Best Online Associate in Sonography Programs of 2024

This guide to online associate in sonography programs covers curricula, specializations, and career paths. Use it to launch your program research.
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Updated on February 16, 2024
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Best Online Associate Programs in Sonography

Online associate sonography degrees prepare you for careers with high growth rates and excellent earning potential. They consistently rank among the top-paying associate degrees you can get. If you're a learner with a knack for technology and an interest in a healthcare career, sonography checks all the boxes.

This degree guide covers sonography specializations, career paths, program requirements, and typical costs. Use it to connect with top-rated online associate in sonography programs and plan your educational journey.

Featured Online Associate in Sonography Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Can I Do With a Sonography Associate Degree?

With an online associate in sonography, you'll have the education needed for entry-level diagnostic technician jobs in hospitals, clinics, and doctor's offices. You'll also have the academic background needed for industry-standard certification exams.

Certification can boost your career potential because many insurers require their patients to have tests performed by certified technicians. It's also a prerequisite for licensure, which you'll need to work in certain states.

Schools offer both general and specialized sonography degrees. If you're interested in a specialization, check out these popular options:

What Specialties Are Available in Sonography?

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    Abdominal Sonography

    This specialization focuses on organs and systems located in the abdomen. You'll learn about noninvasive imaging techniques for examining the abdominal aorta and the bile ducts, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and spleen.
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    Breast Sonography

    According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. Breast sonography helps detect problems early, supporting prompt treatment and a better chance of recovery.
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    Cardiac Sonography

    Cardiac sonographers create diagnostic images of the heart and the major blood vessels leading in and out of it. You'll help doctors diagnose heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
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    Musculoskeletal Sonography

    People regularly suffer injuries and medical conditions affecting their muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Musculoskeletal sonographers help doctors pinpoint these problems and develop treatment plans for resolving them.
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    Obstetric and Gynecologic Sonography

    Obstetrics is a medical concentration focused on midwifery and childbirth. Gynecology centers on the female anatomy with an emphasis on the reproductive systems. Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers build dual specializations in these areas.
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    Vascular Sonography

    Dangerous blockages and blood clots can occur throughout the body's arterial and venous systems. Vascular sonographers specialize in diagnostic imaging techniques involving the arteries, veins, and blood-flow assessments.

How Much Can I Make With a Sonography Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical sonographers earned a median salary of $78,210 as of May 2022. That's excellent pay for a professional with an associate-level degree.

The BLS also reported the following medians for sonographers working in specific settings:

Outpatient Care
$83,890

Diagnostic Labs
$72,990

Doctor's Offices
$66,470

Hospitals
$62,060

Hospitals pay less than some other settings, but they're the leading source of employment. According to the BLS, about three-quarters of all sonographers work in hospitals.

The BLS also paints a rosy picture for sonographers with respect to near-term job growth. From 2022–2032, labor market demand for sonographers figures to rise by a healthy 10%.

What to Look for in an Online Associate in Sonography Program

The best online associate in sonography programs share multiple key features. Major examples include accreditation and practical training components. You shouldn't consider programs hosted at unaccredited institutions, and field training reinforces class-based learning while helping you master essential technical skills.

As you compare online sonography associate degrees, pay special attention to these program features:

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    Accreditation

    Accredited institutions meet high academic standards as determined by trustworthy third-party agencies. It ensures employers, certification organizations, and other schools will recognize your degree.
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    Clinical Experience or Practicum or Field Placement

    A quality online associate in sonography will always include field training. This can take the form of a clinical internship, practicum, or work-study program. Your school should help you find an appropriate placement.

    Classroom-based coursework and practical training are equally important. However, you might feel more prepared for your first job if your program includes longer fieldwork requirements.
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    School Graduation Rate

    Graduation rates provide you with helpful clues about a program's relative difficulty. For instance, if you find a school with a high admission rate but a low graduation rate, their program might be on the harder side.

    However, you shouldn't necessarily let lower graduation rates discourage you. Harder programs challenge you, but their academic rigor also rewards you with deeper knowledge and more complete skills.
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    Hybrid Learning Format and Requirements

    Hybrid programs blend face-to-face and online coursework. Synchronous online courses involve live lectures at set times, while asynchronous courses use pre-recorded lectures that you can engage with whenever it's most convenient. Consider which model you prefer as you evaluate your program options.

    Also, research the program's technology requirements. You might need to upgrade your computer equipment, network connection, or both. That can impact your overall costs.

The Best Online Associate in Sonography Programs of 2024

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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#1 Best Online Associate in Sonography Programs of 2024

State Fair Community College

  • Sedalia, MO
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $351-$466

Out-of-State | $482-$532

Credits to Graduate: 80.5-82.5

The associate of applied science (AAS) in diagnostic medical sonography from State Fair Community College includes online courses and on-campus labs in Sedalia, Missouri. During your last three semesters, you will work under supervision at a clinical site four days a week while taking online courses.

Sonography students can choose a general or cardiac track. You can apply to both tracks but may select only one after acceptance into this 22-month hybrid program.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,200
Out-of-state
$5,688
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
60%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,785
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
74% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#2 Best Online Associate in Sonography Programs of 2024

Santa Fe College

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $107

Out-of-State | $383

Credits to Graduate: 80

If you plan to live and work in Florida, an associate of science (AS) in diagnostic medical sonography from Santa Fe College will prepare you for state licensure exams. The program trains entry-level sonographers in neurosonology, abdominal, obstetrics/gynecology, and vascular sonography.

The program takes five semesters to complete and includes both online and on-campus courses in Gainesville. The curriculum requires student availability Monday through Friday to attend classes and clinical internship hours in Florida hospitals. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,872
Out-of-state
$7,418
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,830
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

What Can I Expect From an Online Sonography Program

Expect to spend about two calendar years earning your online associate in sonography. You should also know that quality online associate in sonography programs always have some in-person requirements. Thus, they are technically hybrid programs.

Core online coursework can use a synchronous or asynchronous delivery model. If you strongly prefer one or the other, you'll have to take this into account when choosing a school.

Your in-person requirements should include a clinical internship, practicum, or work-study component. You might also have to participate in face-to-face lab studies.

Field training helps you practice and develop your skills under the supervision of an experienced sonographer. You'll need it to build your knowledge and confidence.

What Are the Admission Requirements for Associate Degrees in Sonography?

You can start preparing to enter an online associate in sonography program while you're still in high school. Take science courses, especially in anatomy, physics, and human biology. Blend in advanced math classes too.

Schools set their own admission standards, and they vary. However, here's a general idea of what to expect:

Admission Materials

Beyond your application, you'll need to furnish your academic transcripts from high school or college, if you've already attended one. Application fees may apply.

Education

Sonography programs often require you to have college-level credits in human anatomy and physiology, physics, algebra, and statistics. You might also have to pass a pre-entrance test like the ATI TEAS exam.

GPA

Schools usually look for grades of B or C (or better) in your prerequisite courses. In terms of GPA, you can use 2.50 as a ballpark figure for the minimum requirement.

How Much Does a Sonography Associate Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), ion-state learners paid an average of $3,564 in annual tuition and fees for public two-year colleges in 2021–22. Out-of-state learners paid an average of $8,415.

Schools determine their program costs individually. Key factors include:

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    School type (public or private)
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    Your location (in-state students at public colleges usually pay less)
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    Enrollment status (part-time or full-time)

Beyond tuition and required fees, you might also face additional online program costs. These may include technology fees, along with the costs of any computer equipment, software licenses, and data connections you might need.

Financial aid can help you manage or lower your costs. First, look for scholarships and grants. These do not require repayment. Many sources specifically offer scholarships for healthcare students.

Use federal or private loans as a last resort. This will limit the amount of debt you'll carry at graduation.

Average Annual Tuition Cost of an Associate Degree, 2021-2022

Public Institution
$3,564

Private Institution
$16,579

NCES

Everything Else You Need to Know About Online Associate in Sonography Programs

What is the best online school for sonography?

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Missouri's State Fair Community College and Florida's Santa Fe College made our list. However, many other accredited schools host quality sonography programs. If you're open to hybrid or traditional face-to-face learning, you'll have access to a wider selection of qualified learning opportunities.

What is the difference between an associate and bachelor's in sonography?

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Associate degrees usually cover 4-5 semesters of study. If you study full-time, you can graduate in around two years. Bachelor's programs are typically eight semesters, or four academic years. Associate programs provide career-focused training and develop adaptable skills you can build on through experience. Bachelor's programs are deeper and more rigorous.

Can you become a sonographer online?

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You can complete your academic requirements online, but worthwhile sonography programs always include field training components. You will need to complete these requirements in person. Your field training may include a clinical internship, practicum, or work-study program in a hospital or private health clinic.

How do I get an associate degree in sonography?

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Find an accredited school offering a sonography degree or specialization that interests you, research admission requirements, and apply. If you don't already have the necessary academic background, some schools will let you take prerequisite courses to fill in your knowledge gap.

Once enrolled, apply yourself. Attend all your classes and complete all your assignments. You'll need to meet the minimum GPA requirements to be able to graduate.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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