Online Medical Sonography Degrees and Certificate Programs

A certificate or degree program in sonography will train you to use various imaging technologies while working with patients and physicians to diagnose ailments or impairments. Keep reading for more info on sonography programs and about your distance learning options. Learn more about earning professional registration. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Sonography Programs Are Available Online?

Medical sonography programs are hard to find entirely through distance learning. This is due to the high volume of clinical skills needed. To develop the necessary skills, you will need to spend time practicing patient care and diagnostic medical sonography procedures on real patients.

Partially online programs, particularly certificate and associate's degree programs, require concurrent clinical training at a recognized clinic or hospital. Some bachelor's degree programs are meant as degree completion programs for those who have already earned a certificate or associate's degree, completed clinical training and earned credentials from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Availability of Online Programs Partially online due to practical field components needed
What to Expect: Certificates and Associate's Offered by many 2- and 4-year colleges, through online courses and clinical setting practice; eligible for some ARDMS certifications
What to Expect: Bachelor's May require prior ARDMS certification, Areas of study include advanced cardiac and vascular sonography, Doppler physics, healthcare management, and diagnostic imaging
Registration ARDMS tests required for certification and registration at the general and advanced specialty levels
Median Salary (2018)$72,510 (for diagnostic medical sonographers)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)23% growth (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Certificate and Associate's Degree Programs Entail?

Certificate and associate's degree programs are available through many 2- and 4-year colleges. Through your didactic online courses, you will learn about cross-sectional anatomy, abdominal sonography and obstetric sonography. In your clinical setting, you will learn to use the various equipment involved in ultrasound procedures as well as exploring such techniques as Doppler sonography.

A certificate can stand alone or, if you already have an associate's degree in another area, it can serve as an additional credential. Associate's degrees can provide you with a full liberal arts education, as well as preparing you for ARDMS certification in abdominal or OB/GYN sonography.

What Can I Expect From a Bachelor's Degree Program?

Earning a bachelor's degree can give your résumé a boost and make you eligible to sit for more than one specialty examination. In fact, an online bachelor's degree program may require you to have an ARDMS certification as a program prerequisite; in this scenario, your program will not involve any clinical experiences, only online coursework. Some of the subjects you will study during a bachelor's degree program include advanced cardiac and vascular sonography, Doppler physics, healthcare management, diagnostic imaging and neurosonography.

How Do I Become Registered?

When you have completed your studies, you can sit for the ARDMS exams. The Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination tests you on your basic knowledge of sonography and the instruments you'll use in your field. The second exam covers different subspecialty areas, like abdomen sonography and OB/GYN sonography, and it allows you to become a registered sonographer in that area. Other ARDMS specialty areas include fetal echocardiography, neurosonology and breast sonography. The ARDMS has many varying levels of eligibility requirements for the exams; it is strongly recommended that you consult your school's advising services to make sure you're on the right track.

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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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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