Best Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs of 2022

A bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography can provide a high return on investment. Learn more in our guide to the best programs.

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by Staff Writers

Published July 7, 2022

Edited by Colin Weickmann
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Diagnostic medical sonography is among the fields with the best return on investment on an associate or bachelor's degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned a median annual wage of $75,380. The top 10% of diagnostic medical sonographers made more than $101,650 annually that same year. The median annual wage for all U.S. careers was $45,760 in May 2021.

While many employers only require an associate degree for sonography positions, earning an online bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography can help you stand out from other candidates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition at four-year schools was $19,020 in 2020-2021. But the cost of a degree varies by school type, learning format, and in-state or out-of-state residency status.

www.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.

Ready to start your journey?

Read on to learn more about these healthcare degrees and the schools offering the best programs in the field.

Our Top Pick

Bellin College - Green Bay, Wisconsin

Why It's #1: Bellin College (BC) is the number one ranked school on our 2022 Best Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs list. This institution maintains a direct-entry admissions policy, meaning that once students receive acceptance to the school, they automatically gain entry to their program of choice. A strong 86% of students who enroll at BC ultimately graduate. BC awards financial aid to 97% of its students, making the Green Bay, Wisconsin school an affordable option for all learners.

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2022 Best Accredited Bachelor's in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

Bellin College

School Information
Location Green Bay, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 100%
Graduation Rate 86%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $998 per program credit; $324 per general education credit
Out of State | $998 per program credit; $324 per general education credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, BC offers a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography program that takes place mostly online. Students complete all didactic coursework online along with a two-day on-campus clinical intensive each fall semester. Learners can complete the 1,200-hour clinical requirement at placement sites arranged by the school.

Students also pick from either general vascular or cardiovascular concentrations. Applicants must submit proof of a high school or GED diploma. 

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#2

Kettering College

School Information
Location Kettering, Ohio
Admission Rate 22%
Graduation Rate 45%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $706
Out of State | $706

Credits to Graduate
131-134

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Based in Kettering, Ohio, KC provides a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography program that boasts a 96% job placement rate. The program's major curriculum includes relevant courses like morality and medicine, echocardiography, and obstetrical sonography. Students also take clinical sonography and medical terminology courses. All students complete a capstone seminar and a clinical externship before they graduate. 

Prospective students need a minimum 2.8 GPA on all prerequisite courses. KC gives admission preference to students who have completed six or more prerequisite course hours at the school. 

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#3

Seattle University

School Information
Location Seattle, Washington
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,118
Out of State | $1,118

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Located in Seattle's Cherry Hill neighborhood, SU offers a bachelor of science program in diagnostic ultrasound with a student-to-faculty ratio of 8-to-1. When they enroll in the program, students can choose from three tracks including general, vascular, and cardiac. In all cases, learners must complete 180 credits, including a hands-on clinical experience at once of SU's local partner placement sites. 

Prospective students must complete prerequisites such as lab physics and chemistry. First-year students can choose to submit ACT or SAT scores if they wish.

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#4

Bryan College of Health Sciences

School Information
Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 56%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $597
Out of State | $597

Semester Hours to Graduate
120 or 136

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Bryan College of Health Sciences offers two relevant bachelor's programs in sonography — one in diagnostic medical sonography and another in adult cardiac and vascular sonography. The adult cardiac and vascular sonography program requires 136 semester hours to graduate, while the diagnostic medical sonography program requires 120. Both curricula include over 1,000 clinical hours and significant major coursework in areas like critical reasoning and sonography technical standards. 

Applicants need a minimum 2.75 high school GPA, including a minimum 2.75 GPA in all math and science courses. 

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#5

Quinnipiac University

School Information
Location Hamden, Connecticut
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 77%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost of Tuition per Year
In State | $49,170
Out of State | $49,170

Credits to Graduate
121

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Hamden, Connecticut, Quinnipiac offers a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography program that boasts a 100% job placement success rate for the 2021 graduating class. The program's 121-credit curriculum includes relevant courses like musculoskeletal sonography, vascular sonography, and sonography physics and instrumentation. Learners also complete multiple practica and clinical sonography experiences at placement sites in the field. 

Prospective students must submit high school transcripts, an essay, and at least one letter of recommendation. 

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#6

Rochester Institute of Technology

School Information
Location Rochester, New York
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,817
Out of State | $1,817

Credits to Graduate
125

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Based in Rochester, New York, RIT offers a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography program. Students complete a one-year clinical internship at a minimum of two approved medical placement sites. The 125-credit curriculum includes relevant courses like obstetrical sonography, abdominal and small parts sonography, and clinical sonography. Learners also study administration and research in sonography. 

While there is no minimum GPA requirement for admission, prospective students must demonstrate "strong performance" in their high school courses. 

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#7

Lewis University

School Information
Location Romeoville, Illinois
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,056
Out of State | $1,056

Credit Hours to Graduate
149

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based out of Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis offers a 3+1 bachelor of science program in diagnostic medical sonography that requires 149 credits. The curriculum blends foundational biology courses with relevant sonography-specific courses in areas like principles of ultrasound physics. Students also take courses in ultrasound image critique, abdominal sonography, and sectional imaging anatomy sonography. In addition, learners complete multiple lab courses and a clinical experience in the field. 

Prospective students must submit proof of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

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#8

Concordia University-Wisconsin

School Information
Location Mequon, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $673
Out of State | $673

Credits to Graduate
120-143

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Located in Mequon, Wisconsin, CUW offers a bachelor of science program in diagnostic medical sonography that allows students to pursue a concentration in either general/vascular sonography or cardiac/vascular sonography. Noteworthy courses in the major curriculum include human anatomy and physiology, medical law and ethics, and medical terminology. 

Prospective students who apply to the general/vascular concentration receive first consideration for the program. Applicants need at least eight hours of job shadowing and must submit an essay. 

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#9

University of Nebraska Medical Center

School Information
Location Omaha, Nebraska
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $259
Out of State | $815

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, UNMC offers a bachelor's program in diagnostic medical sonography that takes 12 months, or three semesters, to complete. Students in the program choose between a general track, which focuses on the abdomen, pelvis, and fetus, and a cardiovascular track, which focuses on the blood vessels, heart, and circulatory system. The program maintains small class sizes of 18 students. 

Prospective students must hold a high school or GED diploma. Learners who have already completed a radiology program can also pursue UNMC's program as a post-baccalaureate certificate. 

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#10

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

School Information
Location Little Rock, Arkansas
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $152
Out of State | $348

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, UAMS offers a bachelor's program in diagnostic medical sonography that admits a cohort of 13 full-time students each fall semester. Students choose between several specialties, which include vascular sonography and adult echocardiography. In both cases, students complete 120 credits of coursework covering relevant topics like abdominal sonography and obstetrics and gynecology. 

UAMS makes admission decisions based on written and oral communication, leadership and professionalism, and academic aptitude.

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Popular Online Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs

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

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Bachelor's in Diagnostic Medical Sonography ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 62 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Frequently Asked Questions About Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs

Is a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography worth it?

Yes. However, the value of any degree heavily depends on each prospective student's goals, means, and circumstances. But for most students, a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography is worth the investment.

Most bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography programs provide a high return on investment. Many schools that offer these programs provide affordable tuition rates, especially for online learners. Upon graduation, students may begin careers that pay median annual salaries above the average of $45,760 for all U.S. jobs.

What can I do with a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography?

It depends on your speciality or concentration. Many bachelor's degree-holders in diagnostic medical sonography pursue careers as medical sonographers. However, depending on your specialization, you can also pursue careers as cardiovascular technicians or technologists. Or, you can focus on a specific part of the body, such as the abdomen or pelvis.

Job titles may vary, but most bachelor's degree-holders in diagnostic medical sonography end up pursuing careers as some kind of medical imaging expert.

What continuing education is available for diagnostic medical sonography graduates?

It is uncommon for bachelor's degree-holders in diagnostic medical sonography to pursue advanced degrees in the field. A bachelor's degree qualifies you for most medical imaging positions, and some employers only ask for an associate degree or sonography certificate.

However, if you get certified with the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians, you must complete at least 24 continuing education credits every two years to maintain your certification. Continuing education opportunities vary and may include workshops and online courses.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography?

According to the BLS, as of May 2021, diagnostic medical sonographers earned a median annual wage of $77,740. As of that same month, cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $60,570. Well-paying industries for diagnostic medical sonographers included outpatient care centers and medical and diagnostic laboratories.

Keep in mind that no single degree can guarantee you a specific job. Furthermore, salary potential for sonographers depends on several factors, including experience, education, employer, and location.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in diagnostic medical sonography?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography is likely working as a sonographer in an outpatient care center. According to the BLS, as of May 2021, diagnostic medical sonographers working in these professional environments earned a mean annual wage of $109,670.

You may be able to earn a high salary working in a different medical industry if you have several years of experience.

Feature Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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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