Master's Degree in Ultrasound Technology: Program Overviews

Ultrasound technology, or sonography, uses specialized equipment known as a transducer to create images of the human body from the inside. This technology requires trained professionals, known as ultrasound technologists or sonographers, to perform the procedures.

Essential Information

Only a few universities offer ultrasound technology programs at the master's level; most degree programs are at the associate's or bachelor's levels. Graduate programs include the Master in Health Science with specializations in vascular sonography or in diagnostic medical sonography. Other specialty options may include echocardiography, vascular, abdomen, and obstetrics and gynecology. The successful completion of a master's degree program in ultrasound technology could prepare graduates for certification eligibility.

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree; may be admitted without bachelor's degree if specific courses are completed; GRE scores; basic computer skills; admissions interview.
  • Some Program Specialization: Echocardiography; vascular sonography; abdominal sonography; obstetrics and gynecology.

Master's Degree in Ultrasound Technology

A master's degree program in ultrasound technology encompasses lectures and clinical training requiring students to have a strong science background. Course topics include:

  • Adult and pediatric cardiac ultrasound
  • Vascular ultrasound, principles and hemodynamics
  • Clinical pathology
  • Medical and clinical ethics
  • Ultrasound research and practicum
  • Ultrasound physics and instrumentation

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected in 2012 that job growth for sonographers or ultrasound technologists would grow about 39% through to 2022 (www.bls.gov) . In May 2014, the BLS reported that sonographers earned a median annual wage of $67,530. These statistics varied according to geographic area, specialties, and experience.

Continuing Education

Sonographers are not required to obtain a license in order to work in any state in the U.S. However, there are voluntary certifications available from a number of organizations. Gaining registration or certification may increase an applicant's chances of obtaining employment. Certification involves passing an exam. Registered sonographers must become re-certified on a periodic basis, which requires completion of continuing education courses.

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