Best Ultrasound Technician Schools

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While ultrasound technicians certainly perform this essential and intimate task, they also serve a variety of other important medical functions.

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When you think of ultrasounds, you likely think of a pregnant woman viewing an image of her fetus for the first time. While ultrasound technicians certainly perform this essential and intimate task, they also serve a variety of other important medical functions. In addition to performing obstetric sonograms, ultrasound technicians also view activity in the heart, abdominal organs, spine, and brain. They then analyze the resulting images, helping doctors form a diagnosis. The best ultrasound technician schools provide a background in health sciences, teach students how to operate sonogram equipment, and offer hands-on sonography experience.

Employment prospects look good for ultrasound technician school graduates. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS projects that diagnostic medical sonographer jobs will increase 17% — far greater than average rate of growth for all occupations. As of 2017, medical sonographers also enjoyed a median annual salary of more than $65,000. To help choose the best school for your needs, goals, and budget, consider this list of the best ultrasound technician schools in the U.S.

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Top 10 Best Ultrasound Technician Schools

Rank School Location
1 University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK
2 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR
3 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
4 University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
5 Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ
6 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
7 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
8 University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE
9 Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR
10 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY

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  1. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    Location

    Oklahoma City, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center offers a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences with a Sonography Specialization. This program is perfect for high school students and non-major college students who wish to pursue a degree as an ultrasound tech.

    Program Features

    This program is accredited by CAAHEP through the JRC-DMS. Once admitted into the program, students will complete a further 68 credit hours in sonography courses and capstone projects. Its graduates are eligible to sit for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography certification exam. Sample courses include:

    • Advanced Clinical Sonography
    • Problems in Allied Health
    • Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation

    Notables

    Students who wish to apply to the sonography program at UOHSC will be required to submit proof of 64 credit hours from this university or another regionally accredited school. These courses should satisfy the general education, math, and science pre-requisites as outlined by the department.

  2. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    Location

    Little Rock, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences houses its sonography programs at the College of Health Professions. The programs, which includes both an on-campus and online programs, are designed both for new students and working healthcare professionals. Once a student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, they will be eligible to sit for both the national and international ARDMS certification programs.

    Program Features

    Students will find that there are a few differences between the on-campus and online BS-DMS programs. The on-campus program is designed for students with no previous work or educational healthcare experience. The on-campus program also only admits students once they’ve completed general education requirements, allowing the students to focus primarily on their sonography studies. On-campus UAMS students are required to complete 120 credit hours and clinicals in order to graduate. Classes include:

    • Sectional Anatomy
    • Gynecologic Sonography
    • Sonographic Applications: Obstetrics

    Notables

    The online degree program is called the Career Ladder B.S. Degree. It is designed for ARDMS-certified sonographers who wish to go back to school and finish their bachelor education. There are no clinical education requirements for this degree, as most students will already be working as sonographers.

  3. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Ohio State University offers a variety of ultrasound tech schools programs that focuses on the general academic and clinical area of sonography. Students will graduate with Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences — Sonography Concentration. The school, which is accredited by CAAHEP through JRC-DMS, also prepares students to sit for the ARDMS certification exams.

    Program Features

    Students are required to fulfill general education requirements before applying to the professional program. Courses can either be taken at OSU or another regionally accredited institution, but all sonography courses must be completed on campus. Courses include:

    • Patient Care for the Imaging Professional
    • Introduction to Sonography
    • Small Parts of Human Anatomy

    Notables

    Once accepted into the sonography program, students will finish the required 120 credit hours, practicum, and clinical hours needed for graduation. The professional program runs six semesters concurrently, with a summer term required between a student’s junior and senior year.

  4. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee offers ultra sound tech students the ability to specialize in two clinical sonography tracks within their programs. The tracks, which are listed under the Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, are in-demand specializations that are continuously in demand by healthcare organizations and hospitals.

    Program Features

    UW-Milwaukee has requirements for students applying to their sonography programs. Typically students must fulfill general education requirements and a variety of math and science courses in order to apply to the program. Additionally, students must also have training as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Students will take courses like:

    • Human Pathophysiology and Ethical Issues in Health Care
    • Allied Health Information Methods
    • Sonographic Technology and Instrumentation

    Notables

    Students who are accepted into the program can choose from two tracks within the DMS program, General or Echocardiography. Both tracks also have a specialization in vascular sonography. Most students choose the latter track specialization, as it allows them to sit for specialty certification exams administered by ARDMS and gives them an advantage in the workforce.

  5. Rutgers University
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Rutgers University offers a top-tier ultrasound school of programs for students who are ambitious and determined to become sonography specialists. The programs, which include three bachelor options and a certificate program, are all accredited by CAAHEP based on the recommendation of the JRC-DMS. Graduates of any of these programs will be eligible to sit for the ARDMS certification exams, and the school currently holds a 100 percent first-time pass rate for these exams.

    Program Features

    Rutgers University might be the only school on this list that has a dedicated DMS Professional Curriculum. It is composed of 45 required courses, including clinical practices and can be comfortably completed within 18 months. Sample courses include:

    • Introduction to Noninvasive Vascular Testing
    • Critique and Clinical Correlation
    • Patient Care for the Imaging Professional

    Notables

    While there are various options for students at Rutgers, it is important to remember that the professional curriculum requirements are the same no matter what option is chosen. The only differences come in the pre-requisites. Students who are interested in any option are encouraged to call a Rutgers advisor to see what program will fit their needs best.

  6. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Missouri offers the chance to earn undergraduate and graduate Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound degrees for all ultra sound tech students. These programs are designed for students and healthcare professionals who wish to become sonography specialists. This program is in accordance with the JRC-DMS program outcomes guidelines.

    Program Features

    Students at UM often begin their sonography careers with the Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound. This program takes applicants who have finished general education requirements and can commit to the program’s stringent scheduling standards. Courses are taught by industry professionals and by the time students graduate, they will have accumulated over 1,000 hours of clinical experience. Sample courses include:

    • Ultrasound Physics
    • Abdominal Ultrasound
    • Clinical Pathophysiology
    • Superficial Organs Ultrasound

    Notables

    The graduate DMU program follows the same full-time, year-round schedule as the undergraduate program, but offers more specialized experiences as well as requiring research and projects from its students. This program is best attended by students who do not have a full-time job and can commit to both the scheduling and physical demands of the program.

  7. University of Iowa
    Location

    Iowa City, IA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Iowa Health Care and College of Medicine is proud to present an undergraduate degree for prospective ultrasound technicians. The Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science – Diagnostic Medical Sonography Track is one of the top ten sonography programs in the U.S. and is accredited by CAAHEP. Students who graduate with this degree are eligible to sit for the ARRT and ARDMS certification exams.

    Program Features

    As with most other sonography programs, students are required to fulfill at least one year of university education prior to enrolling for this specialization. Students will need to have at least 30 credit hours from an accredited institution, including math and science courses, along with some healthcare-related volunteer or work experience. Courses include:

    • Breast Sonography
    • Sectional Anatomy for Imaging to Healthcare Administration
    • Elementary Statistics and Inference

    Notables

    Upon acceptance into the program, students will be required to complete 78 credit hours in the major itself, including a clinical internship for every year and a multidisciplinary capstone project. The DMS tracks are so selective that less than 15 students each academic year are enrolled, so students are encouraged to speak to an advisor to find out how to improve their chances of being enrolled in the program.

  8. University of Nebraska Medical Center
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Nebraska Medical Center knows that diagnostic medical sonography is in the top ten best health care job ranking by U.S. News and World Report. It has since renovated and improved its ultrasound technician programs, including its Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science Technology with a Concentration in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Graduates are eligible to sit for the ARDMS certification exams.

    Program Features

    For the Bachelor’s degree, students must complete 120 credit hours along with a professional project requirement. The sonography portion of the program lasts one calendar year and focuses a student’s studies on ultrasound skills and education. Sample courses include:

    • High-Resolution Sonography
    • Pediatric Sonography
    • Diagnostic Film Review

    Notables

    This program is one of the most selective on this list. It is so selective that the Department of Radiologic Sciences designated a list of preference factors for prospective applicants. Students are only eligible to apply once they have fulfilled a minimum of 21 credit hours of general education requirements at UNMC or at an accredited institution. Students may also apply if they have current ARRT certification and graduated from an accredited Radiology program for the certification program the school also confers.

  9. Oregon Institute of Technology
    Location

    Klamath Falls, OR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Oregon Institute of Technology is one of the top ultrasound tech schools that meets and exceeds the expectations of sonographers in the healthcare field today. Through the Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, students will learn all the needed skills to play a vital role in patient care. This program is accredited by CAAHEP and its graduates are eligible to sit for the ARMDS certification exams.

    Program Features

    The BS-DMS degree at OIT is one of the only programs on this list that finds students fulfilling their general education requirements in their first year, with the last three years dedicated solely to the sonography major. Because of this, and the fact that the institute has a near-perfect first-time pass rate for the ARDMS exams, many students compete for placement within this program. Sample courses include:

    • Technical Report Writing
    • Cross-Section Anatomy
    • Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation

    Notables

    This degree requires 196 credit hours total for completion of this program. The clinical externship, which encompasses a student’s final year, is responsible for 60 credit hours and ensures that students have a strong understanding of sonography prior to graduating.

  10. Rochester Institute of Technology
    Location

    Rochester, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the few institutions on this list to offer a program that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Echocardiography. This will be interesting for students who are interested in pursuing a career as a specialized echocardiography ultrasound technician. This program is accredited by the CAAHEP and fulfills the pre-requisite to write for the ARDMS general credentialing exam.

    Program Features

    The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography is a competitive program and requires the general core curriculum be completed prior to applying. Students will find that upon meeting the requirements and being accepted into the program, their course of study will become an intensive on sonography, administration, and diagnostic and technological skills. Sample courses include:

    • Gynecological Sonography
    • Sonographic Vascular Evaluation
    • Administration and Research in Sonography

    Notables

    This degree requires a minimum of 122 credit hours for completion along with a clinical internship. Depending on a student’s former education, the clinical internship can be anywhere from one term to one calendar year. Courses are taken simultaneously with the internship, causing a student to study full-time, so it is advised that full-time work outside of school be avoided.

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