Prior to beginning your search for a sonography education program, it is important to understand some of the common terminology associated with the field.
Certification/Credential: Certification refers to the required examinations that applicants take to earn a credential. A credential is the title earned upon successfully passing these certification examinations.
ARDMS Prerequisite: To apply for an ARDMS examination, applicants must apply under the prerequisite most applicable to their clinical and educational experience.
Accreditation: Accreditation is the approval granted to an institution of learning by an official review board after the school has met specific requirements.
CAAHEP and CMA: The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the largest programmatic accrediting organization in the United States, and the Canadian Medical
Association (CMA)/Canadian Health Standards Organization (HSO) is the Canadian equivalent.
When looking for a program, you are strongly encouraged to view the current ARDMS prerequisites, so you can select a program that will allow you to meet the eligibility requirements for taking an ARDMS examination. Below are several questions to consider asking when researching sonography programs:
- Is the program accredited by the CAAHEP or CMA?
- If the program is not accredited by CAAHEP or CMA, are graduates still eligible to take the ARDMS certification examinations?
- What is the certification examination pass rate of students who have graduated from this program?
- What is the cost and length of the program?
- What degree is awarded upon completing the program?
- What percentage of graduates achieves employment in sonography within six months of graduation?