About The Program

Sonography or ultrasonography is the use of sound waves to generate an image for the assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. The sonographer plays an important role on the medical team as a technical assistant to the sonologist (or radiologist), a physician who has specialized in the use of sound waves for diagnosis and treatment. Sonographers may work under direct or indirect supervision of these physicians. A certified sonographer is qualified to work in hospitals, doctor's offices, public health projects, industrial medical clinics, veterans' and military hospitals.

Program Details

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program requires a separate application process after applying to the college and admits a limited number of students once per year. Students are eligible to apply during the open application period after meeting all requirements. Meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

Interested students should review the online information session and refer to the Application Checklist for the list of requirements.

  • Application Period: May 1 to May 15
  • Admission Policy: Competitive
  • Program Size: 14 Abd-Ext./OB & Gyn, 8 Echocardiography, & 6 Vascular
  • Program Length: Approximately 16 months
  • Program Starts: Every August
  • Admission decisions are announced by June 15
  • Mandatory Accepted Student Orientation is held the second week of July.

Important Applicant Information

DMS Prospective Student Workshops are no longer available.

2024 Prospective Applicants

Changes have been made to the DMS application requirements for the 2024 application cycle.

  • DMS 100 Orientation to the Sonography Profession has replaced the DMS Prospective Student Workshop
  • MTH 161 Precalculus I has replaced MTH 154
  • A minimum score of 70 per section is required on TEAS
  • All other requirements remain the same

Attending a previous DMS Prospective Student Workshop will not waive the DMS 100 requirement. Students planning to apply for the 2024 application cycle should refer to the 2024 Application Checklist.

DMS 100 SIS Registration: The new DMS 100 course is pending final VCCS approval. It is a one-credit, 7-week course held in person at the Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia. Students will not see the course scheduled on SIS for registration until mid-August 2023.

DMS 100 Fall 2023 Schedule
DMS 100 001H 1st 7-week, 8/21 to 10/8 Wednesday, 2-4 pm at MEC
DMS 100 002H 2nd 7-week, 10/18 to 12/12 Wednesday, 2-4 pm at MEC

Information Session

It is highly advised that prospective DMS students take the full 15-week semesters of BIO 141 and BIO 142 for their prerequisite courses. Students who have taken the 8- or 10-week sessions have demonstrated a high degree of difficulty with DMS 207 and DMS 217. Diagnostic Medical Sonography requires a superior level of working knowledge in cross-sectional anatomy. The preparation for the sectional anatomy classes, DMS 207 and DMS 217, directly impacts student success in the DMS program. The DMS program requires students to have a 79.5% or higher in all DMS classes to progress to the next semester.

The first step to beginning health career training at NOVA/MEC is to attend a mandatory Information Session. Please note that the online information sessions contain program information for the current academic year only.

Program Description

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is designed to prepare competent entry-level Abdominal-Extended and Obstetrics and Gynecology sonographers, Vascular sonographers, or Adult Cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Students are provided didactic and laboratory instruction as well as clinical site experiences through rotations at participating hospitals and medical affiliates.

This curriculum is designed to prepare students for a career as a health science professional who produces diagnostic images of the human body using special equipment to direct high-frequency sound waves into different anatomic structures in a patient's body. The sonographer is a central member of the healthcare team and assists the radiologist in gathering diagnostic data for interpretation. NOVA's program emphasizes didactic and 'hands-on' practice of sonographic techniques in a well-equipped scanning laboratory at the Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia. Clinical experience is acquired at numerous area hospitals and private medical affiliates.

Students select their specific DMS domain (Abdominal-Extended and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vascular, Adult Cardiac), and upon successful completion of the degree requirements, the program graduates are eligible for professional certification by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in the following areas: Abdominal-Extended and Obstetrics and Gynecology (RDMS), cardiac (RDCS), and vascular (RVT).

Program Accreditation

NOVA's Diagnostic Medical Sonography Abdominal-Extended Program, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Obstetrics and Gynecology Program, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Adult Cardiac Program and Diagnostic Medical Sonography Vascular Program are accredited by the  Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the  Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
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Career Coach


Medical Education Campus
Judi Green