Medical Sonography Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Jan 02, 2019

Students in diagnostic medical sonography programs learn how to observe, assess and diagnose internal problems in patients. Certificate programs, as well as associate and bachelor's degree programs, qualify students for national certification as medical sonographers and for employment in the field.

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Medical sonography programs may be offered through the health science departments of career colleges, community colleges and universities. Additionally, students may choose to enroll in programs that offer specialty options in cardiac or vascular sonography to provide a broader spectrum of qualifications to potential employers.

10 Schools with Medical Sonography Programs

These schools offer medical sonography programs, and some offer training in specialized areas.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 4-year, Private Certificate $44,712
Baptist College of Health Sciences Memphis, TN 4-year, Private Bachelor's $10,892
Rutgers University Newark, NJ 4-year, Public Certificate, Bachelor's $13,597 in-state, $28,987 out-of-state
University of Colorado - Denver Denver, CO 4-year, Public Certificate $8,692 in-state, $23,704 out-of-state
Washburn University Topeka, KS 4-year, Public Certificate $6,350 in-state, $14,222 out-of-state
University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha Omaha, NE 4-year, Public Certificate, Bachelor's $8,897 in-state, $26,477 out-of-state
Montgomery College Rockville, MD 2-year, Public Associate's $4,728 in-district, $9,156 in-state, $12,432 out-of-state
Harper College Palatine, IL 2-year, Public Associate's $3,228 in-district, $9,396 in-state, $11,208 out-of-state
El Centro College El Centro, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,770 in-district, $3,330 in-state, $5,220 out-of-state
Jefferson Community and Technical College - Louisville Louisville, KY 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,704 in-state, $12,536 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in medical sonography schools may want to keep these considerations in mind when selecting their program:

  • Many employers may prefer or require certification or registration through organizations such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS); students should select accredited programs that meet certification eligibility requirements.
  • Students may gain credentials in a variety of areas, such as breast, obstetric, abdominal, gynecological and neurological sonography, so they should choose programs that include training in any desired specialties.
  • Programs with lab practicums, extensive clinical opportunities and educational tracks can provide useful experience for entry-level positions.
  • Certificate programs exist for students who already hold a degree in a related medical field or for registered professionals seeking to broaden the scope of their medical career.


Schools with certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonography have varied prerequisites, including holding a degree, completing specific coursework, participating in health exams or obtaining current licensure. Students may receive hands-on experience either through classroom practicums or clinical rotations.

Associate Degrees

Associate degree programs in medical sonography can typically be completed in two years and generally qualify graduates for national certification and employment. Students are trained in the classroom and lab, learning equipment handling and safety measures. They also participate in clinical experiences with affiliated medical centers or hospitals.

Bachelor's Degrees

Bachelor's degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography are commonly designed to qualify students for employment and certification, and can be completed in four years. Students often receive practical experience through rotations in clinics, hospitals and campus medical centers.

Medical sonography programs are available at the certificate, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree levels. Students should look for accredited programs that have the specialities they are interested in, as well as programs that offer hands-on training.

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