Application Process - Sonography Training Program

Program Standards

The program maintains 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.

Successful applicants are those 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 3.2 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.

Admission Prerequisites

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 program in either Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy or Nursing and passed the specific 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
  • 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 Bachelor’s 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
  • 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 .The test results must be less than two years old.

Health Requirements

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 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.

Physical Requirements

  • 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

Application Process

Six students are accepted for the UC San Diego Health System 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 UC San Diego Health System Sonography Program application form
  • 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 3.2 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 UC 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