits
RTT 3581 Principles and Practices of Radiation Therapy I 4
RTT 4511 Dosimetry and Treatment Planning 4
RTT 3701 Advanced Radiobiology and Radiation Protection 3
RTT 3601 Clinical Quality Assurance and Computer Applications 1
RTT 3696 Clinical Practicum II 6
Total   18
Year 1: Summer semester (June-August)
Number Course Credits
RTT 4581 Principles and Practices of Radiation Therapy II 3
RTT 4611 Operational Issues in Radiation Therapy 1
RTT 4601 Research Project 1
RTT 4596 Clinical Practicum III 5
  Board Exam Review  
Total   10

Total Mayo credits: 46

Academic breaks and time off

The program will not be in session during:

  • Thanksgiving (Wednesday through Friday)
  • Christmas (one-and-a-half to two weeks)
  • Spring break (one week — second week of March)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Graduation (August)

See the full academic calendar.

Student responsibilities

Mayo School of Health Sciences students are expected to attend and be on time for all scheduled classes, examinations and assigned clinical rotations unless they are given an approved absence. Students are required to exhibit professional and ethical conduct at all times.

Grading or evaluation

Didactic and clinical course work is graded on an A to F scale. Grade points of A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0 and F = 0 for each credit hour earned will be assigned on the Mayo School of Health Sciences transcript.

All course work must be completed with a grade of a C or above. The grading scale is below. As you move through the Radiation Therapy Program's clinical rotations, you will be evaluated in each clinical area by the supervising therapists and the clinical supervisors. A competency-based evaluation system and performance appraisal forms are used to evaluate clinical performance.

Percentage achieved Course grade
93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
<70 F

Mayo School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools that include:

  • Written examination
  • Oral presentations
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Faculty reviews

Our system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance, allowing students who are experiencing academic difficulty to be directed to appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Students should be aware that failure to meet or maintain the academic or clinical standards may necessitate remedial work of subject matter, as well as possible evaluation for probation or dismissal. All such instances will be handled according to the due process policies of the program and Mayo School of Health Sciences. A formal written warning is most often the first step in the process.

Curriculum enhancements

Mayo School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are assessed constantly and changed as necessary to ensure the highest quality training.

  • Jan 22, 2014
  • ART485423