Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound) | Bismarck State College

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Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)

Flexible Learning Options IconThe mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Program is to provide a high-quality, learning-centered education in diagnostic medical sonography theory and practice that maximizes student learning and makes students partners in their education.


Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)

Delivery method: Lecture - On campus or online synchronous
                               Lab - On campus
                               Clinical Ultrasound Internship - Clinical affiliate

Program Description

The mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program is to provide a high-quality, learning-centered education in diagnostic medical sonography theory and practice that maximizes student learning and makes students partners in their education.

A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, also known as a sonographer, utilizes a transducer, which uses sound waves to obtain images of various organs and tissues in the body. Students will be prepared to perform abdominal, superficial, gynecological, obstetrical, and vascular ultrasounds. The DMS program is a full-time, four-semester program, excluding the year-one program required courses. The first two semesters of the program consist of classroom and scanning lab instruction on the Bismarck State College campus in the Health Sciences building. The final two semesters are a seven-month clinical ultrasound internship where students get in-field experience, utilizing the skills gained from the synchronous theory and lab courses. The clinical affiliate is a third-party entity into which the students are placed.


Students interested in entering the DMS program should have a strong background in science, especially in anatomy and physiology and physics. Successful students have a strong sense of responsibility, patience, and manual dexterity. 

Program Requirements

Students must apply to the program by April 1 prior to the fall semester DMS program start. Students eligible to apply have successfully completed, or are in the process of completing, the following college courses: algebra or statistics; general college-level physics and/or radiographic physics; communication courses such as speech or composition; and human anatomy and physiology. All required program courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. Students must have a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 and a minimum GPA of 2.75 in year one program required courses for admittance to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. A GPA of 2.0 "C" or higher must be earned in all prescribed technical program requirement courses in order to continue in the program. Applicants are required to take the Ultrasound Student Assessment (USA) administered by Pegasus Lectures.

This program is highly selective. Upon receipt of all application materials, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program will evaluate the applicant's file for completeness of program specific requirements. The interview will be scheduled once the program application and recommendations are received and reviewed. Applicants will be scored on past academic performance, USA results, recommendations, career statement responses, previous experience, interview, and overall quality of application. The admission process is highly competitive due to the limited number of positions available, and the DMS program may not be able to accept all applicants that meet the minimum admission standards. Once accepted into the program, students will be required to successfully complete a medical examination, background check, and drug screen at their own cost. Clinical affiliates maintain sole discretion as to the student's ability to participate in the Clinical Ultrasound Internship.

Students must successfully complete a series of examinations to successfully obtain American Registry Diagnostic Medical Sonography certification. Those exams include Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation, Abdomen Examination, and Obstetrics & Gynecology Examination. 

Career Opportunities

DMS professionals are in high demand nationwide at a wide variety of healthcare institutions, including but not limited to clinics, hospitals, women’s health centers, education, breast centers, and medical supply sales companies. 

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers will see a growth change in the United States of 14% from 2020 to 2030. Data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm.


Tara Wagner • Health Sciences 157C


Degree Plan

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