Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) is a technical science that deals with the use of ultrasound for diagnostic purposes in medicine. Sonographers use high-frequency sound waves to image structures within the body. Diagnostic Medical Sonography offers graduates employment in hospitals, clinics, and private offices. Skilled sonographers can advance to administrative, teaching, research, or sales positions as well as specialized concentrations within the profession. Additional information on the profession can be found at American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Inc.

student performing an ultrasoundThose who choose a career in sonography will become linked with the most advanced use of sound in medical diagnosis. They will be required to master scientific principles and technical skills and to cultivate professionalism and empathy for their patients.

This program of study is designed to provide didactic and clinical training in the field of general Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The student will receive training in the fields of acoustic principles, safety, abdominal, obstetrical, gynecologic, vascular, and small parts sonography. This program requires sixteen (16) months to complete. Students who complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program will receive a Certificate of Completion. Graduates of the program are eligible and encouraged to take professional certification examinations offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Inc. (ARDMS). This includes, but is not limited to, Abdomen; Breast; Obstetric & Gynecology; Sonography Principles & Instrumentation; and Vascular Technology board exams.


The Volunteer State Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited in the General Concentration by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS). This allows our students to register for any of the RDMS specialty national board exams 60 days before graduation.

6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500, Ellicott City, MD 21043
443-973-3251 phone | 866-738-3444 fax

9355 - 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775
727-210-2350 phone | 727-210-2354 fax

National Certification

While in enrolled in the DMS program, students will become eligible to register for multiple national board examinations. Students are strongly encouraged to register for the following American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exams:

  • Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI)
  • Abdomen (AB)
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB/GYN)
  • Vascular (VT)
  • Breast (BR)

Graduates passing the SPI in addition to either the AB, OB/GYN, or BR exam will earn the Registered Diagnostic Sonographer (RDMS) credential. Students may register for these exams 60-days prior to graduation.

Graduates passing the SPI and the VT exam will earn the Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) credential. Graduates may register for the vascular exam on the day of graduation.

The ARDMS offers several other specialty examinations, please refer to the ARDMS website for the most up-to-date information regarding the credentialing process.

Program Mission Statement & Program Goals

To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

This includes equipping students to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in appropriate didactic areas.
  2. Integrate knowledge into competency-based clinical experience.
  3. Apply skills to exceed the standards of the profession.
  4. Analyze clinical data.
  5. Write effectively in more than one format as part of the writing across the professional curriculum initiative.
  6. Provide excellent quality care to enrich and support the community through active engagement.
  7. Engage and maintain personal and professional relationships.

This program provides students with the opportunity to develop the technical knowledge and personal skills necessary for a career in the sonographic sciences. The curriculum is designed to combine compassion with integrity in order to shape a student into a skilled professional.

Professional Outlook

The job outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is very good. Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15 percent increase in the number of jobs between 2021 and 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth in Tennessee alone is projected at 27 percent during the same time. In 2022, the median wage of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers was $ 39.11 an hour, or $81,250 a year. In Tennessee, the rates were slightly lower, with a median of $35.60 an hour, or $74,040 a year.