As a two and a half 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 throughout 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.
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, which are repetitive. They must observe safety precautions and ergonomics to reduce the risk of exposuresand repetitive strain injury.
- Graduates of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program have a 100% employment rate
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:
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.
Credentials and Accreditation
After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Diagnostic Medical Sonography diploma.
Graduates are eligible to write Sonography Canada and American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams. Graduates will be eligible to write registry exams in Core (Physics), Abdomen and Superficial Structures, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Adult Echocardiography. In addition, students will have received the foundational theory needed to enable them to work towards their Vascular Sonography credential after graduation.
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program delivered by SAIT is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association. 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.
The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:
- Athabasca University
- Memorial University of Newfoundland (The Marine Institute)
- Thompson Rivers University
- University or New Brunswick, Saint John
To learn more, visit Transfer Options.
Admission and Selection
- Fall 2020 start: applications are accepted Oct. 2, 2019 to Dec. 3, 2019.
- This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants – find out more!
At least 75% in each of the following courses or equivalents:
- Math 30-1, Math 30-2, or Pure Math 30,
- English Language Arts 30-1,
- Biology 30,
- Physics 30
- All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.
SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of 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.
- Applicants will have one attempt to complete the selection process for this program. If you're not offered admission, you can re-apply for the next intake and you will be required to complete the selection process again.
- 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 will be sent a program selection package via email if they meet the admission requirements. The selection package must be completed and returned within one week of the initial email date.
We recommend you add firstname.lastname@example.org and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.
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. Scores from the selection package are used to determine which individuals move to Phase 2 of the selection process and differentiate applicants whose scores may be tied.
- If scores from the selection package are above the benchmark established by the School of Health and Public Safety, the applicant will move to Phase 2 of the selection process.
- If scores from the selection package are below the 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 begin when there is 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 rresiding more than 400 km from Calgary 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 is 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.
- An applicant's score must be above the benchmark established by the School of Health and Public Safety to be offered a seat in the program. Successful applicants will be offered seats until the program is full. Once the program is full, those exceeding the benchmark will be placed on a ranked qualified waitlist.
- If the group interview score is below the 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 5: Log in to mySAIT to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you are "In Selection."
Step 6: Complete the selection package that is emailed to you.
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 email@example.com 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.
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 at a later date. 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 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 must be valid for the duration of your practicum. SAIT offers the above CPR course on a continuous basis (CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR). 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. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations.
- 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.
- 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.
- View additional Diagnostic Medical Sonography program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.
Semester 1 - Fall
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|ANPH-209*||Anatomy & Physiology||3.0|
|DMST-217||Professional Practice l||3.0|
|MEDT-211*||Medical Terminology l||1.5|
|Semester 1 Total||15.0|
Semester 2 - Winter
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|DMST-244||Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography l||3.0|
|DMST-253||Adult Echocardiography l||3.0|
|DMST-254||Abdomen and Superficial Structure l||3.0|
|DMST-265||Vascular Sonography l||3.0|
|INFC-215*||Infection Prevention and Control||1.5|
|Semester 2 Total||15.0|
Semester 3 - Spring
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|DMST-276||Professional Practice ll||1.5|
|DMST-305||DMS Simulation l||1.5|
|PRCT-265||Clinical Practicum l||3.0|
|Semester 3 Total||6.0|
|First Year Total||36.0|
Semester 4 - Fall
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|DMST-303||Obstetrics & Gynecology Sonography ll||3.0|
|DMST-313||Abdomen & Superficial Structures ll||3.0|
|DMST-325||Adult Echocardiography ll||3.0|
|DMST-335||Vascular Sonography ll||3.0|
|Semester 4 Total||15.0|
Semester 5 - Winter
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|PRCT-310||Clinical Practicum ll||7.5|
|Semester 5 Total||7.5|
Semester 6 - Spring/Summer
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|DMST-352||Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonography lll||1.5|
|DMST-359||Abdomen and Superficial Structures lll||1.5|
|PRCT-362||Clinical Practicum lll||6.0|
|DMST-367||Adult Echocardiography lll||1.5|
|DMST-381||Vascular Sonography lll||1.5|
|Semester 6 Total||12.0|
|Second Year Total||34.5|
Semester 7 - Fall
|Course Code||Course Name||Credit|
|PRCT-370||Clinical Practicum 4||6.0|
|Semester 7 Total||9.0|
|* 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*
|Year||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||SAITSA fees||Health & Dental Plan||2019/20 total|
Use our cost calculator to get your estimated yearly cost for the program.
Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $302 - Check eligibility here
Health and Dental Fees
- Health Plan: $110
- Dental Plan: $125
- For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.
Books and Supplies*
- CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course. Annual update required (CPRS 002 BLS Renewal [Level C] CPR). Call SAIT Life Support Training at 403.210.4009 for further information.
- Sonography Canada certification exam fees are approximately $1,300.
- Sonography Canada association dues are $175 per year with the option to purchase professional liability insurance.
- 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 require a tablet (Apple or Android) to support the CompTracker system. The tablet only needs wi-fi ability and the size of the tablet is at the discretion of the student. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker.
- There is a required user license fee billed on a per semester basis. Each program will have a different student fee depending on how the system is used within the program. More information will be shared at orientation.
- Students are required to have access to a personal computer, printer and internet for the duration of the program.
- Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $50 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
Find out about tuition and financial aid.
* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
School of Health and Public Safety
Jamie valued that half the time in this intensive program was spent in the lab practicing scanning skills on fellow students.
Learning in the classroom was so close to working in the field that Kelsey considers her time at SAIT like a job interview. She, and every one of her fellow classmates, secured jobs through the program before graduation.
"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."
"There was almost no transition."