Apr 17, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

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Program Description

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, also known as ultrasound, is a technology involving the application of high-frequency sound waves toward patients to help physicians in medical diagnoses. Diagnostic medical sonographers work as members of patient care teams, assessing patients and providing information to physicians for diagnoses and monitoring patients’ health status. This is a specialized vocation requiring a high-degree of technical skills and exceptional interpersonal skills.

This program teaches key aspects of ultrasound technology including obstetrics and gynecology, the cardiac and vascular systems and abdomen and superficial structures. Studies also include patient care, physics, anatomy and physiology, equipment instrumentation, medical research, quality control, and the performance of diagnostic scanning procedures. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program consists of theory and lab courses, along with practicum rotations off campus.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (7 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a blended format
  • Full-Time Intakes:
    • Fall
  • Based on the availability of the practicum sites, students may have to travel or re-locate to anywhere in Alberta (and in some circumstances outside of Alberta) in order to complete their practica

Certain courses may be offered through Open Studies during the daytime, evenings, and/or weekends, as well as in a classroom, blended, or online format. All courses must be completed within the program completion timeframe. Please be advised that for the purpose of student loans, full-time student status requires that learners are enrolled in a minimum of 60% of a full course load per semester.

Your Career

Graduates find work as diagnostic medical sonographers in hospitals, doctors’ offices and community clinics. Employers indicate that working hours may be days, evenings, and/or weekends, with the potential for overnight shifts.

Student Success

Student who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Are committed to signficant self-study outside of classroom learning
  • Have exceptional communication skills in English
  • Are detail oriented and employ critical thinking in practice
  • Are eager to learn and intrinsically motivated, possess perserverance, and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Have basic computer literacy, including the ability to use word processing and communication software
  • Are able to handle unpleasant situations
  • Are physically fit, including the ability to
    • Help lift heavy patients
    • Stand for long periods of time
    • Sit in difficult positions and exert upper body strength while scanning patients
    • Apply finger, hand, and wrist dexterity
    • See and hear clearly

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers work in environments where they may spend a considerable amount of time standing or sitting and performing tasks that may be repetitive. They must observe safety precautions and ergonomics to reduce the risk of exposures and injury.

Individuals with previous chronic or repetitive strain injuries have experienced re-injury or aggravation of these conditions in this program and/or as a sonographer.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Diagnostic Medical Sonography diploma.

Graduates are eligible to write Sonography Canada registry exams in Core (Physics), Abdomen and Superficial Structures, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vascular, and Adult Echocardiography. In addition, graduates are eligible to write the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams.


The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada. The program also works closely with our Diagnostic Imaging Advisory Committee to ensure that our curriculum continues to meet or exceed provincial and national accreditation standards.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

At least 75% in each of the following courses or equivalents:

  • Math 30-1, Math 30-2, AND,
  • English Language Arts 30-1, AND,
  • Biology 30, AND,
  • Physics 30

Successful applicants must meet or exceed a score of 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety’s Entrance Testing Process.

All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Program Outline

Total Credits 79.5

Program Outcomes

  1. Patient Care: Provide patient care that ensures comfort, safety, and dignity.
  2. Teamwork & Interdependency: Collaborate effectively within the inter-professional environment to achieve a high standard of patient service. Engage in the healthcare system with a comprehensive understanding and accountability towards your impact.
  3. Sonographic Imaging & Intervention Procedures: Evaluate and document optimal diagnostic images. Produce and capture optimal real-time images for evaluation in an ultrasound imaging department using non-ionizing energy in a clinic or hospital. Provide assistance as required by physicians performing intervention procedures.
  4. Precepting Skills: Evaluate and guide the technical and professional development of students using educational institute guidelines.
  5. Communication: Use verbal, non-verbal, and written skills to communicate appropriately with patients, members of the healthcare team, and the public.
  6. Professionalism: Model professionalism by adhering to the professional code of ethics, legal and workplace standards, and by embracing a commitment to lifelong learning.
  7. Work Safety: Ensure the physical and psychological safety of patients, co-workers, and the self.
  8. Technical Skills: Competently operate and maintain equipment to perform clinical procedures.
  9. Critical Thinking: Apply critical thinking and creativity to adapt to challenging situations in the workplace.

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