Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the program and when does it begin?
The program is 7 trimesters (27 months). Students selected to the program begin sonography courses in January every year.
What degree will I receive when I graduate from the program?
Graduates receive a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree with a major in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Am I secured a job upon graduation?
There is no guarantee that students will be hired upon graduation. However, our program’s 3-year job placement rate is 100 %.
What does a sonographer do?
A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly skilled professional who creates diagnostic images of structures inside the body using sound waves. Sonographers are responsible for:
- Operating sonographic equipment.
- Performing medical sonograms.
- Critically analyzing information.
- Communicating findings of the examinations to physicians.
What are the different types of sonograms that a sonographer can perform?
Sonographers perform the following sonograms:
- Organs in the abdomen.
- Blood vessels in the extremities, neck, brain, and abdomen.
- Structures such as the thyroid, breast, uterus, ovaries, prostate, and testicles.
- Obstetrical imaging including high-risk pregnancies.
- The heart and great vessels.
Is the program accredited?
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on recommendation by the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). The program at Baptist University is accredited in both the general and vascular concentrations.
How are students selected to the DMS program?
The student selection process for the DMS program is outlined in the Baptist University Catalog. In general, the selection process includes student acceptance into Baptist University, completion of specific pre-program courses, and submission of a DMS intent to apply form. After review of intent to apply form and student academic records, students may be selected for an interview for selection in the DMS program. Student selection to begin DMS program courses is based on the interview score and academic record. Past failures affecting cumulative college GPA and pre-program courses may impact selection into the program. Each file is considered individually. Preference may be given to qualified applicants completing courses at Baptist University.
Is an interview required in the program selection process?
Yes, students will be evaluated on personal strengths and knowledge of diagnostic medical sonography.
Are all pre-program courses required to be completed prior to submitting the Intent to Apply form?
No, only 24 credit hours of pre-program coursework with a C or better, as specified by the DMS program are required. These Courses are marked with an asterisk in the degree requirements course listings. Select the following link to view course listing: Degree Requirements
After selection to the program, students are required to successfully complete additional pre-program courses prior to DMS 392 Introduction to Clinical Practice.
When can I apply to the DMS Program?
The intent to apply form opens on March 1st and closes on June 1st for qualified students.
How many applications do you receive for each class? Of those, how many are accepted into the program? Is there an alternate list?
On average, we receive approximately 30 valid applications for each sonography cohort. Of those, we accept approximately 12-14 per cohort. An alternate list is considered for each class.
What grades must I have to qualify for the program?
You must have a college cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.70 or higher (on a four-point scale) to qualify to apply to the program.
What is the tuition and is financial assistance (loans, grants, scholarships, etc.) available?
There are scholarships as well as federal and state-funded financial assistance programs. Information related to tuition and financial assistance can be found at https://www.bchs.edu/tuition-financial-aid.
Is there a separate application process for the DMS program?
Yes, students are required to apply to Baptist University. Once accepted into Baptist University, students are required to complete a separate intent to apply to the DMS program form to be considered for selection into a DMS class. Requirements to apply include: meet all Baptist University admission requirements and be accepted to the college, complete at least 24 credit hours of pre-program course work as specified by the program, complete a minimum of “C” or better in all prerequisite course work, earn a minimum cumulative 2.7 G.P.A. (4.0 scale), review technical standards, and complete the intent to apply form by June 1st.
What days and times are classes and clinical experience held on?
Sonography courses in the sophomore year are taken in conjunction with other courses required for the degree. Students can expect to participate in sonography and other courses up to 24 hours per week during the sophomore year. During the junior and senior year, students enrolled in sonography courses participate in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience up to 40 hours per week.
How far away are the clinical sites?
Students may be assigned to clinical sites up to approximately a 90-mile radius from the College.
Are classes online or in the evening?
Pre-program courses may be offered online or in the evening. All sonography courses require online educational experiences with one course being completely online. Sonography classroom instruction and laboratory experiences are not offered in the evening.
Can I work while in the program?
The DMS faculty discourage students from working while taking sonography courses due to the rigorous nature of the program requirements.
Where do students obtain clinical experience?
Students gain clinical experiences throughout the tristate area of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Experiences include large and small hospital facilities such as all affiliates of Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation, St. Francis Bartlett and Memphis, and Regional One Health (Level 1 Trauma Center). Students also obtain experiences in high-risk maternal fetal medicine offices such as Regional One Maternal Fetal Medicine and Mid-South Maternal Fetal Medicine. Additionally, specialty rotations at outpatient facilities as well as facilities with a primary focus on women and children are available.
Do students select their clinical sites?
No, the clinical coordinator for the program determines clinical site placement for each student.
What type of credential can I earn after graduating from the DMS program?
Upon successful completion of degree requirements, students can become candidates to receive credentials as RDMS, RDCS, and RVT as given by the ARDMS. Credentials are awarded upon successful completion of the sonography principles and instrumentation examination and successful completion of applicable specialty examinations:
Obstetrics & Gynecology
There are several credentialing agencies that offer National Board Examinations in sonography.
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers allows sonographers to earn credentials such as:
Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)
Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)
The Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) allows sonographers to earn credentials such as:
Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS)
Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS)
The American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT) offers:
Sonography R.T. (S)
Breast Sonography R.T. (BS)
Vascular Sonography R.T. (VS)