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Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to create images of internal organs, tissue, and blood flow. Sonographers assist physicians with making a medical diagnosis by providing technical images and findings. Elmhurst College has an affiliation with Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) where after enrolling at Elmhurst, students can apply to NMH to gain additional education and valuable hands-on experience in this exciting medical field. If accepted to this program by NMH, students will major in biology at Elmhurst College and spend three years on campus and the final phase of their academic and clinical training at NMH.

What does a diagnostic medical sonographer do?
Will I need a graduate degree?
What should I major in?
What are the academic requirements?
What about advising?
How do I become certified?
Where can I find additional information?

What does a diagnostic medical sonographer do?
Diagnostic medical sonographers work with physicians and patients to create high-quality diagnostic images. Here are just some of the things you’ll do as an DMS:

  • Obtain and record an accurate patient history
  • Perform diagnostic procedures and obtain appropriate sonographic images
  • Analyze technical information
  • Use independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the procedure according to the diagnostic findings
  • Provide oral or written summary of technical findings to the physician for medical diagnosis
  • Collaborate with physicians and other members of the health care team

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What should I major in?
Students applying for the affiliation with Northwestern Memorial Hospital must major in biology. Students applying after graduation can major in anything they like as long as they complete the prerequisite courses for the program.

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What are the academic requirements?
If accepted, students will complete three years of college courses on site at Elmhurst College, and then spend the final phase of clinical/academic education (18 months) on site at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of program completion for DMS and be eligible to take required certifying examinations through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography in addition to earning a bachelor's degree. Students who are accepted into the program will pay Elmhurst tuition for courses at Elmhurst and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in addition to any college or program fees. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is located at 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Suite 950 in Chicago, Illinois 60611.

Below are required courses for students applying for the affiliation as a biology major, but students should speak with an advisor in the Patterson Center for further details.


Required courses
BIO 200, 201, 315, 430, 442, 498 (note prerequisite) and three biology major electives
CHM 211, 212, 311, 312
ENG 105 and 106 (or equivalent)
MTH 132 and MTH 345/MTH 346/PSY 355
PHY 111 or 121 (note prerequisites for these courses)

Recommended courses
CHM 315
MTH 151

Additionally, a course in medical terminology is required.

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What about advising?
Expert advising is an important part of the Patterson Center for the Health Professions. You will meet with one of our expert advisors to discuss your specific academic and professional interests. Your advisor will work with you throughout your Elmhurst career, clearing obstacles and giving expert guidance. Want to know more? See Advisors.

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How do I become certified?
When you successfully complete your academic and clinical program, you’ll be eligible to take required certifying examinations administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

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Where can I find additional information?
You can start by checking the web site of Northwestern’s School of Diagnostic Medical Sonograpy. In addition to information about the Elmhurst/Northwestern program, you will find links to useful resources. For more help, contact Elmhurst’s Patterson Center for the Health Professions.

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Any student interested in applying is responsible for learning about all the requirements for the program. Admission to Elmhurst College does not guarantee acceptance into a program affiliation.

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