Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Diagnostic Medical Sonography involves the use of high frequency sound waves to image most structures within the human body. A special device, known as a transducer, is placed in contact with the patient's skin. The transducer produces pulses of ultrasound which are sent into the body. The high frequency sound waves are then reflected off of various tissues or organs and travel back to the transducer to produce an image of specific anatomy. Physicians can than evaluate the images to make a medical diagnosis.

The procedure is commonly known as a sonogram or ultrasound examination and can be used to examine many parts of the body such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, uterus, heart, fetus, blood vessels, and breast. There are various specialties within Diagnostic Medical Sonography to include: abdomen and superficial structures, obstetrics/gynecology, breast, neurosonography, ophthalmology, musculoskeletal, vascular, adult echocardiography and pediatric echocardiography.

The highly skilled professional who performs the ultrasound examination is known as a diagnostic medical sonographer. This professional is a key member of the health care team and provides individualized care to a variety of patients using high technology instrumentation to create and interpret images of internal organs, tissues, and blood flow.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a rapidly expanding health care profession and the need for sonographers continues. The number of diagnostic medical sonography procedures continues to increase. The equipment manufacturers continue to rapidly develop new technologies. Growth is projected to continue and graduates have opportunities for employment in: hospital ultrasound departments, clinics, physicians' private offices, mobile services, management and administration, sales and product development with equipment manufacturers, application/education specialist, marketing, education and research.

Students seriously considering the program are strongly encouraged to arrange a visit to an ultrasound department. We recommend that you spend several hours observing the activities of the department. This is to ensure you are better informed of the responsibilities you will gradually assume during the academic and clinical courses while at FHSU and eventually within the profession.

The Department of Allied Health has expanded its course offerings with the addition of a dedicated ultrasound curriculum in the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program. The dedicated ultrasound tract encompasses a 21-month sequenced curriculum of full-time study designed to prepare entry-level sonographers to meet the community's need for qualified and competent sonographers. The curriculum will prepare students to master sonography concepts and techniques through an integration of sequenced didactic and clinical components. Students first learn concepts and techniques in the classroom. In addition, students have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the corresponding laboratory sessions prior to placement of the assigned clinical experience. Once students demonstrate competence in simulated procedures, students will spend 12 months performing ultrasound procedures at one of the clinical affiliates under the supervision of one or more registered sonographers. A significant component of the ultrasound tract is the extensive clinical experience. Students will be exposed to a large volume and variation of examinations to obtain the skills necessary to perform in a specific ultrasound specialty.

Students will have the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Diagnostic Imaging degree with emphasis in ultrasound or an award of certificate upon completion. Furthermore, upon successful completion of the required curriculum, they would be eligible for registry examination in general physics and instrumentation, abdomen and superficial structures, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular physics and instrumentation and vascular technology.

The Department of Allied Health is located at 129 Cunningham Hall on the FHSU campus. Students complete lecture courses in a classroom that is fully mediated. In addition, an ultrasound laboratory is also available and equipped with ultrasound machines capable of imaging and recording sonographic examinations. Students learn the principles and practices of ultrasound examinations in the classroom and then apply them in the laboratory setting. Once students complete requirements of the on-campus didactic and laboratory courses, they will apply the knowledge at the clinical setting. At the various clinical facilities, students will perform patient examinations under the direct supervision of qualified staff.

The detailed sequenced curriculum begins each Fall semester:

Semester I - Fall

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography I (1 Credit Hour)
  • Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation I (2 Credit Hours)
  • Abdominal Ultrasound Procedures I (2 Credit Hours)
  • Obstetric/Gynecology Ultrasound Procedures I (2 Credit Hours)
  • General Ultrasound Procedures Laboratory (2 Credit Hours)
  • Vascular Ultrasound Procedures I (2 Credit Hours)
  • Vascular Ultrasound Procedures I Laboratory (2 Credit Hours)

13 Credit Hours

Semester II - Spring

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography II (1 Credit Hour)
  • Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation II (2 Credit Hours)
  • Abdominal Ultrasound Procedures II (2 Credit Hours)
  • Obstetric/Gynecology Ultrasound Procedures II (2 Credit Hours)
  • General Ultrasound Procedures Laboratory II (2 Credit Hours)
  • Vascular Ultrasound Procedures II (2 Credit Hours)
  • Vascular Ultrasound Procedures II Laboratory (2 Credit Hours)

13 Credit Hours

Semester III - Summer

  • DMS Clinical Experience I (4 Credit Hours)
  • Clinical Sonography I (2 Credit Hours)

6 Credit Hours

Semester IV - Fall

  • DMS Clinical Experience II (6 Credit Hours)
  • Clinical Sonography II (2 Credit Hours)
  • Ultrasound Imaging of Superficial Structures (1 Credit Hour)
  • Neurosonography (1 Credit Hour)
  • Ultrasound Imaging of the Breast (2 Credit Hours)

12 Credit Hours

Semester V - Spring

  • DMS Clinical Experience III (6 Credit Hours)
  • Clinical Sonography III (2 Credit Hours)
  • Advanced Ultrasound Seminar (3 Credit Hours)

11 Credit Hours

Total Credits
Didactic: 33 Credit Hours
Clinical Experience: 22 Credit Hours
55 Credit Hours

Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

GENERAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS TO THE COLLEGE: Applicants to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program's Diagnostic Medical Sonography component must meet the general admission requirements to Fort Hays State University. Students may contact the admission office for an application or can apply online.

Students applying for admission to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program must meet one of the following criteria:

Students must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED) and qualify in at least one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a two year accredited program in Radiology Technology
  • Successful completion of a clinically related two year AMA recognized allied health training program
  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree
  • Successful completion of 60 credit hours in a health care related field or with an emphasis in science/math


All candidates must successfully complete the prerequisite courses with a minimum of a 'C' or better and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. The prerequisite courses are:

  • Human Biology and Lab or Equivalent
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II with Lab or equivalent
  • College Algebra
  • Physical Science or one semester of college Physics or equivalent
  • Medical Terminology
  • Introduction to Computer Information Systems or equivalent
  • English Composition I
  • English Composition II
  • Introduction to Oral Communication or equivalent
  • Principles of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

***Recommended course: Cross Sectional Anatomy: Normal

Consideration for admission to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program's dedicated ultrasound tract is an application process. This application process requires the student meet the prior criteria, but meeting the criteria does not guarantee admission. In addition, the student must complete and submit a complete application file by April 1 of each year. It is anticipated that the number of qualified applicants will exceed the number of positions in the program. Students are advised that not all qualified applicants are admitted to the program.

Acceptance into the ultrasound tract is through a selection process. Following the April 1 application deadline, complete application files will be reviewed. The 25 most qualified applicants will be invited to campus to interview with the Program Selection Committee in May. Applicants who do not receive an interview may reapply the following year and must comply with the application process.

The Program Selection Committee is comprised of FHSU faculty and affiliate clinicians. All students will be considered for clinical placement at any of the current affiliate clinical facilities at the time of the interview process. Prior to the interview, the student will be asked to prioritize their preferences of available clinical sites for their assigned clinical placement. The decision of the committee is based upon information provided in the student's application. The record of academic achievement, nature of experiences within the medical field, knowledge of diagnostic ultrasound, letters of recommendation, and perceived communications skills, motivation and maturity will all be considered.

Student acceptance letters will be mailed in May. A student who receives an acceptance letter will be required to return a confirmation within a specific time frame to secure their space in the class. Failure to return the confirmation by the specified date will result in forfeiture of the student's space in the class.

Upon selection to the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Program with emphasis in ultrasound, all students must be certified in specific CPR prior to placement in the clinical facility. In addition, students must complete a background check through a specified company, provide proof of vaccinations and complete a physical examination by a medical doctor.

The application deadline for the diagnostic medical sonography dedicated tract is April 1. The completed application, official transcripts from colleges where all previous or current coursework was completed, letters of reference, and the applicant's personal statement must be received by the deadline for consideration. Incomplete application files will not be considered.

Through the application and selection process, approximately 12 students will begin the curriculum each fall semester. The number of students selected will be subject to available clinical facilities and the number of qualified applicants.

If would like to learn more about a career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Allied Health Department. The faculty invite you to visit the FHSU campus and meet the faculty within the program.

FHSU Allied Health Department
Cunningham Hall 129
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
(785) 628-5678

Download the PDF file: Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Information Packet

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