Master's Degree in Ultrasound Technology: Program Overviews

Explore master's degree programs in ultrasound technology, which are not yet widely available. Find information about educational prerequisites, program coursework, employment outlook statistics and voluntary certifications.

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Essential Information

Ultrasound technology, or sonography, uses specialized equipment to create images of the human body from the inside. It involves the use of a transducer against a patient's skin. This technology requires trained professionals, known as ultrasound technologists or sonographers, to perform the procedures. The practice uses high frequency sound waves to gain an image of a person's blood flow, organs or tissue and, ultimately, helps physicians to make medical diagnoses.

Only a few universities offer ultrasound technology programs at the master's level; most degree programs are at the associate or bachelor's levels. Graduate programs include the Master in Health Science with specializations in vascular sonography or in diagnostic medical sonography. Other specialty options may include echocardiography, vascular, abdomen, and obstetrics and gynecology. The successful completion of a master's degree program in ultrasound technology could prepare graduates to sit for certification examinations.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants may need to possess a bachelor's degree and complete required courses as specified by the institution. Some institutions admit applicants who have the required courses, but no bachelor's degree. Graduate programs additionally may require GRE scores and transcripts. A minimum cumulative GPA is necessary and varies according to the school. Applicants must also have basic computer skills and may be required to attend an interview in order to have their communication and interpersonal skills evaluated.

Program Coursework

A master's degree program in ultrasound technology encompasses lectures and clinical training. It requires students to have a strong science background. Course topics include:

  • Adult and pediatric cardiac ultrasound
  • Vascular ultrasound, principles and hemodynamics
  • Clinical pathology
  • Medical and clinical ethics
  • Ultrasound research and practicum
  • Ultrasound physics and instrumentation

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected in 2010 that job growth for sonographers or ultrasound technologists would grow about 44% through to 2020 (www.bls.gov) . In May 2012, the BLS reported that sonographers earned a median annual wage of $65,860. These statistics varied according to geographic area, specialties and experience.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Sonographers are not required to obtain a license in order to work in any state in the U.S. However, there are voluntary certifications available from a number of organizations. Gaining registration or certification may increase an applicant's chances of obtaining employment. Certification generally consists of passing an exam. Registered sonographers must become re-certified on a periodic basis, which requires completion of continuing education courses.

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  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Radiation Protection Technology
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences

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