Online Ultrasound Degree Programs

Ultrasound degree programs, or diagnostic medical sonography programs, teach students how to use ultrasound equipment to generate accurate images of the organs, tissues and body parts. You can now find a number of accredited ultrasound degree programs offered in an online format, but all schools require the student to pass the American Registry Diagnostic Sonography (ARDMS) credentialing exam in order to enter the field. Getting an online ultrasound degree can give you some flexibility with your schedule and in some cases, allow you to work at your own pace.

Getting an Ultrasound Degree Online

If you do decide to get your ultrasound degree online, you will need to be accepted into a degree program with at least an associate degree in sonography or a related field from an accredited school, or meet the school's basic admission requirements. Admission requirements for online programs vary slightly by school, but it's important to find an accredited program because accreditation will make you more attractive to future employers.

Most ultrasound degree programs, whether they are offered exclusively online or offline, require students to complete a certain number of general education courses with an emphasis on science, math and physics. Students can then move on to take specialized courses in imaging and sonography, such as advanced sonography, healthcare trends, diagnostic imaging, physics of ultrasound and medical sonography principles amongst others.

Since a good portion of the ultrasound degree program requires clinical experience, students who are completing an online program may be required to complete hands-on training at a local medical imaging center or other approved venue. Hands-on training allows students to work with some of the latest ultrasound equipment, go through mock testing and trials, learn about cleaning and maintaining equipment, and also work with different types of patients and professionals in the medical setting.

Accredited Ultrasound Degree Programs Online

Most online ultrasound degrees are two to four years in length, but students who already have a degree in this or a related field may be better candidates for a certification program.

Only a handful of schools and colleges in the United States offer accredited online ultrasound degree programs. In addition to offering an associate's degree in the field, some of these schools offer a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Associate's of Applied Science (AAS) and online certification programs in a particular specialty such as general, vascular or cardiac sonography.

You'll find accredited online ultrasound degree programs at:

  • Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (CAAHEP)
  • Jackson Community College
  • Mountain State University
  • Washburn University

Online Ultrasound Degree Specializations

Just as with ultrasound degree programs that can be completed at a college, university or tech school, some online ultrasound degree programs include specializations in areas such as vascular sonography or obstetric sonography. Students who choose a specialization may be able to advance in their careers and obtain more attractive positions shortly after graduation.

Online ultrasound degree specializations include:

  • Abdominal sonography - produces images of the abdominal area to detect problems related to the digestive and reproductive systems
  • Neurosonography - used to detect neurological defects and examine the nervous system, brain and central nervous system
  • Cardiac or vascular sonography - also known as echocardiography, students are trained to produce images of the heart valves and blood vessels
  • Breast sonography - training to detect breast cancer and tumors
  • Obstetric sonography - used to produce images of the female reproductive system