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) 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?