Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound) Bachelor of science degree

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Overview

Examine and identify the body for abnormalities and diseases in real time using skills that can be applied in a range of health care settings.


Imagine the possibilities that can result from attending a nationally-ranked ultrasound program that houses a modern, state-of-the-art scanning suite where classes are taught by outstanding faculty who are leaders in their field. The outcome is a first-rate educational experience, complete with a year of on-site clinical training, that sets you a path for success in a dynamic health care field.  

Ultrasound has revolutionized the field of medicine. It offers a unique opportunity in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of medical diseases and conditions without the use of surgery, injection of dyes, or radiation. Diagnostic medical sonography is a noninvasive, nontoxic diagnostic medical imaging modality in which high-frequency sound waves are used to produce images of the human body. Ultrasound is readily used to image the heart, blood flow, and abdominal organs as well as the developing fetus and male/female reproductive organs. But ultrasound has found itself to be a critical health care tool beyond radiology, OB/GYN, vascular, and cardiology. It is now used in areas such as emergency medicine, orthopedics, sports medicine, ophthalmology, rheumatology, pain medicine, intensive care, and more. The profession has grown rapidly in the last 20 years and is expected to continue to grow over the next several decades. Evaluation of the job market, advancements in medical technology, and a survey of current employers all indicate a strong demand for well-trained sonographers.

Plan of study

The diagnostic medical sonography major is a four-year program that includes a one year clinical internship. It’s one of a few programs nationally that can lead to a bachelor of science degree.  The program provides extensive didactic lectures, full immersion ultrasound scanning in a state-of-the-art Ultrasound Scanning Suite, and a one-year clinical internship. The program combines a strong science education with practical experience and liberal arts course work to prepare students for a career in ultrasound, a related medical field, as well as preparation for graduate study, including medical and dental school. The program emphasizes skills in administration and research, in addition to the development of scanning and diagnostic abilities with a focus on relevancy to clinical practice. This high-quality comprehensive background makes you well-prepared, well-trained, and sought-after in the work place.

Apply your knowledge

With a rigorous hands-on approach, coupled with an emphasis placed on experiential learning, you will gain a wealth of experience applying what you’ve learned in classroom lectures and lab experiences to a variety of real-life situations. A dedicated faculty is both engaged and passionate about your education and are fully committed to the development of exceptional sonographers and leaders.

Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of career options, nationally and internationally, in medical, industrial, and educational settings. Graduates can be found in a wide range of positions, including supervisory and administrative, in hospitals, clinics, private physicians’ offices, teaching, research, sales, and industry. Graduates also can work as freelance sonographers or for mobile services.

Clinical internship

The one-year clinical internship provides hands-on experience at two or more approved medical facilities. After completing the pre-internship course work, all students begin the internship by attending an intensive two-week experience on campus. During this time they enhance and polish the skills they previously learned, prepare to perform complete sonographic examinations as performed in real clinical settings, and advance their knowledge in recognizing anatomy and disease states using a variety of equipment in the Ultrasound Scanning Suite. Students also learn about hospital, departmental, and administrative operations. After completing these requirements, candidates are assigned to a medical training site for their clinical experience. At these facilities, students work side-by-side with sonographers, physicians, and other health care professionals to learn, develop, apply, and sharpen the necessary skills to perform general ultrasound examinations. Students’ clinical progress and performance are closely monitored by the program’s clinical coordinator and program director, who have regular communication and make periodic visits to the clinical internship sites. Additionally, students return to campus each month for three days of lectures, presentations, projects, and testing. Students may complete their clinical internships at any approved regional or national medical ultrasound facility, with approval of the program director.

Medical Community Support

The diagnostic medical sonography program has developed a comprehensive, supportive medical community comprised of highly-trained radiologists, physicians, sonologists, sonographers, and echocardiographers to guide and educate our students. Our partner clinical sites have extensive experience training diagnostic medical sonography and echocardiography students. They also employ many of our graduates. Through these interactions, you will be exposed to many generous and dedicated health care professionals who will enlighten you in additional areas of professional development, increase your awareness of community needs, and will share a sense of cooperative spirit in which medicine is practiced. In addition, many of our clinical instructors, echocardiographers, and sonographers are alumni and are familiar with the standards, expectations, and rigor of the program.

Sonography as a Pre-Med Option

Being accepted into a medical graduate program requires certain qualifications, including completing prerequisite courses, a strong academic record, acquiring pertinent experiences in the field, and developing key intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities. The Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program works with all students on an individual basis to help them become competitive candidates for admission to graduate programs in the medical and health professions.

The diagnostic medical sonography major has assisted students in entering the world of medicine and dentistry. With the addition of a few courses and without extending your study at RIT, the program can prepare you for medical, dental, veterinary, or other graduate school programs in the medical or health sciences. Graduates of the program have gone on to become physicians, dentists, chiropractors, veterinarians, and more. Learn more about how diagnostic medical sonography can be used as a pre-med option.

Accreditation

The diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the JRC-DMS. 

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Hwy 19 N., Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
727-210-2350
http://www.caahep.org

It is noteworthy to mention that the program is institutionally accredited and programmatically accredited. This type of dual accreditation meets both professional and employer requirements and also allows our graduates to immediately sit for the national board examinations administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Program Outcomes and Attrition Rate

The diagnostic medical sonography has exceptional passing rates on the national examinations:

OB/GYN: 95%

Abdomen: 92%

Cardiac: 100%

The program has a very low attrition rate (0%) and a retention rate of 100%. Job placement is also 100%.

Additional Educational Opportunities

In addition to a BS in ultrasound, RIT also offers a certificate in diagnostic medical sonography and a certificate in echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound). Both of these options are not only designed to meet the growing needs of the national and international medical communities but also the needs of individuals who:

  • Hold a degree in the life sciences and other closely related degrees that may be approved by the program director. Additional pre-requisite coursework may be required for any type and level of degree.
  • Have a current, active license or registry in an area of medical or allied health sciences, some examples of medical or allied health sciences areas include respiratory therapy, nuclear medicine, physical therapy, radiography (x-rays), nursing, and more. Any of the more than 200 medical or allied health sciences fields also will be considered.

Industries


  • Health Care

  • Health, Wellness, and Fitness

  • Medical Practice

Latest News

  • April 1, 2019

    Man wearing purple button-up shirt and tie sits at desk.

    Faculty Profile: Hamad Ghazle ’88

    Hamad Ghazle left war-torn Lebanon on a scholarship to Georgetown University in the 1980s. Within a year, he transferred to RIT to study ultrasound. He graduated with his BS in 1988 and returned in 1994 to lead the program. Since then, Ghazle has graduated hundreds of sonography students, helping them navigate the profession that means so much to him.

Curriculum

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (general ultrasound), BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-101
General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
3
BIOL-102
General Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
1
BIOL-103
General Biology I Lab 
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
3
BIOL-104
General Biology II Lab 
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
1
MATH-111
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Precalculus
This course provides the background for an introductory level, trigonometry-based calculus course. Topics include functions and their graphs, with an emphasis on functions that commonly appear in calculus including polynomials, rational functions, trigonometric functions, exponential functions, and logarithmic functions. The course also includes the analytic geometry of conic sections. One hour each week will be devoted to a collaborative learning workshop.
3
MEDI-130
Computers in Medicine
This course begins with a historical perspective on computing in medicine. It reviews software and hardware from supercomputers to mobile devices, and surveys their use in medical practice, research, and education. Next it studies the nature of medical data, its collection, organization and use. This sets the stage for the major part of the course which studies important applications of computing to medicine, including Hospital Information Systems (HIS), medical imaging, surgery, telemedicine, and pharmacy.
3
STAT-145
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used.
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
First Year Writing 
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MEDS-201
Language of Medicine
Language is a systematic means or method of communicating ideas, events, or feelings. It is a combination of words or symbols used to encode and decode information. Medicine has a language to communicate information regarding the human body, its functions, diseases, tests, and procedures. This course explores the language of medicine, the rules of “language,” language mechanics that apply how to create words, define terms, and identify abbreviations. In addition to learning the fundamentals, the student will gain experience in writing, using the language of medicine, as well as interpreting that language into everyday English.
3
MEDS-245
Medical Genetics
This course will serve as an introduction to the field of medical genetics. Throughout the course we will survey several human variations and diseases of medical importance. Clinical case reports will be incorporated to illustrate the underlying genetic principles.
3
MEDS-250
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
This course is an integrated approach to the structure and function of the nervous, endocrine, integumentary, muscular and skeletal systems. Laboratory exercises include histological examination, actual and simulated anatomical dissections, and physiology experiments with human subjects.
4
MEDS-251
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This course is an integrated approach to the structure and function of the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, immunological, respiratory, excretory, and reproductive systems with an emphasis on the maintenance of homeostasis. Laboratory exercises include histological examinations, anatomical dissections and physiological experiments using human subjects.
4
PHYS-111
LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): College Physics I
This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s laws, gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings.
4
PHYS-112
LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): College Physics II
This course is an introduction to algebra-based physics focusing on thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and elementary topics in modern physics. Topics include heat and temperature, laws of thermodynamics, fluids, electric and magnetic forces and fields, DC electrical circuits, electromagnetic induction, opyics, the concept of the photon, and the Bohr model of the atom. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings.
4
 
LAS Immersion 1
3
 
Free Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
DMSO-301
Sonographic Scanning Skills and Techniques I
The course provides students with hands-on experience by performing basic and general abdominal, small parts, obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound examinations. Sonographic examination protocols and techniques, review and recognition of normal anatomic structures, high quality image production, and image interpretation are stressed.
3
DMSO-302
Sonographic Scanning Skills and Techniques II
The course is a continuation of Sonographic Scanning Skills and Techniques I (DMSO- 301). The course provides students with further hands-on opportunities to perform advanced abdominal and OB/GYN, peripheral vascular (upper and lower) and carotid Doppler examinations including color flow. Ultrasound examination protocols and techniques, review and recognition of normal anatomic structures, high quality image production, Doppler and color flow optimization and image interpretation are stressed.
3
DMSO-309
Sonography Physics and Instrumentation I
This course addresses how the principles of ultrasound physics are directly applied to the use of ultrasound instrumentation in medical imaging. Transducers, signal production, memory systems, data display, manipulation of controls, and artifacts, are discussed. Throughout the course, the student will integrate previous knowledge of anatomy with ultrasound physics and instrumentation.
3
DMSO-310 
Sonography Physics and Instrumentation II
This course is a continuation of Sonography Physics and Instrumentation I (DMSO-309). It provides a foundation of the basic physical principles of ultrasound and the fundamentals of fluid dynamics, Doppler physics including color, power, and spectral Doppler, quality control, Doppler artifacts, and biological effects. Students will learn to integrate previous knowledge of anatomy, ultrasound physics and instrumentation with Doppler skills and techniques. Development of scanning techniques, use of instrument controls, and production of high quality diagnostic images utilizing laboratory equipment are stressed.
3
DMSO-312
Human Cross-Sectional Anatomy
This course covers basic sectional anatomy of the abdomen, pelvis, fetus and small parts, building on the basic knowledge of anatomy. This course prepares the student to recognize sectional anatomy of major human structures, especially as they relate to medical imaging techniques. Lectures are augmented with exercises using prepared human sections, organ modeling, and diagnostic imaging units.
3
MEDS-333
Patient Care
This course will introduce key elements of integrated, high-quality patient care. Through lecture, role-play and hands-on practice, essential aspects of team-based patient care will be explored. Vital skills and behaviors such as professionalism, communication, documentation, workplace safety, patient assessment, patient positioning and transfers, and acute medical situations will be presented. Infection control, medications and their administration, and medical-legal issues will also be examined.
2
MEDS-415
Pathophysiology of Organ Systems I
3
 
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
 
Free Elective
3
Fourth Year
DMSO-414
Sonographic Vascular Evaluation
This course provides knowledge of general vascular evaluation with an emphasis on the Sonographic approach. Two-dimensional real-time imaging and Doppler techniques are presented as well as a discussion of other imaging modalities and their use in vascular evaluation. Performance of examinations on laboratory equipment is stressed.
3
DMSO-452
Obstetrical Sonography I
This course provides the ultrasound candidate with the knowledge necessary to perform obstetrical examinations. High-quality image production, recognition of normal structures, and basic pathologic states are stressed. Examination protocols, review of specific anatomy and pathology, film reading, and use of other imaging techniques are also addressed.
3
DMSO-453
Gynecological Sonography 
This course provides the information necessary to perform basic and advanced gynecologic Sonographic examinations. Examination strategies for various procedures are explored, as well as the integration of ultrasound into established clinical practices.
3
DMSO-454
Obstetrical Sonography II
This course provides information necessary to perform more sophisticated obstetrical procedures utilizing ultrasound equipment. Examination strategies for various procedures are explored as well as the integration of ultrasound into established clinical practices.
3
DMSO-456
Abdominal and Small Parts Sonography I 
Laboratory simulation and classroom instruction are used to develop practical skills and clinical knowledge necessary to perform basic abdominal and small parts examinations utilizing ultrasound equipment. High-quality image production, recognition of normal abdominal structures and basic pathologic states are stressed. Examination protocols, review of anatomy, film reading, and use of other scanning techniques are addressed.
3
DMSO-457
Abdominal and Small Parts Sonography II
This course is a continuation of Abdominal and Small Parts Sonography I (DMSO-456). Laboratory simulation and classroom instruction are used to develop the practical skills and clinical knowledge necessary to perform basic and advanced abdominal and small parts examinations utilizing ultrasound. High-quality image production, recognition of normal abdominal structures and basic and advanced pathologic states are stressed. Examination protocols, review of anatomy, film reading and use of other scanning techniques are addressed.
3
DMSO-460
Administration and Research in Sonography (WI)
Speaking, writing, and researching skills are explored. Methods of basic research, developing writing strategies, and oral presentations are stressed. Students develop or critique a research project and prepare a written document following common publishing guidelines in addition to making oral presentations. Additionally, candidates prepare a complete plan for an ultrasound department as if they had been hired to establish a new department in a hospital setting. The candidates work together to develop the physical facilities, administrative, and financial aspects of a department.
3
DMSO-570
Clinical Sonography I
This course prepares the student for application of classroom knowledge to the practice of ultrasound by means of a clinical internship. Performing basic general ultrasound examinations in the areas of abdomen, small parts, obstetrics, gynecology and basic peripheral vascular in both the laboratory and clinical settings is stressed. Nursing procedures, ethical issues, and medico-legal considerations are also discussed as they relate to the practice of ultrasound examinations. This is an internship course.
7
DMSO-571
Clinical Sonography II
This course provides the final development of ultrasound examination skills by means of clinical internship. The candidate is expected to perform basic and advanced general ultrasound examinations in the areas of abdomen, small parts, obstetrics, gynecology and peripheral ultrasound examinations with no assistance by the end of this course. This is an internship course.
5
Total Semester Credit Hours
125

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Facilities

  • A group of people performing a sonogram on a patient
    Ultrasound Scanning Suite

    To remain a leader in educating technically sound sonographers, the diagnostic medical sonography program emphasizes not only on the didactic aspect of learning, but also the practical, hands-on, clinical aspect.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 3 years of math is required. Pre-calculus is recommended
  • Biology is required. Physics recommended

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in liberal arts, sciences, and math

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in liberal arts with science option; allied health; radiologic technology

Learn about admissions and financial aid