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Idaho State University

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Program Description

  • Our program offers a certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. This program will prepare you for a career as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. A Sonographer performs diagnostic ultrasound imaging in the health care setting.
  • The duration of the program is 3 consecutive semesters beginning in the summer. During the first 2 weeks of the program, students spend time on campus in class and labs learning the basics of ultrasound imaging and practicing scanning techniques in labs. From there, students will spend 1 day each week on campus in class and labs; the other 4 days of the week students will be at hospitals and facilities practicing ultrasound imaging on patients under the supervision of certified sonographers.
  • Upon completion of the program each student will have completed approximately 1,700 hours of didactic and clinical education and will be prepared to take the national ARDMS certification exam in Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) as well as one of the specialty content area exams (abdomen, breast, or OB/GYN) to receive the title of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, RDMS.
  • Curriculum taught in the program includes: patient care, patient interactions and management, sonography principles and instrumentation, image acquisition and technical evaluation, equipment operation and quality assurance, sonography procedures, abdominal sonography, OB/GYN sonography, vascular sonography, breast sonography, superficial structures, research principles, case studies, and sonography registry review.


Applicants must possess current ARRT RT(R) registration and certification (or be a student eligible to take the ARRT radiography exam). Verification of credentials required.

Physical Requirements

You may be required to pull up or reposition patients in bed, lift supplies, place equipment on supports, push beds throughout the hospital, and perform external cardiac compressions. You must also be able to maneuver throughout halls, stairways, and patient rooms in response to hospital emergencies. You will also need to make clinical judgments using critical thinking.

Why Attend the ISU DMS Program?

  • Class sizes are small with 6-8 students accepted each year
  • Labs utilize "state of the art" simulation equipment
  • Students will complete over 1,300 hours of clinical experience which prepares them for real world experiences in sonography imaging
  • The cost is the same for all students regardless of residency (i.e. in-state or out-of-state)

Our Mission

The mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to provide students with both the academic and technical foundations to competently and safely perform sonography exams and procedures, to prepare qualified diagnostic medical sonographers who will ethically respond to the needs of patients with technical competence and compassion, and to assume a vital professional role as a medical team member.