Ultrasound technicians (or ultrasound techs) are healthcare workers who use specialized equipment that applies high-frequency sound waves to the human body to create internal images that are then used by physicians for diagnosis.
10 Ultrasound Technician Schools
The following schools offer programs in ultrasound technology. Tuition rates are for the 2015-2016 school year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Mayo School of Health Sciences||Rochester, MN||4-year, private not-for-profit||Undergrad Certificate||$564 (per credit hour)|
|Santa Barbara City College||Santa Barbara, CA||2-year, public||Certificate||$1,374 (In-state) $8086 (Out-of-state)|
|George Washington University||Washington, DC||4-year, private not-for-profit||Certificate, Bachelor's||$50,435|
|Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health||Omaha, NE||4-year, private not-for-profit||Associate||$568 (per credit hour)|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick||New Brunswick, NJ||4-year, public||Undergrad Certificate, Bachelor's||$14,131 (In-state) $29,521 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Nebraska Medical Center||Omaha, NE||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$8,340 (In-state) $22,410 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center||Oklahoma City, OK||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$4,296 (In-state) $17,682 (Out-of-state)|
|West Virginia University Hospital Departments of Rad Tech and Nutrition||Morgantown, WV||4-year, private not-for-profit||Undergrad Certificate||$4,500|
|Adventist University of Health Sciences||Orlando, FL||4-year, private not-for-profit||Associate, Bachelor's||$13,030|
|College of DuPage||Glen Ellyn, IL||2-year, public||Certificate, Associate||$5,275 (In-district) $10,885 (In-state) $12,985 (Out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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Ultrasound Tech School Selection Criteria
A strong foundation in medical sciences is necessary for any ultrasound technology program. Courses that a prospective student should look for include human anatomy, biology, pathophysiology and echocardiography. Other considerations to keep in mind when looking for an ultrasound tech school include:
- Students should seek an ultrasound technology school with a balanced curriculum that includes communication skills, healthcare information and hands-on ultrasound training, since these courses provide a solid background for working in the healthcare field.
- Before enrolling, a potential student may wish to make sure they'll be training on equipment that is industry-standard and up-to-date.
- Students should look for programs approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
- Students may also want to look for programs that have a track record of preparing students for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) certification exam, which can help students meet any state licensure requirements as well as increase employment opportunities.
Certificate in Ultrasound Technology
To enter into a certificate program, students must have completed a 2-year program in an allied health services field and be eligible for certification in that field. Because of this, certificate programs do not teach basics, such as anatomy or medical terminology. Instead, they teach skills that apply directly to ultrasound technology. Students learn how to use the equipment relevant to various sonography specialties and learn how to apply their knowledge in clinical situations.
Associate's Degree in Ultrasound Technology
Associate's degree programs consist of two years of classroom and hands-on training. Students complete several courses in basic science and medical knowledge and learn how to use ultrasound equipment. Clinical work is typically incorporated into the later parts of an associate's degree program. Clinical work may take place at an affiliated healthcare center or on-campus hospital. In this part of the program, students work alongside licensed ultrasound technicians and physicians while completing their studies. Prerequisites vary from program to program, with some requiring only basic general education classes and others requiring prior knowledge of an allied health services field.
Students interested in pursuing a career in ultrasound technology (also called sonography) have their choice of programs at both private and public institutions. Although most programs are offered at the undergrad certificate or associate level, a few bachelor's degree programs are available.