How to Get Started
To get started in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, complete the admissions process at El Centro College. When you meet with an academic advisor, mention your interest in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. He or she can help you determine which courses you should take.
Before you apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, you must complete the entire Health Occupations Core Curriculum. The core curriculum includes selected general education support courses and health care-related courses that provide students with an introductory knowledge of the theory and application of health care concepts.
Attendance at an information session (held monthly at El Centro College Downtown Campus) is required and will address program admission, application and acceptance policies in detail. No advance reservation is necessary to attend an information session.
Get the information session schedule:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Information Packet
Get complete information on program admission requirements and application instructions in the information packet (PDF – 183KB).
Application and Selection for Specialized Imaging Programs
El Centro College offers associate degrees in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Echocardiology Technology and Pediatric Echocardiology Technology, referred to collectively as Specialized Imaging programs. These programs share the same competitive application and acceptance procedures via a point system comprised of scores on a personal interview, the HESI A2 test and the applicant’s cumulative grade point average on the Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum.
Prior to applying to one of the Specialized Imaging Programs, you must complete the entire Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum that is comprised of selected general education support courses and health care-related courses that provide an introductory knowledge of the theory and application of health care concepts.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program accepts 10 students every June. These 10 students are selected from certificate applicants and those students pursuing an associate degree through the Health Occupations Core Curriculum.
The 10 top-ranking applicants from the pooled applicant group are selected as the Diagnostic Medical Sonography class. Selection is based on GPA, letters of recommendation and a personal interview. You must apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program by Dec. 31 of each year for classes that begin the following June.
If you hold a minimum of an associate or bachelor’s degree in a health-related field (such as radiography, nursing, respiratory care or an M.D.), you may qualify to apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program as a certificate applicant.
Someone who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in a science discipline (such as biology or physics) may also potentially qualify as a certificate applicant, but will be evaluated on an individual basis in order to determine patient care experience and knowledge of pharmacology, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.
Potential certificate applicants should contact the El Centro Health Occupations Admissions Office at for specific application requirements.
Drug Testing and Criminal Background Check
All students enrolled in our Health Occupation programs are required by Dallas/Ft. Worth Hospital Council member facilities to undergo drug testing and a criminal background check after admission to the program but within 30 days prior to the start of clinical rotations.
Dallas County residents pay $156 per three-hour class — that’s $52 per credit hour, or just $624 for a full semester load of 12 credit hours.Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See our tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.
Rising Star Program
If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for this program. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need.
Courses Offered (Curriculum)
Our catalog provides detailed information about the courses we offer, including prerequisites, links to course descriptions and more.
Learn more about Diagnostic Medical Sonography courses and degree/certificate requirements.
Accreditation and Affiliations
Each of the Dallas County Community College District’s seven colleges — Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland — is individually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The El Centro College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP). The Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, along with other accreditation review committees, sponsors the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs. The El Centro Diagnostic Medical Sonography program was initially accredited in 1987 and then re-accredited in 2002 and has been awarded accreditation until 2012.
Interested in the health care field? You might want to check out our other health care-related programs, such as Radiologic Sciences, Nursing and Surgical Technology.
Other Degree and Certificate Options
The colleges of DCCCD offer nearly 350 career and technical degrees and certificates, plus more than 50 academic degrees. For more information, see a chart of our degree plans by location or visit our credit programs home page.
Developing Skills for Success
Students attend classroom sessions and get hands-on experience in the ultrasound scanning lab, also taking field trips for clinical experience and autopsies. El Centro students begin their clinical rotations the first week of class. (Clinical rotations are work-based learning experiences, where you are able to practice what you've learned in a real-life setting, under the supervision of a professional.)
Students rotate through metroplex hospitals, using a wide variety of ultrasound equipment. Each student’s clinical rotation includes a 300-plus-bed hospital, a 100-to-200-bed hospital, a children’s hospital and a specific obstetric rotation. Students also have open access to the college’s ultrasound scanning labs for additional scanning time. Students take oral, practical and written exams over each organ.
The Acoustical Physics and Ultrasound Advanced Topics courses are offered online.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is located in El Centro College’s Center for Allied Health and Nursing, in the Paramount Building at Market and Pacific streets, one block northwest from the main campus. Opened in June of 2008 to house the college’s booming allied health programs, the center comprises 55 classrooms and labs that contain some of the most advanced equipment available to educate health care students.
The center’s high-tech equipment includes:
Scholarships are available once you have been admitted to the program. Please check with the program coordinator for details. You may also qualify for other scholarship opportunities; please check with your academic advisor upon program application.
Our DMS faculty members not only have academic degrees, they also have real-world experience in the workplace, which makes them able to relate to the challenges you will face at work. Our instructors work with you one-on-one, helping you to learn new techniques and map career-enhancement strategies.
See profiles of some of our DMS faculty.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is designed for direct entry into the workforce. However, if you are interested in earning a degree at a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Services website for guidance on the transfer process.
Links to Additional Information
Note: The links to the following websites are provided for your convenience and information and do not constitute official endorsement by the colleges of DCCCD.
If the information on our website doesn't answer all of your questions about the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, please feel free to contact us.