Best Online Medical Sonography Schools 2021

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Medical sonographers perform ultrasounds in hospitals and other clinical settings. Ultrasound machines use sound waves to provide medical professionals a look inside of patients without the need for surgery. Ultrasounds play a significant role in women’s health, for example, as they reveal breast cancer in its early stages and display fetal development without harm to the mother or child.

Professionals in the medical sonography field need more than technical expertise. Traits that lend themselves to the profession include the interpersonal skills necessary to work with patients directly. The career also requires physical stamina, as day-to-day activities involve standing for long periods. Workers should also possess a passion for professional development, as ultrasound technology evolves continuously. 

The best medical sonography certificates and associate in medical sonography programs provide the training that aspiring sonographers need to attain a fulfilling position.

Top Online Medical Sonography Schools

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FAQ


  • What is medical sonography?

    Medical sonography reveals the inside of a patient’s body without the need for surgery. Doctors use ultrasound results to diagnose patients and evaluate fetal development.

  • Can I study medical sonography online?

    Hybrid degrees in medical sonography allow students to learn partially online while gaining hands-on ultrasound experience in classroom and clinical settings.

  • Do I need a certification or license to be a medical sonographer?

    Medical sonographers need a certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The certification process involves passing one or more exams.

  • How long does it take to complete a medical sonography program?

    An associate degree takes approximately two years to complete. Certificate programs require fewer courses, and full-time students graduate in just 12 months.


Best Online Medical Sonography Schools 2021


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Oregon Institute of Technology
    Location

    Klamath Falls, OR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the best online sonography schools in the country, Oregon Institute of Technology helps students enter the field as imaging techs through coursework in sonographic principles and instrumentation, cross-section anatomy, applications of abdominal sonography, and pelvic sonography. Financial aid requires all learners to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for consideration. Transfer students may qualify for the presidential scholarship, and other students may qualify for the tech foundation scholarship program. Students receive these and other awards based on financial need and academic achievement. Students begin classes in January, April, June, and September depending on when they apply.

  2. AdventHealth University
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As one of the best online sonography schools, AdventHealth University caters to the needs of students interested in tech imaging with its bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. Classes in the program include medical imaging in the digital environment, world religions for the healthcare professions, components of healthcare financial management, and leadership and organizational behavior. Before applying, students should ensure that they hold at least a 2.5 GPA, possess one of three possible licenses (listed under admission requirements) in imaging, and provide transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended by the student.

  3. University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College
    Location

    Blue Ash, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College serves as one of the best online sonography schools in the country. The program offers coursework that readies graduates for professional imaging and interaction with clients. Coursework includes pathophysiology for health professions, applied administrative practices in health care, diversity in medical imaging, and ethical and legal issues in healthcare. The program caters to students already in possession of an associate degree dedicated to imaging or radiation therapy. To apply, students must hold at least a 2.5 GPA from their previous institution and supply either high school or college transcripts.

  4. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    Location

    Little Rock, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Perhaps one of the best online sonography schools in the U.S., the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences requires 35 credits prior to program admission in courses such as English composition, U.S. history, and an introduction to sociology. With these prerequisite, general courses out of the way, students go on to take courses such as radiographic procedures I Laboratory, basic patient care, radiation physics, and radiologic anatomy. For admission into the program, incoming transfer students must provide all official transcripts from previously attended colleges and universities, a written essay, and a filled out application form. Prospective students also need to complete a successful interview.

  5. University of Nebraska Medical Center
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Nebraska Medical Center is one of the best online sonography schools in the U.S. As a degree-completion program, students only need to complete 20 total credits to graduate. Core courses include principles of critical inquiry and management in health care; elective courses include cultural competence and communication and principles of education for health care professionals. Students must submit their applications to the program before May 16, September 30, or February 1, depending on the time of year they hope to begin attending. They must be in possession of a minimum 2.5 GPA, hold an NMTCB, ARRT, or ARDMS, and possess 40 credits of the prerequisite credits prior to entrance.

Career and Salary Outlook for Medical Sonographers

Typical job responsibilities for medical sonographers include maintaining and using ultrasound equipment, attaining the clearest images, and speaking with patients and family members. Sonographers in all specializations perform these daily tasks. They also collaborate with physicians and other healthcare providers to diagnose conditions and develop treatment plans.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the medical sonography profession should grow 12% between 2019 and 2029. This projection significantly exceeds the median projected growth rate for all U.S. careers. It also implies that students who earn a certificate or degree in the near future should experience little trouble finding a job.

Achieving career advancement and earning a higher salary depend on years of professional experience, certifications, and additional education. Sonographers who earn a bachelor’s degree make more than their peers. Professionals who want to return to school as a professor need a master’s or doctorate in sonography or another healthcare-related topic.

Career Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Less than $29,710 $68,750 More than $94,370

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Accreditation

Schools that offer an associate in medical sonography or a medical sonography certificate program should possess regional accreditation. Regional accreditation agencies use U.S. Department of Education guidelines to evaluate colleges and universities’ academic programs and learning outcomes. Schools without this essential accreditation do not provide learners with the tools required for career success. 

Some of the best medical sonography certificates possess programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP certification signifies that a certificate or degree offers learners the best educational experience.

Courses in a Medical Sonography Program

Medical sonography certificate programs and associate in medical sonography degrees emphasize similar major coursework. These courses introduce students to different body systems and how sonographers take accurate images of each. Students demonstrate their skills during hands-on labs and clinical rotations in numerous hospital settings. 

Despite featuring similar core courses, associate degrees and certificates differ in one regard. An associate degree takes longer to earn because graduation requirements include some general education courses, such as physics and psychology. The courses below act as a sample curriculum students encounter in either type of program.

Medical terminology introduces students to typical terms that medical sonographers use on a day-to-day basis. Learning outcomes include identifying the meaning behind prefixes, spelling medical terms correctly, and applying new vocabulary to different situations. Some of the best medical sonography certificates and degrees offer this course entirely online.

Medical sonographers work with patients directly. As a result, professionals must possess honed communication skills and understand patients’ rights. Other course topics include performing emergency medical care, such as giving CPR. Patient care prepares degree- and certificate-seekers for their first clinical rotation.

Medical sonography plays a crucial role in women’s health, as ultrasound results detect cancers and provide physicians with essential details regarding fetal development. Students analyze female reproductive systems, as well as the laboratory tests that accompany ultrasound results. OB/GYN sonography, like other upper-division courses, helps students explore their interests and choose a specialization.

Typical graduation requirements for medical sonography certificate programs and associate in medical sonography programs include multiple clinical education rotations. These rotations take place at local healthcare facilities and provide learners with hundreds of hours of hands-on experience. Each rotation focuses on a single type of medical sonography, such as abdominal or cardiovascular.

The best associate in medical sonography programs require a review seminar or capstone course in the final semester. This course asks students to synthesize new knowledge and skills while demonstrating mastery. Coursework also helps learners prepare for the ARDMS exam, a test all aspiring medical sonographers must pass.

Scholarships for Medical Sonography

Even the most affordable medical sonography programs charge tuition that some learners cannot pay without financial aid. Prospective students should explore the latest private scholarship opportunities open to medical sonography degree- and certificate-seekers. The following scholarships provide significant financial assistance, helping learners graduate debt free.


  • Anne Jones Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: The Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) accepts applications from learners concentrating in vascular ultrasound. Other application requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and SVU student membership.

    Amount: $1,000-$2,500



  • Raymond Davis Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Society for Imaging Science and Technology (SIST) awards the Raymond Davis Scholarship to undergraduate and graduate medical sonography degree-seekers. Interested students need not join the SIST to apply.

    Amount: At least $1,000



  • Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Foundation Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The SDMS Foundation provides funding to undergraduate certificate- and degree-seekers enrolled in a cardiovascular technology or diagnostic medical sonography program. SDMS reviews applications twice per year and uses June 30 and Dec. 31 application deadlines.

    Amount: $2,500



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