Diagnostic Medical Sonography Technology

Bachelor of Applied Science


Why Choose COTC?

Ohio’s first and only accelerated bachelor’s degree program

When students think about a career in sonography, they often associate ultrasound with pregnancy. A career in sonography can do so much more. Sonography involves the use of an ultrasound tool for diagnostic purposes for several different areas of the body.

COTC offers the Bachelor of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Technology. The BAS incorporates the highly regarded curriculum of our former associate degree program with advanced training in special modalities, giving graduates a competitive edge in the job market. 

The BAS in DMS is an accelerated, three-year program that begins in the spring semester (January) each year. Students are expected to attend full time for eight consecutive semesters. Sonography courses are offered at the Newark campus only. General education courses are available day or evening and at all extended campuses or online. In the student’s second and third year, they will complete five clinical rotations that are typically two or three days per week during the daytime.

Earn Sonography Credentials

As students progress through the curriculum, they will be able to sit for five sonographer credentialing exams needed for employment. COTC graduates’ pass rates exceed both accreditation standards and exceed national averages.

  • Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS)
  • American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)
  • ARDMS Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) with an Abdomen (AB) specialty
  • ARDMS Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) with an Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) specialty
  • ARDMS Sonographic Principles and Instrumentation (SPI)
  • ARDMS Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) with an Adult Echocardiography specialty (AE)

Sonography Information Course

Completion of this course is required for application.

sonographer at work A Sonography Information Course is available to anyone interested in the DMS program at COTC. This course will provide information and hopefully answer many of your questions on the ultrasound profession, program requirements and application process.  The information course will take less than one hour to complete and can be accessed multiple times.


DMS Majors

Students can choose one of two majors in the sonography program at COTC: general or cardiovascular. All concentrations of the program are accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

General Major

  • Abdominal organs: liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, etc.
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Breast, thyroid, prostate, etc.
  • Musculoskeletal muscles and tendons
  • Neonatal brain and pediatrics

Cardiovascular Major

  • Adult heart
  • EKG
  • Cerebrovascular carotid arteries and brain
  • Peripheral blood flow of vessels in arms and legs
  • Abdominal arteries and veins

Cross-training for registered sonographers

Registered sonographers who hold active RDMS, RVT or RDCS credentials through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or RVS or RCS credentials through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), can enroll in sonography courses to cross-train in a different specialty.

For more information on cross-training, review DMS special enrollment instructions.


COTC DMS/RAD Alumni Degree Completion

COTC DMS graduates have the opportunity to complete an AS to BS completely online through a partnership with The Ohio State University. Students can continue their education, completely online, through coursework specializing in management principles and strategies, human resources for health care, administration and quality management.

AS to BS Completion Degree in Radiologic Sciences

For COTC alumni who have already completed their bachelor’s degree, COTC has a pathway in partnership with The Ohio State University to earn a master’s degree in science through the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The graduate program is completely online. Many sonographers and allied health professionals will likely be interested in the “Advanced Practice” focus track which offers training in leadership, management, education and specialized graduate courses. There is also a “Research Track” for students to who wish to focus on research that would culminate in a thesis. 

MS in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program


DMS Application Requirements

DMS Canvas Course card

The DMS program is a competitive, selective program. There are enrollment requirements in addition to the COTC admission application. Students must submit a DMS program application and supporting material to be considered for admission to the program. The deadline to apply to the DMS program is May 1.

Download a printable application checklist. DMS Checklist


Frequently Asked Questions


I applied to COTC. Is that the same as applying to the sonography program?

No. Sonography is a competitive, selective healthcare program. Students first apply to COTC (the college) and indicate interest in a health technologies program (or apply to a pre-health track). Then students complete a separate application to apply to the sonography program.

What is the deadline to apply to the program?

The deadline to apply to the program is May 1 each year. Applications are typically available one month prior to the deadline. Request the application from your assigned advisor or email cotcadvising@mail.cotc.edu.

You must have completed all admissions requirements prior to the application deadline, including completing all prerequisite courses, attending an information meeting, and taking the HESI exam. For all requirements, see https://www.cotc.edu/post/dms-application-requirements

What are the application requirements? 

The DMS program is a competitive, selective program. In addition to the COTC admission application, you must complete all the requirements listed at https://www.cotc.edu/post/dms-application-requirements. These include:

  • Attend an information meeting.
  • Complete a sonography information course. 
  • Complete prerequisite courses. 
  • Take the HESI entrance exam.
  • Submit high school or GED transcript and all career center, college/university (if applicable) transcripts with GPA.
  • Submit the DMS program application. 

If accepted, when does the program begin?

New students begin our program in the autumn semester (August) of each year. Our program is a lock-step program, so students can only start during the autumn of each year.

How are students chosen for admittance into the program?

Selection is made based on a compilation of information and application requirements. This information along with grade point averages are all considered in student selections. The entire process is anonymous.

How many students are selected into the program?

We currently accept 10 to 14 students in each concentration, but the number of students selected can vary based on clinical availability.

How do I learn about the application process for the sonography program?

Students interested in sonography must complete Information Course and register and attend an information meeting


Are classes available in the evening?

DMS courses are not available in the evening. Classes are during the day and the program is full time Students are either in the classroom or in the clinical facilities five days per week.

General education courses are available in the evening, online and at all COTC campuses. Students typically finish these courses in the first year.

What classes will I take if I get accepted into the sonography program?

The courses students need to take to complete a certificate or degree are listed in a plan of study. 

Will I take classes online or face-to-face?

Students will be required to take classes on campus for the sonography program. Some general education courses may be available online, but students should plan to be on campus to use equipment and engage in hands-on learning.

Where are clinical rotations available?

COTC has clinical affiliate agreements with major hospitals and outpatient facilities in the central Ohio area and surrounding counties.

How much time is spent in clinical rotations throughout the program?

Students are in the clinical setting either two or three days per week depending on the semester. Students complete five clinical rotations at different facilities. Clinicals are primarily first shift.

Am I able to work while attending college as a sonography student?

Yes. Many students have attended the sonography program and continued to work. But be aware that the time available for work is primarily nights and weekends. Students compare the time commitment necessary for success in this program as more than a full-time job.

What are some important elements to student success within the sonography program?

Critical thinking is a large part of both the sonography program and profession. Being able to take many components of information (patient history, image analysis and textbook information) and evaluate them is essential.

Why did COTC move from offering an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree in DMS?

The bachelor’s degree was developed after thorough analysis of community and workforce demand. The feedback received from our clinical partners, advisory committee members, employers and graduates laid the foundation for the conversion.

Job Training

Employers indicated a critical need for general sonographers to be cross trained in vascular sonography. Many hospitals in Ohio and nationwide require their general sonographers to also perform vascular examinations.

Sonographers must also be prepared to thoroughly evaluate the fetal heart during OB examinations. In the bachelor’s degree program, all students will receive training in fetal echocardiography.

The sonography profession has expanded into other specialty areas including musculoskeletal and breast imaging. In the bachelor’s degree program, students will receive dedicated musculoskeletal and breast training.

There is a nationwide, critical demand for pediatric cardiac sonographers. COTC partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to provide the cardiovascular-major student with hands-on training and dedicated pediatric echocardiography courses.

An associate degree cannot exceed 65 credit hours, so there was no room to add courses. By expanding to a bachelor’s degree, COTC is able to add courses, including hands-on lab experiences and clinical placements, in the modalities listed above. The advanced coursework of the bachelor’s degree ensures graduates are job-ready and employers receive quality sonographers.

Accreditation Standards

As an accredited program, the curriculum and competency requirements have continued to grow. The amount of knowledge, hands-on training, clinical hours and proficiencies exceeded the capacity of a five-semester associate degree program.

More Efficient Use of Students’ Time

On average, it took eight semesters to complete the associate degree in DMS because many students were enrolled part-time the first year. Now, students can enroll full time (including summers) and be able to complete the bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time, eight semesters.  

A bachelor’s degree in sonography requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Data revealed that on average COTC’s DMS graduates had completed 90 credit hours upon completion (including COTC credits and transfer credits). The majority of DMS graduates have already completed 2/3 of credits needed to earn a bachelor’s degree. By adding higher-level general education courses and specialized sonography courses to the associate degree program and making use of transfer credits, students can now earn a bachelor’s degree.

Utilizing Students’ Credits

Many COTC students enroll with transfer credit from other colleges and universities. Now, many general education courses will be applied to the bachelor’s degree general education requirements, making use of previously earned credits.

With College Credit Plus, many incoming high school students have already completed and fulfilled the general education requirements needed for a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the DMS program. A CCP student that takes full advantage of the program, could potentially complete the bachelor’s degree in DMS in two years.


How do I get started at COTC?

Help us learn more about you by visiting our Future Students webpage, then follow the COTC Steps to Enroll to get started. 

What type of financial assistance is available to help me pay for college? 

COTC awards $1 million in scholarships to students each year!

Every student is encouraged to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for grants, scholarships and loans. 

Students who complete a FAFSA are automatically considered for some scholarships. Other scholarships require an application. 

Connect with the Office of Student Financial Services at 740.366.9435 or email NWK-studentfinancialservices@mail.cotc.edu.