Sonography (Ultrasound)

Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Associate of Science (Ultrasound)


The mission of the Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is to provide undergraduate students with academic and clinical foundations to competently perform as entry-level Sonographers that provide quality patient care, actively participate in the profession, and pursue lifelong learning. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are skilled professionals in the medical field that use sound waves for the evaluation of the human anatomy including all major organs of the abdomen, pelvis, and obstetrics. They are a part of an integral health care team requiring highly skilled and competent professionals.

Role of the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient's body (in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram, or echocardiogram) to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Ceritification

Students successfully completing the Associate of Science degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography are eligible to apply for admission to write the certification examination administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Successful completion of the ARDMS examinations provides licensure to practice as a registered sonographer.

Overview of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate of Science degree program requires completion of 125 quarter credit hours in 27 months (full-time). The degree curriculum integrates didactic and clinical instruction with increasing expectations at each level. A combination of courses from the general education/core (46 credits) and the diagnostic medical sonography major (79 credits) are required. Clinical sites utilized by the program are geographically dispersed. Students may have to travel outside of the local area for clinical placements. Students must complete a separate application to the program and secure formal admission.

Student Outcomes of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

The goal of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.  
Graduates of this program will develop skills to:
     •   Be clinically competent to perform appropriate procedures and record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data;
     •   Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to exercise discretion and judgment in performance of diagnostic sonography;
     •   Demonstrate appropriate communication skills; and
     •   Demonstrate professionalism and growth in the profession.

The program will continually monitor program effectiveness through assessment and evaluation to ensure that the needs of the community are met.

Admissions Requirements

General admission to South College does not guarantee admission to the Associate of Science degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Applicants interested in the program are required to visit the college and meet individually with an admissions representative and program faculty to ascertain if their goals can be met by the college. Perspective students declaring Diagnostic Medical Sonography as their major must be generally admitted to South College and meet the following requirements in order to be considered for full admission to the program:

  1. Complete the Sonography program application form.
  2. Submit transcripts from all colleges/radiography programs attended evidencing a minimum college/radiography program GPA of 2.75.*
  3. Meet minimum score requirements on the college entrance examination, OR present documentation of a score of 19 or higher on the ACT Assessment Examination, OsR present documentation of a 900 combined score or higher on the SAT I examination, OR meet the South College requirements for admission as a transfer student.
  4. Complete a personal interview with program faculty and area professionals and achieve a minimum score of 25 out of a possible 40.*
  5. Complete BIO 1110 Anatomy & Physiology I, BIO 1120 Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, BIO 1130 Anatomy & Physiology II, BIO 1140 Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, MAT 1500 College Mathematics I, PHY 2010 General Physics, PHY 2020 General Physics Lab, RAD 1110 Fundamentals of Healthcare, RAD 1120 Patient Care & Assessment, obtaining a grade of "C" or higher with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.*
  6. Complete and document a minimum of 10 clock hours of observation in a sonography department.
  7. Meet specific health and/or essential functions pertinent to the responsibilities performed by the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Drug and background screenings are required by clinical affiliates. Failure to pass the screenings may disqualify a student as a candidate for admission.
  8. Be able to commit to full attendance and participation in a rigorous educational program which requires class attendance, significant out–of–class preparation time, and clinical education assignments off-campus to geographically dispersed areas.

*Each of these areas is used to rank applicants for full program admission. If minimum standards are met by more applying students than clinical seats, these rankings determine program admission.

Admittance Decisions

Applicants to any Imaging Sciences program are ranked based on academic and interview scores. Emphasis is placed on math and science coursework related to Imaging Sciences at all degree levels. A minimum interview score of 25 out of a possible 40 is also required. Those programs admitting on a rotational basis do so annually and class sizes admitted are dependent on available clinical sites. In addition to course work, each student must provide proof of ability to perform the skills needed to practice in the imagine sciences effectively. Health care facilities must meet federal guidelines, and students must also meet these requirements in order to be allowed to gain clinical experience in these facilities. To meet these requirements, each student must supply proof of a negative TB test, hepatitis B vaccine or waiver, physical exam certifying ability to function in the required capacity, proof of immunizations (including MMR immunity), and CPR training. A criminal background check and drug screen are required for admission. If the background check reveals previous convictions, it is up to each clinical site to determine the eligibility of students to attend clinical at the site. Students who are denied clinical experiences due to past convictions may be unable to progress in the program which will result in failure to complete the required courses for the program. In any case where a drug screen is positive and an authorized prescription is not produced to validate the presence of the drug in the individual's system, a student may be disqualified as a candidate for admission. Upon notification of the drug screen results, the student will have 5 working days to provide prescription validation. Students are responsible for costs associated with any required testing.

Functional Capacities

Applicants to any Imaging Sciences program must be able to meet the functional capacities outlined in the South College Catalog. Students who believe they will not be able to meet one or more of these requirements without accommodation must notify the Imaging Sciences Department Chair and a determination will be made on a case by case basis whether reasonable accommodation may be made. In no instance will an accommodation be made which will put the applicant, other students, or patients at risk.


The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at South College is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).

Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500
Elliott City, MD 21043

Phone:  (443)973-3251
Fax: (866)7383444

Program Effectiveness Data

Graduation Year

(1st Graduating Class)

Completion Rate

                        67% (8/12)


Certification Pass Rate

SPI:                 89% (8/9)

ABD:               33% (1/3) 

OB/GYN:        100% (1/1)

Employment  Rate

                       100% (8/8)



Consumer Information
* Amounts for tuition, fees, books, and supplies are subject to change. The information included here is estimated for a full-time student. *

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