Sonography Technology Schools: Tips on Choosing a School

Programs in diagnostic medical sonography educate students in how to identify illnesses and injuries by taking images of a patient using sound waves. Aspiring sonographers and professionals already working in the health care industry can enroll in certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs across the U.S.

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Aspiring sonographers with a high school diploma can find training in this field through associate's and some bachelor's degree programs; those with a background in the health care industry may enroll in bachelor's and certificate programs. Degree options are available through the diagnostic medical sonography departments at many 2-year community colleges and 4-year universities.

10 Schools with Sonography Programs

Sonography programs in the United States are offered at a number of institutions, including those listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Austin Community College District Austin, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $9,210; Out-of-state $11,340
Broward College Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $2,753; Out-of-state $8,875
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $2,805; Out-of-state $9,450
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $10,885; Out-of-state $12,985
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $3,360; Out-of-state $3,756
Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $3,184; Out-of-state $3,544
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $2,834; Out-of-state $9,661
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, VA 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $5,138; Out-of-state $11,055
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ 4-year, Public Certificate In-state $14,131; Out-of-state $29,521
Valencia College Orlando, FL 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $2,474; Out-of-state $9,383

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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School Selection Criteria

There are several factors to consider when selecting a program in sonography technology.

  • Some schools offer training in specific fields, such as cardiac sonography and vascular sonography, while other schools offer a generalized curriculum that covers all areas.
  • Because hands-on training is an important part of learning about sonography technology, students may want to research a school's on-campus facilities for access to state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment.
  • Most sonography students must complete clinical rotations in hospitals or health clinics to gain hands-on training in a professional setting, so schools with affiliations to other medical institutions may be most beneficial.
  • It is possible to complete a certificate, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in sonography and students should review the program objectives to ensure that they select a program that fits their long-term career goals.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate

Certificate programs in sonography may require applicants to be registered radiographers or have a background in the health care industry. Curriculum typically covers many of the same courses found in an associate's degree program in sonography, but without the general education classes. Study includes the application of sonographic imaging to pregnancy, the abdomen and the vascular system.

Associate of Science in Sonography Technology

Associate degree programs may be completed in two years of full-time study. Students may have to pass an entrance exam and have a background check before acceptance. Graduates may enter the field at entry-level positions or continue their education with a bachelor's degree program.

Bachelor of Science in Sonography

Bachelor's degree programs may require applicants to have college-level science credits and records of observation of sonography in practice. The senior year of this 4-year program may consist entirely of an externship.

There are a number of public and private colleges and universities that offer sonography programs. Many schools offer an associate's degree in sonography, and it is also possible to complete a certificate or bachelor's degree to prepare to enter this career field.

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