Houston Diagnostic Medical Sonography Schools
Within a 45-minute drive of downtown Houston are a couple of schools that prepare students for diagnostic medical sonography certification. This article provides details on the coursework and clinical requirements for their programs in addition to a table with facts and figures about each institution.
- Located roughly seven miles from downtown, Houston Community College offers a 4-semester certificate program in diagnostic medical sonography that includes hands-on hospital training.
- Alvin Community College, located about 35 miles south of central Houston, offers several associate's degree and certificate programs that provide diagnostic cardiovascular sonography training in various areas.
Comparison of Schools
After learning about the schools' program offerings, use this table to easily compare costs, enrollment figures, graduation rates and more for each institution.
|Houston Community College||Alvin Community College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||58,276*||4,837*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)||$1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state*||$1,514 in-district; $2,594 in-state; $3,794 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014)||70%*||43%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2014)||56% of full-time students*||59% of full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (2014)||12%*||16%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Houston Community College
Coleman College for Health Sciences at Houston Community College offers a variety of certificate and associate's degree programs to prepare graduates for careers in hospitals, clinics and medical facilities. These programs include options in nursing, dental assisting, pharmacy technology and emergency medical services. In order to be accepted to the diagnostic medical sonography program, applicants must have either an associate's degree in an allied health care field or a bachelor's degree.
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Advanced Technical Certificate
This 4-semester program features both academic coursework and hands-on training in a hospital. Coursework includes ultrasound physics, sonography sectional anatomy, sonographic principles, ultrasound principles and instrumentation and sonography for high-risk obstetrics. During the final semester, students can take the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography's (ARDMS) Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam along with a specialty exam in abdominal or gynecologic sonography. Passage of both exams confers the title of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS).
Alvin Community College
Alvin Community College offers numerous programs in allied health care, including nursing, respiratory care and polysomnography. The diagnostic cardiovascular sonography program offers several specializations within the field. Applicants to the certificate programs must have a minimum of an associate's degree in an allied health care field. Graduates of the programs can earn certification by passing the ARDMS registry exam.
Advanced Technical Certificate in Adult Echocardiography
This certificate program comprises four semesters of 1,888 content hours. Coursework includes sonographic instrumentation, cardiovascular concepts and diagnostic electrocardiography. Students are required to engage in clinical experiences throughout the program.
Advanced Technical Certificate in Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography - Vascular Sonography
This 37-credit program requires students to complete a clinical experience each semester. Classes include sonographic instrumentation, principles of vascular technology, cerebrovascular evaluation of pathology and advanced vascular technology.
Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography - Adult Echocardiography
The Associate of Applied Science in Echocardiography is a 65-credit-hour program that can be completed in six semesters. During the first year, students take introductory coursework in sonography, cardiovascular concepts, echocardiography techniques and diagnostic electrocardiography. Five clinical experiences are also required.
Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography - Vascular Sonography
This 68-credit-hour associate's degree program requires students to complete prerequisite courses in physics, anatomy and physiology, math and composition. Core courses in the 6-semester program cover advanced anatomy and physiology, patient care skills, principles of vascular technology and behavioral science. Clinical experiences begin after the first semester of the program and continue for the duration. The curriculum comprises a total of 2,544 hours.
Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography - Pediatric Echocardiography
In order to complete the 65-credit AAS in Pediatric Echocardiography, students must complete 2,688 content hours. Coursework combines academic instruction with clinical experiences at a local medical facility. Eighteen hours of prerequisites, including anatomy and physiology, math, physics and composition, are also required. Coursework for the program covers pediatric patient care skills, pediatric echocardiography techniques, congenital heart disease and sonography.