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Diagnostic Medical Sonography Degree Programs in Houston

The Houston area has two colleges within 35 miles of the city center that offer diagnostic medical sonography training. Learn about program prerequisites and requirements for these schools to make an informed decision about your education.

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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.

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 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.

Echocardiography Advanced Technical Certificate

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.

Non-Invasive Vascular Technology Advanced Technical Certificate

This 39-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.

Pediatric Echocardiography Advanced Technical Certificate

This 4-semester, 1,632-content-hour program includes a shortened summer session. Students are introduced to pediatric and neonatal echocardiography techniques. Clinical experiences are included every semester.

Echocardiography Associate of Applied Science

The Associate of Applied Science in Echocardiography is a 68-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.

Non-Invasive Vascular Technology Associate of Applied Science

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.

Pediatric Echocardiography Associate of Applied Science

In order to complete the 70-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.

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 (2011) 63,015* 5,129*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $1,625 in-district; $3,233 in-state; 3,629 out-of-state* $1,432 in-district; $2,440 in-state; 3,544 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 67%* 44%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 69% of full-time students* 60% of full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 14%* 12%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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