Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS)

Misericordia University’s 18-month certificate program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS), sometimes referred to as “ultrasound,” prepares students to become a diagnostic medical sonographer (SOC code 29-2032.00).

The program is designed for adult or non-traditional learners seeking convenient and predictable scheduling by offering alternating weekend classes and a weekday clinical education component. Classes enter in late August each year.


The diagnostic medical sonography certificate program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) located at 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, Florida 33763. Phone: 727-210-2350. Information on program accreditation can be found at www.caahep.org

In 2013, the program received the maximum ten-year accreditation review cycle indicating compliance with all standards and consistency achieving program outcomes.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) is the committee on accreditation that establishes the accreditation standards and guidelines in conjunction with CAAHEP. Information on the standards and guidelines can be located at www.jrcdms.org.

It is important to research sonography programs to determine which CAAHEP accredited program will provide you with the best education and allow you to apply for national certification exams. Students should gather information pertaining to experience of the faculty, number of clinical hours in the program, national examination pass rates, and employment rates. The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) provides a list of suggested questions to ask a program in your decision making process. View the Key Questions to Ask Programs to see Misericordia University's responses to these questions, plus some additional important questions to ask.

Educational Pathways

It is essential that all individuals pursuing a career in sonography meet at least one of the educational pathways. For Misericordia University, CAAHEP accreditation is the pathway that allows graduates to apply for national certification examinations through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Upon successful completion of the program, the student will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible to apply for national examinations through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) with specialties in abdominal and OB/GYN.

For information on eligibility to apply for national certification examinations, visit www.ardms.org.

Overview and Highlights:

  • On-time completion rate of 100%—meaning every graduate completed the program within the 18-month timeframe
  • On-campus courses scheduled every other weekend (Saturday and Sunday) for each semester
  • Integrates classroom learning with simulated lab experiences and clinical education
  • Simulated lab is available during the week in both daytime and evening hours to accommodate a variety of schedules





Admission Requirements

To be considered for entrance into the sonography certificate program, applicants must meet one of the following three pathways:

  1. You must be a graduate of an accredited allied health program (minimum of two years) with completion of pre-requisites listed in Pathway #3 and a minimum grade of "C" OR,
  2. A graduate of a Bachelor degree program, and completion of prerequisites listed in Pathway #3 with a minimum grade of "C" OR,
  3. Have completed prerequisites at the college or post secondary level with a "C" or higher that include the following:
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II
    • Physics
    • English (oral or written communications)
    • Medical Terminology
    • Ethics
    • Math or Algebra
    • Patient Care

Note:Sonography Patient Care and Medical Terminology can be taken as co-requisites in the first session of the program.

In addition, for those wishing to pursue a degree, the University offers a dual profession with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and a Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography which can be completed in a little less than 5 academic years. A minimum of two seats are reserved for Medical Imaging students who desire to enter into the Sonography certificate program during their senior year of their Medical Imaging degree.


What if I do not have some or all of the prerequisites?
Misericordia University offers the pre-requisites in various formats to accommodate the variety of an individual's schedule. Courses can be taken in the traditional day-time format, evening, weekend, on-line or off campus through our Expressway offerings or a combination of times. Prerequisites can be completed in 1 year attending on a part-time basis. A sample of the schedule could be:


Fall Semester   Spring Semester   Summer Semester
Anatomy & Physiology I
BIO 121 or BIO 211
  Anatomy & Physiology II
BIO 122 or BIO 212
  General Physics
PHY 117
MTH 120 or 115
PHL 200, 201, or 223
ENG 103, ENG 151 or BUS 107

Medical Terminology (MI 106) is offered on-line each semester. It is recommended to be completed prior to start of program, but can be taken in first fall of program. DMS 112 Sonography Patient Care (DMS) is offered in a weekend format early in the fall semester.

Contact the Sheryl Goss, Chair of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Department, at (570)674-6790 or sgoss@misericordia.edu for more information on prerequisite courses and schedules to complete them.

Essential Functions and Technical Standards

Essential functions are defined as the requisites that all diagnostic medical sonographers and students must possess and have the capacity to complete with or without reasonable accommodations.
The practice of diagnostic medical sonography requires the individual to be proficient in the three learning domains; affective, cognitive, and psychomotor. In addition to these domains, the student sonographer must comply with the Profession’s Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics, along with a behavior that reflects honesty, integrity, and positive reputation. Each and every patient must receive a high level of quality care and an accurate outcome of a diagnostic medical sonogram.

Affective Domain

  • Interact effectively and sensitively using appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with faculty, colleagues, other members of the health care team, and patients/clients, and caregivers.
  • Read, write and interpret written and nonverbal communication at a competency level that allows one to safely function in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
  • Recognize the impact and influence of age, lifestyle, family or peer support, socioeconomic class, culture, beliefs, race, and abilities on faculty, peers, other members of the health care team, and patients/clients, and caregivers.
  • Emotional health for utilization of intellect, the exercise of good judgment, prompt completion of responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with others. Ability to retain emotional composure when dealing with patients with acute and chronic illnesses, pathologies and poor prognosis.
  • Accept personal responsibility for all actions, reactions, and inactions.
  • Demonstrate responsibility for self-assessment, professional growth and development.
  • Effectively and consistently manage personal stress and appropriately respond to the stress of others.
  • Speak and write effectively in English to convey information to other individuals and groups.

Cognitive Domain

  • Comprehend, retain, recall, and apply complex information learned in required professional courses.
  • Read, comprehend, integrate, critically analyze, interpret, and apply information from written materials, demonstrations, lectures, laboratory sessions, and research literature, and other pertinent sources to develop and support the rationale for appropriate patient examination indications, clinical history, and sonographic findings.
  • Collect, organize, prioritize and document information to make safe, appropriate and timely decisions regarding patient care for the purposes of examination and communication to the interpreting physician.
  • Efficiently organize and prioritize multiple tasks, integrate and critically analyze information, and formulate applicable decisions.

Psychomotor Domain

  • The capacity to prepare for and respond to the challenges of any environment that requires a readiness for immediate and appropriate response. This requires training for emergencies as delineated within specific clinical environments (e.g., CPR, infection control), and a readiness and willingness to respond as needed.
  • The physical ability to assist patients on and off examination tables, transfer patients from transport device to table, push and/or pull transport devices, and sonographic equipment. The approximate lifting capacity is 50 pounds.
  • Physical mobility and dexterity to stand 50% of the day; bend, kneel or squat; arms to extend 120 degrees to axis of the body; wrists to pivot; and fingers to grasp sonographic equipment.
  • Visual ability to differentiate black, white, shades of gray and colors as related to sonographic imaging.
  • Hearing ability to respond to patient and healthcare team needs and for differentiation of audible Doppler signals.

Students must have their healthcare provider complete the program’s medical form which requires the provider to attest to the student’s ability to perform the essential functions listed above. It is the student’s responsibility to disclose any documented learning disabilities to their medical physician prior to completion of form. Changes in physical, mental, or emotional status that may prompt a request for reasonable accommodations must be communicated to the Department Chair.

If a student cannot demonstrate the skills and abilities listed above, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Chair of Sonography prior to the start of the sonography program to discuss the procedural steps to request an appropriate accommodation in either the educational or clinical environment. The University uses independent clinical education sites that may or may not be willing or able to offer the same reasonable accommodations that are made available by the University.

For more information regarding requesting reasonable accommodations, visit the Office for Students with Disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations cannot be made retroactively. This means if the student fails to request accommodations and does not meet the standards defined for successful completion of an assignment, examination, practical examination or clinical education experience, the student will be subject to the policies and procedures defined in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Student Handbook and Clinical Education Manual or respective course syllabi regarding these matters.

Clinical Education Sites and Requirements

Clinical Education Sites
The program has affiliation agreements with numerous clinical sites, both hospitals and outpatient imaging centers, for students to gain the skills required to master the art of scanning and creating quality images. Every attempt is made to place students within a 60 minute drive from their geographical area, however there may be times in which a further drive up to 90 minutes may be required. Students must have the financial and time availability to travel up to 90 minutes one way, if necessary for clinical placement. Transportation and all associated costs are the responsibility of the student.

Clinical Education Requirements
Accepted students must submit the following documentation prior to the start of the program:

  • FBI Background Check
  • State Background Check
  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Health Physical to include documentation of immunizations, Tuberculin test and Hepatitis B vaccination (form provided)
  • CPR certification for health care providers through the American Heart Association, Red Cross or an organization approved by the program
  • Proof of Medical Insurance Coverage
  • HIPAA education

Individual clinical sites may require additional documentation, such as drug screening which varies in the time frame of being tested and entering the clinical setting; thus, the clinical coordinator will inform you as to when to have the test done. Clinical education requirements are at the expense of the student.

College of Health Sciences Clinical Education Policies
(reviewed/revised 6/2015)


Course Sequence and Descriptions

Program Outcomes and Gainful Employment

Our CAAHEP accredited program strives consistently to not only achieve the minimum standards for outcomes set forth by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS), but we strive to far exceed the minimum. The JRCDMS reviews programs’ outcomes annually and also reviews the information across three years to look for trends.

Credentialing success
Taken and passed with first year of completion (March)
  2016 2017 2018 2019*
ARDMS Pass rate for Sonography Physics and Instrumentation 100%
BS degree
100% Certificate (12/12)
BS degree (5/5)
ARDMS pass rate for Abdomen Examination 100%

BS degree


100% Certificate (12/12)
BS degree (5/5)
ARDMS pass rate for Obstetrics and Gynecology Examination 100%

BS degree


100%* Certificate (11/11)
BS degree (5/5)
Number of graduates earning both the Abdomen and OB/GYN exams. 17 out of 17 14 out of 15 Certificate
BS degree
100%* Certificate (11/12)
BS degree (5/5)
Employment and/or continued education within first 6 months of completion
Will be reported in fall 2019
Retention 95% 83% 83% 81%
Attrition 5% 17% 17% 19%

Documented created 4/18/2018.

*Class of 2019 will be reported after March 2020.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate Gainful Employment Information


Program Level - Undergraduate Certificate (2015)
Program Length - 18 months



Students graduating on time

N/A* of Title IV students complete the program within 18 months

*Fewer than 10 students enrolled in this program. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.


Program Costs*

$21,875 for tuition and fees
$2,550 for books and supplies

Other Costs:

Visit website for more program cost information.

*The amount shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion.
Note that this information is subject to change.



Student Borrowing Money

The typical graduate leaves with N/A* in debt


*Fewer than 10 students enrolled in this program. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.

The typical monthly loan payment

N/A* per month in student loans with an interest rate of N/A.


*Fewer than 10 students enrolled in this program. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.


Graduates who got jobs

100% of program graduates got jobs according to the CAAHEP through JRC-DMS job placement rate

Program graduate are employed in the following fields:


Diagnostic Medical Sonographers


Licensure Requirements

Program meets licensure requirements in:

North Dakota, Oregon

The following do not have licensure requirements for this profession:

Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federated States of Micronesia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Marshall Islands, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Marianas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Palau, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming


Additional Information

Date Created: 4/3/2018

These disclosures are required by the U.S. Department of Education


Application Process and Contact Information

Application Process

For consideration, students must complete an application for admission and two completed reference forms. The certificate program is a part-time undergraduate program. Completed reference forms and official transcripts from high school, all colleges and post-secondary education should be sent to the Admissions office with attention to Maureen Sheridan at Misericordia University 301 Lake. Street, Dallas, PA 18612.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application in the fall of the year before their desire to enter. For example, applicants interested in entering in September 2019 are recommended to submit applications in the fall of 2018. Applicants unable to attend one of the Open Forum information sessions will be required to make an appointment with the Chair to be informed of the program requirements. First round of application decisions occurs in late March for the class entering in August. Applications received after December 15th will be accepted with decisions being provided to applicants in which there is availability for clinical placement.

Admission criteria used for decisions include post-secondary GPA(s), grades achieved in the program prerequisite courses, number of credits taken in a semester, reference forms and responses to the applicant interview questions. Minimum GPA for consideration of entrance into the program is 2.75. Program admission is competitive.

Misericordia University does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, disability, religion, gender, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic, or other University administered programs.


For additional information on the program or application process, please contact Maureen Sheridan, Assistant Director of Admissions-Part-Time and Undergraduate Programs at (866) 262-6363 or msheridan@misericordia.edu.

For specific questions related to eligibility, contact Sheryl Goss, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Department chair, at (570)674-6790 or sgoss@misericordia.edu.

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