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The Bachelor's degree in Diagnostic Sonography at IU School of Medicine is designed to prepare students for an entry-level position as a diagnostic sonographer in either the medical sonography or echocardiography concentrations.

Diagnostic Sonography

This 18-month, Bachelor of Science (BS) program offered by Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis is designed to prepare students for an entry-level position as a diagnostic sonographer in either the medical sonography or echocardiography concentrations. This program is intended for students who have completed the AS Radiography program or have other health care credentials or health care majors who have a minimum of 1,000 hours of verifiable patient care experience.


Students interested in the Diagnostic Sonography program are encouraged to apply by November 15.


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Why ultrasound and sonography matter

"Ultrasound isn't just a still photograph, it's actually a motion picture of what's going on inside the body. You can see the heartbeat or maybe a jet of urine shoot out of the ureter. It's seeing with sound. And sonographers are the ones who make that magic happen."

Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD

What is a diagnostic sonographer?

A diagnostic sonographer is an individual who uses ultrasound equipment to form images of various parts of the body. Sonographers are trained to perform procedures, record anatomical, pathological and/or physiological data, analyze images for quality, and integrate pertinent patient history to support interpretation by a physician. Diagnostic sonographers play an integral role in patient education related to sonographic services.

Medical Sonography Concentration

Sonogram of fetus

Students who enroll in the medical sonography concentration learn to create images of the body’s organs and tissues. Generally, these sonographers are employed in the radiology, vascular or OB ultrasound departments within the hospital, outpatient centers and physician offices. Students learn the examinations that medical sonographers perform. Further specialization in the last two semesters of the program is available for students who desire to concentrate in one aspect of medical sonography such as Obstetrics or Vascular Technology. Types of exams students learn:

  • Abdominal organs
  • Pelvic organs
  • Obstetric
  • Thyroid, Scrotal, Breast
  • Vascular exams

Echocardiography Concentration

Echocardiography Sonography Image

Students who enroll in the echocardiography concentration learn to create images of the heart and vascular system. Generally, these sonographers are employed in the cardiology department within the hospital, outpatient centers and physician offices. Some echocardiographers perform some vascular examinations, as well. Students learn the examinations echocardiographers perform. Further specialization in the last two semesters of the program is available for students who desire to concentrate on either adult echocardiography or pediatric echocardiography. Types of exams students learn:

  • Adult cardiac
  • Pediatric cardiac
  • Stress Echocardiography
  • Assist in cardiac procedures
  • Assist in Transesophogeal echocardiography
  • Vascular exams

Quick Facts

  • What type of degree will I earn from this program?
    Graduates will receive a Bachelor of Science degree and will be eligible to take specialty board examinations depending on their area of concentration.
  • What does the course load look like?
    The course load involves taking didactic courses, labs and clinical experiences from 8am- 4pm, Monday through Friday. Some evening hours may be required.
  • Are there any admission requirements?
    The advanced imaging program is open to individuals credentialed in radiography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, MRI, sonography, cat scan, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, nursing or physician assistant. Other health care related majors may be eligible upon review. Additionally, individuals without a previous medical imaging-related credential must prove 1,000 hours of direct patient care. Patient care clinical hours completed during the previous education program counts toward the 1,000 hours.
  • Can I work while in the program?

    Students may choose to work part-time while in the program. However, it is recommended students not work more than 10-12 hours per week. Working more than this may jeopardize the student’s ability to satisfactorily maintain program academic standards. Other employment responsibilities of the working student will not excuse the student from attendance of all academic, lab and clinical rotation experiences.

  • What is the program's Mission?
    The mission of the Indiana University School of Medicine Diagnostic Sonography Program is to advance health in the state of Indiana and beyond by providing quality education for its students and promoting excellence in the art and science of sonography. Guided by the vision and principles of the school, the program strives to provide academic and clinical experiences that produce competent and compassionate sonographers with a commitment to the performance of quality imaging and the pursuit of lifelong learning.
  • What are the program's values?

    The Radiologic and Imaging Sciences Programs faculty support the following values:

    • Student learning through the effective use of available educational opportunities including:
    • Entry-level professional programs, advanced level educational programs and continuing education offerings
    • Diverse patient populations
    • Cultural competence
    • Broad spectrum of technology and health facilities
    • Creative activity and research resulting from the collaboration of faculty and students
    • Ethical behavior and professional integrity in addition to technical competence
    • Civic engagement involved in collaborating with a variety of internal and external constituencies including health care facilities, professional organizations and IU Indianapolis, IU School of Medicine, and the Health Professions Program.
  • What are the program's goals?
    • Graduates will demonstrate clinical competency
    • Graduates will demonstrate effective communication skills
    • Graduates will think critically and apply problem solving skills in the health care environment
    • Graduates will demonstrate professional values
    • Graduates will have the knowledge of professional development and growth
    • To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the Abdominal Sonography-Extended or Adult Cardiac Sonography concentrations
  • What are the program's outcomes?

    At appropriate points during the Diagnostic Sonography Program, the student will be able to:

    • effectively perform diagnostic ultrasound procedures. (Psychomotor)
    • demonstrate appropriate knowledge of ultrasound procedures. (Cognitive)
    • effective oral communication skills with patients and clinical staff. (Affective)
    • demonstrate effective written communication skills. (Cognitive)
    • evaluate images and make appropriate adjustments to the protocol or optimization technique. (Psychomotor)
    • evaluate images for differential diagnoses. (Cognitive)
    • demonstrate appropriate professional values in the clinical setting. (Affective)
    • demonstrate an understanding of ethical obligations as described in the ARDMS Code of Ethics and Scope of Practice documents. (Cognitive)
    • demonstrate knowledge of professional development resources. (Cognitive)
    • successfully complete the program in 18-month
    • express confidence in the overall quality of their skills learned while in the program. (Affective)

    Program Student Learning Outcomes Medical Sonography

    Program Student Learning Outcomes Echocardiography

  • What is the Program Effectiveness Data?
  • Grievance Policy

    All student complaints regarding activities or decisions made in one of the Radiologic and Imaging Sciences Programs (RISP) will be handled in the following manner: 

    The student will submit the complaint in writing with appropriate documentation.  A complaint may be filed at any time.

    If the complaint regards a RISP policy, decision or, a RISP faculty member, the written complaint should be submitted to the RISP director. The complaint review procedure is as follows:

    1. The complaint will be reviewed by the RISP director who has the following options:
      1. Work out a reasonable solution with the student complainant
      2. Appoint a committee of non-involved individuals within 5 business days, excluding holidays, of the receipt of the complaint. The composition will include representation from the RISP faculty (one of which will be appointed as chairman) and may include an HPP faculty member not in RISP. Other appropriate persons may be added, as needed, to address the specific situation.
        • The committee will review the complaint, gather additional documentation, and make a recommendation on both the validity of the complaint and possible resolutions to the complaint. The recommendation will be made within 15 business days of the appointment of the committee.
        • The RISP director will review the committee recommendation, consult with department or school administration, if needed, and provide a written decision within 5 business days, excluding holiday, of receiving the committee's recommendation.
        • The RISP director is responsible for implementing changes, if any result from the resolution of the complaint.
    2. The complaining party will be informed of the result of the review process no later than 5 business days, excluding holidays, after a decision has been made.
    3. If the complaint is not resolved at the RISP level, the complaining party may appeal the decision through the HPP appeal policy.

    If the complaint regards the RISP director or an HPP policy, it should be submitted to the Director of the Health Professions Programs. These complaints will be reviewed according to HPP policy.

Northwest campus students train on ultrasound


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Program Faculty

6701-Peterson, Dina

Dina Peterson, MSEd, RT (R), RDMS (AB, OB), RDCS (AE), RVT

Director, Diagnostic Sonography Program

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DJ Engelhardt, MS, RDCS (AE)

Associate Faculty-Echocardiography

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42222-Miller, Jamie

Jamie Miller, BS, RDMS (AB, OB), RVT

Clinical Coordinator, Diagnostic Sonography Program

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Kellie Durcholz, BS, RT (R), RDCS (AE)

Associate Faculty-Echocardiography

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