The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program prepares students to use medical ultrasound equipment that captures images. Medical Sonography is commonly associated with obstetrics and the use of ultrasound imaging during pregnancy, but is also used in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. When students complete the program, they can work as a diagnostic medical sonographers at hospitals or clinics.

The fall 2024 DMS admissions application deadline was May 1.

If applying for the DMS Program at NWSCC, you may submit a minimum of 4 hours of observation/experience  for additional ranking points.

This program will accept students based on selective admission criteria.

DMS student works in the lab on ultrasound

To be eligible for admission, a student must:

  • Meet all general admission requirements of NWSCC
  • Complete and submit application for the DMS program with required documents
  • Have a minimum composite score of 18 on ACT (National or Residual— written component not required)
  • Complete all general required courses for DMS program by application deadline 
  • Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale with a grade of “C” or higher on all general required pre-sonography courses (GPA calculated for program selection will be on the general required pre-sonography courses only)
  • Transfer students must enter NWSCC on clear academic status (cumulative 2.0 GPA)
  • Current or previous NWSCC students must have a minimum overall 2.0 cumulative grade point average, and be in good standing with NWSCC
  • Submit to criminal background and substance abuse screening per Health Studies Division Policies
  • Meet the essential functions required by the DMS program

View our catalog for information on course requirements for this program.

Note to Students Located Outside the State of Alabama

By attending our Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, you will be able to apply to take the national certification examination offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) upon graduation. By successfully completing the certification exam, you will be awarded the appropriate credential to begin work in the state of Alabama.  This credential is valid in many other states as well as the District of Columbia, but some states have additional requirements for licensure.  Students outside of Alabama should consult the ARRT website and the appropriate entity in their state or territory of residence to determine additional requirements for licensure and employment.

Program Goals

“To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the abdominal sonography-extended and obstetrics and gynecology sonography concentrations.”

Program Outcomes

The Northwest Shoals Community College Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program has a completion percentage of 88%, a job placement rate of 86%, and an American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) credentialing exam passage rate of 100% for the 2022 Graduation Year.


For more information about the NWSCC Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs,  please contact:

Terri Christian
Program Director