Skip to main content
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
Breadcrumb Links
Skip Navigation LinksHarris Health About Us Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Harris Health System's School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging offers a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited hospital-based Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program (DMS) under recommendation of the Joint Review Commission on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). CAAHEP promotes excellence in education and enhances quality and safety of patient care through the accreditation of educational programs. The goal of the Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging Sonography program is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) domains.

Students are trained in abdominal, obstetrics and gynecologic sonography. Students take detailed classes in anatomy and physiology, pathology, physics and instrumentation and scanning techniques. Students are required to apply sonography skills learned in classes and labs to the clinic setting.

During the program, students are assigned to clinical rotations at Ben Taub Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Smith Clinic. Ben Taub — one of two level I trauma centers in Houston — offers students the unique opportunity to experience the dynamics of trauma care. LBJ is a Level III trauma center.

Program Mission
The mission of the School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging is to educate the next generation of competent entry-level imaging professionals.

Accreditation
Harris Health System is accredited by DNV Healthcare Inc.
400 Techne Center Dr., Suite 100
Milrod, Ohio 45150
513-747-8334
http://dnvglhealthcare.com/

The Harris Health DMS program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) under recommendation of the Joint Review Commission on Education In Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). CAAHEP promotes excellence in education and enhances quality and safety of patient care through the accreditation of educational programs. The Harris Health DMS program is the only CAAHEP accredited hospital-based DMS program in the state of Texas.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Phone: 727-210-2350
Fax: 727-210-2354
http://www.caahep.org

Joint Review Commission on Education In Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS)
6021 University Blvd., Ste. 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Philosophy
Sonographers are upheld to the ARRT/ARDMS Standards of Ethics to be competent, compassionate and knowledgeable. At Harris Health System, we recognize the importance of integrating training in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains as a means to this end. We are compelled to practice, promote and reward excellence and professionalism to prepare graduates to be competitive in the local and national health care arenas.

Program Goals
The goal of the Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging Sonography program is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) domains.

Program Effectiveness

​2019 Graduate Outcomes ​
​Student retention​56%
Job placement rate​78%

Credential Success Rate
Abdominal
Obstetrics and Gynecology


80%
88%

 

Professional Credentialing
Graduates of the Harris Health DMS program may apply to take the following sonography specialty credentialing exams administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS):

  • Abdominal Sonography
  • Obstetrics & Gynecologic Sonography

Graduates of the Harris Health DMS program, who also possess the minimum of an Associate’s Degree, may apply to take the primary sonography credentialing exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT).

Admissions Criteria and Selection Process

Nondiscriminatory Statement
It is the policy of the Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging to provide equal educational opportunities for all applicants regardless of an individual’s sex, race, color, religious creed, age, national origin, disability, or other legally protected characteristic.

Technical performance standards
Students accepted into the program must be physically capable of successfully performing the following standards accurately and expeditiously.  These standards are related to occupational safety. 

  1. Lift, move and transport patients (from bed to wheelchair/stretcher or from wheelchair/stretcher or examination table) without causing injury and discomfort to the patient or self.
  2. Properly position the patient.
  3. Manipulate imaging equipment (fixed and mobile units) into correct positions.
  4. Transport mobile equipment carefully to assigned areas of the hospital in a safe timely manner.
  5. Respond instantly to emergency situations.
  6. Evaluate written requisitions for imaging procedures.
  7. Explain imaging procedures and give effective instructions to patients.
  8. Obtain medical history from patient and communicate this information to the radiologist.
  9. Evaluate images in relation to technical factors, image quality, and proper positioning.

Transfer of Credit
Students whose academic goal is to obtain an undergraduate degree should check with the institution before enrolling in this program.
1. Students transferring to a college or university

  • Institutions of higher learning award credit for coursework completed to graduates who have successfully completed the ARRT/ARDMS examination. The credit awarded is based on the institution’s admission policies and practices and is awarded at the discretion of the institution.
2. The imaging programs do not accept students transferring from other imaging programs.
 
Applicant Requirements for Program Eligibility
  1. 18 years old by July 1st of the year of application.
  2. U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time of application.  Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence is required.
  3. Minimum of Associates Degree from an accredited college or university.  Alternative qualification for includes graduation from an approved U.S healthcare related program with licensure.
  4. Completion of required prerequisite coursework for desired program (see below).
  5. Attend an information session. 

Prerequisites for Sonography

  • Algebra or other higher mathematics course, or statistics course offered from math department (3 credit hours minimum)
  • Communication skills (may be met by English, speech, composition, or related course) (3 credit hours minimum)
  • Anatomy and physiology (3 credit hours minimum)
  • General college-level physics and/or radiographic physics (3 credit hours minimum)
  • Medical terminology (1-3 credit hours minimum)

For applicants who do not satisfy the degree requirement, the program can assist them in obtaining a degree through an articulation agreement with St Joseph’s College of Maine (SJCME).

  • Application and additional information is available here.
    • Applicants must:
      • Submit general application for admission to SJCME and Harris Health System.
      • Complete the prerequisite coursework
      • Transfer SJCME credits to satisfy prerequisites for Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging
      • Complete sonography program requirements at Harris Health System

6. Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

a. Must provide transcripts from all colleges attended. Send official transcripts directly.
b. All credits and grades from all colleges are included to calculate a cumulative GPA using a Transcript Calculator.
c. Applicants with foreign transcripts must have academic credentials evaluated for U.S. equivalency by an education consulting service (i.e. SpanTran) and submit an official copy directly to the program.  The evaluation must include all credits, grades, and overall GPA.

7. $50 application fee in the form of a money order or cashier's check only.

a. Effective 9/1/2020 - A nonrefundable $75 application fee in the form of a money order or cashier's check only.

8. Capable of successfully performing tasks related to the occupation.

Applicants who complete application, pay application fee, and send transcripts will be evaluated for program eligibility.  All eligible applicants will be considered for selection.  

For more information regarding a program, or about your specific eligibility status, you may attend one of our regular information sessions, which are held the second Tuesday of each month at 5 pm, or schedule an informational/eligibility consultation with a program director.

All sessions are at:
The School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging
9250 Kirby, Ste. 1800
Houston, TX 77054

Registration is recommended due to limited seating. Call 713-634-1550 to leave a message.

Student Selection
Applicants are selected for admission using the following information:
1.  A completed application and application fee

     a. Official transcripts - academic performance
     b. Essay
2.  Interview

a. Interview panel - behavioral interview questions

Selection Process
  1. Following determination of applicant eligibility, the essay portion of the application is evaluated.
  2. Based on essay evaluation, applicants may be invited to schedule an interview with the Selection Committee.
  3. Applicants are evaluated on a rolling basis, with interviews occurring regularly throughout the year.  The Admission process occurs at the following timeframes:
    a. Application Deadline for Early Admissions: September 15 (notified by October 15)
    b. Application Deadline for Regular Admissions (if space available): January 15 (notified by February 15)
    c. Application Deadline for Late Admissions (if space available): March 15 (notified by April 15)
  4. Notification of admissions
    a. Accepted students will be notified in writing no later than April 15th.
    b. Return acceptance letter with $150 non-refundable administrative fee.

ARDMS or ARRT Ethics Clearance required
If you have been convicted in court of a misdemeanor, felony (including conviction of a similar offense in a military court-martial) you will need pre-clearance from ARRT or ARDMS.
You are required to report:

  • Charges of convictions that were stayed, withheld/deferred, set aside, or suspended;
  • Any plea of guilty, Alford plea, or plea of no contest (nolo contendere);
  • Court supervision, probation, or pre-trial diversion.
Onboarding Process
Harris Health System's Human Resources Department (HR) all applicants selected for admission. The process includes (at no cost to the applicant):
  • A general physical examination conducted by Harris Health 
  • Background check
  • Drug screening
  • Harris Health System general orientation
  • CPR certification   

Advanced Placement
The program does not offer advanced placement regardless of previous experience or education.

 

Americans with Disabilities Compliance
Students who have documented learning, psychological or physical disability may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact admissions. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. All requests are referred to Human Resources for consideration. The program will not waive essential skill or requirements of a course.

Due Process
Due process deals with decisions made concerning disciplinary action, student reports, dismissals, unfair treatment, unsafe or unhealthy conditions and discrimination. The due process procedure should be invoked only after attempts to resolve the problem at the school's administrative level have failed.

Step 1:
No later than 5 days after the occurrence that gave rise to the conflict, the student will present a signed written request to the Director of Education. The Director of Education shall meet with the student and the Advisory Committee and provide a written response to the student within 5 days of the meeting.

Step 2:
In the event that the conflict was not satisfactorily resolved, the student may, within 5 days of the response, submit written request for resolution to the senior vice president of Human Resources. The student and the administrator shall convene a meeting within 5 days of receipt of the request. The senior vice president of Human Resources shall submit a written response to the student's request within 5 days following the meeting.

The decision of the senior vice president of Human Resources is final.  

Program Overview
Schedule
Students attend didactic classes at Kirby and attend clinical education at three (3) of Harris Health System facilities: 
• Ben Taub Hospital
• Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital
• Smith Clinic 

The program begins July each year.

Program hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and excludes weekends and holidays. Students spend time in the classroom, lab and clinical rotations. 

Students are required to attend school for no more than 40 hours per week. 

The length of the sonography program is 22 months. However, in instances where a student must repeat coursework, the program completion time may be extended to, but may not exceed three years, except upon approval by the advisory committee. 

The program is divided into six semesters.  

The student must attend class and clinic simultaneously except when an injury or surgery interferes with clinical progress during the regular course of the program. In this instance, with approval, the student may be placed on a leave of absence from clinical education and attend classes only until his/her physician authorizes a return to clinic. The student will make up the time missed from clinical education.

2020 Academic Calendar
Summer 2020
June 1 - Summer II begins
July 1 - Summer I begins
July 3 - Independence Day Holiday
August 28 - Summer I, II ends
August 31-September 4 - break

Fall 2020
September 8 - Fall I, II begins
November 25-27 - Thanksgiving Holidays
December 18 - Fall I, II ends
December 21-January 1 - Winter break

Spring 2021
January 4 - Spring I, II begins
January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
February 15 - President's Day
March 15-19 - Spring Break
April 9 - Good Friday
May 8 - Spring I, II ends
May 10-31 - Summer break

Breaks

Winter Break - 2 Weeks
Spring Break - 1 Week
Summer Break - 2 Weeks
Fall Break - 1 Week

Holidays
News Year's Day
MLK Day
Presidents' Day
Good Friday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Day before Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day
Christmas Eve  

Curriculum

​Course​Credit Hours
First Semester – Summer I
​DMSO 1541–Abdominal Sonography I​3
​DMSO 1210–Introduction to Sonography3
​DMSO 1166–Sonography Lab I​2
​Semester Total​8
Second Semester Fall I
​DMSO 2405–Obstetrics/Gynecology Sonography I ​3
​DMSO 1302–Basic Physics/Instrumentation​4.5
​DMSO 1266–Sonography Lab II​2
​DMSO 1260–Competency-based Clinical Education I​2
​Semester Total​11.5
Third Semester Spring I
​DMSO 2253–Superficial Structures & Advanced Practices​4
​DMSO 2505–Obstetrics/Gynecology Sonography II ​4
​DMSO 2243–Advanced Physics/Instrumentation​4.5
​DMSO 1366–Sonography Lab III​2
​DMSO 1360–Competency-based Clinical Education II​2
​Semester Total​16.5
Fourth Semester Summer
​RADR 2217–Pathology Research​2
​DMSO 1460–Competency-based Clinical Education III​4
​Semester Total​6
Fifth Semester Fall II
​DMSO 2441–Abdomen Sonography II​4
​DMSO 2605–Obstetrics/Gynecology Sonography III​4
​DMSO 1103–Introduction to Vascular Sonography​4
​DMSO 1560–Competency-based Clinical Education IV​3
​Semester Total​15
Sixth Semester – Spring II
​DMSO 2131–Sonography Abdominal Review​4
​DMSO 2130–Sonography Obstetrics/Gynecology Review​4
​DMSO 1491–Sonographic Case Studies​3
​DMSO 1660–Competency-based Clinical Education V​3
​Semester Total​14
​Total​71

 

Requirements for Graduation
A certificate of completion is awarded when all program requirements have been satisfied.

All students must:
• Pass all coursework with a minimum grade of C
• Demonstrate clinical proficiency by satisfying the requirements of the competency-based clinical education plan
• Satisfy the terminal competency objectives
• Complete the program in 22 months at a minimum and three years at a maximum
• Pay tuition and fees in full
• Make up all time missed
• Pass the comprehensive didactic and clinical examinations (Capstone) with a C or higher
• Schedule an exit interview at the end of the program
• Attend the commencement exercises
• Return the following: 
   1. Dosimeter
   2. Harris Health identification badge

Program Costs

  1. For tuition and fees, see fee table below 
  2. Tuition costs are subject to change
  3. Tuition does not include books, uniforms, housing, transportation or parking
    All students pay a nonrefundable $150.00 administrative fee at the beginning of the program. 
  4. To be eligible for in-state or in-district tuition, students must show proof of at least twelve months of residency

Tuition and Fees

In district - $800
Out of district - $850
Out of state - $1,000

Payment Options

Tuition is due on the first day of the semester. Students who are experiencing difficulty must come to the office and discuss the payment options available to them.

Option 1:
Tuition must be paid in full by the first day of class.

Option 2:
One-half of the semester tuition must be paid by the first day of class. The remaining half of the semester tuition must be paid in full by the end of the month. (Additional fees apply)

Refunds
A student who officially withdraws during the first ten days of the semester will be refunded 100% of the tuition paid for the semester. After the tenth day, tuition will not be refunded.

Additional Costs

Books - Books cost approximately $1,000. Many of the books are used repeatedly throughout the program

Uniforms - The dress regulations for the program requires all students to medical scrub uniforms, white or black lab coats, black uniform shoes and black or white socks. 

Parking - The cost of parking in the Medical Center is high. Students are encouraged to explore all options that are available to them for transportation and parking. Parking with Texas Medical Center (TMC) Parking Garage is also available. The approximate cost of contract parking is $65 per month. Students may contact the TMC parking garage at 713-791-6161.

Salary / Stipend - Students do not receive a salary or a stipend. 

Financial Aid - Financial aid is not available through the school.

Availability of Part-Time Work - Students may apply for any positions that become available within Harris Health System, however, students must not allow work to interfere with scheduled school time or performance.

Transfer of Credit
Students whose academic goal is to obtain an undergraduate degree should check with the institution before enrolling in this program.
Students transferring to a college or university

  • Institutions of higher learning award credit for coursework completed to graduates who have successfully completed the ARRT/ARDMS examination. The credit awarded is based on the institution’s admission policies and practices and is awarded at the discretion of the institution. Students transferring from a radiography program
  • The imaging programs do not accept students transferring from other imaging programs.

Drug-Free Workplace Act Policy

  • Students of Harris Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging are strictly prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, concealment, purchase or use of any controlled substance, volatile chemicals, illegal drugs or alcohol on any Harris Health System premises. Students who violate this policy will be subject to immediate dismissal.
  • If the student requires any variations from the approved policies and procedures, the student, his/her physician, the Program Director, the Director of Radiology and the Radiation Safety Officer will provide input into the decision making process.  

What you will accomplish
The graduate will:
• Be qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of a competent entry-level sonographer
• Exhibit a professional attitude
• Be prepared to complete credentialing examination by The American Registry For Diagnostic Medical Sonography and/or American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT)*

*Only graduates who possess an associate's degree or higher may apply for the ARRT credentialing examination.

To Apply
Completed applications should be submitted to:
Harris Health System
School of Diagnostic Medical Imaging
Program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
9250 Kirby, Houston, TX 77054
Phone: 713-634-1550
or by email: bertha.vance@harrishealth.org