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Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Studies Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Open for Fall 2017

Length: 26 Months
Credential: Diploma
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Train to perform ultrasound procedures and help monitor patient health in hospitals and community clinics through this specialized program covering all the key aspects of ultrasound technology, as well as anatomy and patient care.

Download Program PDF


Grad Employment Rate


Median Starting Salary

Upcoming Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $6,037
Year 2: $5,824
Year 3: $2,216
Year 1 (International): $18,771
Year 2 (International): $18,028
Year 3 (International): $5,400

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on a two-step process: a program selection package and an interview. 

When can you apply?

Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to Dec. 1, 2016.

Program Details

Program Description

Watch a video about Diagnostic Medical Sonography studies at SAIT PolytechnicAs a two year program offered full-time, 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, quality control and the performance of diagnostic scanning procedures.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is 26 months in length and consists of theory and lab courses onsite at SAIT along with practicum rotations off campus. Practicum locations are constantly changing. All students can expect to be placed outside of Calgary (including out of province) more than once during the program. Students are expected to return to SAIT campus for classes in the second and third year of the program. These on-campus classes will provide an opportunity to integrate theory with the hands-on skills learned during practica.

Certain courses are available by distance education or continuing education - ANPH 209, INFC 215 and MEDT 211. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the Program Outline. Please be advised that full-time student status requires the student to take 60 percent of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by distance education or continuing education, students may be considered a part-time student, which may impact their financial loan status.

To support their learning, students will be required to participate online throughout their practicum and will require access to a computer with Internet access and a printer. Students will be evaluated on lab, competency and performance in the program using a competency tracking system called Comp Tracker. Students are required to have an iPad with Bluetooth keyboard to support the Comp Tracker system while in the program.

Your Career

Graduates find work as diagnostic medical sonographers in hospitals, doctors' offices and community clinics. 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. Graduates of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program have a 100% employment rate.

Student Success

  • Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.

  • Students are expected to spend approximately 20 hours per week outside of class studying.

  • Students who experience success in this program have exceptional communication skills in English.

  • Health care practitioners are detail oriented in the care they provide, utilize critical thinking in practice, are eager, persevere and enjoy working in a team environment.

  • In order to be successful in this program, applicants must have basic computer literacy. An acceptable computer skill level would include the ability to use word processing and communication software. Educational interaction in this program depends on these basic computer skills. It is the student's responsibility to ensure adequacy of these skills prior to program admission.

  • Students who experience success in this program have the following characteristics:

    • Intrinsic motivation,

    • Ability to handle unpleasant situations,

    • Ability to lift heavy patients,

    • Ability to stand for long periods of time,

    • Upper body strength while scanning patients in difficult positions,

    • Good physical health including upper body and shoulder strength,

    • Good wrist and hand dexterity and stamina,

    • Full body muscle stamina, and

    • Strong vision and hearing.

  • 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.

  • Employers for sonography professionals indicate that working hours could be days, evenings, weekends and potentially 24/7 shift expectations.

Transfer Options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to Dec. 1, 2016. 

Admission Requirements

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

  • Math 30-1, Math 30-2, or Pure Math 30, AND,
  • English Language Arts 30-1, AND,
  • Biology 30, AND,
  • Physics 30
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Competitive Entry: Seven Step Process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines 

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted by Dec. 1 to be included in selection.
  • Competitive academic averages are not a portion of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program selection process.There will be 22 seats offered for the fall intake. Additional seats are reserved for Saskatchewan residents through an interprovincial agreement.In the selection process, applicants will be assessed on the following criteria and seats will be offered accordingly.

Phase 1: Program Selection Package

Applicants who meet the admission requirements will be sent a program selection package via email starting Dec. 1, 2016. The selection package must be completed and returned to diagnostic.imaging@sait.ca within two weeks of the initial email date.

We recommend you add diagnostic.imaging@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. We don't recommend using Microsoft email account such as @hotmail.com or @live.com as there have been some issues in the past in receiving SAIT communications using these types of accounts.

You are solely responsible to ensure the information in the selection package is legible, articulate and best reflects you as a candidate. Falsifying information will result in your application being removed immediately from the selection process and may result in the initiation of SAIT's Student Code of Conduct Procedure AC.3.4.1. 

Selection packages are evaluated using standardized answer keys and will be scored within two weeks of submission.

  • If the selection package score is above the benchmark established by the School of Health and Public Safety, the applicant will move to Phase 2 of the selection process.
  • If the selection package score is below benchmark, the applicant will be declined in selection.
  • Those applicants who fail to complete and submit their packages by the deadline date will also be declined from further selection.

Phase 2: Interview

Applicants who successfully move to Phase 2 of the selection process will be emailed an interview invitation as well as a group interview explanation and Confidentiality form. 

  • Group interviews will not begin until mid-February to ensure a sufficient applicant pool.
  • The applicant will receive two weeks' notice of the scheduled interview, when possible.
  • The completed and signed Confidentiality form should be brought to the group interview.
  • Four applicants will be interviewed at one time by two members of the program selection committee.

Interviewees should attend the group interview session in person. Individuals residing outside of Alberta may have the opportunity to participate in a web video conference group interview. Please note that web video conference group interviews may be delayed until there are sufficient web video conference applicants to complete a group interview session.

The program and selection committee are not responsible for technical support to the applicant or any loss of connectivity through the group interview process. Web conference interviews will not be rebooked if an individual has technical difficulties, loses connectivity, or cannot hear the group interview responses.

Web video conference interviewees must submit a signed copy of the Confidentiality form in advance of their interview time or they will not be permitted to join the interview. 

Once the interview round is complete, the interview is evaluated using a rubric.

  • If the group interview score is above the benchmark established by the School of Health and Public Safety, the applicant will be offered a seat in the program until it is full. Once the program is full, those exceeding the benchmark will be placed on a qualified waitlist.
  • If the group interview score is below benchmark, applicants may remain in selection until all interviews are completed.
  • Those applicants who fail to notify or attend their scheduled interview will be declined.

Step 4: Apply to Diagnostic Medical Sonography and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you are "In Selection." If you are "In Selection" then you must complete Phase 1 of the selection process. If you are "In Continued Selection" then you must complete Phase 2 of the selection process.

Step 6: Complete the Selection package and then if applicable complete the interview. 

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication During Selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add diagnostic.imaging@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

Due to the significant number of applications for this program, the selection process can take some time. Every effort will be made to maintain the timelines outlined above. We appreciate your patience. You can also log on to mySAIT.ca to check your admission decision status.

Unfortunately, due to the extremely large volume of applicants, we cannot provide any assistance or follow-up as to why the candidate was not competitive or where the applicant is ranked on the waitlist.  

Practicum Requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students will be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practicum such as relocation and travel costs.

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Current Heart and Stroke Foundation Health Care Provider Level (C) CPR must be valid for the duration of your practicum. SAIT offers the above CPR course on a continuous basis (CPRS 212 Health Care Provider). Please note that only Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada CPR certification will be accepted.
  • Updated Immunization Records: Most practicum sites require students to demonstrate updated immunization status prior to attending practicum. Successful candidates will be asked to provide an up-to-date immunization record to the SAIT Health Clinic as part of the program orientation. Failure to do so could jeopardize a student's ability to complete the practicum portion of his/her program. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations. Please review the immunization process document for specific details. It is advised to start the immunization process early as it can take some time to complete.
  • Security Clearance: According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, our practica sites require that students obtain a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, prior to going on practicum. Any criminal code offence for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student's entry into practicum, and therefore will result in an uncompleted program or non-graduating status. Successful candidates will be asked to provide a clear Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check record to the School of Health and Public Safety main office by orientation day. Please review the security clearance process document for specific details. Be aware that record must be dated no earlier than 90 days prior to your program orientation day (typically orientation day is held the week prior to the first day of class).
  • N95 Respiratory Mask: Fit testing is done to determine which make and model of N95 respiratory mask should be used by an individual. In compliance with Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code 2009, students are fit-tested for respiratory masks prior to their practica. Occupational Health and Safety Bulletin, Respiratory Protective Equipment: An Employer's Guide states the effectiveness of the respiratory protective equipment depends on an effective face piece seal to the skin of the face. The mask must be tight enough so that the person is breathing only air which has been filtered. The seal is dependent on facial differences (shape or size) or facial hair. Facial hair must be removed where the mask contacts the face for the test. Failure to adequately fit an N95 mask may result in a restricted practicum and\or limited employment. Additionally, a student may need to be tested again in two years or if there are changes to the face which impact the ability of the respirator to form an effective seal (e.g. Weight gain/loss, growth of facial hair, dental surgery, or facial scarring). 
  • Health and Wellness Status: Due to the demanding nature of the work in the health care field and Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the health care field has a strong focus on health and wellness. Students with a medical condition or disability that may impact them in a practicum setting are strongly advised to discuss concerns with the program academic chair and/or SAIT Accessibility Services as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program. Please review the attached document for guidance on entering an allied health program with a medical condition or disability.

More details on the practica requirements per program are outlined on a pre-orientation website for successful candidates.


Program Outline

  • SAIT students are offered an opportunity to develop lifelong learning skills in an online environment. One or more courses in the DMS program are offered fully or partially online.
  • Attendance at SAIT for Sonography specific courses is required to complete the lab component.
  • To find the course description for a course shown below please go to our Course Finder.

First year

Semester 1 - Fall

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
ANPH-205 Sectional Anatomy 3.0
ANPH-209* Anatomy & Physiology 3.0
DMST-202 Basic Scanning 1.5
DMST-217 Professional Practice 1 3.0
MEDT-211* Medical Terminology 1 1.5
PHYS-216 Physics 1 3.0
Semester 1 Total 15.0

 Semester 2 - Winter

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DMST-244 Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography 1 3.0
DMST-253 Adult Echocardiography 1 3.0
DMST-254 Abdomen and Superficial Structure 1 3.0
DMST-265 Vascular Sonography 1 3.0
INFC-215* Infection Prevention and Control 1.5
PHYS-254 DMS Physics 2 1.5
Semester 2 Total 15.0

 Semester 3 - Spring

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DMST-276 Professional Practice 2 1.5
DMST-305 DMS Simulation 1 1.5
PRCT-265 Clinical Practicum 1 3.0
Semester 3 Total 6.0


Second year

Semester 4 - Fall

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DMST-303 Obstetrics & Gynecology Sonography 2 3.0
DMST-313 Abdomen & Superficial Structures 2 3.0
DMST-325 Adult Echocardiography 2 3.0
DMST-335 Vascular Sonography 2 3.0
PHYS-314 DMS Physics 3 3.0
Semester 4 Total 15.0

Semester 5 - Winter

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
PRCT-310 Clinical Practicum 2 7.5
Semester 5 Total 7.5

 Semester 6 - Spring/Summer

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DMST-352 Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography 3 1.5
DMST-359 Abdomen and Superficial Structures 3 1.5
PRCT-362 Clinical Practicum 3 6.0
DMST-367 Adult Echocardiography 3 1.5
DMST-381 Vascular Sonography 3 1.5
Semester 6 Total 12.0


Third year

Semester 7 - Fall

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DMST-375* Clinical Integration 3.0
PRCT-370 Clinical Practicum 4 6.0
Semester 7 Total 9.0
Program Total 79.5
* Available by correspondence and/or online learning. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the program outline. Please contact the Academic Chair prior to enrolling in any online or correspondence courses.

Please be advised that full-time student status requires students to take 60 per cent of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by correspondence, a student may be considered a part-time student, which may impact his/her financial loan status.


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines. 


Domestic tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $5,094 $420 $523 $6,037
2 $4,881 $420 $523 $5,824
3 $1,273 $420 $523 $2,216

International tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $17,828 $420 $523 $18,771
2 $17,085 $420 $523 $18,028
3 $4,457 $420 $523 $5,400

SAIT fees

Campus athletic and recreation fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $260

SAIT Students' Association fees

Health Plan: $110**
Dental Plan: $125**
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and supplies*

  • CPRS 212 Health Care Provider course in CPR. Annual update required (CPRS 222 Health Care Provider Renewal). All CPR courses must be from the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Call SAIT Life Support Training at 403.210.4009 for further information.
  • American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) certification exam fees total approximately $1,000.
  • Sonography Canada certification exam fees are approximately $700.
  • CARDUP national association dues are approximately $70.
  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica including relocation costs to practicum sites outside Calgary.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a criminal record check (including vulnerable sector check) and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Books, supplies and uniform are approximately $2,700 for the first year, $600 for the second year and $500 for the third year.
  • Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.
  • Students require an Apple personal digital assistant (iPad with blue tooth keyboard) with the ability to run the most current Apple iOS to support the CompTracker system.
  • There is a $75 Comp Tracker user fee per semester.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.

Contact Information

School of Health and Public Safety

Inspiring Stories

Jamie valued that half the time in this intensive program was spent in the lab practicing scanning skills on fellow students.

Jamie Marcoux
Diagnostic Medical Sonography | 2016

"To be good at this job, you have to scan. You have to practice," she says, adding the 42-week practicum in hospitals and clinics that followed gave students a chance to put that knowledge and practice into action, which translated directly into jobs.

"A lot of us were recruited on our practicum."