May 21, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog and Student Handbook 
2023-2024 College Catalog and Student Handbook

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Specialization in Echocardiography, Associate of Applied Science (G3 Eligible)

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Program Number: 221-109-08
CIP Code: 51.0910
Length: 5 Semesters
G3 Tuition Assistance


The Diagnostic Medical Sonography with a Specialization in Echocardiography Program is designed to prepare competent entry level Adult Cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Students will have didactic and laboratory instruction as well as clinical site experiences through rotations at participating hospital and medical affiliates.  

This program is designed to prepare students for a career as a health science professional who produces diagnostic images of the heart using special equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into the patient’s body to view anatomic structures of the heart. At the successful completion of the degree requirements and required hands on experience hours, graduates will be eligible to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) leading to credentials as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS).

Occupational Objectives 

A career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Echocardiography offers an individual a rewarding professional career and a competitive salary. The cardiac sonographer is a central member of the healthcare team and assists the cardiologist or physician in gathering diagnostic date for interpretation. A certified sonographer is qualified to work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, public health projects, industrial medical clinics, veterans’ and military hospitals. 

 Admission Requirements 

  • Admission is competitive and only the top candidates are accepted
  • High School graduate or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) with verification on file in Admissions and Records (A&R).
  • Completion of all RCC admission requirements
  • Submit all official transcripts to Admissions and Records. Only courses from a regionally accredited college will be accepted upon review and approval from the registrar.
  • College GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Successful completion of all prerequisite courses with a grade “C” or higher: ENG 111, BIO 141, BIO 142, PHY 100, MTH 154, SDV 101
  • Completion and submission of a DMS program application by the designated deadline for the admission cycle
  • Students will be initially in the Pre-DMS Career Studies Certificate (CSC) for completion of the pre-requisites and are eligible to apply to the program after the first semester of the CSC is completed, GPA 2.5 or higher
  • Completion of the application TEAS Entrance Exam within the past 2 years, target scores of 60% overall and 50 in each category. The exam may be taken two times in an academic year.
  • Attend one of the Information Sessions (Offering 2 per academic year).

Program Requirements

After acceptance into the program:

  • Attend the scheduled orientation prior to the start of the DMS courses

  • Health Record Requirement: physical examination, including immunizations, must be completed prior to the start of clinical courses. Due dates are posted.

  • Students must be willing and able to conform to all clinical requirements of participating clinical agencies, including but not limited to: criminal background investigation; drug screening; immunizations including COVID and seasonal influenza; Tuberculosis screening; employment verification’s; CPR for Healthcare Providers (American Heart Association). Students are responsible for the costs of these requirements. 

  • Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screens: A criminal background and urine drug screen are required of each student and must be conducted by the college-designated contractor. Information will be provided at orientation. The cost of the background and drug screen are the responsibility of the student.

  • Maintain a grade of “C” or higher in all courses in the curriculum

  • Maintain professionalism in both campus and clinical settings, especially in attitude and responsibility. Failure to meet this requirement can result in termination from the program.

  • Students are responsible for purchasing the required clinical uniforms and name tags through the college’s designated supplier

  • DMS students should be in good standing from all previous healthcare employers. Students may be denied clinical placement based on previous work history and, thus, cannot be entered into or possibly complete the DMS program.

  • RCC does not provide any student health services. The student assumes responsibility for accidents, incidents, and/or illnesses that require medical attention.

  • All students will sign an Assumption of Risk form at the beginning of the program that shall remain in force for the duration of the student’s program

Program Progression

• The student must complete all general education courses either preceding or concurrently with the appropriate DMS course semester, as indicated in the curriculum plan.

• The student will earn at least a grade of “C” in all general education courses in order to progress to the next semester.

• All courses in the DMS sequence must be completed each semester successfully to progress.

• The student must maintain at least a “C” in all courses in the DMS sequence to progress to the next semester.

• Clinical hours must be completed as listed on the program sequence. Students will be required to meet clinical performance objectives.

• A student must obtain permission from the program head to continue in the DMS program under the following conditions: 1) receiving a grade below “C” in any general education course, or 2) withdrawal from any curricular courses, including those courses in the DMS sequence. In accordance with VCCS policy, a student cannot enroll in the same course more than twice without administrative approval. Additional policies for the program are listed in the DMS Student Handbook. The handbook is given to all entry-level DMS students and is available online via Canvas to admitted students.

• Clinical agencies reserve the right to deny access to or dismiss a student from their agency at any time with due cause.

• The student releases the hospital, its agents, and its employees from any liability for any injury or death to himself or damage to his property arising out of the clinical agreement or use of the hospital’s facilities.

Graduation Requirements

The Associate of Applied Science in DMS: Echocardiography Specialization follow the guidelines of the RCC Graduation Requirements.   

Student Estimated Costs

Item  Estimated Cost
Tuition and Fees (66 credits X $160.65*)  $10,602.90
Uniforms and Shoes  $300
TEAS Test $65
Books and ancillary support programs, Trajecsys (clinical tracker) $1000
Criminal Background Checks/Drug Screens/Documents Tracker $175
Medical $500
Graduation and Licensure $500
Parking/Travel to Clinical Facilities Variable
Total Estimated Costs 13,142.90+
  • Tuition and Fees are subject to change. Costs are estimates only.


First Semester: Prerequisites*

First Semester Total Credits: 19

Milestone: Students eligible to apply to the DMS program

Second Semester Total Credits: 14

Third Semester Total Credits: 13

Fourth Semester Total Credits: 8

Fifth Semester Total Credits: 12

Total Minimum Credits: 66

1 PHY 100  or higher 
2 MTH 154  or higher 
3 SDV 101  is strongly encouraged; SDV 100  may be substituted 
4 PHI 220  is strongly encouraged. ART, HUM, MUS, PHI, REL, and ENG (Literature) may be substituted. Skills-based courses are not acceptable 

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