**Application window opens September 1, 2023**
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Program at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital provides high-quality clinical and didactic education needed to pass the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) certification exams in physics, obstetrics, gynecological, abdominal and superficial structure ultrasound. This program, located at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, Anschutz Medical Campus, maintains excellence by emphasizing clinical training and an advanced didactic curriculum.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital accepts six to seven students each year. Acceptance into the program is very competitive, based on academic and work experiences, GPA, critical thinking abilities and communication skills. There is no waiting list.
The curriculum includes classroom instruction, laboratory training and hands-on scanning experience. This is a 13-month program, with each academic year beginning the first week of August and running through the end of August the following year. All instruction is conducted in person at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. The program is full-time, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and includes four clinical and one didactic day of instruction each week.
This general sonography program curriculum focuses on ultrasound physics, abdomen and superficial parts, and obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound. Additional curriculum includes, but is not limited to, vascular, pediatric, fetal echocardiography, breast and musculoskeletal ultrasound.
Graduation requirements for this program include satisfactory completion of required clinical competencies, a grade percentage above 70 percent in all subject areas and tuition payment in full.
Upon successful completion of this program, students are awarded a certificate, which makes them eligible to take the ARDMS certification examinations in OB-GYN, abdomen/superficial structure imaging and ultrasound physics. Passing the ARDMS certification examinations will result in receiving the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential. Please refer to this Outcomes Summary outlining further information about the program’s success rates.
The DMS Program at UCHealth does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, color, sex, national origin or disability. Any student who meets the physical and academic requirements is eligible to apply for the program.
A substantial pre-existing knowledge of science and medicine is required for applicants due to the accelerated nature of the DMS Program at UCHealth.
Applicants must have completed either an Associate or Bachelor’s degree (ex: AA, AS, AAS, BA, BS). Degrees in science or medically-related fields are preferred but not required.
In addition to your degree, you must complete the following prerequisite courses*:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology (two semesters preferred)
- Medical Terminology
- General Physics (algebra-based)
- College Algebra (or above)
*Further clarification of prerequisite courses can be found under the FAQs tab. If you still have questions, please email [email protected].
A grade of C or above must be obtained in all required courses. All required coursework must be in progress PRIOR to the application deadline, with the courses and/or terminal degree being obtained prior to the program start date.
*** Suggestions to be considered a competitive applicant ***
- Grade point average above 3.0 (4.0 grade scale)
- Direct patient care experience
- Knowledgeable about the field of sonography
- Required coursework completed within the last 5 years
- Documented observation hours of ultrasound examinations (this standardized DMS Program at UCH Observation Form may be used)
- Strong leadership qualities
- Professional communication skills
NOTE: Students with a certificate from a two-year accredited allied health program (ex: radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, or nursing ADN/RN) are also eligible to apply. The allied health program must offer a national registry/certification exam, which must be successfully passed by the candidate. Please refer to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions outline for acceptable allied health professions.
Visit the UCHealth Memorial Hospital School of Radiologic Technology page for more information.
Applicants must meet the program prerequisites listed above. Those who have academic credentials from foreign institutions must submit those credentials to the World Education Services (WES) or the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) for a course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation will take approximately four weeks to complete and its cost is the responsibility of the applicant. All documentation must be received by the application deadline.
International applicants should refer to their own attorney or to the Federal government I9 site for questions related to permissible documentation: Form I-9 Acceptable Documents | USCIS
English as a Second Language (ESL) applicants
Applicants whose first language is not English must also submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Information about this test can be found at www.toefl.org.
Minimally accepted scores are:
Internet-based (iBT) TOTAL: 94
- Reading: 22
- Listening: 22
- Speaking: 26
- Writing: 24
Paper-based (PBT) TOTAL: 550
DI code for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at UCHealth is #2606
TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date and all associated fees are the responsibility of the applicant.
Health and physical requirements
Applicants must present evidence of good health and be able to meet the physical requirements of the program. Health insurance is not available through the program. Students will be required to present proof of health insurance coverage at orientation. Students must have up-to-date vaccinations, including rubella and hepatitis B, and documentation of TB testing within the prior 12 months.
Current BLS certification is required.
Physical requirements based upon UCHealth job description for diagnostic medical sonographers (not limited to):
- Ability to bend/stoop
- Manipulate a keyboard and transducer
- Lift & move patients
- Perform repetitive hand/arm movements
- Stand for long periods
- Have audible speech
- Have hearing acuity
- Visual depth perception
- Color perception
- See far
- See near
- Lift/carry/push/pull 0-50 pounds
- Ability to physically assist patients
Longer training programs in ultrasound are available nationwide for those individuals who do not meet the pre-requisites of this one-year program. Please see the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS) web site for further program information.
Tuition. Tuition for the program is paid quarterly and does not include textbooks, uniforms, or supplies. Tuition for the class of 2023-2024 was set at $11,500.
Tuition for the upcoming class is currently being decided. Tuition does not include textbooks, other school fees, and living or transportation expenses. Housing is the responsibility of the student.
Financial aid. The DMS program is administered by the University of Colorado Hospital, Department of Ultrasound. It is not affiliated with the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center; therefore, financial aid is not available through their Financial Aid Office. Government-based programs such as Colorado’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and/or private institution loans may provide assistance. Students may also apply for loans or grants through banks, private organizations, or the SDMS Educational Foundation.
- Application window opens: September 1, 2023
- Application window closes: January 15, 2024
- Applicants notified by email regarding interview slots, dates and times by February 9, 2024
- Interviews held February 27 and 28, 2024
- Position notification mailed by March 22, 2024
- Offer acceptance deadline: April 12, 2024
Due to the large number of qualified and interested applicants, late or incomplete applications cannot be considered.
Applications are reviewed and scored by the Admissions Committee and selected individuals will be invited for an interview. While we do use a point system to rank academic performance, other subjective parameters may be used to determine whether an applicant is a good candidate for the sonography program which operates out of UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.
All interviews will be conducted at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. They will last approximately 30 minutes. Following interviews, applicants will have the opportunity to meet with a current student to ask questions regarding the program.
An aptitude exam will be given to all interviewees following their meeting with the student. This exam will include questions pertaining to anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, algebra, physics, graft interpretation and spatial reasoning.
No acceptance information will be given by telephone.
A completed application must include the following to be considered:
- Program application.
- Including uploaded resume or CV, personal statement, and observation form (optional but preferred).
- Official transcripts.
- Send via mail or email from ALL college or allied health programs attended.
- Mailed transcripts must be sent directly to the program mailing address by the educational institution attended.
- Emailed transcripts must be sent directly to [email protected] by the educational institution attended.
- Letters of recommendation.
- Must have three (3) letters written on your behalf.
- Letters should be from professional references, on letterhead, and signed by the author.
- Author of letter must send directly to program mailing address in a sealed envelope.
- Completion of TOEFL exam, if applicable.
*It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all application materials have been received by the DMS Program before the deadline.
Application: Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at UCHealth
Will I be prepared to take the ARDMS certification exams for sonography when I complete the program?
Upon successful completion of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, our graduates are eligible to sit for the ARDMS certification examinations in OB/Gyn, abdomen/superficial structure imaging and ultrasound physics. Passing the certification examinations will result in awarding of the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential.
Is the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital accredited?
Yes, The DMS program at UCHealth has been fully accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in general sonography.
Are there observation opportunities available at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital?
No. Because UCH is a teaching facility, we are not able to accommodate any additional individuals in our department. Applicants should contact area hospitals or outpatient clinics (such as OB/Gyn or Vascular) to inquire about “job shadowing” opportunities.
Is there a waiting list to get into your sonography program?
We do not have a waiting list for our sonography program. We usually receive 40-60 applications per year, and accept 6 students into the program. Applicants who are not selected may reapply for the program in the following year.
Do re-applicants need to submit all new application materials?
Yes. All application materials (including transcripts and letters of recommendation) must be resubmitted for reapplication.
What is the entry-level salary range for sonographers?
Sonographers may earn an average of $50,000-$80,000 per year.
What must I do if I have studied outside of the United States?
Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluation center such as the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., or World Education Services.
Students whose first language is not English must also submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the Test of Written English (TWE) and the Test of Spoken English (TSE). Information about these tests can be found at www.toefl.org.
Minimally accepted scores are:
- 94 Internet-based
- 550 Paper-based
- Minimum final score of 5.0 on the TWE
- DI code for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program of Denver is #2606
Do you offer weekend or night classes for sonography?
No, we do not. This program is full-time, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classroom sessions are held on Wednesdays.
Do you offer online courses for sonography?
No, we do not. Our courses are offered with hands-on learning within the classroom and clinical settings not easily replicated through online learning.
Can I work full-time or part-time while taking this program?
We do not recommend that you attempt to work full-time during this program to assure optimal success.
Do the prerequisites I took meet criteria?
Examples of courses we look for:
- Human Anatomy & Physiology: Lab recommended; two semesters preferred.
- Medical Terminology: Letter grade on official transcript must be acquired.
- General Physics: Must be algebra-based or higher; Introductory or Conceptual Physics will not fulfill prerequisite; Radiation Physics only applicable if you have completed a radiologic technology program.
- College Algebra: Calculus or Trigonometry will fulfill prerequisite; Statistics or Algebra courses below the college level will not fulfill prerequisite.
- Communications: Any English, speech, or composition course.
Can I take prerequisites online?
Yes. Prerequisite courses must be recognized at the post-secondary education level and earn a letter grade on an official transcript. There is no restriction on course methodology.
Can I apply before completing all of the prerequisite courses?
Yes. Prerequisite courses must be completed with passing grades prior to the start date of the program. Applicants applying prior to the completion of all prerequisites will be at a slight
disadvantage compared to applicants who have completed all prerequisites.
Can I apply with only a medical assistant (MA) or nursing assistant (CNA) certification?
No. We require a minimum of an Associate degree to apply. MA or CNA job titles count as direct patient care experience on the application.
Can I schedule a tour on campus?
No. Because our program is located within a hospital system, we cannot offer tours.
Will I have a degree when I complete the program?
No. Completion of our program results in a Certificate of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Rebecca Zimmerman BS RDMS RVT RDCS
Program Director / Sonographer
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital
Jalen Espinoza BS RDMS RVT
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital
Teresa Cummings RDMS RDCS RVT
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital
Matthew Markese MD
Medical Director / Assistant Professor
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital