Selecting an ultrasound technician college or university for attendance is the end result of significant research, yet it is only a first step. The hopeful sonography students must maneuver through the application process that can be confusing. Before entering ultrasound tech programs, the students have to get into the schools first and then get admitted to the appropriate programs. The two-step process begins with an understanding that each higher education facility may be organized differently.
Understanding the Structure
Anyone interested in pursuing a degree in ultrasound technology may find the admitting process a bit confusing at first, if not familiar with the variety of ways universities, colleges and technical schools are organized. Each educational facility has developed an organizational system that is designed to work efficiently while serving the needs of students.
Maneuvering through the online school and sonography program websites is much easier if the visitor understands some basics. For those not familiar with higher education institutions, keep in mind:
- A college within a school is like a division that groups training and education opportunities for a particular discipline like health sciences or education.
- Most sonography programs are found in division that is named Health Sciences, Allied Health Programs, Radiologic Programs, Imaging Programs or something similar. There are also schools that chose to include the sonography program in the business technology division as a vocational program and schools that have a standalone Sonography division.
- Some programs are offered by Medical Centers that may or may not be associated with a college or university. In either case, the student will need to complete general educational and non-sonography core curriculum requirements at a college or university.
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography is referred to by various terms that include ultrasound technology and imaging services.
For example, Rush University is on the list as having one of the CAAHEP accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs. Its Vascular Ultrasound Program is in the College of Health Sciences. Kettering College’s program, also CAAHEP accredited, lists the Sonography Program separately from Health Sciences. Arkansas State University’s CAAHEP accredited ultrasound program offers the Diagnostic Medical Sonography bachelors degree through the College of Medical Imaging & Radiation Sciences.
Admission to the college requires a two-step process that is typical of most ultrasound tech programs. The general process begins with reading the sonography program admission details and then working backwards through the school’s admission requirements.
There is a good reason for this approach. Most sonography programs have limited enrollment so it is important to know the admission application due dates and program start dates to better plan completing prerequisites and required general education courses. Some programs will allow students to work on their general education courses while in the sonography program. Others require they be completed within a certain time period after starting the sonography program.
Admission Two-Step for Ultrasound Tech Programs
Once the student knows the semester or quarter the desired sonography program begins, it is time to apply for admission. Even if the student has completed prerequisites and can enter the sonography program without taking additional classes, it is still necessary to go through a two-step admission process unless the program is a medical center not affiliated with a higher education facility. Many of those programs are sonography certificate programs.
The two-step admission process recognizes the student needs to meet the requirements of the school and the requirements of the sonography program. Applying to the school is one procedure. Applying to the sonography program is a separate one. Many of the schools and programs have rolling admission dates, but the sonography programs have limited class availability. The earlier a student applies, the greater likelihood of gaining entrance.
Learning how to maneuver through the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program websites may seem challenging, but understanding the general system used is helpful. Before applying, read the useful information provided in the sidebar at Ultrasound Technician Center on sonography that explains education requirements and the steps in the admission process.