Limited Permit Bone Density Technician School

As of June 2018, The Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education (FORE) is no longer providing the Limited Permit X-ray Technician School in Bone Densitometry.

We highly encourage you to register for our “sister school” at the UCSD School of Bone Densitometry.

The Exercise and Physical Activity Resource Center (EPARC) located at the University of California San Diego will provide high-quality training for individuals who would like to become certified in California as Limited X-Ray Technicians using Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA).  

These classes will be a blend of traditional didactic “in-person” instruction, interactive online learning, and direct experiential training. Not only will students receive the fundamental knowledge and skills required to be a top-notch technician, the UCSD School of Bone Densitometry offers training in advanced research and clinical applications ranging from lateral vertebral assessments, to highly accurate estimates of visceral fat.  

Dr. Jeanne Nichols, Program Director, and David Wing M.S., the EPARC Laboratory Director, have more than 30 combined years of DXA experience and will lead the instruction team.  Additionally, subject experts in radiology, pharmacology, nutrition, and other related areas will provide didactic instruction. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This course is a hybrid format meaning there are both online and in-class components. Once you enroll you will have access to the online pre-requisite portion for 2 weeks prior to the course, and for one week after completion. The remainder of the course will take place in-class during the last 3 days of the course. You will be expected to attend these 3 days in-person. Please note that the in-class meeting times are as follows:

Friday:       11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday:  7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday:    7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For more specific course information, please contact:
Lauren Claravall
Phone: (858) 822-7624

Expected 2019 class schedule below

(PROPOSED) Course Dates

(PROPOSED) In-Class Dates

Registration Link
(Space is limited)































Upon completion of this course, students will have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to qualify for the California X-Ray Bone Densitometry Examination with confidence that they will be able to pass and receive licensure to practice in the state of California.

Specifically, this course aims to develop competencies in principles and practices of bone densitometry using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Content areas include skeletal anatomy and bone biology; epidemiology of osteoporosis; radiation basics and safety; DXA machine operation, patient positioning, scan acquisition, and interpretation; and overview of lifestyle and pharmacologic treatment of osteoporosis.  This course also aims to improve student confidence in conducting and interpreting DXA scans, as well as in interacting with patients throughout their DXA visit, including intake of medical history, fracture risk assessment, and patient education.

Classroom Instruction includes:

  • Bone Anatomy, Biology and Physiology
  • Radiation physics, biology and protection (3 hours)
  • Bone disease and therapy (3 hours)
  • X-ray bone densitometry equipment (4 hours)
  • Ethics and patient handling (1 hour)
  • Computer and image formation (3 hours)
  • Laboratory experiments, phantoms, images – 2 hours

Clinical education includes:

  • 20 scans:
    • Bone sites of clinical and research interest
    • Body composition

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

How much does the course cost? 

What does the license qualify me to do?

Who is eligible for the course?

Can I take the state exam without taking a Limited License Bone Densitometry course?

How long does it take to get the state license from the time I take the course?

Do I need a Limited Permit in Bone Densitometry if I am a RT?

What happens when I finish the school?

How do I take the State Licensing Exam? 


How do I register? To register for the Limited License School, please click the registration link above. Please contact Lauren Claravall by e-mail at ucsdboneschool@gmail.com for more information.

How much does the course cost? The total cost for the course is $2,350.

What does the license qualify me to do? A limited license qualifies a technician to do bone densitometry testing only.

Who is eligible for the course? Anyone is eligible to take the course but a medical or clinical background is helpful.

Can I take the state exam without taking a Limited License Bone Densitometry course? You cannot take the state exam unless you have successfully completed a Limited License Bone Densitometry course.

How long does it take to get the state license from the time I take the course?  The UCSD School of Bone Densitometry processes all the state required paperwork within one week from the completion of the course. The processing by the state certification unit varies from 3-6 weeks. Once the application is processed by the certification unit, the start of the exam eligibility period begins. The window for taking the state licensing exam is one calendar year (DPH-10-014 regulations package, section 30405). For questions regarding the certification process, call the Certification Message Line at (916) 440-7998; calls are returned within 24-48 hours. 

Do I need a Limited Permit in Bone Densitometry if I am a RT? In the State of California, a Certified Radiologic Technologist (CRT) may perform all X-ray categories, including bone densitometry, with the exception of FLUOROSCOPY, MAMMOGRAPHY, RADIATION THERAPY and NUCLEAR MEDICINE. In California, those four modalities require additional permits. While a CRT may not require additional certification to do DXAs, many organizations prefer that their technologists have the additional training provided in UCSD’s limited permit school in bone densitometry, and some facilities may actually require additional certification from the State of California Radiology Health Branch to assure quality among their staff. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists offers an Advanced Level Examination in Bone Densitometry that RT’s may take if desired. Technologists who pass this exam may use the (BD) in addition to the RT(R) designation signifying advanced level registry status in bone densitometry.

Do I need a Limited License in Bone Densitometry if I am a Nuclear Medicine Technologist? Yes. Nuclear Medicine does not cross over to X-ray, it is a stand-alone modality. The State of California Radiologic Health Branch licenses people for nuclear medicine, but they do not regulate schools for nuclear medicine.

What happens when I finish the school? Once you have passed the school requirements, the UCSD School of Bone Densitometry will submit your application and other required forms. The California Department of Public Health – Radiology Health Branch will process the application and send you notification within 1 month informing you to take the licensing exam at a local testing center. You have 1 calendar year to complete the test with a passing grade of 70%. DO NOT DELAY. you must apply 30 days before the 1 calendar year deadline.

How do I take the State Licensing Exam? The 1 calendar year exam window does not get extended for failed exams.  Theoretically, you can sit for the exam as many times as it takes within that 1 calendar year window.  However, there are other factors that limit this ability, and other things to know, such as:

  • You must pay the ARRT exam fee each time you schedule an exam.
  • Any exam fee must be paid to the ARRT at least 30 days prior to the end of the 180-day window.
  • ARRT allows only one examination schedule at one time.  Therefore, if an exam is failed, the student must wait typically 30 days for the results to be processed before they can re-schedule the exam.

A very good resource for exam information is the ARRT Examination Handbook, which can be found on www.arrt.org. It contains information on exam content and timing, test centers, score reporting, what to expect on test day and more information that any test taker should read.