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Ultrasound:  Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Sonography Information Meeting
To Be Determined
10:00 a.m. in HHS 113
No pre-registration needed

General Program Information

LCC offers an Associate Degree in Applied Science (Curriculum Code 0790).

Students are admitted in summer with a limited number of openings each year. As part of the educational training students receive hands-on experience from available clinical sites (hospitals).

Click here to view Advising Guide

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) program is nationally accredited by:

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Phone: 727-210-2350
Fax: 727-210-2354

Lansing Community College's DMS Class of 2018 reported December 2019
Number of students admitted 21
Number of students graduating 16
Retention rate 76%
Employment rate 88%
ABD credential information  
Number of students in ABD credential 12
Number of earning ABD credential from ARDMS 12
Number of earning ABD credential from ARRT  
Total number earning ABD credential 12
ABD credential success rate 100%
OB-GYN credential information  
Number of students taking OB-GYN credential 13
Number earning OB-GYN credential from ARDMS 13
Number earning OB-GYN credential from ARRT  
Total number earning OB-GYN credential 13
OB-GYN credential success rate 100%
SPI credential information  
Number of students taking SPI exam 15
Number earning SPI credential from ARDMS 13
Total number earning SPI credential 13
SPI credential success rate 88%


DMS Statistics 2014-2019

Selective Admission Process - April 1st Application Deadline

Ultrasound: Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) is a selective admission program, which means admission is competitive and does have program-specific entrance requirements. The deadline to apply each year is April 1st.

The best information regarding the DMS program is in the Advising guide (Ultrasound is at the bottom); guides are released each year and include detailed information on the program layout, application process, admission requirements, cost, and more. Prerequisites need to be completed by December 31, to be eligible for the following April 1st selection period.

With only 22 seats available each year, admission into the program is based on a point system. Applicants earn points based on course grades, GPA, direct-patient-care work experience, and more. The 22 candidates with the highest scores are admitted. The complete point system is found in the Advising Guide.

If admitted, the DMS program begins during our Summer semester (June) and is 16 months long running during our Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters.

To get started, follow the application process found on page 2 of the Advising Guide. Health Career Academic Advisors are available at LCC's Center for Academic & Career Pathways in the Gannon building Star Zone. To make an appointment call 517-483-1957 option 4.

Nature of Work

Sonography, or ultrasonography, is the use of sound waves to generate an image used for assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasonographers, use special equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient's body. Sonographers operate the equipment that collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.

Sonographers begin by explaining the procedure to the patient and recording any additional medical history that may be relevant to the condition being viewed. They then select appropriate equipment settings and direct the patient to move into positions that will provide the best view. To perform the exam, sonographers use a transducer, which transmit sound waves in a cone- or rectangle-shaped beam. Although techniques vary based on the area being examined, sonographers usually spread a special gel on the skin to aid the transmission of sound waves.

Viewing the screen during the scan, sonographers look for subtle visual cues that contrast healthy areas from unhealthy ones. They decide whether the images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes and select which ones to show to the physician. Diagnostic medical sonographers may specialize in obstetric and gynecologic sonography (the female reproductive system, abdominal sonography (the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas), neurosonography (the brain), or ophthalmologic sonography (the eyes). In addition, sonographers also may specialize in vascular technology or echocardiography.

More than half of all sonography jobs are in hospitals. Most of the rest are in physicians' offices and clinics, primarily in offices specializing in obstetrics and in diagnostic imaging

Employment Prospects

Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2024 as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic technology.  Also, sonographers should experience favorable job opportunities, as ultrasound becomes an increasingly attractive alternative to radiologic procedures.

The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) certifies the competency of sonographers through registration. Because registration provides an independent, objective measure of an individual's professional standing, many employers prefer to hire registered sonographers.

Skills You Need

Sonographers need good communications and interpersonal skills because they must be able to explain technical procedures and results to their patients, some of whom may be nervous about the exam or the problems it may reveal. They also should have some background in math and science, because they must perform mathematical and scientific calculations to aid in analysis and diagnosis.

Expected Earnings

The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $63,630 in May 2015. The middle 50 percent of sonographers earned wages between $54,260 and $76,890 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,390. Median annual wages of diagnostic medical sonographers in May 2015 were $64,960 in offices of physicians, $66,830 in medical and diagnostic laboratories and $62,590 in general medical and surgical hospitals.  Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics 2/16/17


To view degree and certificate requirements click on the curriculum code below.


Degrees and Certificates


Diagnostic Medical Sonography, AAS



Vascular Technology, CC

Course Offerings

Visit the Course Offerings page for information pertaining to courses available during a particular semester and to view course descriptions.

Click here to view Advising Guide

IDMS 169 Intro to Sonographic Scanning
IDMS 200 Sonographic Introduction
IDMS 201 General Sonography I: Abdomen
IDMS 202 OB/GYN Sonography I
IDMS 234 Sonographic Physics
IDMS 245 Sonographic Instrumentation
IDMS 265 General Sonography II
IDMS 266 OB/GYN Sonography II
IDMS 280 Clinical Experience I
IDMS 281 Clinical Experience II
IDMS 282 Clinical Experience III

Admission Requirements

All admission requirements and program information is available in the Sonography Program Advising Guide and the Vascular Technology Advising Guide. Please click on the link below to view a current copy of the guide.

Click here to view Advising Guide

Frequently Asked Questions Revised 11/12/19


  1. What makes Lansing Community College's DMS program different from other colleges? Lansing Community College's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs) accredited.
  2. What does CAAHEP mean to a DMS graduate? A student (other than an RT(R) or Bachelor Degree graduate) who graduates from a non-accredited DMS program must work for an additional 12 months before they are eligible to take the national registry boards (ARDMS.) For more qualification information for national board eligibility, log onto the ARDMS website. The board results, since its inception in 1975, range between 50-79% for physics, abdomen and obstetrics/gynecology. Waiting an additional 12 months may not help with increasing the registry results, especially in physics. Some hospitals will only hire a sonography graduate from a CAAHEP-accredited program.
  3. When does the DMS program start? How often are candidates selected? The DMS program admits students once a year. It is a 15-month program that starts each summer. The first semester (Summer I) there are three IDMS courses to take -

    IDMS 169 (
    Intro to Sonographic Scanning -2 credit /3 billing hrs),
    IDMS 200
    (Intro to Sonography - 2 credits / 2 billing hours) and
    IDMS 270
    (Sonographic Positioning I - 2.5 credits / 4 billing hrs) in addition to
    CHSE 120
    (Medical Terminology - 4 credits / 4 billing hrs).
    (+DMS may accept some other college's medical terminology courses)

    This determination is made by Assessment Services at LCC at: (517) 483-5500. They will require the official college transcript.
  4. Is the program a full-time commitment? Yes, students enter into the program in the summer and do not finish the program until the end of summer the following year.
  5. Where are the clinical sites located? Clinical sites vary each year due to hospital/clinic availability. The majority of clinical sites are within one (1) hour from LCC's main campus. Although some clinical sites are further and may require students to relocate. All sites are within a 200 mile radius of LCC.
  6. How often do students attend their clinical site? The students are at their clinical site three (3) days per week from September to December, four (4) days per week January to May, and five (5) days per week from the end of May to mid August. Students are on campus at LCC on Mondays from August to May.
  7. What are the prerequisite requirements to get into the sonography program? They are: a) BIOL 145 or BIOL 201 and BIOL 202 (anatomy/physiology); and b) PHYS 120 (or any 3-4 credit physics course) and c) MATH 120 or higher or STAT 170 or STAT 215 with a minimum grade of 2.5 and d) LCC College Core requirements.
  8. What if I completed BIOL 201 and BIOL 202 instead of BIOL 145? Either BIOL 201/202 or BIOL 145 with a grade of 2.50 or higher is accepted for the DMS program. The DMS program grants additional points toward the selective admission program for a grade 3.5 or higher in BIOL 201/202 or BIOL 145.
  9. How many students per year does the ultrasound program accept? We have clinical seats for approximately 20-24 students per year.
  10. When do I schedule my REQUIRED panel interview?  Once you are a qualified applicant, you should schedule your panel interview in February or early March.
  11. How do I schedule my REQUIRED panel interview?  In February or early March, qualified applicants may call 517-483-1410 to schedule their panel interview.
  12. How long is my panel interview retained in my Selective Admission file?
    Panel interviews are retained for two consecutive Selective Admission process.  Applicants will use their panel score for two years (if they were not admitted into the DMS program.)
  13. What if I have two (2) classes that meet an area of CORE? The class with the highest grade will be used to calculate your GPA.
  14. What if I already have a degree; does it waive LCC CORE requirements? Yes, having an Associates degree or higher will waive college CORE classes. Grades associated with those classes will be used to figure GPA in Phase II Ranking. Students must still take MATH 120 or higher or STAT 170 or STAT 215 with a minimum grade of 2.5, BIOL 145 or BIOL 201 and 202 and college physics.
  15. What if I already have a Bachelor's Degree? If you have a Bachelor's* degree or higher, you will need to
    take the following prerequisites: a) BIOL145 and b) any college level Physics course-3-4 credits. You must obtain a 2.5 or higher in BIOL 145 (anatomy/physiology) and a 2.0 or higher in Physics; and c) MATH 120 or higher or STAT 170 or STAT 215 with a minimum grade of 2.5.
  16. How do I know if courses will transfer to LCC as prerequisites? Your official college transcripts must be mailed directly from each of your prior college(s) to the Registrar's office at: Lansing Community College 1121A-Registrar's Office PO Box 40010 Lansing, MI 48901-7210. (517) 483-1200 or (800) 644-4522 x 1200.
  17. When should I apply for the sonography program? Our deadline for application is: April 1st annually. Spring grades are not included when calculating admission points for this program. All courses must be completed by the end of Fall Semester to be considered for Phase II Admission Ranking (including prerequisites, core courses, and additional point courses). There are no exceptions for outstanding high school or college transcripts received postmarked after April 1st of the year the student is applying for.
  18. I am a current LCC student. How do I apply? You will need to complete a second LCC application called a "selective admissions" application.

    Selective Admissions Office:
    Health and Human Services Building
    Room 108
    Phone: 517-483-1182

    Any student who meets admission requirements and desires admission into this program should submit a Selective Admissions application by the deadline.
  19. I am not yet an LCC student. How should I apply? You can apply to Lansing Community College online by visiting the LCC Home Page and typing in "application" under "key word search." Remember to complete the 2nd LCC "selective admissions" application for DMS.
  20. What does the Admission Committee look for in a DMS applicant? All admissions are based on Phase I and Phase II process. You may obtain more information on this process by visiting the LCC Home Page and under the keyword search type "sonography." You will find the curriculum code 0790 Associate Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography form there.
  21. What happens in the event of a tie breaker? The college looks at the oldest date of application and will offer that student the seat in the program.
  22. How does one get credit for an Associate Degree? It is the student's responsibility to apply for an Associate degree in order to be granted the additional points toward the selective admissions process. These forms are available in the Registrar's office of the Gannon Building. Students must take 20 credits at Lansing Community College in order to qualify for an Associate Degree from the college.
  23. What if I have credits toward an Associate Degree from another college? If LCC gives a student credit for a transferring course, these credits can apply toward an Associate Degree. However, the student must complete at least 20 credits at Lansing Community College in order to get a LCC Associate Degree. If the student has 45-50+ credits at another community college, they would benefit from inquiring about the "Application for Associate Degree" policy of that outside college to see if they qualify for an (non-Lansing Community College) Associate Degree.
  24. Why are there "optional courses" available? These courses are not required for consideration for the DMS program. However, they are very beneficial courses and may enhance a student's education in the health careers as well as give additional points toward the selective admissions process.
  25. How much does the program cost? You can find the current tuition and fees on the last page of the advising guide, plus the cost of books and clinical uniforms. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time by the LCC Board of Trustees.
  26. How can I apply for financial aid? You may find more information by visiting the LCC Home Page and typing in under keyword "financial aid."
  27. Is there any assistance for a single parent or displaced homemaker? Yes, we have an excellent resource in our Adult Resource Center. They are on the LCC webpage, or you may reach them at: (517) 483-1199. Single students and male students should also apply at the Adult Resource Center.
  28. Why does it matter when I apply for the DMS program? In the event of a tie, the student who has the oldest date of application will be given the seat over an applicant with more credentials. Applicants should have their application in 30 days prior to April 1st and may want to send their application certified, return-receipt or overnight to obtain proof of delivery.
  29. Can I apply to more than one program within Lansing Community College? Yes, students may apply and have their prerequisites monitored for multiple Selective Admission Programs.
  30. What can I do to gain additional points toward the selective admissions process? The students will be ranked according to the semester they qualify in, and then will be ranked according to prior credentials, grade point average, work or volunteer experience in the medical field. Students who obtain a 3.5 or higher in physics and anatomy/physiology will be given additional points. Also, those students who complete the optional courses (see page 6, #8 of the advising guide) with a grade 2.50 or higher will be given additional points toward the selective admissions process.
  31. Why do you give additional points in the selective admissions process for previous medical experience or hospital volunteer experience? It makes sense that those students who have had previous medical experience (including volunteering) may have an advantage in the program over those who have no experience. This also gives the candidate an opportunity to see if the medical field is a good fit for them, and if this is something they really want to devote their time and education toward. Sometimes, when a student volunteers, for example, they realize that they are not interested in this field, or they find out that they don't enjoy being around patients who are ill.
  32. Can I work while completing the sonography program? We do have students who work on a part-time basis. The DMS program is an intense program, so we do not recommend a student to work even part time, especially during the fall semester. We have had students who do work, but they have excellent study habits and a great support system at home that enables them to do so successfully.
  33. Where can I find specific information regarding policies and procedures for students enrolled in the DMS program? DMS students are given a current DMS Student Handbook (including the Clinical Handbook) during mandatory orientation.  As part of clinical orientation, DMS students are required to participate in group reading and discussion of the entire DMS Student & Clinical Handbooks.
  34. How does my GPA figure into the selective admission DMS process? We look at the student's GPA for all LCC courses (Core and optional), and we give additional points to a grade 3.5 or higher in anatomy and physiology and physics. Those students who do well—especially in anatomy and physiology typically do well in the field of diagnostic medical sonography and on the national registry boards—
  35. Is there a waiting list to get into the sonography program at LCC? We do not keep a waiting list from year to year. If a student applies to the program and is not accepted, they must contact the Selective Admissions Office to carry over their application for consideration, or to re-apply for the next year by April 1.
  36. Should I job shadow in the field of general sonography before applying to the program? This is an excellent idea and we do recommend it. By doing this, the student is exposed to what the real life situation in the ultrasound department is, and what sonography really entails. This is a great way to help a student decide if this is really the field and the fit for them career-wise.
  37. What are the qualities that a student should have to be a good sonographer? The sonographer performs clinical assessment and diagnostic sonography exams. The sonographer uses cognitive sonographic skills to identify, record, and adapt procedures as appropriate to anatomical, pathological, diagnostic information and images. He/she uses independent judgment during the sonographic exam to accurately differentiate between normal and pathologic findings, and analyses sonograms, synthesizes sonographic information and medical history, and communicates findings to the appropriate physician. The sonographer also assumes responsibility for the safety, mental and physical comfort of patients while they are in the sonographer's care.
  38. What is a sonographer? A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a Diagnostic Ultrasound Professional that is qualified by professional credentialing and academic and clinical experience to provide diagnostic patient care services using ultrasound and related diagnostic procedures.
  39. What are some of the skills necessary to be a sonographer? The following is a list from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (
    • Ability to integrate diagnostic sonograms, laboratory results, patient history and medical records, and adapt sonographic examination as necessary.
    • Ability to use independent judgment to acquire the optimum diagnostic sonographic information in each examination performed.
    • Ability to evaluate, synthesize, and communicate diagnostic information to the attending physician.
    • Ability to communicate effectively with the patient and the health care team, recognizing the special nature of sonographic examinations and patient's needs.
    • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public and health care team.
    • Ability to follow established departmental procedures.
    • Ability to work efficiently and cope with emergency situations.
    • Ability to evaluate sonograms in order to acquire appropriate diagnostic information.
  40. If I have other questions, whom should I contact? You may contact the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at: 517-483-1410. For more information on this, you may visit the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography website.
  41. What are the job prospects for the field of sonography? There is currently a national shortage for sonographers as there are in most health care professions and this shortage is expected for the next several years. Locally, there is not a shortage of sonographers currently. There are several accredited DMS programs within a 100 mile radius of Lansing so these area employers have greatly benefited from this pool of DMS graduates.

Sonography Program Related Links

American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Occupational Outlook Handbook
United States Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Sonography Program Physical Guidelines

  1. STRENGTH: Perform physical activities requiring ability to push/pull objects/persons more than 100 pounds and to transfer objects of more than 100 pounds. Emphasis on upper body strength.
  2. MANUAL DEXTERITY: Perform simple motor skills such as standing, walking, handshaking; manipulative skills such as writing and typing, use of fine motor skills with both hands simultaneously; calibrating ultrasound equipment, adjusting film processors, and loading/unloading film magazines.
  3. COORDINATION: Perform gross body coordination such as walking, filing, retrieving equipment; eye-hand coordination such as computer/keyboard skills and arm-hand steadiness such as taking blood pressures, catheterizing, calibration of tools and equipment, etc.
  4. MOBILITY: Perform mobility skills such as walking, standing, bending; pushing portable equipment throughout hospital; prolonged standing while completing procedures.
  5. VISUAL ABILITY: See objects far away and to discriminate colors, and to see objects closely as in reading faces, dials, monitors, etc; viewing control panels and operate equipment under low overhead lighting.
  6. HEARING: Hear normal sounds with some background noise from ultrasound control panels, computers,, etc., and to distinguish sounds.
  7. CONCENTRATION: Concentrate on details with moderate amount of interruptions such as patient requests, doctor and staff requests, etc.
  8. ATTENTION SPAN: Attend to task/functions for periods up to 60 minutes in length and to attend to task/functions for periods exceeding 60 minutes in length.
  9. CONCEPTUALIZATION: Understand and relate to specific ideas, concepts, and theories generated and discussed simultaneously.
  10. MEMORY: Remember task/assignments given to self and others over both short and long periods of time.
  11. CRITICAL THINKING: Ability to make clinical judgment when working independently to obtain diagnostic images.
  12. INTERPERSONAL: Interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
    Must be able to establish rapport with patients, colleagues, faculty, and professional staff.
  13. COMMUNICATION: Abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.
  14. SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Student does not use a Schedule I, II or IV* drug; student does not use an amphetamine, narcotic, or any other habit-forming drug unless prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner. Students should declare-- (physician statement) if he/she takes Schedule IV drug.

    Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Valium, Xanax, Phenobarbital, and Rohypnol--commonly known as the "date rape" drug. *Students who test positive for Schedule I, II or Rohypnol will be subject to expulsion from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.
  15. STRESS: Requires working with patients who may be very young or old, critically ill or injured, or mentally or physically deficient/impaired; working with a constantly changing staff, resident physicians, and medical students.

Environmental Conditions

The charter of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since OSHA was created in 1971, work-related deaths have decreased by approximately 62% and work-related injuries have decreased by 42%.

As a sonography student you will be exposed to a variety of substances within the work environment and hospital sites. You can expect exposure to blood, body tissues, and fluids. There is the potential of exposure to electrical hazards, hazardous waste materials, radiation, poisonous substances, chemicals, loud or unpleasant noises and high stress emergency situations.

Upon acceptance into the Sonography Program students will be notified regarding a mandatory online OSHA Blood-Borne Pathogen and Universal Precautions training session.

Criminal Background Check

In order for the Sonography Program to be in compliance with Michigan Public Health Code Section 20173, criminal background checks will be completed on all students applying for admission (or readmission) to the program. Admission to the Sonography Program will be denied for the following:

Any felony conviction within 15 years prior to application

Any misdemeanor within 10 years prior to application that involved or is similar to the following

  • Abuse, neglect, assault, battery
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Fraud or theft against a vulnerable adult (as defined by the Michigan penal code)

The following links will provide detailed information:

Once admitted to the program, students subsequently convicted of the crimes listed above will be dismissed from the Sonography Program.

It is the student's responsibility to report changes in the status of their criminal background to the Program Director.

LCC would like to recognize the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program during October's Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month.

Job Shadowing Information

It is an excellent idea and we strongly recommend job shadowing. By doing this, the student is exposed to what the real life situation in the ultrasound department is, and what sonography really entails. This is a great way to help a student decide if this is really the field and the fit for them career-wise.

Vascular Certificate Program

LCC now has a Vascular Certificate Program for working Sonographers!


AMVETS Department of MI Nursing and Allied Health Program Scholarships - Deadline June of each year


AMVETS Department of MI
1249 Washington Blvd., Suite 2901
Detroit MI 48226
Phone: 313-965-3002

AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine)

Contact: The Association for Medical Ultrasound under scholarships.

LCC Scholarships

See the LCC Scholarship Application process for more information.

For information available to Health and Human Services Division Students, please see the LCC Foundation Occupational Program Award Information page.

For further questions regarding LCC Scholarships, please contact the Foundation Office at 517-483-1989.

There are new scholarship opportunities for DMS students now that LCC is CAAHEP accredited. It is with the SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Educational Foundation).

SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) Presidential Scholarship, Trudy Dubinksy Scholarship

Visit the SDMS website under scholarships.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at Lansing Community College

Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Health and Human Services Bldg, Room 108
Phone: (517) 483-1410
Additional contact information »