Master's Degree in Sonography: Program Information
Most degree programs related to sonography or ultrasound technology are 2- and 4-year undergraduate degree programs. Some schools, however, offer graduate programs in the field, such as a Master of Science in Sonography.
Master of Science in Sonography
A master's degree program in sonography typically provides students with a strong specialization in the field, such as vascular sonography, abdominal sonography or echocardiography. Some schools offer entry-level master's degree programs in sonography for students with no background in the subject interested in earning more than a bachelor's degree in ultrasound technology. A master's degree not only prepares students to sit for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography registry examination, but also prepares them for leadership roles in labs and research centers.
While enrolled in this program, students learn to use ultrasound techniques and equipment while in the classroom and the lab. They also acquire skills in clinical and patient interaction. Most master's degree programs in sonography prepare students to contribute research in the field and require the completion of a research thesis or project.
A baccalaureate degree is the most common prerequisite to gaining admittance into this program, although an undergraduate background in the health sciences is not always a requirement. Students can often be accepted into a master's program in sonography regardless of their previous major as long as they have completed college-level mathematics, physics, anatomy and English courses in their undergraduate studies.
The courses found within a master's degree program in sonography cover both basic principles of ultrasound technology and advanced courses in a particular branch of the field. Some examples include:
- Advanced anatomy
- Ethical issues in healthcare
- Diagnostic medical sonography
- Ultrasound lab
- Research methods
- Clinical externship
- Principles of management
Popular Career Options
Some specialized career paths are open to graduates of a master's degree program in medical sonography. Some of these include:
- Vascular sonographer
- Abdominal sonographer
- Breast sonographer
- Nuclear medicine technologist
- Ultrasound technologist
Continuing Education Options
While diagnostic medical sonographers are not technically required to gain licensure or certification, many still choose to do so. Some independent organizations that offer licensure include the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Individuals can often gain licensure in a particular specialty of the sonography field by earning a degree and passing an examination.
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