Please enable JavaScript to view this page.


Associate in Applied Science

Program Overview


If you like to work with people, critically think to solve problems and enjoy new challenges, Diagnostic Medical Sonography might be a good career for you. Choose the path that's right 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, and providing oral or written summary of the technical findings to the physician for interpretation and diagnosis.

This program is also available as a certificate, if you already have an associate's in a health field.

Earning Potential

Interested in a career in sonography? Learn more about our region’s employment outlook and career opportunities you can pursue in this field of study.

Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

median annual salary
annual job openings

are currently employed within the State of Michigan Prosperity Regions 5 and 6.

This number is expected to over the next four years.

of current workers will reach retirement age within the next ten years.

Visit Career Coach for more details.

Map of Michigan with Delta College's region highlighted.

Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. You may also conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity and similar tests. This includes vascular technologists.

median annual salary
annual job openings

are currently employed within the State of Michigan Prosperity Regions 5 and 6.

This number is expected to over the next four years.

of current workers will reach retirement age within the next ten years.

Visit Career Coach for more details.

Map of Michigan with Delta College's region highlighted.

Examine and diagnose disorders and diseases using X-rays and radioactive materials, and may treat patients.

median annual salary
annual job openings

are currently employed within the State of Michigan Prosperity Regions 5 and 6.

This number is expected to over the next four years.

of current workers will reach retirement age within the next ten years.

Visit Career Coach for more details.

Map of Michigan with Delta College's region highlighted.

About Delta's Program

  • Sonography Faculty
    Amazing faculty 

    At Delta, you get small classes, professors who see your potential and resources to help you succeed. Delta professors are here to teach. And, they're really good at it.

    Learn More about faculty

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Delta College is five semesters, or 20 months in length. It is a full-time program including classes, labs and two six-month hands-on clinical experiences. Travel is required for clinical experience.

Students are eligible to take boards for RDMS certification 60 days prior to graduation. Students are eligible to complete the physics certifying exam after successful completion of courses DMS105 and DMS115, after the third semester of the program, but prior to program completion. Certification will be awarded after the student has officially completed the program.

Professional licensure

National certification through the ARDMS, good in all states.


The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

Program application process

Getting your degree in the health field is unique compared to other programs. You must first take your prerequisite core courses and then apply for validation.

What's validation?
The Program Coordinator reviews your application packet and validates your prerequisite courses and requirements to confirm you are eligible to begin the clinical portion of your program.

Success tips

  • Declare the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.
  • Meet with your advisor regularly. Stay on track with what you need to do to apply.
  • Apply for validation with Program Coordinator, Kim Boldt, once you've started your final semester of prerequisite courses. You can begin requirements for your application anytime, so don't delay!
  • Stay connected for important updates from Delta!
Program admission criteria

Students are accepted into the DMS Program under Option A or Option B. For both options, entry into the DMS program is through a validation process. Only students who are validated may attempt to register for DMS courses.

Validation will include:

  1. Meeting all admission criteria; and
  2. Qualifying under Option A, or obtain a "B" (3.0) grade or higher in each course for Option B. Students must have a minimum of nine (9) points to be considered.
  3. All students must demonstrate English competency - reading and writing - with a minimum of 76 on Accuplacer reading and 81 on Accuplacer writing prior to application.

Required admission criteria

1. Prerequisites are met under Option A or Option B.

 Option A
Graduate of an accredited Allied Health Program. If you have not had college level physics, this class must be taken and completed with a "B" (3.0) grade or higher; Medical Radiography will meet this requirement. = 4 points

 Option B
Overall GPA from BIO 140 or BIO 152 and BIO 153, HSC 105, PHY 101 or PHY 111, ENG 111, ENG 113, COM 114, or transfer equivalents - each course must be completed with a "B" (3.0) grade or higher).

  • 3.0 - 3.2 = 1 point
  • 3.3 - 3.6 = 2 points
  • 3.7 - 3.9 = 3 points
  • 4.0 = 4 points

2. Completed Sonography Observation Report.

  • 8 hours minimum = 1 point
  • 16 hours or more = 2 points

Note: maximum of 8 hours per observation site

3. Two professional letters of reference documenting your employability skills, such as letters from employers, supervisors of volunteer work, or professionals you have worked with. = 1 point

4. Documentation of current CPR certification = 1 point

5. In addition to the required admission criteria, the following criteria are optional ways to increase your overall point total:

  • Completion of additional college courses in math or science related to the DMS field, (determined by the DMS coordinator), of equal or higher level than prerequisite courses, with a minimum "B" (3.0) grade
  • Examples of courses that qualify: HSC 140, MTH 119 or higher, CHM 101, and BIO 203. = 1 point each 
  • Documentation of volunteer/work experience in the medical field approved by the DMS Coordinator. This should be a letter from your employer or supervisor documenting the hours and duties of the volunteer/work experience.

    • Up to 100 hrs = 1 point
    • 101 - 400 hrs = 2 points
    • 401 - 1200 hrs = 3 points
    • more than 1200 hrs = 4 points
Program Goals and Objectives

The goal of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is to prepare competent entry-level general songoraphers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

  1. Apply classroom theory to actual practice of technical skills in a lab and clinical setting.
  2. Utilize knowledge of sonographic findings and features of disease processes to analyze and evaluate diagnostic studies.
  3. Demonstrate professional work habits and appropriate interpersonal relationships with patients and other allied health workers.
  4. Competently perform entry-level general sonography exams in the clinical setting.
  5. Demonstrate  knowledge to apply to the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to take the national certification examination.
Student outcomes

We think it's important to know how we're doing so we can continually improve our programs – collegewide. We work really hard to give our students the best possible education. So, we annually evaluate and show you what we find out. We're happy to share results of the most recent five-year time period.

Year of Graduation

Number of students entered

Maximum annual enrollment: 14 students

Numbers of graduates, Program completion rate

Employment Rate 

2014 13 8, 61.5% 75%
2015 13 8, 61.5% 100%
2016 14 10, 71% 100%
2017 16 13, 81% 100%
2018 14 9, 64%

Year ARDMS Exam

Delta College ARDMS Results
Above National Pass Rate

National Average
2014 ABD
2015 ABD












Technical standards


  • Ability to stand and walk for extended periods of time (several hours)
  • Ability to lift and/or support up to 50 lbs
  • Ability to push heavy equipment up to 300 lbs and safely transfer and position patients weighing up to 250 lbs
  • Mobility to move freely around the imaging department and ultrasound room, as well as other areas of the hospital such as surgery and patient rooms
  • Ability and manual dexterity to frequently reach and handle equipment for imaging purposes
  • Ability to reach up to 6 ft. off the floor
  • Ability to assume varied postural positions (bending, kneeling, stretching) to work with equipment and patients
  • Must have dexterity to manipulate the transducer and control panel simultaneously (with thumb/hand/wrist/arm/hand movements)
  • Strong hand/eye coordination
  • Ability to write legible English in a style that is readable
  • Motor ability to act quickly in emergency situations
  • Dexterity to work in a sterile environment, prepare sterile fields and fill sterile syringes
  • Ability to think in 3-dimension while using a 2-dimensional imaging modality


  • Ability to discern small differences between shades of gray in order to acquire and fully interpret an ultrasound image
  • Distinguish between the colors red, yellow, blue and green in order to accurately interpret color Doppler
  • Ability to hear patients when at a distance of 10-15 feet
  • Ability to read and comprehend written orders in English
  • Ability to see in very dim light


  • Possess verbal and written skills to communicate effectively in English with patients and other healthcare professionals
  • Ability to elicit information and assess non-verbal information


  • Ability to read and comprehend relevant information in textbooks, medical records and professional literature
  • Ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize in the context of the sonography profession and to make critical thinking decisions, hypotheses and conclusions
  • Ability to retain and apply information
  • Ability to organize and accurately perform individual steps in a sonographic procedure in proper sequence and time frame
  • Ability to apply knowledge to sonographic imaging and problem solve clinical scenarios
  • Use cognitive skills to identify, record and adapt procedures as appropriate to anatomical, pathological and diagnostic information and images


  • Must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities, exercise of good judgment and prompt completion of all responsibilities as relate the sonographic imaging field
  • Ability to function under all circumstances including highly stressful and/or fast-paced environments
  • Ability to adapt to an environment that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways
  • Ability to show empathy, compassion, and concern for others
  • Ability to remain calm and focused during performance of sonographic exams, including competency evaluation performance
  • Demonstrate integrity, honesty and professionalism in all matters with peers, faculty, staff and patients
  • Demonstrate accountability, problem solving, sound judgment and listening skills at all times
  • Ability to maintain confidences according to professional and legal (HIPPA) standards
  • Comply with the Sonographer Code of Ethics, Clinical Practice Standards and Scope of Practice. Visit the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography for more information. 

Delta is committed to ensuring that otherwise qualified students with disabilities are given equal access through reasonable accommodations to its services, programs and activities for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are required to perform all essential functions of the program with or without reasonable accommodation. We will work with the student and disability office to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations. While Delta will make every effort to work with our students with disabilities to accommodate their disability-related needs, it is important to note we are not required to provide requested accommodation that would fundamentally alter the essential functions or technical standards of the program. Students can contact Disability Resources at 686-9794 or

Why you should choose Delta

Dual degree

Delta College students have an option to earn a dual associate degree in General Management with their Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate degree.


Program outcomes & graduate statistics
  • Our graduates consistently perform well above the national average on the ARDMS certifying exams.
  • High employment rates. 100% placement rates for graduates willing to relocate.

Consistent positive feedback from graduates, clinical sites and employers! Here are a few examples.

  • “Your program has great credibility and grows good future sonographers.”
  • “I’m so proud to be a Delta graduate.”
  • “The physicians I work with are impressed with my performance, and many of them have asked me where I went to school.”
State-of-the-art equipment 
 Students around the Anatomage table
  • Renovated health wing with hospital simulation
  • Lab with four new machines including 3D capability
  • Computerized Anatomage anatomy table


Transfer opportunities

One of the very best things about Delta College is your ability to start here and go on. And, in the process, save thousands (and thousands) of dollars. It's a smart choice!

In fact, if you're interested in earning a bachelor's degree, you have several options by coming to Delta first, and then transferring. Delta has signed transfer agreements to continue your studies with:

  • Ferris State University - Allied Health Sciences

Visit transfer agreements and guides to see the whole list of transfer opportunities. Have questions? Make an appointment with academic advising to discuss your dreams.

Facts & Figures

Half the cost

High income potential.

100 percent

100% of recent grads are employed.

Related Programs

Delta College offers over 150 degree, certificate and training options. Continue exploring and advancing your education with these related programs: