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Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Our Program   Licensure/Certification Rates 
How to Apply
    Background Preparation    Clinical Experience     Faculty     Job Outlook

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Become a Sonographer. A sonographer obtains diagnostic images of internal organs and blood flow using sound waves to observe fetal growth or to study body organs. Image-producing echoes are collected, and these reflections of high-frequency sound waves – sonograms – are used to construct an image of a body organ. As a sonographer, once you have completed the exam you will present the images to a physician for interpretation and diagnosis.

Our Program

Our six-semester associate degree program includes classroom instruction, practice in skills lab and clinical experience in a variety of health care settings. You’ll learn both the art and the science of diagnostic imaging. We teach you to be a technically skilled and caring individual, excellent at critical thinking and problem solving. Our educational opportunities facilitate personal and professional development to contribute to your long-term success.

Our DMS program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the largest program accreditor in the health sciences field.

Once you successfully complete this program, you have the opportunity to advance into the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration or Health Science degree programs at Mercy College.

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Licensure and Certification First Time Pass Rates

National Percent (2011)

Mercy 3-year average

Number who passed exam or certification (last 3 years)

Number who took exam or certification (last 3 years)





How and When to Apply

We accept from 12 to 16 DMS students beginning each summer semester. Our program is divided into two tracks: 1) General, and 2) Cardiovascular.

Applications to the DMS program must be received by the Office of Admissions by January 5. Your admission into this program is on a competitive basis, so early application is encouraged. Following general College admission, students may enroll in Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) courses in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences prior to admission into the DMS program.

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Background Preparation

All applicants must achieve a "C" or higher in the following college level courses:

  • BIO 180 Human Anatomy (with lab)
  • ENG 101 English Composition I
  • MAT 120 College Algebra
  • MED 101 Medical Terminology
  • PHY 101 Physics (with lab)

Applicants who complete DMS admission requirements at Mercy College will be awarded additional points in the admission process. Completing Program admission requirements at Mercy College does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Clinical Experience

You will experience direct patient contact during your clinical experience at Mercy Medical Center. You’ll also work at Mercy affiliate locations and at many other leading health care organizations in central Iowa to gain hands-on learning throughout your course of study. 

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Our dedicated team includes a program chair, a DMS instructor and a clinical coordinator in addition to many medical professionals in clinical settings. Together, they assure you an exceptional level of personalized instruction.

Job Outlook

Once you have completed your DMS degree, you’ll have the knowledge and the clinical exposure you need to become a registered sonographer. Your job opportunities are very good, and our DMS graduates have found great jobs across the United States. Growth in this area of health care is expected to continue as sonography becomes an ever-increasing alternative to radiologic procedures. You’ll find more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website. 

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