Overview of Ultrasound Schooling in the United States
Ultrasound scans, also called sonograms, use sound waves with a high frequency to show images of body organs and tissues. These scans are used to track the growth of fetuses, detect heart disease, check blood flow and more. Colleges in the United States have various ultrasound associate's and bachelor's degree programs that are designed for students at different stages of their careers. These programs give students the skills to become ultrasound technicians or diagnostic medical sonographers.
List of U.S. Ultrasound Colleges and Universities
- Rutgers University (Newark, NJ): Certificate
- Cape Fear Community College (Hampstead, NC): Associate's
- Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA): Bachelor's
- Oregon Institute of Technology, (Online): Bachelor's completion
- Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, FL): Bachelor's with master's option
- Miami Dade College (Miami, FL): Associate's
- Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY): Certificate or bachelor's
- Advent Health University (Online): Bachelor's
- Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (Lancaster, PA): Associate's
- University of Missouri (Columbia, MO): Bachelor's or master's
- Austin Community College (Austin, TX): Certificate or associate's
- University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA): Bachelor's
- University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE): Certificate or bachelor's
- Rush University (Chicago, IL): Bachelor's
- University of Arkansas for Medical Science (Little Rock, AR): Bachelor's or bachelor's completion
- Bunker Hill Community College (Boston, MA): Associate's
U.S. Ultrasound Schools Program Descriptions
Here are descriptions of some of the programs mentioned above, so you can get an idea of what they entail. Some of these ultrasound schools offer online coursework.
Rutgers University offers a certificate program in diagnostic medical sonography. This 46-credit program lasts for 15 months and requires that students complete it full time. Courses cover abdominal, gynecological, obstetrical and musculoskeletal sonography, as well as neurosonography and physics. Students will also gain clinical practice while completing this certificate. This ultrasound university program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Cape Fear Community College
Students can pursue an associate's degree in medical sonography from this CAAHEP-accredited college, which will prepare them to work at entry-level jobs as sonographers. Once they graduate from this program, they can get certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Besides required general education classes, students will take courses about obstetrical, abdominal, gynecological, and vascular sonography. It also includes physics courses and clinical work. The program requires a minimum of 74 credits and can be completed in two years.
Loma Linda University
At Loma Linda University, students can get a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, which emphasizes practical experience. The full-time degree program takes about 27 months to complete, and most of the classes are in-person, but about 20 percent of the classes are online. Eighty-eight of the 119 credits required for this degree are acquired from clinical placements, where students will work 32 to 35 hours each week. Classroom coursework covers topics like ultrasound physics, OB-GYN sonography, and neurosonography. Religion classes are also required since Loma Linda is a Christian University.
Oregon Institute of Technology
The Oregon Institute of Technology offers an online BS degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. This program is only for employed sonographers who are already ARDMS-registered but want to further their careers. For example, this program could give them the requirements they need to start a master's degree program. This ultrasound schooling covers abdominal, pelvic, breast, fetal, neonatal, and obstetrical sonography, as well as the physics of ultrasounds and instrumentation. Externships are also required to complete this degree.
Nova Southeastern University
Students seeking to complete ultrasound career education can get a BS in Medical Sonography at Nova Southeastern University. The bachelor's degree program focuses on giving students the skills to get registered by the ARDMS. This is a 27-month program with some courses offered online. Courses cover topics like ultrasound physics, abdominal ultrasounds, and obstetrics and gynecology ultrasounds. It also requires an externship so students practice what they've learned in a real medical setting. There is also a dual degree option to earn a Master of Health Science along with this BS degree. The master's degree has coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics, research methods, ethics and more.
Ultrasound College Program Admission Requirements
Ultrasound schools may have different admission requirements, depending on the level of the degree. For some programs, prerequisite college-level courses may be required in areas like human anatomy and physiology, algebra, or physics. Schools may also require that students received a 2.75 GPA (or at least a B-) in these classes. Ultrasound colleges may also require that students have their own transportation to and from the medical facilities where they complete their clinical practices and externships.