Students interested in learning about ultrasound, x-ray, mammography, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should enroll in a diagnostic imaging program. Most programs are offered at the associate level although some schools also offer a bachelor's degree program.
Largest Schools and Colleges by Student Population
The following schools offer programs in diagnostic imaging. Tuition rates are for the 2015-2016 school year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Palm Beach State College||Lake Worth, FL||4-year, Public||Associate||$2,444 (In-state) $8,732 (Out-of-state)|
|Oakland Community College||Bloomfield Hills, MI||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,745 (In-district) $5,235 (In-state) $7,305 (Out-of-state)|
|Central New Mexico Community College||Albuquerque, NM||2-year, Public||Associate||$1,448 (In-state) $6,704 (Out-of-state)|
|Orange Coast College||Costa Mesa, CA||2-year, Public||Associate||$1,184 (In-state) $6,584 (Out-of-state)|
|Montgomery College||Rockville, MD||2-year, Public||Associate||$4,728 (In-district) $9,156 (In-state) $12,432 (Out-of-state)|
|Hillsborough Community College||Tampa, FL||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,506 (In-state) $9,111 (Out-of-state)|
|Cuyahoga Community College District||Cleveland, OH||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,136 (In-district) $3,953 (In-state) $7,648 (Out-of-state)|
|Weber State University||Ogden, UT||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$5,321 (In-state) $14,235 (Out-of-state)|
|Owens Community College||Perrysburg, OH||2-year, Public||Associate||$4,233 (In-state) $8,236 (Out-of-state)|
|Foothill College||Los Altos Hills, CA||2-year, Public||Associate||$1,551 (In-state) $8,391 (Out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
While a few bachelor's programs are offered, most diagnostic imaging programs are offered at the associate-level. These programs are typically offered as radiology, ultrasound imaging or radiologic technology.
Consider the following when looking for a diagnostic imaging school:
- A prospective diagnostic imaging student must first decide which type of program he or she is interested in. For example, an ultrasound diagnostic imaging program focuses on how sound waves are used to create images. Ultrasound imaging has gained popularity in recent years because it does not expose patients to potentially harmful radiation.
- In contrast, a radiology degree program focuses on how x-rays are used in such diagnostic examinations as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and mammography.
- Students should also consider the amount of hands-on training that is incorporated into a program. The ability to work with technology and gain experience in a professional setting may set one apart to a prospective employer.
Some of the courses found in a diagnostic medical sonography degree program include high resolution imaging, clinical sonography, sonographic physics, pediatric sonography and vascular sonography. Common core courses in a radiology associate's degree program include radiographic positioning, anatomy and physiology, clinical radiography, radiographic exposure and radiation protection and biology.
Programs in diagnostic imaging can be found in both community colleges and 4-year universities. Most positions in the field can be filled with persons earning an associate degree from an accredited college or university.