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Ultrasound Major and Undergraduate Program Information

An ultrasound technician or sonographer operates ultrasonography equipment so as to generate images of internal body parts for diagnostic purposes. A person who wants to pursue a career in sonography can enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program.

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Essential Information

An associate's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions in sonography. Successful completion of this program allows graduates to sit for the American Registry in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam. A bachelor's degree program in medical sonography teaches students about pelvic and abdominal cavities, upper and lower Doppler sonography and fetal echo. Students are given the opportunity to complete externships in local hospitals and clinics. Bachelor's degree programs also include general education requirements.


Associate's Degree Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Coursework focuses on sonographic principles and clinical lab practice. Students are taught the basic principles of sonography, such as cardiovascular, abdominal and vascular imaging. Coursework includes:

  • Clinical applications
  • Cardiology
  • Principles of cardiovascular
  • Echocardiography

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Bachelor's Degree Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

These programs emphasize clinical lab experience. Students are taught how to make sonographic images of all body parts, including the brain, breast, heart, upper and lower extremities and fetuses.

  • Obstetrical sonography
  • Neonatal sonography and fetal echo
  • Sonographic pathology
  • Breast sonography
  • Sonographic film analysis
  • Physics of medical imaging

Employment Prospects and Salary Information

Diagnostic medical sonographers are not required to have certification or licensure in diagnostic medical sonography. However, ARDMS certification proves competencies and skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment was projected to grow at a rate of 26% during the reporting period of 2014 through 2024. Diagnostic medical sonographers earned annual median wages of $68,970 in 2015, according to the BLS.

Sonography is offered via associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Students will study topics like cardiology, echocardiography, and various types of sonography like neonatal sonography, breast sonography, and obstetrical sonography.

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