School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography – General Concentration

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Program Information

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Grady Health System began in 1991. To date, 170 students have graduated from the program. The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography has several affiliate clinical sites where student training is enhanced through exposure to many diverse patients, various equipment, and a variety of examination types. This specialized program prepares the graduate for a rewarding career in diagnostic medical sonography in the areas of Abdomen and OB/GYN.

The course of study in General Concentration awards a certificate from Grady Health System upon graduation. Students who satisfactorily complete the program fulfill the requirements to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The student may sit for the Sonography Physics and Instrumentation ARDMS exam upon completion of a physics course. The OB/Gyn and Abdominal ARDMS specialty exams may be taken up to 60 days prior to graduation. The credential of RDMS is valid upon completion of all program requirements and graduation.

This advanced-level program is a full-time, daytime program lasting 18 months. Classes are limited in size. Admission to this program is competitive. The number of students accepted is dependent on the availability of clinical sites. Currently, 14 students may be accepted every 18 months. (Gainful Employment Disclosure)

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an advanced program and is:

  • Full-time
  • Daytime program
  • 18 months in length
  • 14 students are accepted annually


The mission of the School of Diagnostic is to provide a quality education that actively engages the student in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences that will prepare the student to challenge the national certification examination.

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Goals and Learning Outcomes

The goal of the School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is to prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Learning Outcome 1: Students will be clinically competent.

  1. Students will apply principles of patient safety in using acoustic energy as low as reasonably achievable during sonographic exam.
  2. Students will apply knowledge of sonographic procedures.
  3. Students will provide appropriate patient care.

Learning Outcome 2: Students will communicate effectively.

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of patient communication skills.
  2. Students will demonstrate effective oral communication.
  3. Students will demonstrate effective written communication skills.

Learning Outcome 3: Students will use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  1. Students will identify ethical dilemmas.
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and decision-making skills.
  3. Students will adapt procedures for non-routine exams and emergent patient conditions.

Learning Outcome 4: Students will demonstrate professional development and growth consistent with program mission and expected outcomes.

  1. Students will demonstrate a professional work ethic.
  2. Students will demonstrate dependability.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to function as team player.
Program Effectiveness Measurements
  1. Graduates will pass the SPI and one specialty ARDMS certification exams no later than 1 year from graduation.
  2. Graduates will complete the program within 18 months.
  3. Of those pursuing employment, graduates will be employed within 12 months post-graduation.
  4. Graduates will be satisfied with their education.
  5. Employers will be satisfied with the graduate’s education.

See our Program Effectiveness Data.

Clinical Education

A student spends 3 days per week in the clinical setting. Students rotate through diagnostic abdominal imaging areas, perinatal departments, and pediatric imaging departments in several affiliate sites in the Atlanta area. Students must dress in the approved uniform attire during classes and clinical rotations. Clinical assignments occur during the day shift.

Travel times from Grady Memorial Hospital:

  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding– 35 Jesse Hill Jr Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30303 – one block from Grady Memorial Hospital
  • Emory University Hospital Midtown– 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 – 1.5 miles
  • Emory University Hospital – 1364 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 – 5.9 miles
  • Emory University Hospital – Outpatient Clinic (The Emory Clinic) – 1365 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 – 5.9 miles
  • Grady Memorial Hospital – Inpatient and Outpatient – 80 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE – 0 miles
  • Grady Memorial Hospital – Perinatal Center – 80 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE – 0 miles
  • Kaiser Permanente-Southwood –  2400 Mt Zion Pkwy, Jonesboro, GA 30236 – 17.4 miles
  • Northside Hospital – 1000 Johnson Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 – 13.0 miles
  • Northside Hospital Outpatient Clinic – 980 Johnson Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 – 13.0 miles
  • Northside Hospital – Maternal Fetal Medicine – 980 Johnson Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 – 13.0 miles
  • Piedmont Hospital– 1968 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 – 5.8 miles
  • Piedmont Hospital – Doris Shaheen Breast Health Center – 77 Collier Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 – 5.8 miles
Grading Policy

The following grading system is used:

A – Excellent 90 – 100%
B – Good 80 – 89%
C – Fair 75 – 79%
D – Poor 70 – 74%
F – Failure  below 70%

Students receive an academic and clinical transcript at the end of each semester. Academic and clinical grades are listed separately, are weighted by credit hours, and are averaged for the semester GPA. Students are counseled individually concerning academic and clinical training on a weekly, monthly, or semester basis as needed.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, a student must have successfully completed both the academic and clinical portions of the course of study.

Successful completion of the academic and clinical portions requires the following criteria to be met:

  1. A final accumulative average of 75% must be obtained considering all courses studied.
  2. A score of 75% or better must be obtained in a comprehensive final examination in Registry Review in Sonographic Physics; Obstetrical and Gynecological Sonography; and Abdominal Sonography.
  3. Successful completion of all required clinical hours within the program.
  4. Successful completion of all clinical competencies and required clinical hours.

Upon completion of all prescribed courses with satisfactory scholastic standing, each graduate will be awarded a certificate from Grady Health System.

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Program Director:
Donna McNeil, MSEd, RDMS, RVT
[email protected]
(404) 616-5032


Sonography Training Coordinator:
Khristine Simmons, BSc, RDMS, RT(R)
[email protected]
(404) 616-3611

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The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an accredited program in the General Concentration approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs through review by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Successful completion of a CAAHEP-accredited program assures that students are provided the knowledge, skills, and professional values required for career success.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL, 33763
(727) 210-2350

Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(443) 973-3251

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Admission Requirements

The School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography offers equal educational opportunities to students regardless of race, creed, color, sex, age, handicap, religion, or national origin.

    1. Minimum age of 18 years.
    2. Satisfactory graduation from an accredited high school or a passing score on the General Education Development test (GED) of the American Council on Education.
    3. Transfer credits, for sonography-specific courses, from other Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs will not be accepted.  Advanced placement is not available.
    4. SAT, ACT, Compass, ASSETT Exam, or ACCUPLACER Generation Next requirement (one of the following criteria must be met):
      1. Scholastic Aptitude Reasoning Test (SAT I): minimum math and critical reading (verbal) total score of 830 (writing section not included)
      2. American College Test (ACT): minimum composite score of 17
      3. Compass: minimum reading score of 74 or minimum writing/English score of 42; minimum math score of 37
      4. Accuplacer: minimum reading score of 61; minimum Elementary Algebra Score of 67
      5. Accuplacer Generation Next: minimum reading score of 237, and elementary algebra of 258.
      6. Asset: minimum reading score of 40; minimum math score of 40
    5. A college degree may be considered in the selection process, but not in place of SAT I, ACT, Compass, Accuplacer, or Asset scores.
    6. College-level courses at an accredited college with a minimum grade of “C” or 2.0 in each course,  and a minimum overall college GPA of 2.5.
      Courses excluded from consideration are:

      • Remedial courses
      • Developmental studies courses
      • Courses with essentially non-academic content (orientation, career courses, etc.)
      • Non-transferable courses (grades of “D” or lower)
    7. A status of good standing (not on probation, suspension, or expulsion) at the last institution attended.
    8. Satisfactory graduation from one of the following is preferred:
      • Programmatic, nationally or regionally accredited, a two-year allied health education program that is patient care related (clinical education component is supervised direct patient care in a hospital environment).
        • Certification in good standing with the appropriate U.S. certification board as applicable.
      • Regionally accredited United States post-secondary institution (University, College, or Technical College) with a minimum of an Associate’s degree
    9. Documented health-related experience by written verification of formal clinical education in a health-related profession, volunteerism in a healthcare setting, and/or shadowing in a sonography setting is preferred.
    10. Completion of prerequisite courses at a regionally accredited United States post-secondary institution (University, College, or Technical College) to include the following courses regardless of other background education or experience:
      • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
      • Human Anatomy and Physiology II
      • Physics
      • Communications or Speech
      • Information Technology (Introduction to Computers)
      • Psychology
      • Introductory Statistics
      • Algebra or a higher-level mathematics

Postsecondary education must be from an institution accredited by one of the following entities:

    • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
    • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
    • Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
    • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
    • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
    • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and Senior College Commission (SCC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
    • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
    • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
    • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
    • Council on Occupational Training (COE)
    • Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission (DETC)
    • National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  1. Applicants are required to visit the hospital when invited. This includes a personal interview and a tour of the school facilities and ultrasound departments.

International Students

An applicant will be classified as an “International Student” if the school credentials he/she submits for evaluation are from schools or colleges outside of the United States.

Learn more about International Students Admission Requirements

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Application Process

The Sonography program begins only one time every 24 months. Online applications are accepted at any time.  The next class will begin in August 2023. The application deadline is April 30, 2023.


  1. Apply online and pay the $35.00 nonrefundable application fee
  2. Applicants submit the following to the School: 
  1. Application portfolio documents
    1. All official transcripts
      1. Official high school transcript, or GED certificate.
      2. Official transcripts of courses completed in all colleges or other postsecondary programs of study.
    2. Test scores
      1. A college entrance test is required. Scholastic Aptitude Reasoning Test (SAT I), American College Test (ACT), Compass, Accuplacer, and/or Asset. Grady Health System’s SAT code is 5263 and the ACT code is 5329.
      2. Score and proof of any current national certification, if applicable.
      3. TOEFL score, if applicable (see International Student Requirements).
    3. Military discharge papers (DD214), if applicable.
    4. References
      The applicant must provide names, email addresses, and complete mailing addresses for four (4) references who have supervised the applicant a minimum of six months in an evaluating position (such as supervisors, educators, etc.). friends, relatives, clergy, and co-workers are not acceptable references. The applicant should contact references prior to submission of application. One (1) references from allied health program faculty members, if applicable.
    5. Documentation of patient care experience.

A completed application portfolio consists of the application, application fee, official SAT I, ACT,  Compass, or Asset score, official high school transcript or documentation of GED, all official university, college, and/or technical college transcripts, documentation of any current certifications with scores, and other supporting data (references, military discharge, etc.).

Incomplete applications will be disqualified.  The application and pre-entrance requirements will not be returned to the applicant, nor forwarded to another institution.

A qualifying applicant will be invited to Grady Health System for an interview and tour.  The applicant will also receive Financial Aid information.  This takes approximately three hours.

Notices of acceptance or rejection will be emailed the week following the Admissions Committee meeting.  Notices are given by email only.

Admission to the school is competitive and the Admissions Committee reserves the right, in every case, to accept or reject any applicant based on previous academic performance, motivation, personality, or health and character as determined by the application process, interview, review of academic and sociological data, references, and investigation.

All correspondence and inquiries pertaining to applications should be directed to the attention of the:

Admissions Office
Rain Twolions
Schools of Radiation and Imaging Technologies
Grady Health System
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE – P.O. Box 26095
Atlanta, GA 30303-3050
[email protected]
(404) 616-3610

Technical Standards – ADA Compliance

ARRT Ethics Review for Felony or Misdemeanor Conviction

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Accepted Applicants

Upon acceptance, the applicant must complete and submit by program deadline date:

  1. Physical examination and immunizations to include documentation of:
    • MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Must have one of the following:
      • Documentation of 2 doses after 1st birthday and separated by at least 28 days
      • Laboratory evidence of immunity by positive measles titer, positive mumps titer, and positive rubella titer
    • Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster must be given within the past 10 years
    • Hepatitis B Vaccine (series of 3 and titer results drawn after 3rd dose)
    • Varicella vaccine (2 doses) and/or positive titer
    • COVID-19 vaccine
    • PPD (TB screening) within last 30 days prior to enrollment, any one of the following to documents accepted:
      • Negative Quantiferon Gold blood test
      • For history of positive TB test, latent TB infection or TB disease, must have negative chest x-ray. If student has had TB disease, medical evaluation and documentation that student has been treated for TB disease is required. After initial TB testing is completed, students should receive follow-up TB testing annually consisting of a T.SPOT or a Quantiferon Gold Test.

Immunization requirements are subject to change by Grady Health System and/or Clinical affiliates at any time.

  1. Three separate Background check and drug screens performed through AdvantageStudents and Simplr.
  2. Proof of professional liability insurance as a Diagnostic Medical Sonography Student, prior to enrollment, which documents coverage for first year of enrollment (must be renewed before end of first year).
  3. Current CPR (BLS for Healthcare Provider) documentation. If BLS for Healthcare Provider is expired or needed, submit documentation of completion for Part I of the American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers online training module and Part II will be scheduled for completion with school faculty at the school.
  4. Any on-line hospital or clinical site orientations assigned by the school.

Background Check – Drug Screen Policy

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Tuition and Fees

Sonography Tuition: $2,610/semester (5 semesters)
3 Drug Screen & Background Checks: 1 & 2) $78.50 *base fee  3) $49

*May be higher if student lived in another state or country

Professional Liability Insurance $37.00 – 220.00 per year
Graduation Fee $180.00 (prorated at $36 paid each semester)
Online Record Keeping System $150
Technology Fee $50.00/semester
CPR (Heart Code – BLS) Online Training Module $28.50
Uniform Scrub Top and Pants
(5 sets recommended)
approximately $35.00/set
Uniform Shoes
(2 pairs recommended)
approximately $60.00/pair
Books, supplies, computer software, etc. approximately $800
Grady Parking
Off campus clinical sites may require a parking fee, which is the responsibility of the student.
Grady Parking at Capital Avenue Parking (Orange) Lot for a one-time fee of $10, subject to change
ARDMS Credential exam fees: SPI – $225 (sitting for the Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation exam is required before beginning the 5th semester)
Completing ARDMS specialty exams  prior to graduation is encouraged: Abdomen – $250
OB/Gyn – $250

Prices subject to change

Net Price Calculator

Financial Aid

Tuition Refund Policy

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Student Services

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Financial Aid

Financial Aid programs available to students are:

  • Federal Pell Grant: Pell Grants are for eligible undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan: The Subsidized Federal Direct Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The interest is subsidized by the Federal government while the student is in school.
  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan: The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed.
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): PLUS loans are made to parents of dependent undergraduate students. There are no income restrictions for these loans.
  • Veteran’s Educational Benefits: Students who are eligible may receive Veterans Educational Benefits from the Veterans Administration.
Employee Wellness Center

The exercise facility located in the Brian Jordan/Steve Atwater Employee Wellness Center located on the 16th floor of the hospital is available for use by employees and students.


Students are assigned to the Georgia State/Cortland Street parking lot. A Grady Shuttle is available for transport between the parking lot and the hospital.

Parking fees associated with clinical education rotation assignments are the responsibility of the student.

Health Services

Employee Health Services (EHS) is available for TB screening, flu shots and/or completion of Hepatitis B vaccine series, post needle stick reporting, and exposures to infectious diseases (all at no cost). For outpatient clinic or Emergency Department visits, the student is expected to pay for services or show proof of health insurance.

Computers and Software Tutorials

There are computers for student use in Piedmont Hall. Software tutorials are maintained and loaned through school offices. In addition, the Calhoun Medical Library located in the Glenn Building has a number of computers with Internet access that the student may use during normal library hours.


School Library
The School library is located in Piedmont Hall. Textbooks and other learning resources belonging to the Schools of Radiologic Technology, Radiation Therapy, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography are housed in this area. The most current editions of Sonography books and learning resources are located in the sonography classroom.

W. Calhoun Library
A. W. Calhoun Medical Library, Grady Branch of Emory University School of Medicine Library, is located in the Glenn Building on Jesse Hill Jr. Drive. This library is open to the instructors and students of Grady Health System School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and other schools within the hospital.


Lockers for books and personal items are available for student use in the third floor locker rooms. Students must provide their own padlock. Lockers must be shared.


Students are required to wear uniform scrub attire. The uniform scrubs are embroidered with a school logo and are ordered through a local vendor.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do the high school and college transcripts have to be official?

Yes.  All official high school and college transcripts must be submitted directly to the schools’ admissions office in a sealed envelope from the institution.

May I send in the required information separately, or does it have to be sent all at once?

An applicant may send in the required information separately. Once the online application and application fee have both been received, the program will start a file on the applicant.

How are applicants selected?

The programs use a point system to rank applicants, which include the following criteria:

  • High school GPA or GED
  • SAT I or ACT score
  • College hours and/or degrees
  • Personal interview
  • Personal references
  • Direct and/or indirect healthcare experience, volunteer work, or shadowing
  • National certification score, if applicable
What are the school hours?

The program is offered 40 hours per week. School hours are 8 AM – 4 PM, Monday through Friday. The program begins each year in August.

If I have no patient care or healthcare experiences, what recommendations can you make that would allow me to obtain some patient care contact?

You can contact your local hospital, medical center, or nursing home and see if they have volunteer opportunities. Shadowing opportunities in ultrasound are preferred.

Does your school accept transfer applicants from other Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs?

Applicants from other Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs will not be accepted as transfer or advanced placement students.  Course credit will be accepted for prerequisite courses into our program if completed with a grade of “C” or better and the previous institution is properly accredited.  You must start the Grady Health System program from the first day and complete all courses and requirements to receive your certificate of completion.

How do I apply for financial aid?

All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The fastest way to get your application processed is to apply over the internet. To apply online, go to and apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN). A PIN allows you to electronically sign and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) without having to print, sign, and mail a signature page to the processing center. A PIN saves time and mistakes. School Code: 004117

To complete the FAFSA, you will need to provide information on your household size, number of household members attending college, and income and asset information for yourself, and if you are filing as a dependent student, for your parents as well. Be sure to follow the directions carefully because making corrections is a time consuming process.

What happens after I apply for financial aid?

Once Grady Health System receives your FAFSA results (if there are no corrections required and you aren’t selected for verification) and you have been admitted to the program, the Student Financial Aid Administrator will send you an award letter via U.S. Mail. The financial aid award letter outlines the type and amount of financial aid families can receive, such as scholarships, grants, and student loans.

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