Although there are currently only two schools in the country that offer a Master of Health Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, individuals enrolled in this program may learn how to use ultrasound technology to create images of the interior of the human body. Prior to enrolling in this program, students may need to fulfill specific prerequisites, such as possessing a bachelor’s degree and completing certain required courses. They may also need to submit GRE scores and transcripts as well as have a minimum cumulative GPA. The master’s program may include specializations in vascular sonography, diagnostic medical sonography, obstetrics/gynecology, echocardiography, and abdomen. Upon completion of the program, graduates may be eligible to sit for certification examinations. Popular programs include:
- Nova Southeastern University
Located in Tampa, Florida, Nova Southeastern University offers a Master’s Degree in Cardiovascular Sonography. Students who currently hold a bachelor’s degree may complete the coursework for the master’s program in 27 months. Coursework within the program may include ethical issues in healthcare, research methods, principles of management in healthcare, and writing for medical publication. Students may also need to complete an 80-hour internship at a healthcare facility and write an analysis on the organization upon completion. They may also need to complete a practicum under the supervision of a faculty advisor where they may develop disease-prevention interventions for the underserved populations.
- University of Missouri-Columbia
The University of Missouri-Columbia also offers a master’s degree program; Master of Health Science in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) for its vascular and general tracks, the program is year round and has clinical training sites located at more than 25 locations in Missouri. In the beginning of the program, students spend as many as five days per week at a clinical rotation found at hospitals and other clinical settings. As each semester passes, students spend fewer days at the rotation and more time at a lecture, laboratory, or working on coursework. Among core curriculum within this program may include clinical pharmacology, vascular ultrasound, superficial organ ultrasound, and ultrasound physics.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for ultrasound technicians are expected to increase by 46% from 2012 to 2022. The BLS also reported that in 2013 the median annual salary of diagnostic medical sonographers was $$66,400, while the median hourly salary was $$31.93. Most graduates of master’s degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography may find employment in healthcare, industrial, or educational settings. Graduates may find positions in education where they supervise clinical training, in manufacturing where they create ultrasound technology equipment, or in performing ultrasounds on patients. Examples of common ultrasound specialties may include:
- Echocardiography (Cardiac)
- Ophthalmic (Eye)