It is possible to earn a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography. These programs are most commonly available at two-year colleges, although some four-year schools also offer relevant educational programs.
10 Schools with Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs
Below are schools that offer diagnostic medical technology degrees at various education levels:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$2,834 in-state; $9,661 out-of-state|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Annandale, VA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,138 in-state; $11,055 out-of-state|
|Lone Star College System||The Woodlands, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,504 in-district; $3,184 in-state; $3,544 out-of-state|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, Public||Associate's||$2,805 in-state; $9,450 out-of-state|
|Austin Community College District||Austin, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,550 in-district; $9,210 in-state; $11,340 out-of-state|
|Valencia Community College||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$2,474 in-state; $9,383 out-of-state|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$2,753 in-state; $8,875 out-of-state|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$8,104 in-state; $27,890 out-of-state|
|Tidewater Community College||Norfolk, VA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,171 in-state; $11,009 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
Students looking for an ultrasound program should consider the following:
- Students should make sure that the program is accredited by the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
- Students may want to find out about the pass rate for graduates on diagnostic medical sonographer registration exams, since registration is required in some states and preferred by many employers.
- Students may want to find out if the school offers specialization options, such as the use of ultrasounds for specific conditions, parts of the body or types of patients, including cardiac sonography, pediatric sonography and obstetric sonography.
- Working adults who want to redirect their careers toward ultrasound may try to find programs that offer online coursework and flexible scheduling options.
Associate's Degree Programs
A common educational program for aspiring diagnostic medical sonographers is an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. These two-year programs cover basic medical concepts and train students to work with ultrasound and other imaging equipment. Students must also fulfill general education requirements.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography begin with the same introductory scientific coursework as associate's degree programs, providing education in topics such as medical terminology and human anatomy as well as general liberal arts subjects. However, because Bachelor of Science (BS) programs last four years instead of two, students also have the opportunity to take more advanced electives in topics such as sonographic pathology and obstetrical sonography, and they may be required to complete an externship prior to graduation.
For prospective students who already hold a degree but want to become registered diagnostic medical sonographers, some schools offer certificate programs. These programs typically take one year to complete and mirror the coursework of associate's degree programs, but without the general education coursework. Graduates are prepared for registration exams when they finish.
Ultrasound programs are offered as diagnostic medical sonography certificates and undergraduate degrees at many 2- and 4-year schools. Students may want to consider specialization options and exam pass rates when choosing between programs.