Education

Best Diagnostic Medical Sonography Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Diagnostic medical sonography is the use of ultrasound to produce images of the human body. Diagnostic medical sonographers use ultrasound to examine a variety of organs and systems, including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Diagnostic medical sonographers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

Diagnostic medical sonography is a growing field, as more and more hospitals and clinics are using ultrasound to diagnose and treat patients. Diagnostic medical sonographers are in demand in a variety of settings, and the job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers is very good.

Diagnostic medical sonography degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in diagnostic medical sonography, including sonographer, ultrasound technician, and diagnostic medical sonographer. Students in diagnostic medical sonography degree programs learn about the different techniques of ultrasound, and how to use ultrasound to produce images of the human body.

How to Choose the Right Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

When choosing a diagnostic medical sonography program, there are many factors to consider. The cost of the program, the length of the program, and the location of the program are all important factors. Additionally, students should make sure the program they choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The cost of the program is an important factor to consider. Students should research the tuition of the program, as well as the cost of associated expenses such as housing, commuting, and parking. Public schools offer a lower tuition rate for in-state residents. Location can also affect the ability to gain internship opportunities and network for jobs after graduation.

The length of the program is another important factor to consider. Most programs take two years to complete, but some programs may be accelerated or part-time. Students should make sure they can complete the program in a time frame that works for them.

The location of the program is also an important factor. Students should consider the cost of living in the area, as well as the availability of internship and job opportunities.

Finally, students should make sure the program they choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This ensures that the program meets the standards set by the profession.

Best Bachelor’s in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs

The best programs for Diagnostic Medical Sonography ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI

The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from Grand Valley State University is a 21-month long cohort program that begins in the fall each year. Admission to the program is selective and students must have completed 2 years of required general education and prerequisite courses. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in diagnostic medical sonography. Coursework covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, ultrasound physics, and patient care. Students also have the opportunity to complete clinical rotations in various medical settings. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the national board registries for diagnostic medical sonography.

Rank 2
Marian University
Fond Du Lac, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Marian University prepares students to become healthcare professionals. The clinical component of the program prepares students for actual work situations and responsibilities through intensive hands-on experience in clinical courses at an affiliate site, including the Aurora St. Luke’s (Milwaukee) and UW Hospital (Madison) clinics.

Rank 3
Marian University
Fond Du Lac, WI

The Marian University Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a completion program designed for working medical sonographers who want to earn their degree in a convenient and flexible format. The program features 100% online classes that are just seven weeks long, with six entry points each year. Students complement their diagnostic imaging clinical background and build on their experience with a bachelor’s degree, allowing them to be more competitive in this highly competitive field. The program also provides students with a foundation in liberal arts, as well as the opportunity to choose a minor from a variety of options.

Rank 4
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ

The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree from Rutgers University is a unique program that combines a liberal arts education with the opportunity to enter the postgraduate health field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The program is designed for full-time students and takes six semesters to complete. The first four semesters are spent taking general education courses at a partner institution, with the last two semesters spent at Rutgers School of Health Professions completing the clinical track. The curriculum offers a comprehensive education that teaches students the principles, ethics, and practices of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to sit for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography national certification exam.

Rank 5
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY

The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound) degree from Rochester Institute of Technology is a four-year program that includes a one year clinical internship. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in diagnostic medical sonography and related medical fields. The curriculum includes coursework in biology, human anatomy and physiology, human cross-sectional anatomy, and diagnostic medical sonography. During the clinical internship, students gain hands-on experience in sonography instrumentation and sonographic scanning skills and techniques.

Rank 6
Quinnipiac University
Hamden, CT

The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Quinnipiac University is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in diagnostic medical sonography. The program emphasizes both flexibility and career mobility, and provides students with opportunities for clinical training in a variety of subspecialties. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to challenge the ARDMS certification exams.

Rank 7
Widener University
Chester, PA

The Widener University diagnostic medical sonography program is designed to prepare students to become competent, entry-level abdominal-extended and obstetrics and gynecology sonographers. The program is offered in partnership with Crozer-Keystone Health System and runs full-time, year-round for 20 consecutive months. Students in the program will complete general education requirements, program core courses and clinical instruction.

Rank 8
Long Island University
Brookville, NY

The Long Island University Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) programs curriculum sequences didactic education, scanning laboratory experience in DMS with extensive clinical (hands-on) experience. Prior to completion of the program, students will be eligible to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) examination in three different concentrations (abdominal, obstetrics and gynecology and echocardiology [adult heart]) and will have access to clinic-based careers in diagnostic medical sonography in multiple specialties.

Rank 9
Weber State University
Ogden, UT

The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree from Weber State University is a four-semester program that prepares students for careers in diagnostic medical sonography. The program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to educate and care for patients, as well as the technical and medical knowledge needed to produce ultrasound images of organs, tissue, or blood flow inside the body. The program also offers the opportunity to study abroad in China to learn about the country’s healthcare system.

Rank 10
Roosevelt University
Chicago, IL

The Roosevelt University Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree is a 3+1.5 program in which the first three years of coursework is completed at Roosevelt University with the final year and a half completed at the clinical affiliate site, Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography curriculum is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive body of knowledge and the necessary skills expected of a competent diagnostic medical sonographer technologist.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Students in a bachelor’s degree program in diagnostic medical sonography learn how to operate ultrasound machines to create images of patients’ internal organs and tissues. The program typically takes four years to complete and includes both didactic coursework and clinical rotations.

In addition to learning how to operate ultrasound machines, students in the program take courses in human anatomy, physiology, and medical ethics. They also complete clinical rotations in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the national examination to become a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.

The skills learned in a bachelor’s degree program in diagnostic medical sonography are transferable to other medical imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). However, students who wish to pursue a career in MRI or CT must complete additional training.

Common Diagnostic Medical Sonography Courses

A diagnostic medical sonography program will typically include a number of science and medical courses. The list below provides examples of classes that students might take while completing a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography.

Doppler instrumentation

This course covers the physics of sound and its interaction with human tissue, the use of Doppler in diagnostic ultrasound, and the principles and operation of Doppler instruments. Topics include the production and propagation of sound, reflection and scattering of sound, the Doppler effect, and Doppler instrumentation. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of sound and its interaction with human tissue to diagnostic ultrasound, and operate Doppler instruments to produce diagnostic quality images.

Principles of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

This course covers the history, general principles, and basic physics of diagnostic medical sonography. Topics include the production and propagation of sound waves, the interaction of sound waves with matter, basic instrumentation, and safety considerations. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the basic physical principles of diagnostic medical sonography and apply them to the performance of diagnostic procedures.

Cross-Sectional Anatomy

This course covers the study of human anatomy using cross-sectional imaging modalities. Topics include an introduction to cross-sectional anatomy, imaging planes and axes, common anatomical structures and pathology, and imaging protocols. Emphasis is placed on the identification of anatomical structures and pathology using sonography. Upon completion, students should be able to identify common anatomical structures and pathology using cross-sectional imaging modalities.

Physics of Diagnostic Ultrasound

This course covers the physics of diagnostic ultrasound including the production, propagation, and interaction of ultrasound waves with biological tissues. Topics include wave properties, transmission, reflection, scattering, attenuation, Doppler shift, and thermal effects. Emphasis is placed on the use of ultrasound in medical diagnosis. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the basic principles of physics to the operation of diagnostic ultrasound equipment and the production of diagnostic images.

Ultrasound Safety

This course covers the safety of diagnostic ultrasound. Emphasis is placed on the biological effects of ultrasound, safety guidelines, and precautions. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the potential hazards associated with diagnostic ultrasound and follow safety guidelines to minimize patient risk.

Career Options for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Graduates

Graduates of diagnostic medical sonography programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including healthcare, medicine, and research. They may also work in fields such as education and marketing.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers use special equipment to create images of patients’ internal organs, blood vessels, and other tissues. The images they produce are used by physicians to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Sonographers typically work in hospitals, but they may also work in outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare facilities. They typically work full time, but some may work part time or evenings and weekends to accommodate patients’ schedules.

Ultrasound Technician

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers or ultrasound technologists, use special equipment to create images or conduct tests on patients. The images and test results help doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. Ultrasound technicians typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private offices, but they may also work in other settings, such as mobile units that provide imaging services to patients in rural areas.

Radiology Technician

Radiology technicians are responsible for operating imaging equipment to help diagnose patients. They work in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities and may specialize in a particular type of imaging, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. Radiology technicians typically work with patients to position them correctly for the imaging procedure and explain the process. They also maintain the equipment and keep accurate records of patients’ imaging history.

Sonography Educator

Sonography educators typically work in community colleges, hospitals, and trade/technical schools, where they teach students how to operate sonographic equipment and perform diagnostic procedures. They also develop and revise curriculum, create and administer exams, mentor students, and keep up with changes in the field by attending conferences and workshops and reading professional journals. Because they work with students one-on-one and in small groups, sonography educators must be patient and have excellent communication skills.

Clinical Sonography Specialist

Clinical sonography specialists use ultrasound machines to create images of patients’ internal organs and structures. The images can be used to help diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions. Sonographers typically work in hospitals, but they may also work in outpatient care centers, diagnostic laboratories, or physicians’ offices. In addition to operating the ultrasound machine, sonographers must also keep accurate records of the images they create and the patient data associated with them.

Insights From a Diagnostic Medical Sonography Graduate

Joseph Hatfield is a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography from the University of Maryland. Joseph has over 20 years of experience in diagnostic imaging.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Diagnostic Medical Sonography program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Joseph Hatfield: The biggest takeaways from my Diagnostic Medical Sonography program were the knowledge and skills necessary to perform diagnostic ultrasound examinations. I also gained an understanding of the physics of ultrasound and how it is used to create images of the body.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Joseph Hatfield: The most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to help people. I am able to provide information to physicians that can help them make a diagnosis and treat their patients. I am also able to provide support to patients and their families during difficult times.

The most challenging aspect of my career is dealing with the emotional aspects of the job. It can be difficult to see people who are sick or in pain. It is also challenging to deal with the stress of the job.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Joseph Hatfield: The most challenging course I took was Abdominal Sonography. The course was very challenging because it was very fast paced and there was a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to be prepared to work hard and study a lot. This course is also very challenging because it is very hands on and you have to be able to learn quickly and be able to apply what you are learning to real life scenarios.

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