Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Mission Statement

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program provides a non-discriminatory student-centered educational environment for the growth and professional development of sonographers with superior competency in multiple sonographic specialties.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is the non-invasive use of high frequency sound waves to image anatomic structures within the body. Sonographers are specially trained individuals who work under the close supervision of radiologists, perinatologists, cardiologists, and vascular surgeons in order to assist them in determining a medical diagnosis and treatment plan for patients. The sonographer is responsible for acquiring images and/or videos of normal and abnormal structures and functions and reporting their findings to the appropriate supervising physician. Upon graduation, sonographers may be employed by hospitals, private physician practices, diagnostic imaging centers, research departments, and ultrasound machine manufacturers.

The DMS Program offers two majors, General Sonography and Cardiovascular Sonography. Both majors require general studies coursework to be completed concurrently with sonography courses and clinical rotations. The general coursework includes math, English, and the sciences. The core sonography courses include abdominal, obstetrical and gynecological courses (General Sonography major) or cardiac and vascular courses (Cardiovascular Sonography major), as well as sonographic physics and instrumentation.

Upon completion of an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, graduates have the option to complete the Bachelor Degree Program that is also offered by the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. Completion of the bachelor’s degree would consist of the student completing the core sonography courses of the opposite major as their associate’s degree in the third year and completing a fourth year of coursework that will prepare the student for advanced careers in the field of sonography. The DMS Programs will prepare graduates to sit for the national registry examinations offered by the ARDMS, American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 



The DMS Program will now allow students to apply for acceptance into the program if they have completed either high school or college algebra (equivalent of MTH 112), high school or college biology, and high school or college chemistry, all with a “C” or better.  This means that high school seniors can now apply to the program! Applicants are also required to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and an ACT composite score of 20 (unless they have been out of high school for 5 years or more and choose to use life experience credit for the ACT score).


Both DMS associate degree programs and the bachelor’s degree program are approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Both DMS associate degree programs are accredited by CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs). upon the recommendation of the JRC-DMS (Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography).

DMS Program Goals

  • To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  • To prepare competent entry-level adult cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  • To prepare competent entry-level vascular technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

DMS Class of 2018 Outcomes


General Concentration Outcomes

OutcomePass RateNational Average*
Abdomen (AB) Exam Pass Rate100%75%
Obstetrics & Gynecology (OBGYN) Pass Rate100%73%
Job Placement63%
Attrition Rate0%

Cardiovascular Concentration Outcomes

OutcomePass RateNational Average*
Adult Echo (AE) Exam Pass Rate78%66%
Vascular Technology (VT) Exam Pass Rate100%72%
Job Placement92%
Attrition Rate0%

*Source: ARDMS As of 9/12/2018



The Diagnostic Songraphy program has many requirements and is very competitive.  Please see the University of Rio Grande Catalog for more information on acceptance into the DMS program, or you can view the DMS FACT Sheet for a brief overview of the program and it’s requirements along with a suggested curriculum.  If you have met all requirements and are interested in applying to the DMS program, please print and submit a DMS Application (accepted January 1 – April 1)

Deadline is June 1, 2020 (if applicable)

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Prospective applicants to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program should begin by applying for general admission/acceptance status to the University of Rio Grande, which can be done by logging onto www.rio.edu and completing the online admissions application. There is no admissions fee for applying online. Identify your “intended major field of study” as Allied Health – Associate Degree (2 year). You must also complete the School of Technology’s Allied Health Technology-Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Application prior to April 1 of the year for which you are applying (all first year prerequisite courses must be completed or in progress by April 1 of your application year), available in the Admissions Office, in the School of Technology, or online

It is the student’s responsibility to see that the University has a copy of his/her high school transcript and/or college transcript, ACT scores, and the Allied Health Technology- DMS Program Application prior to April 1of the year in which you apply, when the selection process will begin. It is also the student’s responsibility to attach official copies of his/her high school and/or college transcript(s) and ACT scores to the allied health application or turn them in to the DMS program director by April 1. No application will be considered without complete documentation.

Admission Requirements:

  • Students must meet all University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College admission requirements.
  • One unit of high school or college biology, chemistry, and algebra must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” before a student will be considered for admittance into the DMS program.
  • Students must be admitted to URG/RGCC with their major listed as Allied Health to be considered for summer program admission. All students must also turn in a copy of their ACT scores, high school transcript, and the DMS Program Application by April 1. Supplementary applications are good for one year only. After students are selected for the next academic year, all applications will be discarded. Students not accepted into the program must reapply each year.
  • Only students who are officially admitted into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program can take the Diagnostic Medical Sonography courses.
  • Only students who have successfully completed the Associate Degree Program or its equivalent and have been recommended by DMS faculty based on academic and clinical performance will be admitted to the Bachelor Degree Program.

Academic Requirements:

  • One unit of high school or college biology, chemistry, and algebra must be completed with a minimum grade of “C”.
  • High school or college cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher.
  • ACT composite score of 20 or higher, with preferred math and science scores of 20 or higher. (If a student has been out of high school for 5 years or more, the student has the option of taking the ACT test or receiving four points for “life experience.”

Health Requirements:

  • Vision Capabilities: Normal or corrected refraction within the range of 20/20 to 20/60; adequately view sonograms, including identifying 16 shades of gray and color distinctions.
  • Hearing Capabilities: Possess normal or corrected hearing abilities within 0-45 decibel range.
  • Motor Capabilities: Maneuver sonographic equipment without assistance; assist in lifting patients using proper body mechanics; stand for extended periods of time; walk long distances without assistance while maneuvering sonographic equipment or transporting patients; type with one hand while scanning with the other.
  • Language Capabilities: Communicate verbally with patient and other medical personnel; it is recommended that a second language is possessed or attempted
  • Mental Capabilities: Think and act quickly in emergency situations; cope with stress; comprehend daily work activities; understand all pathology needed to present case to physician.

Other Requirements:

(Once accepted to the DMS Program)

  • Students must consent to a professional and confidential background check that includes but is not exclusive to social security number verification, criminal search, violent sexual offender and predator registry search, and employment verification. The background search will be initiated upon acceptance into the DMS program.
  • Students must consent to and pay for random drug testing as required by various clinical affiliations.
  • Current CPR certification (Students accepted into the DMS program will take CPR as a class during the first summer semester of the program.)

Admission Procedures

Step One:

To be considered for admission into the DMS program, students must have met all of the above requirements. URG/ RGCC must have a copy of your high school and/or college transcripts, ACT scores, and the Allied Health Technology- DMS Program Application by April 1 of the year in which the student would like to enter the DMS program’s second year.

Acceptance into the DMS program is very competitive. The number admitted into the program will be determined by the number of clinical sites available. Applicants will be objectively scored to determine the top candidates. Cumulative GPA, and ACT scores will account for 50% of the admission criteria, based on the following point system:

College*GPA (Cumulative):

4.0 = 10
3.8 = 9
3.5 = 8
3.2 = 7
3.0 = 6
2.8 = 5
2.5 = 4

ACT (Cumulative)*:

30+ = 10
29-28 = 9
27-26 = 8
25-24 = 7
23-22 = 6
21 = 5
20 = 4

* Any applicant who has been out of school for five (5) years or more and has not taken the ACT will not be required to take it. The applicant will be awarded four (4) points for life experience. Alternatively, if the applicant wishes to take the ACT and submit the scores, s/he may do so.

Meeting all of the above requirements does not mean automatic admission/acceptance into the program nor does it guarantee an interview.

Step Two:

The applicants with the highest scores will be scheduled for an interview, which will count for 50% of the admission criteria. The interview process will consist of a selection committee who will interview and rank these top applicants. The selection committee’s decision is based upon the submitted academic achievements and the interview process to determine who is most likely to succeed in the program.

The interview process will take place in May of each year. After the interview process, applicants will be selected for the DMS program that will begin Fall Semester. Students selected for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program must, prior to the beginning of clinical classes:

  • Submit complete childhood immunization and booster records.
  • Submit proof of varicella zoster live-virus vaccine or reliable history of varicella (chicken pox) or serologic evidence of immunity.
  • Submit proof of receiving Hepatitis B vaccine series.
  • Submit a completed DMS Physical Examination and Medical History form. Form will be provided.
  • Submit proof of CPR training.

DMS Academic Progression Requirements

All DMS courses must be taken in sequential order.

  • The student must receive a minimum of a C- (75%) or better in all DMS courses to continue.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Students must successfully complete the associate degree program in order to be admitted into the bachelor’s degree program.

Failure to meet any of the above Diagnostic Medical Sonography requirements will result in the student’s dismissal from the program. The student may reapply to the program the following calendar year.

Associate of Applied Science – Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Cardiovascular Sonography Major (93207)

* Prerequisite course for all Allied Health majors. Not included in curriculum totals.

The clinical education courses will be conducted at a variety of hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic imaging centers. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the various clinical education sites. The student will not be scheduled for more than 40 hours per week, which includes classes and clinical education rotations.



Bachelor of Science – Diagnostic Medical Sonography (7943) (for students with an associate degree in General Sonography)
Bachelor of Science – Diagnostic Medical Sonography (7943) (for students with an associate degree in Cardiovascular Sonography)

General Contact Information

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