For students who want to study cardiovascular technology, there are undergraduate programs offered at many community and technical colleges, as well as a few state universities. These programs provide the educational foundation necessary to start working in the field.
10 Schools with Cardiovascular Technology Programs
Cardiovascular technology programs are available at the following institutions:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*|
|Arkansas Tech University||Russellville, AR||4-year, Public||Associate||$6,192|
|Florida SouthWestern State College||Fort Myers, FL||4-year, Public||Associate, Bachelor's||$3,401|
|Augusta Technical College||Augusta, GA||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,644|
|Bunker Hill Community College||Boston, MA||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,576|
|Central Georgia Technical College||Warner Robins, GA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$2,674|
|Central Piedmont Community College||Charlotte, NC||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,664|
|Chattanooga State Community College||Chattanooga, TN||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,973|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$1,598|
|Delaware Technical Community College - Stanton/Wilmington||Wilmington, DE||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,632|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Here are some important considerations for students who are looking into cardiovascular technology training programs:
- It is important to look for a school that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) .
- Prospective students may want to find out what the pass rate is for graduates on the professional certification exams offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
- Selecting a school with state-of-the art laboratories is important to many students seeking a degree program in this field.
- Prospective students may want to find out where clinical training takes place, such as at a large hospital or small family clinic, in order to ensure that they will get experience in a setting where they would consider working in the future.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs for cardiovascular technologists combine basic science coursework with hands-on clinical training in cardiac diagnostic techniques and basic treatment procedures. Some schools allow students to declare a concentration in a specific area of interest, such as vascular or echocardiography. In addition, students must fulfill general education requirements. Depending on the school, these programs can take four or five semesters of full-time study to complete.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cardiovascular Technology programs are less commonly available than associate's degree programs. Like associate-level programs, they include lecture and lab courses in biology and chemistry, as well as hands-on clinical experience in the field. Some programs allow students to focus their studies in either invasive, noninvasive or vascular care, and an off-site internship may be included within the curriculum. In total, these programs take four years of full-time study to complete.
Undergraduate certificate programs vary based on the school. Some programs consist of the same basic courses as associate's degree programs, but without the general education requirements. They may also prepare students for specific professional certification exams. Alternatively, some schools offer certificates as tracks within broader health science or nursing bachelor's degree programs. These certificates may also be available to students who already hold an associate's degree in a different field and want to redirect their careers toward cardiovascular technology.
In accredited undergraduate certificate and degree programs, aspiring cardiovascular techs can get practical experience in the field and focus their coursework on a particular area of interest. From there, they can pursue an entry-level job in the field and/or professional certification.