Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Overview

Train from industry experts to provide important patient care as a Sonographer in Ultrasound Technology in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography involves using ultrasound equipment to use high-frequency sound waves to capture images of body organs, masses and fetuses at various stages of pregnancy. Sonographers are important members of a patient care team, assessing patients and ensuring accurate information is provided to the physician to confirm a diagnosis. Graduates will find themselves working in a hospital or private clinic setting.

A full time condensed, 80-week program, combining face-to-face instruction, with structured online learning components. This program has extensive on campus clinical training as well as hospital and clinic-based practicum placements (see below).

Students will learn everything from important anatomy and patient care to proper equipment-use, quality imaging and proper procedures for scanning. Small class sizes and a practicum component allow for a more focused learning environment for students to hone their skills and succeed in the profession.

Upon successful completion of all requirements, students will receive a Diploma in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

$46.83

Average Wage per Hour

Figures represent the 2022/2023 period and are sourced from the 2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey.

Who should take this program?

Health care workers see people at their most vulnerable state. Empathy and compassion are important attributes for a Sonographer.

To be successful, we encourage students who have the following:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Critical thinker
  • Independent worker
  • Ability to quickly grasp technical components
  • Ability to learn detailed anatomy
  • Strong physical health, including upper body strength and good wrist dexterity
  • Excellent vision and hearing

Costs

Tuition Costs:

  • $45,000.00
  • Tuition
  • $2,900.00
  • Books
  • $500.00
  • Supplies
  • $48,400.00
  • Total

[For international students and domestic students there is a non-refundable application fee of $500.00]

Courses

Ultrasound Physics 1 - (60 hours)

Ultrasound Physics 1 is an introduction to fundamental physical principle in diagnostic sonography.The course focuses on the physical properties of ultrasound waves, the mechanisms of sound wavesinteracting with human tissue, pulse echo instrumentation and fundamentals of optimizing asonographic image. The theory will be reinforced in the Scanning Fundamentals course.

Patient Care in Sonography - (45 hours)

Patient Care in Sonography is an introduction to developing skills in communication, professionalism and patient care relative to sonography. The theory will be reinforced in theScanning Fundamentals course.

Abdominal Sonography 1 - (60 hours)

Abdominal Sonography 1 covers the sonographic assessment of structures in the normalabdominopelvic cavity. The topics discussed include normal anatomy and relational anatomy,physiology, and sonographic appearance. The theory will be reinforced in the ScanningFundamentals course.

Scanning Fundamental - (60 hours)

Scanning Fundamentals is an introduction to the sonographic assessment technique. The focus is on the practical application of sonographic scanning and professionalism skills. Students will gain experience in sonographic assessment and documentation of abdominal and female pelvic structures. The theory taught in Ultrasound Physics 1, Abdominal Sonography 1, Anatomy Fundamentals for the Sonographer, Sonography of the Female Pelvis and Patient Care will be reinforced in this lab setting.

Anatomy Fundamentals - (30 hours)

Anatomy Fundamentals for the Sonographer introduces students to fundamental concepts ofscanning the human body relevant to the generalist sonographer. The focus of this course isrelational and cross-sectional anatomy and sonographic terminology. The theory will bereinforced in the Scanning Fundamentals course.

Sonography of the Female Pelvis - (45 hours)

This course covers the sonographic assessment of the female pelvis and first trimester pregnancy. Topicsdiscussed will include normal female pelvic anatomy and pathology, normal and abnormal first trimesterpregnancy, embryology, physiology, sonographic appearances and scanning techniques. The theory willbe reinforced in the Scanning Fundamentals course.

Abdominal Sonography 2 - (60 hours , Pre-Requisites)

Abdominal Sonography 2 is a continuation of Abdominal Sonography 1, focusing on the sonographic assessment of common pathologies affecting structures in the abdominopelvic cavity. The topics covered include pathophysiology, common sonographic appearances, correlation of clinical data with sonographic findings and surgical/therapeutic treatments.

Generalist Scanning Lab - (60 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Generalist Scanning Lab builds on the skills acquired in Scanning Fundamentals. The focus is on the practical application of sonographic scanning and professionalism skills. Students will gain experience in sonographic assessment and documentation of abdominal and female pelvic structures. The theory taught in Ultrasound Physics 1 and 2, Patient Care, Professional Interactions 1, Abdominal Sonography 1 and Sonography of the female Pelvis will be reinforced in this lab setting.

Obstetrical Sonography 1 - (80 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Obstetrical Sonography covers the sonographic assessment of second and third trimester pregnancy. Topics discussed include normal fetal anatomy, fetal environment, common pathologies, sonographic appearances and scanning techniques.

Professional Interactions 1 - (40 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Professional Interactions 1 focuses on the skills required in communication, professionalism, interprofessional collaboration and patient care relevant to sonography.

Ultrasound Physics 2 - (60 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Ultrasound Physics 2 builds on the concepts discussed in Physics 1. The course topics include transducer construction and characteristics, image storage and display, Doppler imaging physics and instrumentation, image artifacts. Digital imaging and storage will be discussed along with Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).

Vascular Scanning Lab 1 - (40 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Vascular Scanning Lab 1 focuses on the practical application of sonographic scanning and professionalism skills. Students will gain experience in sonographic assessment and documentation of lower extremity veins and carotid arteries. Theory from Ultrasound Physics 1 and 2 and Vascular Sonography 1 will be reinforced in this lab setting.

Vascular Sonography 1 - (60 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Vascular Sonography 1 covers the sonographic assessment of the venous, hepatoportal and arterial circulatory system, specific to generalist sonography. The topics discussed include normal anatomy and relational anatomy, physiology, and sonographic appearance. Sonographic assessment of the lower extremity deep veins and carotid arteries will be practiced in the Vascular Scanning Lab 1.

Obstetrical Sonography 2 - (40 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Obstetrical Sonography 2 is a continuation of Obstetrical Sonography 1. The topics covered include sonographic assessment of fetal and maternal abnormalities in the second and third trimester of pregnancy as well as postpartum complications.

Professional Interactions 2 - (20 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Professional Interactions 2 expands on concepts covered in Professional Interactions 1, as well as prepares the student for clinical practicum. Students will use case scenarios to apply critical thinking, communication, conflict management and professionalism skills.

Sonography of Superficial Structures - (24 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Sonography of Superficial Structures explores the sonographic assessment of neck structures, scrotum, breast, and superficial tissue. Topics include normal anatomy and relational anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and common sonographic appearances. Sonographic assessment of the thyroid will be practiced in a lab setting.

Ultrasound Physics 3 - (24 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Ultrasound Physics 3 is a continuation of Ultrasound Physics 2. The topics covered include bioeffects, quality assurance and new technologies in sonography.

Vascular Sonography 2 - (32 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Vascular sonography 2 is a continuation of Vascular sonography 1, focusing on the sonographic assessment of common pathologies found in the venous, hepatoportal and arterial circulatory system. The topics covered include pathophysiology, common sonographic appearances, correlation of clinical data with sonographic findings and surgical/therapeutic treatments.

Clinical Sonography 1 - (300 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Clinical Sonography 1 is the first of three practicum semesters. The focus of this hands-on clinical rotation is to integrate students into the generalist clinical environment building on scanning and professionalism skills. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to perform portions of normal, abnormal, and technically difficult generalist studies with direct supervision and mentoring.

Clinical Sonography 2 - (450 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Clinical Sonography 2 is a continuation of Clinical Sonography 1. During this clinical semester, students are building on integrating theoretical and clinical skills by performing generalist ultrasound exams in more challenging patient scenarios. Upon successful completion of this semester, students will be able to complete non challenging generalist exams and portions of abnormal and challenging generalist ultrasound exams, with indirect supervision and mentoring.

Clinical Sonography 3 - (625 hours, Pre-Requisites)

Clinical Sonography 3 is the third and final practicum semester. During this clinical semester, students are integrating theoretical knowledge and clinical skills while performing generalist sonographic exams in a variety of patient scenarios, with minimal supervision. Upon successful completion of this semester, students will complete specific clinical objectives to attain competencies to an entry level proficiency, as specified by Sonography Canada’s current National Competency Profile (NCP).

Frequently Asked Questions

80-weeks. The first 46 weeks of the program is didactic and the last 34 weeks is practicum.

MCG College Diploma. Successful graduates will be eligible to write the Sonography Canada generalist examinations and American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations.

No. This is a blended full-time program.

No, practicums may be anywhere in Canada. You must also be prepared to move around as not all practicums will be at one location.

March 2025

To grant you an exemption from taking the mandatory prerequisite, we need to be able to review a detailed curriculum from the course you took to determine if there is enough of a match to grant an exemption. There is a cost for this review.

This is a competitive entry program and there are more applicants than seats available. Seat offers are made based a combination of academics and interview results.

We offer a maximum of 16 seats per intake.

Yes, you can apply for the next intake as soon as applications open. You do not have to take the mandatory prerequisite again provided you achieved the minimum 80% passing grade. You will have to fill out another application and pay the registration fee.

To register, send an email with your contact information to: info@mcgcollege.com. We will phone you to complete the registration process for this course.

Entrance Requirements

Standard Admission Requirements:

  1. Completion of a high school diploma, verified by an official transcript, with a minimum of 75% in each of the following courses or equivalents:
    • Math 30-1, Math 30-2, or Pure Math 30
    • English Language Arts 30-1
    • Biology 30
    • Physics 30
  2. Completion of MCG’s Medical Terminology, Anatomy & Pharmacology course with a minimum of 80% (120 hour course)
  3. Meet English Proficiency requirements (one of the following):

Canadian Language Benchmarks

    • 7 in each strand
    • IELTS Academic
      • 5.5 with a minimum band score of 5.0
    • TOEFL
      • 71
    • IQAS – Formal assessment
      • Alberta Education English Language Arts equivalents
    • Alberta Education High School English Course 60% in English Language Arts 30-1

Mature Admission:

    1. Be 18 years of age or older.
    2. Completion of MCG’s Medical Terminology, Anatomy & Pharmacology course with a minimum of 80% (120-hour course) OR
      • Professional health designation with a regulated college (must provide registration  documents and academic transcripts) OR
      • Completed credentials in the health profession with a minimum 80% average
    3. Completion of Canadian Achievement Test
    4. Meet English Proficiency requirements (one of the following):

Canadian Language Benchmarks

      • 7 in each strand
      • IELTS Academic
        • 5.5 with a minimum band score of 5.0
      • TOEFL
        • 71
      • IQAS – Formal assessment
        • Alberta Education English Language Arts equivalents
      • Alberta Education High School English Course 60% in English Language Arts 30-1

All applicants:

StepsDescriptionNotes
Pre-applicationAll pre-application paperwork including transcripts, I.D., Medical Documentation and Application Fee need to be submitted PRIOR to moving to the next stepFailure to complete this process will disqualify the applicant
Canadian Achievement Test
(Mature Admissions only)
The Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT) are a series of standardized tests designed to assess students’ academic abilities in various subject areas. These tests have been widely used in Canada to measure students’ knowledge and skills in comparison to a national or normative group of students. Top 50% of students will be invited to the Spatial Aptitude Assessment
Spatial Aptitude AssessmentA Spatial Aptitude Assessment is a type of standardized test designed to measure an individual’s spatial reasoning and visual problem-solving abilities. Spatial aptitude refers to the capacity to mentally visualize and manipulate objects in space and to understand their spatial relationships.Top 50% (up to 20 Applicants) will be invited to the Individual Interviews
Individual InterviewsAn admissions interview for a Diagnostic Medical Sonography program aims to assess applicants beyond their academic achievements and qualifications. It provides the admissions committee with an opportunity to evaluate the applicants’ communication skills, professionalism, motivation, and suitability for the program and the profession.During the interview, applicants might be asked a combination of general questions and those specific to the field of diagnostic medical sonography. Here are some possible topics and sample questions:
Admissions OffersThis offer is a formal invitation for the student to join the institution and begin their educational journey in the program for which they applied.Applicants will be notified via provided email.
Admissions AcceptanceAccepting an admissions offer for a Diagnostic Medical Sonography program involves a series of steps that the student must follow to confirm their enrollment and secure their spot in the program. 
Waitlist Admission OfferAn admissions offer process for students on a waitlist involves notifying applicants that they are being considered for admission, but there are no available spots in the program at the moment.If spots become available due to other accepted students declining their offers, those on the waitlist might be offered admission.
OrientationAn on-site orientation day for students taking the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at MCG Career College will serve as an introduction to the program, the campus, the faculty, and the resources available to students. 
First Day of classYour first day of your new career! 

Practicum Placement

To complete the program, components of the practicum will be required to be completed outside of Calgary and potentially outside of Alberta. Any costs associated with this, including but not limited to, transportation, housing, meals, etc., will be the sole responsibility of the student.

Police Information Check, inclusive of Vulnerable Sector Search

According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, clinical partners require a clear Police Information Check (PIC) including Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS). Any criminal code offense for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student’s entry into practicum or even the program. In cases where a PIC or VSS is not clear, the Dean will conduct a formal assessment to determine whether the student would be permitted to enter the program.

Standard First Aid with CPR Level C and AED

Students are required to provide proof of completion of the Standard First Aid with CPR Level C and AED course. Students need to maintain current certification throughout the program including practicum.

Computer Literacy

Students are required to be computer literate for success within this program. The program utilizes blended learning approaches and harnesses the benefits of technology throughout the program. This includes but is not limited to word processing, spreadsheet creation, utilization of a learning management system, email management, and web-based activities.

Health Requirements

This program may be difficult for students with arm, back, shoulder, wrist, or neck problems due to the nature of the activities required while performing the duties of a sonographer. College staff would be happy to discuss this with students who may have concerns in this area. We also encourage students to consult with their family physician.

Scanning Requirements

During your time on campus at MCG Career College you will be required to scan other students and students will scan you. This is imperative to provide you and your student colleagues with the experience needed to meet the required competencies of the program. Areas scanned will include, but are not limited to, the abdomen and pelvis, thyroid neck and arms, legs, etc.

Immunizations

Students are required to provide proof of immunization status. Without complete and acceptable immunization status practicum sites may refuse to accept students as per their organizational requirements, which could prevent the successful completion of the program.

National Examinations

To qualify for certification as a Generalist Sonographer, successful graduates of the MCG Diagnostic Medical Sonography program are required to complete the two examinations that are administered by Sonography Canada. Their website provides detailed information regarding these examinations. Costs associated with this including but not limited to transportation, accommodation, meals, etc., will be the sole responsibility of the student.

Rules and Regulations

Please also read and agree to abide by the Rules and Regulations set out by the MCG Career College as posted on the website