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Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Degree Type: Associate in Applied Science
College(s): College of Health Professions

Why Choose Diagnostic Medical Sonography?

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers use high frequency sound waves to produce images and data that assist health care professionals diagnose various disease and disease processes. Sonographers are taught to work independently and to operate highly technical ultrasound equipment to acquire sonographic images. Physicians depend on the sonographer's assistance with interpretation of the images to evaluate many body parts and structures, especially of the abdomen and pelvis.

Students enter the professional sequence of the program in the fall semester and spend the first three semesters on the Big Rapids campus. Studies during this period include general education and technical courses. Laboratory periods provide an opportunity to apply the theory and principles learned in the lecture sessions. During the final three semesters students work with patients in an off-campus clinical center. These sites are located throughout the state in hospitals affiliated with the University to provide clinical experience and continued academic instruction.

Graduates of the program are eligible to write the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination as well as the Abdomen, and Obstetrics and Gynecology specialty exams.

Career Opportunities

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a newly designated occupational category by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics within the imaging sciences field as of 2001. According to the US Department of Labor, almost 53 percent of sonographers are between the ages of 41 and 65, which means that they are at or near retirement. According to the US Bureau of labor statistics in May 2012, the median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $65,860. Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists is projected to grow 39% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Sonography, an ever-evolving profession, offers its practitioners many opportunities to enhance and advance careers. Sonographers can specialize in such diverse areas as the abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology, echocardiography, vascular technology, neurosonology and ophthalmology. They can work in clinics, hospitals, private practice, public health facilities, labs and other medical settings or branch out into education, administration, research or sales.

Admission Requirements

Students must first be admitted to the university as a Pre-DMS student. To be qualified to enter the professional sequence of the program a student must have earned a minimum grade of "B-" in the following courses or their equivalent: BIOL 109, MATH 115 (or Math ACT subscore of 24) and PHYS 130, a "C" or better in COHP 100 and a "C-" or better in ENGL 150 within two attempts including W grades.

To assure students of a quality technical education in classroom/lab and clinical practice, enrollment is limited. Students who meet or will have met the program's qualification criteria by the end of Fall semester are required to apply to the program's professional sequence between January 15 and January 30 of the year prior to the August professional sequence entry. Admission will be based upon date of qualification.

Graduation Requirements

The six-semester sequential course of study at Ferris leads to an associate in applied science degree. Ferris provides you an internship in the last three semesters of the program, although due to limited space, specific clinical site locations cannot be guaranteed. If a student elects to interrupt progression in the professional sequence of the program, re-entry cannot be guaranteed due to space limitations in laboratory and clinical placement sites. Graduation requires a minimum 2.0 GPA overall and students must earn a "C" or better in major and core courses and meet all general education requirements as outlined on the General Education website.

More Information

Linda Kuk, Pre-Professional Advising Assistant
College of Health Professions
Ferris State University
200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2270

For Career information, enclose a stamped, self-addressed business size envelope with your request to:

1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600
Rockville, MD 20852-1402
(301) 738-8401 or (800) 541-9754
FAX (301) 738-0312/0313

12770 Coit Road
Suite 708, Dallas, TX 75251-1319
(972) 239-7367 or (800) 229-9506
FAX (972) 239-7378

Information concerning the accreditation of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is available from: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756

Required Courses
Credit Hours


5 courses
Orientation to Medical Vocabul
Basic Human Anatomy-Physiology
Concepts in Physics
Intermediate Algebra
English 1

Professional Sequence

The U.S. Health Care System
Safety Issues in Health Care
English 2
Introduction to Psychology
Interpersonal Communication
Small Group Decision Making
Ethics in Health Care
Biomedical Ethics
Introduction to DMS
Sono Cross Sectional Anatomy
Intro to Sonographic Imaging
Intro to Ultrasound Physics
Sonography Physics Prin Lab
Pathophys of Abdominal Organs
Abdominal Imaging Lab
Intro to Sonographic Interpret
Introduction to OB/GYN Imaging
OB/GYN Imaging Lab
Hemo and Doppler Prin of Sono
Hemodynamics - Doppler Lab
Clinical Internship 1
Small Parts and Invasive Proc
Clinical Internship 2
Obstetical - Gynecolog Imag 2
Clinical Internship 3
Sonographic Interpretation 2
Management in DMS
Additional: Computer Competency - CAHS Core Requirement
Minimum credit hours required:
Note: BIOL 109, PHYS 130, ENGL 150, Medical Terminology Competency, MATH Competency are pre-requisites to the professional sequence and must be successfully completed prior to SONO 100 or 102, 104, 105.
Note: Medical Terminology competency can be demonstrated with successful completion of COHP 100 or through proficiency testing.
Note: MATH Competency can be deonstrated with a Math ACT subscore of 24 or higher, MATH 115 or equivalency with a grade of C or better or proficiency exam.
Note: A grade of C or better is required in all courses listed on the checksheet. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation.