Diagnostic Medical Sonography


The DMS program is not an entry level health care program. The program is a career opportunity for working health care professionals. The program is competitive due to clinical availability and there is a point scoring system. Click on this link to see the DMS point system.

The DMS program and the Radiology program are closely related, they are both diagnostic imaging modalites. We offer joint "Information Sessions". These sessions are for you to find out more about these Medical Imaging programs and the requirements. Please sign up to attend either DMS or Radiology Informational sessions through this Radiology link. (It will not ask you if you are interested in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, but you will still sign up on the same link) If you are only interested in DMS you may attend the last half hour for the DMS session when you arrive.

2013 Program Information and Application Packet is now available. 

The next DMS class is scheduled to start in Fall 2013.

Applications for the Fall 2013 class will be accepted May 1st to June 30th,2013. (Late applications cannot be accepted.)

Here is the list of Prerequisites and Program courses: (Program of Study) Please NOTE changes for 2013.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some updated questions and web links that may help you decide if the exciting field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is the right career choice for you.

           When does the program start?

The next cohort is scheduled to begin fall 2013. The application packet is attached that provides the information on the program, our mission and goals, the process, timeline, and other information. Please note: the DMS program is not an entry level health care program.

          What is the DMS 101 Class?

This Introduction to Sonography lecture/lab course is an excellent course to start your DMS Career! It is a required core course and it is currently offered only in the spring. It is a fast paced, fun hybrid course most often offered on Monday evenings. All students considering applying to the program for Fall 2013, should be enrolled in the Spring DMS 101 Introductory course beginning January 2013.  

 What do Professional Sonographers do on the job?

Sonographers operate computerized equipment using sound waves directed into a specific part of the body as prescribed by the patients Doctor. The Sonographer is an important part of the health care team that takes images and records their findings for interpretation by the Doctor to determine a diagnosis for the patient. This test is usually not painful, takes less than an hour on average, and is used for the male and female patients to examine a vast number of organs, blood vessels and the unborn fetus (OB) to determine normal or abnormal findings.

For more detailed information, please visit the website for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) at https://www.sdms.org

Sonographers working in the profession will tell you the tasks they perform every day are exciting, challenging, and that no two days are the same. You can learn more information on Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and about this profession, employment outlook, and salaries at Department of Labor Standard Occupational Code (SOC) by following this link: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos273.htm

          Are Sonographers and Ultrasound Technicians the same?

Sonographers are NOT technicians. A technician is someone who performs a task. Sonographers are registered professionals who work closely with Doctors to aid in patient diagnosis. Sonography is a very operator dependant modality in medical imaging.  Sonographers require high level critial thinking skills and acurate assessment skills to provide physicians with images and information that will aid in diagnostics. More information on Diagnostic Medical Sonography can be found at the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) web site: http://www.ardms.org

          What is the ARDMS?

The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) is the oldest certifying organization for the Sonography profession. Students who successfully complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography AAS degree are eligible to sit for the ARDMS examinations in Physics (SPI), Abdomen and Ob/Gyn. When you have passed the Physics examination and one other area of specialty you earn the title of Registered Sonographer (RDMS). There are other credentials and areas of certifications in Diagnostic Sonography, for more information, please go to the ARDMS web site:  http://www.ardms.org/

        How is the program structured at CAC?

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is a 2 year AAS degree program including summers. Most didactic courses are a mixture of face to face and online studies creating a hybrid learning experience. The DMS faculty has years of experience as educators and clinical Sonographers. Clinical rotations are assigned at locations throughout Pinal and Maricopa counties. The Fall 2010 was the official start of the full time program. In August 2012 we graduated our first class. A new class begins once a year in the Fall. The program is competitive; there are prerequisites and an application process. The program includes classroom and clinical hours. Upon the successful completion of the CAC program graduates will earn an AAS degree and be eligible to sit for the ARDMS examination.  

How many hours a week do I need to commit to in order to be successful in the Sonography program?

The clinical rotations and classes will require 35 hours per week during the day. The hours and locations will vary. You cannot work full time and attend this program. While some class days may end before 4pm, there is a large amount of study and homework. Students are required to attend clinical rotations and are not allowed to miss clinical hours. Students must also maintain a minimum 2.0 in every course to remain in the program. The labs are mandatory and the combination will require students to be available approximately 35 + hours per week. Please also note: a dependable car is required. Some clinical site assignments could require long distances and attendance in clinical rotations is critical to career success.

           What is the job outlook for Sonographers according to published data?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Department of Labor, the job market is better than average for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Here is the link: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos273.htm#nature (updated Thursday, March 29, 2012)

         Is the DMS Program at CAC Accredited?

Central Arizona College is accredited through the North Central Association of Schools and colleges. This organization grants institutional accreditation to the college and all the programs the college supports, including Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound.

        What skill sets are important for Sonographers?

Sonographers are people oriented; have analytical personalities, and are compassionate toward diverse populations. Sonographers are also skilled in fine motor skills and are in good mental and physical health. A good concept of spatial relations and the ability to 3D conceptualize along with the ability to understand physics concepts are all skill sets of an excellent sonographer. A high degree of patience and the ability to multi-task under stressful conditions are requirements to succeed in the profession.

         Where can I find the Application Packet and Program Information?

2013 Program Information and Application Packet is only available as a downloadable file from this website. We are not able to mail packets. Please be sure to copy your application materials for yourself. Applications once submitted will not be returned. 

        What are the prerequisites?

An AAS degree or higher in an allied health profession such as RN, RT, etc. are required for admission. You will need direct patient care experience and have general education prerequisites completed prior to admission.

          Where can I go for more information?

We urge you to meet with a CAC Advisor to get answers to any college related questions such as financial aid, transcripts, and general education requirements.

If you have additional questions regarding the DMS program, please contact the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Director, Dionne Winter, MSET, RDMS. Dionne.Winter@centralaz.edu or call 480-677-7716. Email is preferred.

Equal Opportunity Is the Law

It is against the law for this recipient of Federal financial assistance to discriminate on the following bases: against any individual in the United States, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief; and against any beneficiary of programs financially assisted under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), on the basis of the beneficiary's citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or his or her participation in any WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity. The recipient must not discriminate in any of the following areas: deciding who will be admitted, or have access, to any WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity; providing opportunities in, or treating any person with regard to, such a program or activity; or making employment decisions in the administration of, or in connection with, such a program or activity. The program is an equal opportunity employer/program and auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.



Content on this page is provided by DMS.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814