With ultrasound technician degree programs, you can hold a highly technical job that also includes patient care. This career field enables professionals to work with specialized equipment to catch a detailed glimpse of internal organs. You could receive the sonography, diagnostic sonographer, or ultrasound tech title, depending on your specialty.
There is a multitude of responsibilities you’re likely to experience on a day-to-day basis. Ultrasound techs often prepare examination rooms, assist radiologists, maintain radiology equipment, alert medical staff of abnormalities, and more. It’s the perfect blend of doctor-led instruction and patient care.
To begin your dream career, you must find the ideal program. In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best programs for this field. All of the results are ranked based on the following criteria:
- An average annual cost of under $27,000
- A median annual starting salary of over $34,000 upon graduation
- Accredited programs recognized by authorized entities
10 Best Schools for Ultrasound Technician Degrees
1. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
2 to 4 Year; Houston, TX
Average Annual Cost: $5,658
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a unique Diagnostic Medical Sonography program for ultrasound techs. In this program, you’ll embark on a two-year track that can help you acquire your Bachelor of Science. There is a multitude of careers you can choose after graduating, including:
- Sales Representative
As a two-year program, you can guarantee you’ll have a fast-paced program that offers essential courses to ultrasound techs. Some of the courses offered by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center include:
- Obstetrics Sonography
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- General Ultrasound
- Health Care Ethics
- Principles of Vascular Technology
- Pediatric Sonography
- Research Techniques in Radiologic Sciences
Another exciting aspect of this program is that students will gain lab and clinical experience. During your senior and junior years, you’ll be required to take clinical internships. These internships will give you the real hands-on experiences to help you better prepare for a real-world career.
2. University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center
4 Year; Oklahoma City, OK
Average Annual Cost: $7,153
A career as an ultrasound technician is right around the corner with the University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center. Their intuitive program is offered through the College of Allied Health. Students will be able to pursue a degree in diagnostic medical sonography during their undergraduate studies.
All the courses in this program will help students master neurosonography, pelvic and obstetrical sonography, and echocardiography. Other specialties include vascular technology and abdominal sonography. After you’ve received your degree, you’ll be able to gather data to be interpreted by a physician.
What makes the University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center unique is their program also features subspecialties. The sonography program is accredited for both cardiac and general sonography for more specific specialties. Aside from learning the fundamentals of sonography, graduates are also expected to:
- Have critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Demonstrate effective communication with healthcare practitioners
- Exhibit competency in vascular, cognitive, and psychomotor technological skills
3. Upstate Medical University
4 Year; Syracuse, NY
Average Annual Cost: $7,525
Pursuing a career through the BS or BPS Curriculum at Upstate Medical University is a fantastic opportunity. Students will enroll in Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) degree programs. Once you graduate, you’ll be able to take national registry examinations to become an ultrasound technician.
Like other programs, students will learn the fundamentals of being a sonographer in their classes. They will be brought through patient contact experiences while developing their professional and interpersonal skills. You’ll also gather hands-on and theoretical knowledge about modern ultrasound technologies.
It’s important to note that the BS and BPS programs are slightly different. With a Bachelor of Science, you are eligible to take the American Registry for Diagnostics Medical Sonography (ARDMS) certification examination. However, a BPS allows you to acquire an ARRT certification. When you graduate with a BPS, you’ll receive a BPS Diagnostic Medical Sonography studies degree.
4. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4 Year; Little Rock, AR
Average Annual Cost: $8,147
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences assists students with earning a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. With your studies, you’ll have four spring and summer semesters with one summer session. In this program, you’ll have various learning objectives and outcomes to prepare you for your career.
Students must earn 120 credits, 73 of which are professional courses, and the other 47 are prerequisites. Once complete, you can then apply to take one of three licensing examinations from the American Registry for Diagnostics Medical Sonography (ARDMS):
- Registered Vascular Technologies (RVT)
- Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)
- Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
The curriculum for sonographers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is very well-rounded. Students will practice sectional anatomy, abdominal sonography, basic patient care, advanced physics, cardiac and vascular sonography, and more. As you enter your senior years of study, you’ll focus on more in-depth topics, such as:
- Health Care Systems in America
- Doppler Sonography and Advanced Hemodynamics
- Clinical Practicum
- Advanced Cardiac Sonography
- Current Issues in Health Care
5. University of Nebraska Medical Center
1 to 4 Year; Omaha, NE
Average Annual Cost: $10,538
With the help of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, you can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Sciences. Students also have the option of pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate Professional Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Both programs take 12 months to complete, a total of three semesters.
With a small class size of 18, students can gather more one-on-one experience with instructors. It’s one of the most personalized programs for future sonographers interested in general or cardiovascular sonography. Upon application, you must choose the specialty you want to focus on.
Students study clinical education with the General Track focusing primarily on the pelvis, abdomen, and fetal development. The Cardiovascular Track explores the blood vessels, circulatory system, and adult heart. Over 1000 hours of supervised clinical instruction, you’ll meet all of the necessary standards for a sonographer.
Upon completing your studies, you can then apply to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography credential examinations. With a combination of in-class and hands-on learning experiences, University of Nebraska Medical Center students can pursue their dream careers.
6. Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools
2 to 4 Year; Colonial Heights, VA
Average Annual Cost: $11,440
The Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools has a thorough program for prospective ultrasound technicians. In 2020, the school boasted a 75% retention rate with 100% job placement for its graduates. There’s no doubt this is one of the most effective programs for those interested in health sciences.
You’ll learn all about ultrasonic imaging devices to create 3D anatomical and diagnostic data during your studies. You’ll also explore the concepts of diagnostic imaging and scanning, as well as producing diagnostic videos. The program provides a combination of clinical and didactic study to help you become a medical sonographer.
Once you have completed 67 credit hours of coursework, you can obtain an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Also, you’ll be able to apply for the ARDMS examinations in three areas:
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Sonography Principles and Instrumentation
There are several fantastic courses students will work through during their degree program, including:
- Abdominal and Small Parts Imaging
- Cross-Sectional Anatomy
- Introduction to Vascular Ultrasound
- Human Anatomy
- English Composition
- General Psychology
7. Allen College
2 to 4 Year; Waterloo, IA
Average Annual Cost: $19,426
Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) technicians from Allen College can pursue careers in multiple fields. You can find placement in doctor’s offices, imaging centers, clinics, and hospitals country-wide. With the help of this program, you’ll have highly specialized training to be an integral part of your community’s health care system.
Students will get plenty of experience providing patient services using sonographic equipment. You’ll also learn how to assist physicians with providing essential diagnostic information. By focusing on physiological, anatomical, and pathological data, you can produce the data needed to make diagnoses.
When you graduate from the program, you will be able to sit for the ARDMS certification exam. All of your courses are specifically designed to ensure you’ll have the fundamental knowledge necessary for a profitable career. There are multiple tenets of the program that every student will acquire, including:
- Providing professional and supportive environments for patients
- Effectively communicating with medical professionals
- Developing critical and problem-solving skills
- Understanding patient history
- Exercising discretion when performing sonographic tasks
Regarding the program, students will embark on a five-semester journey which should take 21 months. You’ll dive into pelvic, abdominal, obstetrical, gynecological, and special parts imaging. With a combination of lab and classroom work, it’s a well-rounded program for all future sonographers.
8. Florida Institute of Ultrasound Inc.
1 to 4 Year; Pensacola, FL
Average Annual Cost: $20,500
Instead of attending a general college or university with a sonographer program, Florida Institute of Ultrasound Inc. is a fabulous alternative. This school features specialty programs to help you become a well-trained and valuable member of your health community. Students will have access to exceptional technologies to help them pursue a future career.
The central premise of this school is to give students nation-leading education in diagnostic medical sonography. During your studies, you’ll gather integral didactic and practical clinical experience to boost your medical competence. Students will gather basic knowledge and specialized expertise about abdominal, OB/GYN, small parts, echocardiographic, and vascular diagnostic imaging.
In total, the program from Florida Institute of Ultrasound Inc. is 12 months. You’ll experience 48 weeks of instruction in all diagnostic imaging specialties. There are also three months of didactic instruction at the beginning of your enrollment.
Some of the most common courses you’re likely to experience include:
- Ultrasound Physics
- OB/GYN Ultrasound Scanning Instruction
- Abdominal Ultrasound Scanning Instruction
- Echocardiography Scanning Instruction
- Vascular Ultrasound Scanning Instruction
9. Mercy College of Health Sciences
1 to 2 Year; Des Moines, IA
Average Annual Cost: $21,989
Mercy College of Health Sciences is an excellent program designed to target students interested in a career in sonography. With your studies, you’ll explore the various ways diagnostic images can assist with patient care and health. Students will learn how internal organs work, observe blood flow via sound waves, and even observe fetal growth.
After you’ve earned your degree, you can then work alongside physicians to provide essential diagnostic information. In this program, you’ll be able to choose between general and cardiovascular tracks for diagnostic imaging. Mercy College of Health Sciences is an excellent solution, as they have an 89% graduation rate paired with a 95% placement rate.
Also, it’s important to note this program is only five semesters, which means you can get your degree in less than two years. As mentioned, students can choose between either general or cardiovascular tracks. In both of these specialties, you’ll enroll in courses such as:
- General Psychology
- General Clinical
- Foundations of Ultrasound
- Human Physiology
- Principles of Pathophysiology
10. Bryan College of Health Sciences
4 Year; Lincoln, NE
Average Annual Cost: $26,122
Bryan College of Health Sciences offers a comprehensive program for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Sonography. In your studies, you’ll gain the clinical training and academic knowledge necessary for diagnostic imaging. All of your courses will revolve around learning how to use high-frequency sound waves to produce images of organs, tissue, and blood flow.
There is two specific Bachelor of Science degrees that students can earn from Bryan College of Health Sciences:
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Adult Cardiac and Vascular Sonography
If you’re pursuing one specialty, you can also choose to cross-train in the other, giving you even more experience.
Bryan College of Health Sciences is one of the top 15 ultrasound colleges and strongly emphasizes clinical training. Aside from your academic teachings, you’ll also get hands-on experience to get you prepared for your career. In total, students can acquire up to 2200 hours’ worth of clinical training.
Another considerable advantage of their program is that it’s built around the Registry Exams. With that said, you can guarantee your licensing exams will be significantly easier to pass. In fact, 96% of sonography students pass the Registry Exam the first time.