Undergraduate Catalog: 2021-22

Diagnostic Medical Sonography AS

Program Overview

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at the University of Saint Francis engages diverse, lifelong learners in an atmosphere of academic and clinical excellence permeated by Franciscan values. A sonographer uses a transducer that produces sound waves into the body to visualize anatomy, physiology, and pathology. They are required to provide static and cine imaging along with detailed information to the interpreting physician. Diagnostic medical sonographers encompass scanning multiple areas of the body but specialize their certifications.  Students will complete studies for general (abdomen/obstetrics) and/or vascular certifications. The 3-year curriculum provides a balance of online classes, on campus laboratory instruction, and clinical education experiences that will support the University’s educational values of professionalism, leadership, social responsibility, faith, and spiritual development. The first year is dedicated to General Education courses. The Professional Sequence encompasses years 2 and 3, where the student will focus on sonography instruction and application. A professional sequence will begin every Fall semester. The final year the student will gain necessary experience with a heavy clinical presence. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree is able to be applied towards bachelor’s degree options at USF.

Program Goals

To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. The program will provide high quality didactic, lab, and clinical atmospheres for learning. Student sonographers will be able to think critically and compassionately. Understanding the complexities of healthcare, not limited to areas of equality, service, integrity, and ethics, will be a focus of the program. Through these goals the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at the University of Saint Francis will continue to serve our healthcare communities.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
  2. Perform appropriate procedures and record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data for interpretation by a physician.
  3. Exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic and/or other diagnostic services.
  4. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills with patients and colleagues.
  5. Act in a professional and ethical manner.
  6. Provide patient education related to medical ultrasound and promote principles of good health.

Accreditation/Licensure

Graduates of the DMS program are eligible to take the national certification exams offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) OR the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Successful completion of the examination(s) entitles the graduate to practice as a registered sonographer.

At this time state licensing is only mandated from the following: New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oregon.

Degree Requirements

74 credit hours are required for Degree completion.

Program of Studies

  • General Education: 21 credit hours
    • BIOL 221, BIOL 222, ENGL 101, MATH 132, SCIE 273, THEO 105, PSYCH 121
  • Professional Sequence: 53 credit hours
    • DMS 125, DMS 130, DMS 150, DMS 152, DMS 156, DMS 158, DMS 162, DMS 164, DMS 168, DMS 170, DMS 175, DMS 200, DMS 260, DMS 270, DMS 280, DMS 290

Admission Requirements

The University of Saint Francis accepts a limited number of students each year into this academically competitive program. Candidates will be considered for admission to the program who:

  1. Submit all previous academic transcripts of attempted coursework and upon review:
    • A minimum admissions GPA of 2.70 in high school or on a minimum of 12 college credits. GPAs presented to the Admissions Committee for each applicant will be a cumulative record of all college-level work.
  2. Meet one of the following criteria for admission:
    • Take the Ultrasound Student Assessment (USA) exam with a Combined Score above 0. (Zero is a baseline for being ‘more likely’ to do well in the field of Sonography.) A fee is assessed for the standardized testing of applicants.
    • SAT exam scores for admission are 1080 or higher.
    • ACT composite score of 19 or higher.
    • Attain a GPA of 3.2 or higher while taking a minimum of 12 semester hours of coursework at USF.
  3. Meet one of the following:
    • Graduate from an accredited high school with a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or above. Students who did not graduate from high school must have completed the General Education Development (GED) tests, with a composite score of at least 2,500 and no sub score below 500.
    • Earn 12 or more credit hours, in applicable college subjects, with cumulative GPA of 2.7 or above. At least three credits must be from a biological or physical science course with a lab component.
    • Possess an associate or higher-level degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher.
  4. Complete all prerequisite college courses with a grade of C or higher, conditional completion before entering the Professional Sequence
    • English Composition
    • Math: Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Trigonometry or higher-level course
    • Physics with a lab
    • Anatomy and Physiology I
    • Anatomy and Physiology II

Students who meet only one of the above Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) admission criterion may be admitted as a PreDMS student. Students meeting all but criterion number four may be admitted conditionally, upon completion of those courses in the first year.

Progression Requirements

To be in good academic standing, students must maintain a GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, a grade of 82 percent (C+) or higher in all professional courses, a “C” or higher in general education courses and achieve all clinical competencies required in each semester or summer session to advance in the program.

Graduation Requirements

All students will complete required credits indicated in the program’s curriculum plan with a cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale for eligibility to graduate.