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Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Associate in Applied Science

If you like to work with people, critically think to solve problems and enjoy new challenges, Diagnostic Medical Sonography  (DMS) might be a good career for you.

Sonographers use their background in anatomy and physiology, pathology and ultrasound physics to obtain quality images for physician interpretation.

Professional responsibilities include:

  • Talking with patients to identify symptoms
  • Obtaining diagnostic sonographic images
  • Analyzing images and patient information
  • Using independent judgment in recognizing the need to make adjustments to the sonogram
  • Providing oral or written summary of the technical findings to the physician for interpretation and diagnosis

About the program

Delta College’s DMS program is five semesters in length and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Students are eligible to take the National Certifying examinations for Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) certification as an entry-level sonographer during the last two semesters of the program. After completing the program, students will be qualified to work as a general sonographer.

Students participate in classroom instruction, imaging labs, case presentations and clinical experience to gain skills in abdominal, OB/GYN, small parts and limited vascular sonography. Lab experience includes four ultrasound machines, digital image capture capabilities and an ultrasound simulator machine, enabling students to perform competencies in practical scanning before entering their clinical affiliate sites.

Job outlook

Diagnostic Medical Sonography recently ranked No. 7 on the U.S. LaborBureau’s list of highest paying jobs typically held by individuals with an associate degree. The median annual wage is $67,530 with salary dependent upon experience, duties and responsibility, location and individual employer.Employment of sonographers is expected to increase by about 39% through 2022, much faster than average for all occupations. Job opportunities will vary by geographic location.

Find out more

Have questions or want more information? Contact:

Kim Boldt, BS, RDMS, RVT, RDMS
DMS Program Coordinator

Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Associate in Applied Science

Program Code: AAS.20547

Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging modality that uses high frequency sound waves to obtain anatomical images of the abdominal, pelvic, fetus, and vasculature systems. A sonographer is a skilled health care professional who performs diagnostic ultrasound examinations under the direction of a physician. Sonographers use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pathology, and ultrasound physics in order to obtain quality images for interpretation. A sonographer must be proficient in problem solving and possess the ability to extrapolate pertinent patient history along with supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results. Upon successfully completing this program, students are eligible to take the national certification examination administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to become entry-level general sonographers. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756; ph: 727-210-2350; fx: 727-210-2354;

General Education Courses

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
BIO 140W5Essentials Of Human Anatomy & Physiology ______________
OR ______________
BIO 152W(4)Human Anatomy & Physiology I AND ______________
BIO 153W(4)Human Anatomy & Physiology II ______________
COM 114W3Interpersonal Communication ______________
ENG ---3Any Approved College Composition I Course ______________
ENG 1133Technical Communication ______________
HSC 1052Medical Terminology ______________
PHY 1014Applied Physics ______________
OR ______________
PHY 111(4)General Physics I ______________
POL ---3/4Any Approved American Government Requirement ______________
PSY 211W4General Psychology ______________
PHL 215W3Health Care Ethics ______________
SOC 211W3Principles of Sociology ______________

Prior to attempting to register to begin the clinical sequence, you must complete the admission process for the DMS program. See notations.

Basic Program Requirements

First Semester (Fall)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
DMS 1001Patient Care and Management ______________
DMS 105W2Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation I ______________
DMS 1070.5Introduction to Ultrasound Scanning ______________
DMS 107L1.5Introduction to Ultrasound Scanning Lab ______________
DMS 108W2Becoming a Master Sonography Student ______________

Second Semester (Winter)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
DMS 101W2Introduction to Sonography ______________
DMS 1033Introduction to Abdominal Sonography ______________
DMS 1042Introduction to OB/GYN Sonography ______________
DMS 106W4Ultrasound Scanning ______________
LW 206A1Occupational Wellness 1 ______________

Third Semester (Spring/Summer)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
DMS 1121Small Parts Sonography ______________
DMS 1131Advanced Abdominal Sonography ______________
DMS 1142Advanced OB/GYN Sonography ______________
DMS 1152Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation II ______________
DMS 116W.5Clinical Seminar I ______________
DMS 117W5Clinical Education I ______________

Fourth Semester (Fall)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
DMS 2013Introduction to Neurologic and Vascular Sonography ______________
DMS 2024Ultrasound Seminar I ______________
DMS 206W.5Clinical Seminar II ______________
DMS 2075Clinical Education II ______________
LWA 206B.5Occupational Wellness 2 ______________
LWA 206C.5Occupational Wellness 3 ______________

Fifth Semester (Winter)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
DMS 2124Ultrasound Seminar II ______________
DMS 2175Clinical Education III ______________

86/90Total Credits Required


1 - Program qualifications include: (a) High school graduate or GED equivalent; (b) Be admitted to Delta College; (c) Provide transcripts from high school and other colleges attended.
2 - Prerequisite qualifications for Validation are: 1) meeting all admission criteria with the required nine (9) points; and 2) qualifying under Option A: Graduate of an accredited Allied Health Program meeting the program prerequisites either through transfer or waiver; or Qualifying under Option B: Completion of the following courses with a "B" (3.0) or better: BIO 140 or BIO 152 and BIO 153, HSC 105, PHY 101 or PHY 111, any approved College Composition I course, ENG 113, COM 114. Students must demonstrate English competency of READING LEVEL 4 and WRITING LEVEL 4, and Math competency of MATH LEVEL 4 prior to application for validation.
3 - A maximum of 14 students will be accepted each fall semester for the DMS program. Students will be eligible to register for clinical courses only after successful validation.
4 - Other program requirements: (a) Current CPR for Healthcare Provider certification is required for admission to the clinical sequence. CPR currency must be maintained throughout the program; (b) Submit a completed Student Physical Examination Form, which requires a negative TB test; (c) Submit evidence of Hepatitis B immunization or signed waiver form provided during orientation; (d) an annual flu shot is required.
5 - DMS program courses must be taken together in the sequence shown. Clinical education courses are conducted primarily during daytime hours; however, off-shifts (second and third shifts) may be assigned to meet course objectives.
6 - Students must achieve a "B" (3.0) minimum grade in each DMS course to be eligible to continue in and graduate from the DMS program. You must achieve a "C" (2.0) or better in LW courses.You must comply with all DMS program progression and retention policies (copies available from the Health Programs counselor or DMS program coordinator.).
7 - In addition to tuition, fees, and textbook costs, you must purchase uniforms, name tags, background check and clinical shoes; provide your transportation to clinical settings; pay for meals, parking fees, and any medical treatment which may become necessary.
8 - Certification may be delayed or denied depending on the history of criminal convictions. Questions regarding this issue may be directed to the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) at or (301) 738-8401.
9 - All students will be required to undergo a background check prior to admittance to the DMS program and may be required to have a drug screen and drivers record check, dependent upon clinical site assignments. Students with a felony conviction will not be admitted to the DMS program. All other misdemeanor offenses must be 10 years or older for admittance to the program. Delta College cannot guarantee students with a positive background check the clinical site placement needed to meet program requirements. Thus, program completion may not be possible regardless of the length of time since conviction.
10 - Student clinical rotations will consist of two separate six-month placements. Many clinical sites are located outside the tri-city area and some are out of state. Students must be prepared to commute and/or relocate for at least one rotation.
11 - If not already completed, full-time student status can be maintained by taking POL, PSY 211W, PHL 215W and/or SOC 211W in the first semester of the clinical program. A grade of "C" (2.0) or better is required.
12 - Students will be required to retake BIO 140 and HSC 105 (or equivalents) to validate if it has been longer than 5 years since they originally took the course.
13 - All DMS students are expected to complete the ARDMS abdomen, obstetric/gynecology, and physics certifying boards. Students may complete the Abdomen and OB/GYN boards 60 days prior to program completion. Certification will be awarded after the student has officially completed the program.
14 - If you qualify under Option A as a Graduate of an accredited Allied Health Program meeting the program prerequisites either through transfer or waiver, but the program did not include college level physics, you will still be required to take PHY 101 or PHY 111 with a "B" (3.0) or better. Medical Radiography Physics will meet this requirement.
15 - The procedure for application to the DMS program can be obtained from Counseling, the DMS web site (, or the DMS Program Coordinator.
16 - Students may complete the physics certifying exam after successful completion of DMS 105 and 115 prior to program completion. Certification will be awarded after the student has officially completed the program.

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