MD Anderson Cancer Center


How to Win at the Application Process

How to Win at the Application ProcessWhen you apply for a place in the Radiation Therapy Program at
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, you become a contender in a highly competitive race. The series of videos on this site will provide information and tips to help you cross the April 1 finish line at the front of the pack.

Instructions: Download the applicant worksheet (pdf) and follow the sequence of steps as you view each video. Links to sites and resources referenced in the videos are provided on each screen.


Welcome Step 1: Welcome - and what this
series can do for you

Shaun Caldwell, Program Director and your guide through the application process tells you what to expect and how to make sure you stay on track for acceptance.
Relevant Sites
and Resources
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)

UT Health Science Center Registrar's office

UT MD Anderson School of Health Professions
Our mission Step 2: Our mission, should you
decide to accept it

Shaun describes why we do what we do and who you will be at the end of the program.
Our students speak Step 3: Our students speak: "The
best thing..."

Trung Truong, Eric Chambers, Eric Gasana and Kristina Lam share their thoughts about being a student in the MD Anderson Radiation Therapy Program.


Photo by Elekes Andor Derzsi, licensed under Creative Commons,
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

The Qualifying Round

The Qualifying RoundCompleting all the application requirements involves a significant amount of time and effort. Completing the program will require even more. Shaun Caldwell, Program Director, provides information to help you decide if Radiation Therapy is the right choice for you - before you commit.


The Basics Step 1: The Basics  (1:15)

Shaun answers important questions such as what is radiation therapy and what kind of person is well-suited for the job? What kinds of things will an RT be doing? Are there any physical requirements that might be "show-stoppers?"
Relevant Sites
and Resources
Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists (TSRT)

American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)

MD Anderson Radiation Therapy program

UT MD Anderson School of Health Professions
Are you ready to commit? Step 2: Are you ready to commit?  (1:12)

"How much time will school take?" "Can I work and go to school at the same time?" Shaun gives a realistic picture of what life will be like as a Radiation Therapy student.
Are You Eligible? Step 3: Are You Eligible?  (:46)

We're glad that you are excited about joining our program. But before you go any further, you need to know about some additional qualifications that may impact your eligibility to apply.
Our students speak Step 4: Our students speak: "I wish I had known…"  (1:34)

Practical, thought-provoking and sometimes humorous, Trung, Eric G., Kristina and Eric C. share lessons they say would have been good to know during the first days of their time here.


Photo by Dan Smith. Licensed under Creative Commons, retrieved from

Starting Strong, Staying Strong

Starting Strong, Staying StrongStep by step, Shaun leads you through the nuts and bolts of how to avoid common pitfalls and make sure that every element of your application is as strong as it can be.


How to start strong Step 1: How to start strong  (1:37)

An overview of the application process, including an introduction to the Applicant Worksheet that will help you hit deadlines and track milestones and the completion status for each part of the application packet.
Relevant Sites
and Resources
Applicant Worksheet (pdf)

Online Application (UTHSC site)

Recommendation Forms

Clinical site visit request form (pdf)

Profile (pdf)

HIPAA form (pdf)

Site Visit Evaluation Form (completed by supervisor - pdf)
Perfecting your essay Step 3: Perfecting your essay  (:40)

What the admissions committee is looking for in your essay and why you should avoid seeing this as a creative writing assignment.
Confirm those transcripts Step 4: Confirm those transcripts  (:29)

You worked hard to complete academic courses before applying. How to make sure that you receive due credit for all your efforts.
Tips on references Step 5: Tips on references  (:56)

Who to ask, who not to ask and the best way to make sure your references give us the information we need.
Prepare for the clinical site visit Step 6: How to prepare for the clinical site visit  (:56)

The clinical site visit provides a chance to see radiation therapists in action. Shaun gives tips on how to meet this requirement.
Staying strong during the interview Step 7: Staying strong during the interview  (:24)

After all application materials are evaluated, the most competitive applicants will be invited to meet the admissions committee. Shaun describes the purpose and how to prepare.


Photo in the public domain, U.S. National Institute of Health, retrieved from, 2011.

The Caution Flag

The Caution FlagYou are approaching the final turn. Slow down and learn the answers to some of the questions about how your application packet will be evaluated.


How competitive is competitive? Question 1 - How competitive is "competitive"?  (:46)

How many people apply for the program and how many are accepted?
Relevant Sites
and Resources
UT MD Anderson School
of Health Professions

    Student Catalog
Demystifying the score Question 2 - Demystifying the "score"  (:35)

How are the criteria used to calculate the applicant score?
Other admission criteria Question 3 - Other admission criteria  (:44)

What other things are considered beyond academic achievement?
If you aren't selected... Question 4 - If you aren't selected...  (:28)

What does it mean if I am not selected to interview?


Photo by Joe Barbosa. Joe Barbosa. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license, 2011

The Victory Lap

The Victory LapCongratulations! You've completed all the requirements and submitted all your application materials before the April 1 deadline. Take a moment to learn more about what makes MD Anderson the best place to learn radiation therapy.


Why this is the smartest choice you'll ever make Why this is the smartest choice you'll ever make  (1:24)

People come to MD Anderson for school or work and end up staying for a career. Here's why.
Relevant Sites
and Resources
Pencil Beam Proton Therapy

School of Health Professions overview

MD Anderson overview
Our students speak: Why I chose the MD Anderson program Our students speak: "Why I chose the MD Anderson program"  (1:56)

A final word from Kristina, Trung, Eric and Eric about why they chose to apply to the Radiation Therapy program at MD Anderson.


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U.S. Navy photo by Chris Desmond, 2004. Released by the United States Navy with the ID 040321-N-5862D-20, public domain.