Bachelor's Degrees in Sonography

Find out what courses are offered in on-campus and online bachelor's degree programs in sonography. Learn the average salary, employment outlook and professional certification for sonographers. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Sonography?

Sonography bachelor's degree programs often have a competitive selection process, which often features a variety of requirements and involves stiff competition with other applicants. If you're pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, you usually must have an associate degree from an accredited college, completion of specific liberal arts and science courses and have passed the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) registry examination.

Some programs require you to have a high school and college GPA of 2.0 to 2.5 (or higher) and a minimum on 2.5 on prerequisite courses such as human anatomy and physiology, physics, medical terminology, sociology, mathematics, wellness and basic patient care. You will also need computer proficiency with knowledge in office software programs such as word processing, spreadsheets and slide show presentations.

You may also be required to complete a student personal statement, commit to a background check and provide letters of recommendation, depending on the school. Some programs also have technical requirements for auditory, visual, and cognitive skills, as well as social and motor skills.

Prerequisites High school diploma, or equivalent, is required; schools may also require a background check, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and/or additional testing
Average Salary (2014) $68,390* per year (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning degree options are available
Common Courses Ethics, imaging, management, health policies, leadership,
Continuing Education Voluntary, but preferred by employers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do With My Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job outlook for medical sonographers is projected to increase up to 24% through 2024, a faster than average growth rate (www.bls.gov). The increased use of ultrasound imaging technology is initiating more sonography procedures, increasing the demand for diagnostic sonography. A projected increase in outpatient care also contributed to the employment outlook for sonography, because ultrasound equipment is now being used in a variety of medical facilities and settings. The BLS stated that the mean annual wage for sonographers was $68,390 in 2014.

Is This Degree Offered Online?

Bachelor's degree programs in sonography are offered in both on-campus and online format. As an online student, you'll need a computer with Internet access and an e-mail address. Courses are similar to what you'd have if you were attending school on campus.

Online instructors typically help keep your coursework structured by sending learning modules and assignments at the beginning of the class. You can earn your degree fully online in less than two years. Many of the online programs require no on-campus visits, and some schools will help you arrange internships at medical facilities in located in your area.

What Courses Will I Take?

An on-campus bachelor's program includes didactic and clinical internships. The program is divided into lectures, scan labs and clinical rotations. You may also take courses such as health policies, management, ethics and leadership, healthcare trends and innovations. Topics of study for on-campus and online programs may include:

  • Vascular procedures
  • Echocardiography images
  • Pelvic imaging
  • Obstetric imaging
  • Fetal and embryonic measurements
  • Fundamentals of Doppler sonography
  • Intro to pathophysiology
  • Changes in health care industry
  • Sonography instrumentation
  • Diagnostic cardiac imaging

Will I Need a License to Work as a Medical Sonographer?

Although few states currently require you to have a license to become a sonographer, many employers prefer sonographers who are registered. You can become a registered diagnostic medical sonographer if you have successfully completed the exam offered by the ARDMS. You will have to complete a designated number of hours to maintain your registration.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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