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Sonography (DCS or DMS)

  • Undergraduate 2-year program
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree – 2 tracks
    • Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography (DCS) – Echocardiography
    • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) – General Sonography
  • On campus coursework semester 1 and 2 
  • Onsite clinicals semesters 3, 4 and 5
Students in DMS Lab

The Allen College Diagnostic Sonography program provides students with the didactic and clinical training necessary to become professionals in the field of either diagnostic medical sonography or diagnostic cardiac sonography.  

General, or diagnostic, ultrasound includes abdominal, gynecological, obstetrical, special parts and vascular imaging.  Cardiac sonography is a specialized imaging modality focusing on the structure and function of the heart.  

Sonography is a specialized area of medical imaging and is an integral part of the health care team. Sonographers are highly trained professionals that manipulate sophisticated technical equipment that sends out high frequency sound waves into the human body to acquire images of internal structures.  The sonographic data and images provide the physicians with important diagnostic information regarding anatomical, physiological and/or pathological necessary to diagnose a variety of medical conditions and diseases.

The diagnostic medical sonographer provides patient services by using sonographic equipment to provide physicians with important diagnostic information. 

Sonographers are employed in hospitals, clinics, physicians' offices and imaging centers throughout the country. Suitably qualified educators, researchers and administrators are also needed.

DCS and DMS Admission Requirements

The Sonography (DCS and DMS) programs begin once each year in the fall term. 

Starting for fall 2025, applicants must complete Anatomy and Physiology I and II with lab components before being reviewed for admission consideration.

Program enrollment is limited and based on the availability of clinical affiliates. Because there may be more applicants to the program than there are available positions, completion of prerequisite classes and the BHS application does NOT guarantee admission into the DMS program.

Contact admissions@allencollege.edu with questions about admission requirements.  

DCS and DMS Application Materials

Required application materials can be submitted as they are completed, but all materials must be received before admission consideration.

Complete applicant files are reviewed after the November 1 priority date. Applications received after the priority date are reviewed on a rolling basis. Admission decisions take 3 to 4 weeks after the application is complete. 

DCS and DMS General Education Prerequisites

General education prerequisite courses are taken at another regionally accredited institution and transferred to Allen College. 

Applications can be submitted before all general education requirements are complete, but if granted admission, coursework must be completed before starting the program in August.

Anatomy & Physiology I and II with labs must be completed before the application can be reviewed for Sonography (DCS and DMS) program admission consideration.

DCS and DMS Curriculum

The Allen College Sonography Program offers general sonography or cardiac sonography tracks. 

Each track is five semesters (22 months) of full-time course and clinical training designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the field. 

During the first two semesters of the DMS program students will complete classroom and laboratory work on campus. For the final three semesters, program faculty will assign students to affiliated general ultrasound or echocardiography departments for clinical education practicums.

Coursework includes effective communication and patient skills combined with knowledge of physics, instrumentation, human anatomy and physiology and pathology. All sonography courses relate to each other, are offered only once during the program and must be taken in sequence. 

General track students will learn to perform abdominal, obstetrical, gynecology, small parts and vascular exams. Cardiac track students will learn to perform adult cardiac and cardiac specialty exams. 

DCS Curriculum

DMS Curriculum

Program Mission Statement

The mission of Allen College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to provide an excellent educational program to individuals seeking careers in the sonography profession. The program is dedicated to providing educational opportunities and services for sonographers and the community.

Program Goals


To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains for the following concentrations that it offers:

  • Abdominal sonography-extended 
  • Obstetrics and gynecology sonography 
  • Adult cardiac sonography concentration

Provide the medical community with individuals that have attained the knowledge and skills appropriate for an entry-level sonographer.

  • Facilitate the development of effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Promote the development of critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Provide an environment that supports and promotes professional growth and a commitment to life-long learning and prepares sonography professionals who function as competent members of the health care team.

Clinical Practicums

The clinical experience is an essential component in the education of a sonographer. This time allows the student to integrate the knowledge acquired in the classroom and lab to the clinical environment and acquire the skills necessary to become a qualified sonographer and thus constitutes a large portion of the program curriculum. Students will experience a variety of ultrasound exams, equipment, protocols and pathology.

Students will be assigned by the program faculty to one or more clinical facilities. The clinical facilities vary in location and distance. The clinical assignments may be located one to five hours or 300+ miles from the Allen College campus. Students are responsible for their own transportation and living accommodations during the clinical practicums. Relocation to the assigned clinical site may be required.

Students can expect to be at clinical practicums during the weekdays; weekend hours are not available. Clinical practicums are based upon 40 hours per week.

Program Competencies

  • Demonstrate the technical and critical thinking skills required to perform as entry-level sonographers, providing accuracy and proficiency in sonography examinations and procedures.
  • Obtain, review and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results. 
  • Perform appropriate procedures and record anatomic, pathologic and/or physiologic data for the interpreting physician. 
  • Exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic and/or other diagnostic services.
  • Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct when interacting and communicating with patients and their families, physicians, other health care professionals and the public.
  • Provide patient education related to medical ultrasound and promote principles of good health. 

Allen College graduates are encouraged to take a national registry exam administered by one of several organizations. Graduates may be eligible to apply to the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) to sit for the certification exam. In most states, a national exam in sonography is voluntary but obtaining this credential does enhance employment opportunities and may be required by some facilities for employment. Prerequisite eligibility for specific national registry exams varies by organization.

The Allen College Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 

The CAAHEP can be contacted at 727-210-2350 or mail@caahep.org. Their offices are located at 9355 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775.

The JRC-DMS can be contacted at 443-973-3251 or mail@jrcdms.org. Their offices are located at 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD 21043.