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Master's Degree Programs in Cardiac Sonography

As one of the few specialties in sectional anatomy ultrasounds, cardiac sonography prepares you to work in clinics, doctor's offices, hospitals and non-profit health clinics. Keep reading to learn about earning a master's degree in this field. Get licensing information, too.

What Will I Learn in a Master's Program in Cardiac Sonography?

Sonography is known by many names and covers a wide range of sectional anatomy. The master's degree program is generally referred to as a medical radiation or radiologic sciences field of study. This program teaches you about both radiation and ultrasound technology.

You'll practice diagnosing issues using sonographic methods on many parts of the body. In the cardiac sonography concentration, you'll be taught to recognize the chambers of the heart through ultrasound images. You'll be able to differentiate types of chest pains, recognize bad heart valves and spot clogged arteries. In addition to technical procedure, you'll learn techniques in patient care with exposure to patients of all age groups.

Typical Subjects Radiation and ultrasound technology, using sonographic methods to diagnose issues
Common CoursesRadiologic imaging, human resource management in health care, research methods, and more
Online Learning Online programs are available
Licensure Sonographers do not have to be licensed in most states, but registering with ARDMS is recommended
Median Salary (2020)$75,920 (for diagnostic medical sonographers)*
Job Outlook (2019-29)17% growth (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Courses in these programs equip students with the skills and knowledge required to thrive in a professional environment. Students can expect to encounter the following topics throughout their studies:

  • Radiologic imaging
  • Human resource management in health care
  • Research methods
  • U.S. healthcare system
  • Financial management
  • Medical law & ethics

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Master's-level programs in radiologic and radiation sciences can be found online, some in a hybrid format. Since these programs build on what students learned during their undergraduate work, they cover advanced concepts that are less hands-on; these include research methods and philosophies and theories of medical imaging. Some online programs may still require students to complete a clinical fellowship in person.

Do I Need to be Licensed?

As of 2016, most states did not require state licensure for sonographers. However, registration through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) may be beneficial in the job market, and some master's degree programs may require it to enroll. You do need some formal education and practical experience prior to testing for the certifications. The Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer credentials include specialized testing in addition to a mandatory physics examination.