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NOVA’s Medical Education Campus implements changes to DMS program

The Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Curriculum Committee recently approved curriculum modifications to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program (DMS) at the Medical Education Campus. The DMS academic curriculum, which is now referred to as the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Guided Pathway, will offer changes to some of the DMS core courses, including changes to the number of credits, order of classes offered and course numbers.

Leigh Giles-Brown, DMS program director, said the new curriculum layout will prepare current general sonography students for the upcoming demands of the sonography workforce and will facilitate cross-training opportunities in the field of vascular sonography, in which the sonographer can examine blood vessels for blockage. In addition, the DMS program is looking to expand its student enrollment by providing a vascular specialization within the program.

As of 2017, the current general sonography associate’s degree program offers 68 credits, with 26 of those serving as prerequisite courses just to gain entry into the program. Beginning in Fall 2018, the DMS Program Guided Pathway will require students admitted into the general sonography program to complete a total of 70 credits, which includes preparatory coursework.

“By our DMS accreditation standards, there are certain courses students are required to take prior to enrolling in DMS core courses,” said Giles-Brown. “With the new DMS Program Guided Pathway, students will now successfully complete 17 preparatory coursework credits out of the 70. Additional non-DMS courses will be required in the curriculum; however, we will be integrating these required courses into each program semester instead of requiring them in advance.”  

Required preparatory courses for 2018 admission will be as follows:

BIO 141 – Human Anatomy and Physiology I

BIO 142 – Human Anatomy and Physiology II

ENG 111 – College Composition I

MTH 151 – Math for Liberal Arts I

PHY 195 – Topics in Acoustical Physics

SDV 101 – Orientation to Health Professions

*DMS 100 Orientation to the Sonography Profession and PED 116 Lifetime Fitness & Wellness will be removed from the program and are not required for students applying for 2018 admission.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is 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). Pre-Admission Health Advising Workshops will be held Monday, Feb. 27 and Monday, April 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Room 152 of the Medical Education Campus, 6699 Springfield Center Drive, Springfield VA 22150. For additional information on changes to NOVA’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program curriculum, visit their website


Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu




Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.