While there are no Ph.D. programs in ultrasound technology, aspiring doctoral students interested in the field might consider enrolling in a Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering, which combines engineering principles with the field of medicine. These programs train students to apply engineering theories and techniques to develop technologies used in the healthcare field, such as ultrasound. Students can expect to spend most of their time conducting intensive research, leading to a dissertation that they must defend prior to graduation. Many programs also require students to choose a particular area of focus, such as neuroengineering, image processing or medical imaging informatics.
Applicants to these programs must have at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as science, mathematics or engineering, and they must submit GRE scores. Many schools give admissions preference to applicants who have some professional scientific or engineering experience.
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering
These programs include broad courses that provide students with a strong foundational understanding of biomedical engineering, as well as specific courses that highlight particular aspects of the field. Some core classes might include:
- Biological systems and chemical principles
- Genome biology
- Molecular genetics
- Mechanisms of human disease
- Advanced biomedical engineering
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical engineers held about 19,800 jobs in the United States in 2018 (www.bls.gov). The two industries with the highest level of employment were medical supply manufacturers and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing. The median annual salary for these professionals was $88,550 in 2018. Employment in the field is expected to rise 4% between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as the average for all occupations.
Licensure and Continuing Education
Biomedical engineers are not required to gain licensure in the United States. Many states offer their own standards for licensing Professional Engineers (PEs) who offer their services to the public. Gaining such licensure is mostly optional for biomedical engineers, who often work for private companies.
Even though it is not possible to earn a Ph.D. in ultrasound technology, students may be able to conduct advanced research in the topic as part of a doctoral program in biomedical engineering.