Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Diagnostic Medical Sonography? Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. This procedure is called a sonogram. There are several areas of specialization in the field of Sonography, such as Abdomen, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Cardiac (Echocardiography) and Vascular. A professional who performs these procedures is known as a sonographer.

2. What is a Sonographer? A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis. Professional responsibilities include talking with patients to identify symptoms, performing sonograms and obtaining diagnostic images, analyzing images and patient information, using independent judgment to make adjustments to the sonogram, providing an oral or written summary of findings to the physician for diagnosis and providing quality patient care. Many sonographers also assist in electronic recordkeeping and image storage. Some also have managerial or supervisory responsibilities. Please visit for more information.

3. How do I apply for admission to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program or Echocardiography Program at DMC? A student who is seeking entry into either the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program or Echocardiography program at Del Mar College must be at least 18 years of age, eligible and applied for admission to the college. Prospective students must submit their application and official transcripts to the program no later than December 1st. An application review committee will meet in the Spring to determine a student’s eligibility in the program. Only complete applications which include official transcripts will be considered. Applications are located online at: 

4. How can someone find out more about these programs? Anyone interested in these programs should visit the program on the Web, at: 

5. How do I schedule an appointment to talk to someone about the program? Please call 361-698-2858 or email to schedule an appointment with Diagnostic Medical Sonography or Echocardiography program faculty.

6. How can I contact faculty for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and/or Echocardiography?

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director– Christin Vega 361-698-2833
Windward campus HS3 - 108

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Clinical Coordinator – Veronica Pena 361-698-2834
Windward campus HS3 - 104

Echocardiography Program Director – Amy Alvarez 361-698-2832
Windward campus HS3 - 106

Echocardiography Clinical Coordinator – Natalie Taylor

Dental & Imaging Technology Administrative Assistant – LeeAnn Camos 361-698-2858
Windward campus HS2 - 130

7. Are there additional resources to find out more about Diagnostic Medical Sonography and/or Echocardiography? Yes. Please visit our national accrediting organization and our national society 

8. Are the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography programs accredited? Yes. Our programs are accredited through CAAHEP. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited in Abdomen and OB/Gyn. The Echocardiography Program is accredited in Adult Echocardiography. For more information, please visit

9. What are the program prerequisites? Please visit the following links for the application packet which lists program prerequisites: 

10. When is the application deadline? The deadline to apply is December 1st (or business day prior) of each year.

11. Can I still apply in the Fall even if I’m taking prerequisite classes? Yes, you may apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program or Echocardiography program as long as all of the prerequisite courses (including CNA) are completed by the end of the Fall semester the year you are applying and indicate this on your program application.

12. When does the program start? The Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography programs start the first Summer session.

13. What type of training will I receive in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs at DMC? Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Program students routinely learn the skills needed professionally between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the classroom and in on-site, state-of-the-art lab settings. Students gain hands-on knowledge of a sonographer’s role through clinical rotations experienced at various hospitals and clinics throughout the Corpus Christi and surrounding area (up to a 150 mile radius).

14. Is the program/class/clinical during the day? Yes, program courses and clinical assignments are mostly offered during the day Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Some of the classes and/or labs offered during the program are hybrid and some are only offered during the evening hours. All classes are subject to change in order to accommodate the specific needs of the program.

15. Is it necessary to become registered to work in this field? There are more job opportunities for Sonographers and Echocardiographers who are registered/credentialed through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). It is not currently a requirement in the state of Texas to be registered to perform ultrasound. Please visit the ARDMS website at for more information on becoming registered/credentialed.

16. What must a person do to become registered? Graduates of the Del Mar College Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or Associate in Applied Science Degree in Echocardiography and are eligible to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) examination prior to program completion. Please visit for more information.

17. What types of jobs would individuals find after completing the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs at DMC? Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Echocardiographers find employment in clinics, hospitals, physician’s offices, public health facilities, laboratories and other medical settings where Diagnostic Medical Sonography and/or Echocardiography is performed. Advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research and in commercial companies.

18. Are jobs available in Corpus Christi and surrounding areas? Currently, job opportunities are greatest outside the local area.

19. What salaries can a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or Echocardiographer expect to make? Salaries for Sonographers, including Echocardiographers, are competitive with or higher than other professionals with similar levels of education. According to the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Salary and Benefits Survey report (2013), the median salary for Sonographers and Echocardiographers is $78,520. This does not reflect shift differentials, callback pay, or benefits such as vacation, sick leave, insurance, and retirement. Many medical facilities offer sign-on bonuses, as well.

20. Do I have to re-take my Science courses if I took them more than 5 years ago? No. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs at DMC do not have a 5-Year Science repeat rule.

21. Do I have to take HPRS and Medical Terminology courses? No. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs at DMC do not require HPRS or Medical Terminology courses. CNA (Certified Nurse Aid) certification is required.

22. What is a CNA? Certified Nurse Aid.

23. Do I have to get CNA certified if I’m already a health care professional? No. CNA certification is NOT required if you have completed one or more of the following direct patient care programs: EMT- Basic, Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), Paramedic, Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Radiologic Technologist (RT-R), Registered Nurse (RN), Respiratory Therapist, and Surgical Technologist. Active status CNA certification is NOT required.

24. Do I have to get CNA certified if I’m already a CMA (Certified Medical Assistant)? Yes. CNA certification is required to ensure that the prospective student has acquired the patient care skills needed to be successful in our programs. A certified nursing assistant provides hands-on patient care while the duties of a medical assistant are more focused on patient assessment, evaluation and non-medical assignments.

25. Do I have to get certified or can I just complete the non-credit courses? You must complete a CNA (Certified Nurse Aid) certificate program and obtain state certification or show proof of exemption.

26. What are the CNA exemptions?  Completion and certification/registration from one or more of the following direct patient care programs: EMT- Basic, Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), Paramedic, Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Radiologic Technologist (RT-R), Registered Nurse (RN), Respiratory Therapist, and Surgical Technologist.

27. How do I become CNA Certified in Texas? To become a nurse aide, you must:

  1. Successfully complete a state-approved nurse aide training and competency evaluation program, and
  2. Successfully complete the competency evaluation program examination; or
  3. Qualify to be placed on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry by waiver or reciprocity.

28. Do I have to get my CNA certification from Del Mar College? No.

29. What if my CNA certification is expired? If you were certified in the past, active status CNA certification is not required.

30. What if my CNA certification is from another state? You must supply verification of certification.

31. When can I take the CNA course and when do I have to obtain state certification? You may take the Certified Nurse Aide training course at any time as it is a noncredit course. You must have obtained your CNA credentials on or before December 31st the year in which you are applying.

32. Will financial aid cover the CNA course? There are times when funds are available. Please contact the DMC financial aid office for more information. Heritage campus - (361) 698-1293 Windward campus - (361) 698-1726

33. How can I be exempt from the training and only take the test? You may request to be exempt from training and take only the exam, if:

  1. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed the training portion of an approved NATCEP in any state and have not completed the CEP test or been placed on the registry in another state.
  2. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed military training of 100 hours or more that's equivalent to civilian nurse aide training.
  3. After July 1, 1989, you successfully completed a state-accredited registered nurse (RN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) school but were not licensed as an RN or LVN in Texas or have not held a license that's been revoked.
  4. You're currently enrolled in a state-accredited school of nursing in any state and have demonstrated competency in providing basic nursing skills in accordance with the school's curriculum.

For more information, contact the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Nurse Aide Registry, Mail Code E-414, P.O. Box 149030, Austin, TX 78714-9030, (512) 438-2050

34. Do I have to turn in a complete shot record with my application packet to the program? No. Immunization records are only required after you have been accepted into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program and must be completed before the student begins their clinical rotations.

35. Can I apply to the program if I have a criminal record? Yes; however, you may not be eligible to sit for the registry exams. Eligibility to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) ARDMS rules indicate that ARDMS may take action against an applicant, candidate, or Registrant in the case of conviction, plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere to any crime. If you are presently charged with, or been convicted or found guilty of or plead nolo contendere to any crime (felony and/or misdemeanor), other than a speeding or parking violation, you may have questions concerning this rule and may wish to obtain clarification as to how it pertains to your circumstances. ARDMS conducts a "pre-application review", for a $125 non-refundable fee, for individuals who wish to determine the impact of a previous criminal matter on their eligibility to apply for ARDMS certification. The pre-application review process is recommended for individuals who have not yet applied for examination and are contemplating employment in the field of sonography and/or enrollment in a sonography program. Individuals who have already completed a program and are ready to apply to the ARDMS for examination should simply respond to the questions on the ARDMS examination application relating to criminal matters and provide the requested documentation regarding such matter(s).

For additional information, contact ARDMS, 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600 Rockville, MD 20852-1402; (301) 738-8401 or 800-541-9754

36. Can I apply to the program if I have felony on my record? You may apply to the program; however program acceptance requires a clear background check with no adjudication. Clinical assignments are required throughout the program and our clinical affiliate agreements require a clear background check with no adjudication.

37. Do I have to pass a drug test? Students conditionally accepted into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs are required to take and pass drug urinalysis.

38. What is required once I have been accepted into the program? These requirements apply to students enrolled in the health care majors who have direct or will have direct patient contact. Immunizations and other requirements:

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria: must have one dose within past ten years.
    Measles: those born since January 1, 1957, must have two doses since 12 months of age. The two doses must be at least 30 days apart.
    Mumps: those born since January 1, 1957, must have at least one dose since 12 months of age.
    Rubella: at least one dose since 12 months of age is required.
    Hepatitis B: a complete series is required prior to beginning direct patient care.
    Tuberculosis test: must be performed annually.
    Criminal background check

39. Do I have to have a current CPR card to be accepted into the program? No. However; you will need to have a current CPR card to begin clinical rotations.

40. If I take courses in the fall, even though I apply before December 1st, will they count towards my application? Yes. Any course taken in the fall semester will count toward your application.

41. Can I earn points toward my application by volunteering in the Sonography and Echocardiography lab? Yes. Every student who applies to the program has the opportunity to volunteer as a scan model for our current Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography students located on the Windward campus in our classroom lab (HS3-112). Each hour volunteered in the lab equals ½ point where a maximum of 20 hours equals 10 points. Prospective students must schedule volunteer appointments in advance by calling the volunteer line 361-698-2808.

42. Can someone else volunteer for me? No.

43. Do volunteer hours expire? Volunteer hours are kept on file for five years.

44. Can I earn points toward my application by volunteering at a hospital or clinic? No.

45. How many students are accepted into the program? We usually accept 8-10 Diagnostic Medical Sonography students and 4-5 Echocardiography students yearly.

46. How long are the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography programs? 18 months. The programs beings Summer I and ends the following Fall semester (five semesters).

47. How many students apply to the program? 30-40 prospective students apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography programs yearly.

48. How are students selected into the program? Students are selected into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography programs based on their grades in the eight pre-requisite courses. A=10 points, B=6 points, C=4 points, D=0 points.

49. What can I do to increase my chances of being accepted? Students are selected into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography or Echocardiography program based on their grades in the eight pre-requisite courses. A=10 points, B=6 points, C=4 points, D=0 points. It may benefit you to retake a course that you did not make an A in. Higher grades in the eight pre-requisite courses mean higher points.

50. How will I know if I have been accepted into the program? A review committee will meet in the Spring to determine students who meet the requirements for acceptance into the program. Letters of acceptance into the program are sent around the middle of Spring and letters of non-acceptance are sent at the end of Spring.

51. What if I’m not accepted into the program? You may reapply to the program the following year.

52. Is there a program waiting list? No. Prospective students who are not accepted into the program may reapply the following year.

53. What kind of Physics course is required?  Our programs will accept college level Physics courses taken at accredited institutions.  Del Mar College currently offers PHYS 1305 and SCIT 1318 which will satisfy the program’s physics requirement.  Please contact the program director if you have questions regarding the required physics prerequisite.


Please note: The questions and answers listed above pertain only to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Echocardiography Programs. If you are a student seeking entrance into another program offered at Del Mar College then you MUST meet with that program’s director or faculty.

Page last updated April 6, 2022.