Mandatory requirements

Applicants for this program are required to complete the School of Health and Public Safety entrance testing process as an admission requirement for this program by the set deadlines. Review admission requirements for more details.

Overview

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, also known as ultrasound, is a technology involving the application of high-frequency sound waves toward patients to help physicians with medical diagnoses.

Diagnostic medical sonographers work as members of patient care teams, assessing patients, providing physicians with information for diagnoses, and monitoring patients’ health status. This specialized vocation requires a high degree of technical skill and exceptional interpersonal skills.

This program teaches critical aspects of ultrasound technology, including obstetrics and gynecology, the cardiac and vascular systems, abdomen and superficial structures. Studies also include patient care, physics, anatomy and physiology, equipment instrumentation, medical research, quality control, and the performance of diagnostic scanning procedures.

This program includes theory courses, lab practice, and practicum rotations at approved healthcare facilities. 

You will complete a practicum pathway within the program, where your practicum rotations specialize in either Adult Echocardiography or Vascular Sonography. 

You'll experience success in this program and profession by developing the following traits, skills and aptitudes:

  • fine motor skills
  • critical thinking and adaptability
  • effective communication skills (speaking, reading, writing, and listening)
  • ability to work independently
  • ability to participate in classroom, lab, and practicum activities as scheduled by the program
  • work well under stress
  • ability to use technology
  • attention to detail
  • ability to maintain professional behaviour and emotionally self-regulate
  • can wear Personal Protective Equipment for extended periods and tolerate latex and disinfection materials
  • can work extended hours, including nights and/or weekends and shift work
  • tolerate the sight of human blood and tissue
  • able to assist in transporting, lifting, and positioning patients and/or equipment and meet the physical demands of the job, including using your hand, wrist, and arm for prolonged periods
  • upper body and shoulder strength to perform repetitive tasks with arms
  • ability to visualize in three dimensions
  • comfortable with performing patient care procedures which may be sensitive or performed in close proximity.

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 exposure and injury risk.

Individuals with previous chronic or repetitive strain injuries have experienced re-injury or aggravation in this program and/or as a sonographer.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to the ALIS website for career, learning, and employment information for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the governing body’s competency profile to understand the skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives for the program and profession.

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

There may also be opportunities to further your education by transferring to another institution once you graduate.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practicum partners in Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited, and you will likely need to travel or relocate outside the city.

Successful applicants will be assigned their practicum placement. While we'll strive to assign your practicum location based on your preference, it is not guaranteed. Special considerations will not be given. You will be responsible for fees associated with the practicum, such as entrance requirements, 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
  • Updated immunization records
  • Police Information Check 
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status

Learn more about practicum requirements >

Reserved seats in this program are open to applicants currently residing in Saskatchewan, to help meet the healthcare needs of that province.

Launch your career and fill the growing job demand in your province.

Graduates of this program are eligible to write Sonography Canada registry exams in Core (Physics), Generalist, and either Adult Echocardiography or Vascular, depending on the practicum pathway completed within the program.

In addition, graduates can write the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada. The program also works closely with our Diagnostic Imaging Advisory Committee to ensure that our curriculum continues to meet or exceed provincial and national accreditation standards.

Graduates will be awarded a SAIT Diagnostic Medical Sonography diploma after successfully completing this program.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 96% graduate employment rate

salary icon $83,572 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 32121, 32122, 32124, 32129, 33103.

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Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops

Courses

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography diploma requires 79.5 credits (27 courses) to complete.

The program spans 26 months, with seven semesters.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

Sectional Anatomy is the study of human anatomy in two-dimensions along multiple planes. Learners will use anatomical cross-sectional slices to investigate spatial relationships between anatomical structures in the body. Focus will be placed on identifying normal anatomy and spatial relationships of organs and structures specific to ultrasound studies.

3

Anatomy and Physiology provides learners with an overview of the anatomy and basic physiology of the human body. Areas that will be covered include the organization of the body; covering, support, and movement of the body; regulation and integration of body functions; maintenance of the body; and continuity of the human race. Diseases and aging processes will also be briefly discussed.

3

This course provides an introduction to ultrasound principles, instrumentation, and imaging techniques utilized in a diagnostic medical sonography lab. The learner will develop the basic skills of scanning that are necessary for the DMS lab courses and practical rotations.

1.5

Professional Practice I focuses on developing professional behaviour in a diagnostic imaging context. Lectures, classroom interactions and laboratory experiences are combined to demonstrate the skills required to ensure appropriate workplace relations, patient care, and to prepare learners for practicum.

Equivalents:
  • HREL 201
3

Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography 1 will review the anatomical components and related physiology of the female reproductive system, the pregnant uterus, and the embryo/fetus as they pertain to medical sonography. The principles and techniques of gynecological and obstetrical sonography will be introduced and accompanied by ultrasound scanning of the female pelvis in a lab setting. The recognition of normal gynecological and obstetrical sonograms will be covered in a classroom setting and reinforced in a lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • ANPH 205
  • DMST 202
  • DMST 217
  • PHYS 216
3

Adult Echocardiography I reviews cardiac anatomy, cardiac physiology and hemodynamics. Combined with established theory, hands-on lab applications will be used to demonstrate correct scanning techniques and introduce proper interpretation and assessment of echocardiographic images.

Pre-requisites:
  • ANPH 205
  • DMST 202
  • DMST 217
  • PHYS 216
3

Abdomen and Superficial Structures 1 provides a comprehensive assessment of structures in the abdominopelvic cavity focusing on normal anatomy, physiological processes, common sonographic presentations and an introduction to the fundamentals of pathological processes. The recognition of normal sonographic findings will be reinforced in a lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • ANPH 205
  • DMST 202
  • DMST 217
  • PHYS 216
Equivalents:
  • DMST 224
3

Vascular Sonography 1 will provide a review of the anatomy and physiology of the vascular system and related hemodynamics as they pertain to vascular sonography. Pathologies of the venous vascular system as well as the principles and techniques of vascular sonography are introduced and accompanied by ultrasound scanning sessions in a lab setting. The recognition of normal sonographic findings in vascular sonography will be emphasized and reinforced in a lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • ANPH 205
  • DMST 202
  • DMST 217
  • PHYS 216
3

This course focuses on preparing learners for entry into clinical practicum. Lectures, on-line discussion, and classroom interactions are combined to convey the expectations and requirements for learners in their clinical practical.

Pre-requisites:
  • MRAD 374
1.5

This course continues to focus on cardiac Doppler principles, cardiac Doppler imaging, and covers common pathologies such as valvular disease and heart failure seen in adult echocardiography. Pathologies will be discussed with a focus on the description of the disease, its clinical presentation, its typical and atypical sonographic appearance(s), its hemodynamic significance, the differential diagnosis or diagnoses involved, and the optimum scanning techniques in imaging the abnormality and its associated findings. The learning in this course is further refined by students’ hands-on laboratory and clinical practicum experiences in clinical settings where echocardiography is performed.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 253
1.5

Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography 2 covers common maternal diseases as well as intrapartum and postpartum events and conditions. The effects of these conditions on the fetus and the fetal environment will discussed. Recognition of these conditions will be covered in a classroom setting and reinforced in a lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 244
1.5

Vascular Sonography 2 provides the theory of anatomy and hemodynamics and the ultrasound assessment of the carotid arteries and intracranial vessels. The recognition of normal sonographic findings in vascular sonography will be reinforced in a lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 265
1.5

This course provides a comprehensive assessment of superficial structures from a sonographic perspective. Focus is placed on normal anatomy and physiology as well as common disease processes with respect to sonographic presentation, etiology and relevant clinical findings. Sonographic assessment of the thyroid and breast using a breast phantom will be practiced in a lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 254
1.5

Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography 3 covers the common pathologies found in gynecology and obstetrical sonography. Focus is placed on the clinical presentation of diseases and congenital abnormalities and typical sonographic appearance used for diagnosis. This course material is reinforced in a lab setting using simulation as well as in a clinical practicum setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 303 or DMST 285
3

Abdomen and Superficial Structures 3 provides a comprehensive assessment of common pathologies found in the abdominopelvic cavity from a sonographic perspective. Focus is placed on etiology, common sonographic appearances and clinical presentations of the diseases. Sonographic assessment of the abdomen will be practiced in the lab setting.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 313 or DMST 295
3

This course covers common cardiac pathologies and the embryology of the heart, along with specific congenital heart diseases seen in the adult patient. Pathologies will be discussed with a focus on the description of the diseases, their clinical presentations, typical and atypical sonographic appearances, hemodynamic significance, and differential diagnoses. Optimum scanning techniques in imaging the abnormalities and their associated findings will also be covered. The learning in this course is further refined by students’ hands-on laboratory and clinical practicum experiences in clinical settings where echocardiography is performed.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 325 or DMST 283
3

This course provides the theory of ultrasound assessment of renal, mesenteric, upper and lower extremity vessels, and venipuncture. The theory of indirect testing methods (plethysmography) of peripheral veins and arteries, as well as the theory of the indirect test method of ankle-brachial index (ABI) measurement, will also be introduced.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 335 or DMST 293
3

This course provides a review of all theoretical materials covered in the specialty areas of abdomen and superficial structures, echocardiography, obstetrics and gynecology, and vascular sonography. The focus of this course is to prepare learners for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) national registry exams.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 310
3

The chain of infection and methods of prevention and control of microorganisms, including blood borne viruses such as hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) will be reviewed. Immunization, routine practice, additional isolation precautions, sterilization and disinfection, safety and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are also covered.

1.5

This self-directed introductory course enables the learner to use and understand the medical terminology common to most allied health personnel. By learning prefixes, suffixes, and word roots, the learner will be able to build, use, and spell medical words that relate to body systems and body organization. Common abbreviations and symbols are also included.

1.5

This course reviews elements of the research process. Topics include forming a research question, designing research strategies, and analyzing research data.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 217 or PRCT 356
1.5

Clinical Practicum I is the first of three practicum placements in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Learners are provided with the opportunity to rotate through specific clinical settings in order to achieve identified clinical objectives required for achieving entry level competencies as specified in the Sonography Canada Competency Profile.

Pre-requisites:
  • DMST 276
  • DMST 315
  • DMST 326
  • DMST 333
  • DMST 343
  • PHYS 314
7.5

Clinical Practicum 2 is the second of three practical placements in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Learners are provided with the opportunity to rotate through specific clinical settings in order to achieve identified clinical objectives required for achieving entry-level competencies as specified in the Sonography Canada National Competency Profile.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 265 or PRCT 300
7.5

Clinical Practicum 3 is the third and final practicum placement in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Learners are provided with the opportunity to rotate through specific clinical settings in order to achieve identified clinical objectives required for achieving entry-level competencies as specified by the Sonography Canada National Competency Profile.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 310
7.5

Physics I provides an overview of ultrasound instrumentation used in diagnostic medical sonography, furnishing an in-depth understanding of how sound interacts with human soft tissue. Physics principles are examined and skills required to operate ultrasound machines and optimize images necessary for performing a variety of ultrasound examinations are demonstrated.

Equivalents:
  • PHYS 212
3

Physics 2 builds on the foundation of Physics 1 and provides the learner with an understanding of basic ultrasound instrumentation, including Doppler.

Pre-requisites:
  • PHYS 216
1.5

Physics 3 will provide learners with the fundamental principles regarding spectral and colour Doppler, harmonic imaging and the use of contrast agents in medical sonography. Risks of biological effects to the patient, ultrasound image quality, equipment maintenance and different imaging devices will also be covered.

Pre-requisites:
  • PHYS 254
3

Progression

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.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

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Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Available Open Studies courses

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 75% in Math 30-1, or Math 30-2, AND,
  • at least 75% in English Language Arts 30-1, AND,
  • at least 75% in Biology 30, AND,
  • at least 75% in Physics 30, AND
  • at least 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety entrance tests.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Dec. 1, 2023 (March 31, 2024 for SK applicants)

Costs

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2.5* $7,725 $1,873 $9,598
2 2** $6,489 $1,410 $7,899
3 1 $2,163 $950 $3,113
Total cost:
$20,610

*.5 indicates a combination of full-time semester(s) and part-time semester(s) in the same academic year. In many cases, students are completing a practicum during their part-time semester. Part-time students are those taking less than nine (9) course credits in a semester.

** The second year of this program is broken up into three semesters, with semesters five and six focused on clinical practicum. Practicum-only semesters are considered part-time studies based on credit load. The two part-time semesters are equivalent to one full-time semester. 

Books, supplies, and uniforms are approximately $2,700 for the first year, $600 for the second year, and $500 for the third year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

You are responsible for any additional expenses related to your practicum, including pre-practicum requirements outlined by the program and relocation costs to practicum sites outside of Calgary.

Additional tech requirements

You will be evaluated on your competency performance level using a tracking system called CompTracker. You will require a wifi-enabled Apple tablet that can run the most up-to-date operating system to support the CompTracker system.

  • Any size tablet is acceptable.
  • Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory.
  • Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker.

A required $75 user license fee is billed per semester. More information will be shared at orientation.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

Additional fees

  • Sonography Canada certification exam fees are approximately $1,525. Sonography Canada association dues are $175 per year, with the option to purchase professional liability insurance.
  • A fee is associated with obtaining a criminal record check (including a vulnerable sector check) and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • You must have your immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
  • A fee of approximately $50-$100 is associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the verified software platform.
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Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more

Application process

Applicants must meet or exceed a score of 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety entrance testing process as an admission requirement for this program by the set deadlines. 

These deadlines may be different than the typical application closing dates.

Learn more about the entrance testing process >

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We recommend you add hps.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Health and Public Safety Advising

Phone
403.284.8500
Email
hps.info@sait.ca