Students interested in becoming ultrasound technicians may enroll in ultrasound technology or diagnostic medical sonography programs offered by community colleges, health science schools and universities. Certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees are available in this field.
Schools with Ultrasound Technician Programs
The following schools offer programs, largely undergraduate, in diagnostic medical sonography.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$30,530|
|Gateway Community College||Phoenix, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$2,046 (in-state)
|Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls, OR||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$8,838 (in-state)
|University of Wisconsin Milwaukee||Milwaukee, WI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$9,429 (in-state)
|Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences||Memphis, TN||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$10,892|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-year, Public||Associate||$2,753 (in-state)
|Foothill College||Los Altos Hills, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate|| $1,551 (in-state)
|Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts||San Mateo, CA||2-year, Private for-profit||Associate||$37,656|
Source: *School Websites, NCES
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School Selection Criteria
When looking for ultrasound technician schools, consider these points before coming to a decision.
- Students should look for programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
- Students who know which specialty they would like to study should look for programs that offer coursework and clinical rotations in that specialty so they are prepared to enter their preferred working environment immediately upon graduation.
- Most states don't require sonographers to be licensed, but the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) expects that more and more states will begin to instate this requirement, so students should consider programs that gear coursework for preparation for the licensure exam.
- Because programs at all levels include a clinical component, students should research the hospitals and medical offices associated with each school.
Certificate in Ultrasound Technology
Certificate programs are usually an option only for individuals that already have a background in a field of allied health services and would like to add ultrasound technology to their skill set. These programs are typically based on a previous knowledge of medical terminology and basic patient care and, therefore, focus on developing skills specific to the profession of ultrasound technology. Students will receive an introduction into several specialties through didactic coursework and will complete hands-on clinical training. Courses could include gynecological sonography, sectional anatomy, and diagnostic medical sonography principles.
Associate's Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
An associate's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound technology includes both classroom and clinical training. Observed clinical work may take place at a nearby hospital or other healthcare facility. Students may be required to complete general education requirements before entering the ultrasound technology program, and some programs require prior education in an allied health services field. Some typical courses in ultrasound technology programs include clinical pathology, sonographic physics, and vascular sonography.
Bachelor's Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Bachelor's degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography can be offered as 4-year degree options, or they can be offered as degree completion options for individuals who have already finished a program in a relevant medical field, such as nursing. Through coursework and clinical experience, these programs prepare individuals to work as medical sonographers and use ultrasounds to diagnose patients. Some programs include an externship. Courses found in these bachelor's degree programs include abdominal sonography, obstetrical sonography, and sonographic instrumentation.
Ultrasound, or diagnostic medical sonography, programs are available as at various undergraduate levels of study. One should determine how far they want to take their career and pay attention to what benefits a program provides.