Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Southern Illinois University



Radiologist Observing Patient

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, also called ultrasonography or sonography, is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound scan. Unlike X-rays, sonography is a radiation-free imaging modality.

The SIU Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) by recommendation of the Joint Review Committee for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Students successfully completing the accredited program meet all requirements to sit for the national certification examinations for the abdomen and obstetrics & gynecology credentials. 
Southern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Program of Study

The program of study during the first two years includes basic sciences, general core courses and required health related courses. The third year is composed of courses of diagnostic medical sonography, also called ultrasonography or sonography. The fourth year is composed of course work and clinical experiences. The student is expected to assume financial responsibility, securing housing and transportation for clinical rotations.

Upon completion of the program our students will be prepared to apply to take national registry exams in the specialty areas of abdomen (evaluation of all soft tissues, blood vessels, and organs of the abdominal cavity and superficial structures) and obstetrics/gynecology (evaluation of the female reproductive system and fetus). 

Program Mission

The mission of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Specialization is providing qualified individuals with adequate educational opportunity, both in theory and practice, to allow proficiency in the areas of abdomen and obstetrics/gynecology ultrasonography.

Program Goals

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts seeks to inspire and cultivate vision through personal involvement of students with faculty and staff as they achieve technical expertise in their field of study so they can be successful in a diverse and changing society. Based on the above stated philosophy and available resources, the DMS program will strive to attain the following goals:

  • To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. 
  • All applicants shall have equal opportunity to be accepted into the program.
  • All students shall have equal opportunity to succeed when enrolled in the program.
  • Acknowledging the dignity, worth, and individuality of the learner, faculty shall assume responsibility for the guidance of the learning activity.
  • Faculty shall continually evaluate and modify curriculum requirements to comply with the Standards as defined by the accrediting agencies responsible for the sonography program and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
  • Graduates will be cognizant of sonography as an art and science committed to serving humanity.
  • Graduates will be professionally and morally obligated to life-long learning in an ever-changing field of diagnostic imaging.

Program Objectives

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body. These images are used by physicians to make medical diagnoses. Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact that may include performing invasive procedures. They must be able to interact compassionately and effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill. Upon completion of the DMS program, the student shall possess the technical skills necessary to:

  • Obtain, review, and process patient history and clinical data to obtain optimum diagnostic information.
  • Perform appropriate sonographic procedures, recording anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic information pertinent to the requested study.
  • Deliver finalized exam to interpreting physician with appropriate oral and/or written summary of technical findings.
  • Demonstrate discretion and good judgment in communication skills with both the patient and fellow health-care professionals.
  • Promote patient and public information in matters of health and sonography.


For more information about admission policies, tuition and fees, refund policies, academic calendars, clinical obligations, grading system, graduation requirements, and the criteria for transfer credit please click here.