Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

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AAS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

An instructor pointing to a diagnostic medical sonography image while the student as the patient looks on.

MCC student performing liver scan during ultrasound lab.

Enrollment Update: The Spring start for Naperville Campus is now closed as the cohort is full.

The next enrollment for Chicago Campus will open in May 2024 for the Fall 2024 cohort.

Looking to start sooner? Consider MCC’s Clinical Medical Assisting program at Chicago and Evergreen Park campuses, now enrolling for April 2024.

Midwestern Career College’s Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is designed to prepare students with the general education, applied knowledge, technical skills, and work habits required for entry-level positions in the diagnostic medical sonography field.

What is Diagnostic Medical Sonography? 

Diagnostic medical sonography utilizes high-frequency sound waves that produce images of organs, tissues and blood flow inside the body that help doctors diagnose patient illness. Sonographers typically work closely with patients and radiologists in health-care settings, including hospitals, diagnostic medical centers, mobile ultrasound companies, medical clinics, and physician’s offices.

The diagnostic medical sonographer utilizes medical ultrasound techniques to gather sonographic data used to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases. Typical tasks include registering patients, setting up appointments, operating the systems and performing ultrasound procedures.

Coursework includes routine clinical procedures, patient care, equipment handling and operation, as well as a clinical externship needed to train students for entry-level sonographer positions. 

Is a Diagnostic Medical Sonography (AAS) Program Right for You?

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If you’re looking to progress into a career that puts you into the action, excitement, and high responsibility of the operating room, this is the best degree for you.

Campus:Study format:Start date:
NapervilleHybridSpring 2024
Chicago MainHybridFall 2024
Program Length: 80 Instructional Weeks/5 Terms

What Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Do?

Diagnostic medical sonographers typically do the following:

  • Prepare patients for procedures by taking their medical history and answering any questions about the procedure
  • Prepare and maintain diagnostic imaging equipment
  • Operate equipment to obtain diagnostic images or to conduct tests
  • Review images or test results to check for quality and adequate coverage of the areas needed for diagnoses
  • Recognize the difference between normal and abnormal images, and identify other diagnostic information
  • Analyze diagnostic information to provide a summary of findings for physicians
  • Record findings and keep track of patients’ records

What else does a diagnostic medical sonographer do? Find out more about this career in the video below.

Career OneStop – Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Career Video


The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) recognizes Midwestern Career College’s Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program as an approved educational program for ARRT’s sonography certification and registration. Graduates of our Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography are eligible to sit for ARRT’s sonography exam after demonstration of the required competencies. You can find MCC’s listing on the ARRT website here.

ARRT certification is also a recognized prerequisite for ARDMS examination (see prerequisite 5 on page two of this application guide).

Graduates of Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program may qualify to sit for the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) certification through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) if prior to admission into this program, he or she has graduated from:

  • a two-year allied health educational program that is patient care related (prerequisite 1). Allied health occupations include, but are not limited to, diagnostic medical sonographer, radiologic technologist, respiratory therapist, physical therapist, and registered nurse;
  • or with a bachelor’s degree in any major (prerequisite 3A);
  • or after working for one year in the Ultrasound field from the date of graduation from MCC’s AAS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program (prerequisite 1);
  • or after earning the Sonography Certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) (prerequisite 5).

Per ARDMS General Prerequisites guide, “prerequisite requirements are subject to change at any time and from time to time. Applicants must meet current prerequisite requirements at the time of application.” For detailed prerequisite information students should refer to

Program Objectives

  • To provide education and training to students so they possess the knowledge and skills required for employment as entry-level sonographer
  • Provide individuals with didactic and hands-on lab education regarding the clinical skills in patient care, medical imaging procedures, patient positioning techniques, scanning principles, protocols and procedures
  • Prepare students to take and pass either the ARDMS or ARRT certification examinations
  • Prepare students to perform effectively as skilled allied health professionals with skills needed to meet the demand for quality employees


380 hours of externship are required for program completion.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth of 10% is projected from 2021–2031. The BLS also publishes data on career outlook and salary expectations. Check out job listings in the Chicagoland area for diagnostic medical sonographers on Indeed, Career Builder, and


The Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography follows the recommendations of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) Cardiac-Interventional and Vascular-Interventional Curriculum Guide and the joint committee of the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiological Sciences (AEIRS).

The curriculum addresses topics listed in the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) outline for the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation examination and follows the rules and regulations of the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Coursework includes classes such as:

  • Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation I and II
  • Scanning Principles and Protocols I, II, III and IV
  • Abdomen/Superficial Structures I, II, III and IV
  • Vascular Ultrasound
  • OB/GYN I and II

Admissions Contact Info


203 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60601

312-236-9000 ext. 1


International Admissions

100 South Wacker Drive, LL 1-55
Chicago, IL 60606

312-236-9000 ext. 2



Mon – Thu 9:00A.M. – 6:00P.M.

Fri 9:00A.M. – 4:00P.M.



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