Medical Diagnostic Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

In medical diagnostic programs, students learn how to use non-invasive imaging technology such as x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound machines to observe internal medical issues in a patient. Educational programs that may qualify students for employment as diagnostic medical sonography professionals are available.

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Medical diagnostic imaging programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities. These programs can lead to a certificate or an undergraduate degree.

10 Schools with Medical Diagnostic Programs

Medical diagnostic imaging programs are available at the following schools:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Baker College Flint, MI 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Associate $8,640
Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro, AR 4-year, Public Certificate $8,050 in-state, $14,050 out-of-state
Fort Hays State University Hays, KS 4-year, Public Bachelor's $4,654 in-state, $13,657 out-of-state
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's, Certificate $37,124
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate $10,970 in-state, $17,562 out-of-state
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate, Bachelor's $50,435
Hinds Community College Raymond, MS 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $2,600 in-state, $5,200 out-of-state
Lewis University Romeoville, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $29,040
Amarillo College Amarillo, TX 2-year, Public Associate $3,042 in-state, $4,578 out-of-state
Seattle University Seattle, WA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $39,690

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Students who are choosing between schools should consider the following:

  • Students should look for programs that prepare them for professional certification through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
  • When choosing between programs, students should make sure the program is consistent with their educational background and career goals. For instance, certificate options are recommended for health professionals who lack diagnostic medical specialization, while individuals with an associate's degree may pursue bachelor's degrees to advance professionally.
  • Students who want training in specific areas of diagnostic medical imaging should look for programs offering concentrations like echocardiography, vascular technology or cardiology.

Certificate in Medical Diagnostic Imaging

Certificate programs may be completed in one year and are commonly designed for students who already hold health science degrees, have obtained relevant licensure or have completed other prerequisites. Students spend their time in clinical environments gaining hands-on experience through practicums or internships.

Associate's Degree in Medical Diagnostic Imaging

Associate's degree programs are typically designed to be completed in two years and to qualify students for certification and employment. General education courses are commonly required at this level. Courses are similar to those in a certificate program; however, the level of focus is higher. Clinical practicums are also required.

Bachelor's Degree in Medical Diagnostic Imaging

Bachelor's degree programs in diagnostic medical imaging can be completed in four years and are designed to qualify students for employment and certification. Clinical experiences in various diagnostic medical settings are typically mandatory.

Students can choose between medical diagnostic imaging programs depending on their educational objectives. Some programs have specific admissions prerequisites, and some allow students to concentrate their studies in certain subjects.

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