Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound | Lackawanna College

Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound

At a Glance

Students can specialize and become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer under Lackawanna College’s Sonography program.
Students learn the basics in several specializations including abdominal and OB/GYN ultrasound.
The field is growing faster than the average with a 14% growth rate from 2020 to 2030.
Graduates can earn between $29,910 and $98,070, depending on experience and industry.
Available at the Scranton campus.

Welcome to Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound-Associate Degree

If you want to be part of a medical team that diagnoses patients’ potential health concerns, then Lackawanna College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonographer program can help you reach your goal.

The program uses state-of-the-art equipment to teach students the latest skills in the sonography field. Under this specialization, students will learn the basics of several different specializations including abdominal ultrasound and OB/GYN ultrasound.

Your Career Starts Here

The diagnostic medical sonography field is expected to grow faster than the average career with a 14% increase in the next 10 years, meaning there should be plenty of opportunities for graduates.

With an associate degree, graduates can work in:

  • Hospitals and primary clinics
  • Physician offices
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories

More About the Program

Diagnostic medical sonographers identify actual or potential medical abnormalities in various body systems using nonionizing, high-frequency sound waves, and other diagnostic techniques. Through classroom presentations and on-site clinical experience, students become familiar with the operation of such equipment and with the scientific principles and processes underlying its applications.

Each of Lackawanna College’s ultrasound programs is designed to be completed over a two-year period with day, evening and Saturday courses as well as on- and off-campus clinical hours. Each program also includes summer session courses and clinical lab hours.

The Course Work

The diagnostic medical ultrasound program is a two-year associate degree in science. The general ultrasound curriculum consists of 70 credits of didactic and clinical training. This program includes the specializations of abdominal sonography (liver, kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen), obstetric and gynecologic sonography, neurosonography, small parts scanning and an introduction to vascular sonography.

Some of the classes students typically encounter include:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Intro to Patient Care
  • Intro to Ultrasound Physics
  • Pelvic Sonography and Lab
  • Abdominal Sonography/Lab
  • Clinical
  • Ultrasound Physics
  • Small Parts Sonography
  • Fetal and Neonatal Anomalies
  • Intro to Vascular Technology

Lackawanna College’s diagnostic medical ultrasound program prepares competent entry-level adult cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Additional Information

Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program Goals and Objectives

To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the following concentration(s) it offers: Abdominal sonography – Extended Adult cardiac sonography -Obstetrics and gynecology sonography – Vascular sonography. Programs adopting educational goals beyond entry-level competence must clearly delineate this intent and provide evidence that all students have achieved the basic competencies prior to entry into the field.

Cognitive domain:

  • Students will learn through successful didactic and clinical training following the standards of the sonography curriculum. Student outcomes will be measured through written tests, quizzes, and projects as well as hands-on examinations.
  • 100% success of students passing the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) examination upon graduation from the program.
  • Minimum entry-level competency of all program graduates.
  • Minimal attrition.
  • Meetings with clinical site liaisons. Through site visits, written and verbal correspondence, and at the beginning of each semester, a meeting is held to discuss the expectations of the students, the instructors, and the facilities.
  • Capable of completing documentation of history and physicals.
  • Proficiency of patient care skills.

Psychomotor domain:

  • Meetings with clinical site liaisons. Through site visits, written and verbal correspondence, and at the beginning of each semester, a meeting is held to discuss the expectations of the students, the instructors, and the facilities.
  • Identify normal anatomy and patient pathology.
  • Effectively prepare preliminary study reports.
  • To perform all competencies effectively and efficiently.
  • Continuing education through local societies and national organizations.

Affective domain:

  • Professionalism.
  • Broaden patient relation skills.
  • Behavior-based on ethical reasoning and judgment.
  • To be able to work effectively and efficiently within a clinical setting.
  • Feedback from employer and graduate surveys.

Methods to Assure Appropriateness of the Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program’s Goals and Objectives

The following methods are used to assure that both programs’ goals are met:

  • Advisory Board: Periodic meetings take place to discuss the program’s progress and to reassess resource requirements and community needs.
  • Departmental meetings: Held on a monthly basis to discuss and handle various issues and concerns related to the program.
  • Meetings with clinical site liaisons: Through site visits, written and verbal correspondence, and at the beginning of each semester, a meeting is held to discuss the expectations of the students, the instructors and the facilities.
  • Testing: Throughout the course of the program.
  • Student surveys: Performed each semester.
  • ARDMS registry exam: Upon first graduates and followed annually by utilizing the ARDMS school reports system.
  • Employer feedback: Will be used upon the first graduating class and utilized in a timely fashion following each graduating class thereafter.

Analysis of Data Collected

  • Student surveys are compiled and reviewed by both the director of the program and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Reports are generated each semester on student grades, attrition, GPAs, and class size and reviewed by the Program Director and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • The curriculum is evaluated yearly by faculty, the director, and the Vice President with student input as well as close contact with the medical directors.


Acceptance into all Lackawanna College ultrasound programs is based on a selective admissions process with a maximum of 25 students selected annually for the cardiac and vascular programs and 20 for the diagnostic medical ultrasound program.

Please note that not all applicants to the ultrasound programs will be accepted. All candidates must follow the standard procedures outlined below and meet program qualifications to be considered for one of the openings each year.

Application to Lackawanna College and a separate application to the ultrasound program

  • The application deadline for the Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program is September 1. All documents must be submitted or postmarked by the deadline to be considered.

Must meet the college’s minimum requirements

  • Applicant must submit proof of high school or GED completion with an official high school transcript or GED equivalent. Lackawanna College will determine the applicant’s current academic ability based on a combination of the following:

SAT or ACT test scores, if applicable

  • Recommended SAT scores: 500 Verbal and 500 Math.
  • Recommended ACT scores: 20 or higher in each relevant section.
  • Most scores are valid for up to 3 years from the test date.

College Transfer Credits

  • If transferring credits from another college/university, official college transcripts are required. Transfer credits must be at least 3.0 or greater to meet ultrasound program academic standards.

Placement Test

  • Applicants without valid SAT/ACT scores and who have not previously earned college credits will be required to take the ACCUPLACER exam for determination of current academic ability. Applicants must achieve ‘College Ready’ scores in Reading, Writing, and Math to be considered qualified for one of the ultrasound programs.

Completion of a Prerequisite Biology

When applying to the Lackawanna College Sonography Program, a student must prove that he or she is capable of completing this rigorous program with proof of previous success in studying the Sciences. This can be done in one of three ways:

  • The student has completed Biology, or Anatomy and Physiology in high school within the past three years with a passing grade of C or better. An official high school transcript must be sent to Lackawanna College as evidence of this.
  • The student has completed a three (3) or four (4) credit college-level course eligible for transfer within Lackawanna College in Biology, or Anatomy and Physiology with a passing grade of C or better. An official college transcript must be sent to Lackawanna College as evidence of this.
  • If neither of the above scenarios applies, a student must enroll in a college-level Biology, course before applying to a Sonography program. If a student is currently enrolled in this course while in the process of applying to the Sonography program, the student may receive probationary acceptance while completing this course. Evidence by way of an official college transcript must be received confirming completion of the course with a grade of C or better for official entry into Sonography pre-semester. Should the applicant either not complete the course or not receive the requisite grade, he or she will then forfeit the seat in the Sonography program.

Due to the very specific nature of these degree programs, applicants with transfer credits may only transfer credits related to program core courses including the following:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I – 4 credits
  • Anatomy and Physiology II – 4 credits with lab (if taken within three years)
  • College Algebra
  • Computer Applications
  • College Writing
  • Effective Speaking
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Medical Ethics (subject to review)
  • Medical Terminology (subject to review)
  • Transfer students with an Associate Degree in Science may be considered for bypass of the Pre-Ultrasound semester, subject to review.
  • All other courses within the curriculum must be completed at Lackawanna College under the Sonography program.

Interviews will be scheduled for qualified ultrasound program applicants who submit a fully completed application with all materials by the previously stated deadline:

  • The top 25 applicants for Vascular and Cardiac
  • The top 20 applicants for DMS

A mandatory informational meeting will be required prior to the start of the selected program.

Qualified students will be notified of the date and time upon selection into the program. The meeting will review the ultrasound department’s policies and expectations. The meeting will also allow for question and answer sessions and a tour of the Lackawanna College ultrasound facilities.


March 1: Deadline for Application

Waiting lists are created in all three sonography programs, and additional seats may become available up until the start of the Fall semester. Please call the Admissions office at (570) 961-7814 for more information.

March 1-28: Application Review Period and Interviews April 1: Program Acceptance Letters and Alternative Option Letters will be mailed to all applicants.

Acceptance Letter will indicate their status in the specific program of choice and will outline all requirements needed to solidify a place on the official list for that program.

June 1: Deadline for all accepted students to make a commitment to the program. All requirements will need to be complete at that time *

Items for Official Placement into Program*

  • $100 commitment fee
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Official college transcripts
  • SAT/ACT scores, if applicable

Alternative Option letters will explain to students that they are not denied from attending the college, but have not been accepted into one of the three Allied Health Sonography Programs. In this letter, it will include suggested courses for a candidate to complete to better qualify themselves for re-application in the future.

July 15: The selected candidates will then have until July 15 to obtain/complete the following requirements

  • to stay on the list for the upcoming semester:
  • CPR Certification
  • FBI Clearance
  • State Clearance
  • PA Child Abuse Clearance
  • 2 Step PPD
  • Recent Physical Examination
  • Copy of Immunization Records
  • Varicella Vaccination Date or Date/Year of Chicken Pox
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (3 shots) or waiver
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation


All Lackawanna College curriculum guides can be found on the Portal. Free-form Content – Main View | Academic Year 2022-2023 | Curriculum Guides | Portal


Download the Sonography Program Application and Information Packet (PDF) – Lackawanna-College_Sonography-Application-Form_March-29-2023_v3.pdf

2022 Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Student / Graduate Outcome Information

Program Design Diagnostic Medical Sonography (AB) & (OB) 2022

Accredited concentrations General
Length of program (in months) 24
Total students admitted in 2021 19
How many times per year is this program offered? 1

Retention Rate

Number of students admitted 19
Number of students graduating 14
Retention rate 74%

Job Placement Rate

Number of graduates in 2022 14
Number of graduates employed 13
Job placement rate 93%

Graduate Survey Results

Number of graduates in 2021 14
Number of graduate surveys returned 7
Graduate survey return rate 50%

Employer Survey Return Rate

Number of employed graduates from 2021 13
Number of employer surveys returned 8
Employer survey return rate 61%

Credential Success Rate

Number of students taking ABD credential10
Number of students earning credential from ARDMS9
Number of students earning credential from ARRT0
ABD credential success rate90%
Number of students taking OB-GYN credential14
Number of students earning credential from ARDMS11
Number of students earning credential from ARRT0
OB-GYN credential success rate79%

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Effectiveness Data


The sonography programs at Lackawanna College, are accredited, upon the recommendation of the JRC-DMS, by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 9355 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775. For details, visit www.caahep.org.