UC San Diego Medical Center

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program




The UCSD Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is currently in INACTIVE status and will not be accepting applications or students at this time. Our program website will reflect any future changes and updated information regarding the program.  


The information and policies contained herein may be changed without notice.  No part of this website should be construed as a contract or an offer to contract.  This is intended only as an informational guide to the UCSD Medical Center Sonography Program.


UCSD Medical Center Sonography Program does not discriminate on the basis

of race, religion, ethnicity, color, sex, national origin, disability, or status as

a special disabled or Vietnam era veteran.  Any student that meets the physical

requirements of the program shall have an equal opportunity to apply for the





Lisa Deiranieh, BS, RDMS

Program Director/Clinical Coordinator

UCSD Medical Center Sonography Program

200 W. Arbor Drive

San Diego, CA  92103-8759            

Phone: (619) 471-9406



UCSD Sonography Program Faculty


Mary O'Boyle, MD

Medical Director


Lisa Deiranieh, BS, RDMS

Program Director/Clinical Coordinator


General Information


The UCSD Medical Center is a level one regional trauma center serving the San

Diego area.  Its educational philosophy focuses on providing a high quality

education with an emphasis on didactic, clinical experience, patient care, and

research are stressed. 


UCSD Medical Center is the host site for the Sonography Program.  The

school was established in 1979 and offers a 12-month program in General

Sonography and limited Vascular in a format that includes classroom teaching

and practical experience at the clinical affiliates in the San Diego . 


The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health

Education Programs (CAAHEP). www.caahep.org


UCSD's Sonography Program will provide the students with an exceptional education to include:


        A medical library that contains textbooks and journals as well as online resources.

       State-of-the-art diagnostic ultrasound equipment.  Students will learn to use a variety of ultrasound equipment.

       A diverse patient population to include both inpatients and outpatients.  Students will be exposed to a wide range of illnesses and pathology.

       An excellent student to faculty ratio.  Students will work directly with highly skilled sonographers throughout the program to provide direction, knowledge and skills.




The UCSD Medical Center Sonography Program provides the high quality didactic and clinical experiences needed to create a well-qualified, fully competent general sonographer.  The program at UCSD is well known for outstanding sonographers and excellence in student performance.


The school maintains this excellence by a very selective application process.  We set high standards for the students to maintain.  An incredible amount of reading, comprehension and logical reasoning is required of the students.  The formation of these high goals  prepares them to focus on the academic challenge for a successful career in ultrasound.


The school places an emphasis on clinical training in addition to

didactic classes with a weekly schedule that includes one eight hour day of

classes and four eight hour days of clinical..  Student clinical rotations will be at two of the seven affiliates in San Diego . Each rotation will be for 6 months.  Only one student is assigned to each clinical site at a time to maximize the amount of clinical scanning and amount of time spent with the sonographer.

 Program Outcomes  

Number of students admitted 6544
Number of students graduating 6543
Number of graduates employed 6543
Number of students taking
Abdomen credentialing exam
Number of students passing
Abdomen credentialing exam
Number of students taking
OB-Gyn credentialing exam
Number of students passing
OB-Gyn credentialing exam




The school will accept applicants who exhibit by past education experience and  personal interview a high potential for success in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.  The grade point average shall be a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in previous academic work.  The mandatory prerequisite courses listed must be completed within 5 years of submitting the application.  All prerequisite courses must also be completed prior to submitting the application.  The Program Director, Physics Instructor and a Clinical Instructor will serve on the admissions committee.



To qualify for the program, applicants must meet ONE of the two prerequisites described below.



Prerequisite #1


Candidates must be a graduate of a 2 year Radiologic Technology Program and passed the registry exam.


Completion of the following courses at the post-secondary level with a minimum grade of "C" or higher.  These courses must be completed prior to submitting and application and must have been taken within 5 years of applying.


       Algebra or higher level maths

       Communication skills/English

       General Physics

       Human Anatomy and Physiology

       General Pathophysiology

       Patient Care

       Medical Terminology

       Medical Ethics and Law


Prerequisite #2


Candidates must have a Bachelors Degree in any area.


Completion of the following courses at the post-secondary level with a minimum grade of "C" or higher.  These courses must be completed prior to submitting and application and must have been taken within 5 years of applying.


       Algebra or higher level maths

       Communication skills/English

       General Physics

       Human Anatomy and Physiology

       General Pathophysiology

       Patient Care

       Medical Terminology

       Medical Ethics and Law


Students must provide documentation of 80 hours direct patient contact in a hospital or clinic.  Volunteering at a hospital is acceptable and requires appropriate documentation.


International Students:  Admission Requirements


Students must meet one of the two prerequisites of the program.  Applicants 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.


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).  You may obtain information on these tests from the Educational Testing Services website at http://www.toefl.org/index.html   The test results must be less than two years old.




The annual tuition for the program is $10,000.00.  Textbooks cost approximately $1000.00. The student will also purchase a scanning lab simulator program at a cost of $800.00.  In addition, you will be required to purchase a professional medical liability insurance policy at a cost of $25.00.  Upon acceptance into the program you will be required to have a background check and a drug screen at a cost of approximately $100.00.  The results of the background check and the drug screen will be kept in the students file and the student can review them at any time.  A positive result for either will result in withdrawal of the students' acceptance into the program. 


Students are responsible for the ARDMS certification examination fees, all living expenses, and parking fees.  No financial aid is available through the University or the Program.  All funding must be obtained through other sources. 



Admission to the program is conditional upon passing a physical examination.  A form will be mailed upon your acceptance into the program.  All immunizations must be completed along with supporting documentation and updated as required by the program. Students must have all immunizations up to date including TB, TDAP and Flu.


Students are responsible for their own health insurance and must provide a copy of their card or a copy of the policy at orientation for proof of insurance.  This coverage must be maintained throughout the program. 


       Ability to bend, kneel and squat

       Full use of both arms, hands, fingers

       Ability to push and pull a 800 pound ultrasound machine

       Ability to hear Doppler used in pulse wave Doppler

       Ability to distinguish variations in colors used in color Doppler

       Ability to work standing greater than 75% of the time

       Assist patients by lifting and helping on and off tables

       Effectively communicate with patients and relatives

       Effectively communicate with sonographers and radiologists




       You are expected to arrive on time and attend all scheduled classes

         and clinical rotations unless you have an approved absence.


       You must conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.


       You must adhere to all policies regarding the program and all policies

         required by each hospital clinical affiliate.


       You must maintain a "C" average at all times throughout the program.



Students who complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program receive a certificate from UCSD Medical Center.  Upon completion of the program, you will be qualified to take the abdomen, obstetrics & gynecology and physics examinations given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).



Each student will be assigned to an affiliate hospital for their clinical training.

The curriculum is designed so that the didactic courses will be given in a specified sequence.  You will then utilize this information in the clinical rotation as you learn each area.  You will add to your expertise throughout the program. 


Didactic Course


Pelvic Sonography

            Anatomy and Physiology


            Case Review


    Introduction to Ultrasound Physics

            Ultrasound Equipment


    Small Parts Sonography (breast, thyroid, scrotum, prostate)

            Anatomy and Physiology


            Case Review


    Abdominal Sonography

            Anatomy and Physiology



            Case Review


    Color and Pulsed Doppler Physics


    Neonatal Head Sonography

            Anatomy and Physiology


            Case Review


    Advanced Physics


    Obstetrical Sonography

            Normal Anatomy

            Fetal Anomalies

            Other abnormalities associated with pregnancy           

            Case Review


    Vascular Sonography

            Venous - upper and lower extremity

                        Anatomy and Physiology



                        Case Review


                        Anatomy and Physiology



                        Case Review


    Clinical - 32 hours a week.   Didactic - approximately 8 hours a week.


The goal of the program is "To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains".

The following objectives shall be met upon graduation:


1.      Demonstrate knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, pathology, and Pathophysiology.

2.      Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of related imaging, laboratory

and testing procedures as they contribute to the clinical evaluation of

disease and pathology.

3.      Identify sonographic representation of normal and abnormal anatomy.

4.      Apply optimal scanning techniques and imaging for specific areas of interest.

5.      Demonstrate knowledge of permanent image record processing methods, image processing and storage, billing, and hospital computer.

6.      Complete all clinical exam and equipment competencies.

7.      Anticipate and provide basic patient care.

8.      Maintain patient privacy according to the HIPPA and affiliate guidelines.

9.      Knowledge of hospital codes, emergency numbers, fire safety and be prepared for any hospital or natural disaster.

10.  Integrate patient history and physical findings to determine appropriate area(s) of interest for obtaining diagnostic examinations and demonstrate proficiency in clinical scanning in all areas.

11.  Demonstrate knowledge of ultrasound instrumentation

12.  Demonstrate understanding of acoustical physics, Doppler principles and medical ultrasound principles and instrumentation.

13.  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the interactions between ultrasound and tissue.

14.  Demonstrate knowledge related to biological effects.

15.  Exercise professional judgment and discretion in obtaining diagnostic information and correlating findings with supervising physicians.

16.  Exercise professional judgment and discretion in communication with patients, co-workers and the public concerning Sonography.

17.  Demonstrate knowledge, which contributes to the development of diagnostic medical Sonography.

Knowledge of professional organizations, continuing medical education credits, and proper ergonomics


Click here to Download the Application !!!

Six students are accepted for the UCSD Medical Center Sonography Program on a competitive basis each year.  The program does not have a waiting list.  Classes begin in January.   The following material must be submitted by the June 30 deadline each year.


       A completed UCSD Medical Center Sonography Program application form which can be obtained through the link on this website.

       Official transcripts from high school and all college education.

       3 recommendation letters completed by fellow employees, employers or instructors. 

       Letter of intent or personal statement describing why you are interested in the ultrasound program and future goals.


Applications will be reviewed by the Program Director and qualified applicants will be invited for an interview in September with a committee consisting of the Program Director, Physics instructor and a clinical instructor from one of the clinical affiliates.


Qualified applicants are those that have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or greater "C" grade or better in all prerequisite courses and a "good" rating from the three references.


The interviews will be located at the University of California San Diego Medical Center at 200 West Arbor Drive.  Interviews will take approximately one and a half hours in length.  The interview will include a detailed description of the training program.


Following the interviews, the committee will select six students and three alternates.  All applicants will be notified in writing regarding their acceptance for the program in October.


A reply is expected within two weeks of acceptance.  Any student wishing to withdraw from the program after this time should notify the school immediately so an alternate can be given the opportunity to attend. 


All students must meet the physical requirements listed on the website and successfully complete a general physical examination before the start of the program.  A physical examination form will be mailed to you with your letter of appointment. 


All students will be required to have a background check and drug screen.  Failure of one or both of these will result in termination of your acceptance into the program.


Students selected for the program will receive additional information detailing their orientation, clinical rotations and academic calendar for the upcoming 12 months on the first day of class.


Classes will begin on the first day after the New Year



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