Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions Revised 08/02/12

1. What makes Lansing Community College's DMS program different from other colleges? Lansing Community College's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs) accredited.

2. What does CAAHEP mean to a DMS graduate? A student (other than an RT(R) or Bachelor Degree graduate) who graduates from a non-accredited DMS program must work for an additional 12 months before they are eligible to take the national registry boards (ARDMS.) For more qualification information for national board eligibility, log onto: The board results, since its inception in 1975, range between 50-79% for physics, abdomen and obstetrics/gynecology. Waiting an additional 12 months may not help with increasing the registry results, especially in physics. Some hospitals will only hire a sonography graduate from a CAAHEP-accredited program.

3. When does the DMS program start? How often are candidates selected? The DMS program admits students once a year. It is a 15-month program that starts each summer. The first semester (Summer I) there are three IDMS courses to take -

IDMS 169 (
Intro to Sonographic Scanning -1 credit /2 billing hrs),
IDMS 200
(Intro to Sonography - 2 credits / 2 billing hours) and
IDMS 270
(Sonographic Positioning I - 2 credits / 2 billing hrs) in addition to
CHSE 120
(Medical Terminology - 4 credits / 4 billing hrs).
(+DMS may accept some other college's medical terminology courses)

This determination is made by Assessment Services at LCC at: (517) 483-5500. They will require the official college transcript.

4. Is the program a full-time commitment? Yes, students enter into the program in the summer and do not finish the program until the end of summer the following year.

5. Where are the clinical sites located? Clinical sites vary each year due to hospital/clinic availability. The majority of clinical sites are within one (1) hour from LCC's main campus. Although some clinical sites are further and may require students to relocate. All sites are within a 200 mile radius of LCC.

6. How often do students attend their clinical site? The students are at their clinical site three (3) days per week from September to December, four (4) days per week January to May, and five (5) days per week from the end of May to early September. Students are on campus at LCC on Mondays from August to May.

7. What are the prerequisite requirements to get into the sonography program? They are: a) BIOL 145 or BIOL 201 and BIOL 202 (anatomy/physiology); and b) PHYS 120 (or any 3-4 credit physics course) and c) MATH 112 and d) LCC College Core requirements.

8. What if I completed BIOL 201 and BIOL 202 instead of BIOL 145? Either BIOL 201/202 or BIOL 145 with a grade of 2.50 or higher is accepted for the DMS program. The DMS program grants additional points toward the selective admission program for a grade 3.5 or higher in BIOL 201/202 or BIOL 145.

9. How many students per year does the ultrasound program accept? We have clinical seats for approximately 24-28 students per year.

10. What if I have two (2) classes that meet an area of CORE? The class with the highest grade will be used to calculate your GPA.

11. What if I already have a degree; does it waive LCC CORE requirements? Yes, having an Associates degree or higher will waive college CORE classes. Grades associated with those classes will be used to figure GPA in Phase II Ranking. Students must still take MATH 112, BIOL 145 or BIOL 201 and 202 and college physics.

12. What if I already have a Bachelor's Degree? If you have a Bachelor's* degree or higher, you will need to
take the following prerequisites: a) BIOL145 and b) any college level Physics course-3-4 credits. You must obtain a 2.5 or higher in BIOL 145 (anatomy/physiology) and a 2.0 or higher in Physics; and c) MATH 112.

13. How do I know if courses will transfer to LCC as prerequisites? Your official college transcripts must be mailed directly from each of your prior college(s) to the Registrar's office at: Lansing Community College 1121A-Registrar's Office PO Box 40010 Lansing, MI 48901-7210. (517) 483-1200 or (800) 644-4522 x 1200.

14. When should I apply for the sonography program? Our deadline for application is: April 1st annually. Spring grades are not included when calculating admission points for this program. All courses must be completed by the end of Fall Semester to be considered for Phase II Admission Ranking (including prerequisites, core courses, and additional point courses). There are no exceptions for outstanding high school or college transcripts received postmarked after April 1st of the year the student is applying for.

15. I am a current LCC student. How do I apply? You will need to complete a second LCC application called a "selective admissions" application. You may obtain this application by contacting: LCC HHPS Dept at (517) 483-1410 or you may go to: HHS Building, Room 108 to pick up the selective application.

16. I am not yet an LCC student. How should I apply? You can apply to Lansing Community College online at: and type in "application" under "key word search." Remember to complete the 2nd LCC "selective admissions" application for DMS.

17. What does the Admission Committee look for in a DMS applicant? All admissions are based on Phase I and Phase II process. You may obtain more information on this process by logging onto: and under the keyword search type "sonography." You will find the curriculum code 0790 Associate Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography form there.

18. What happens in the event of a tie breaker? The college looks at the oldest date of application and will offer that student the seat in the program.

19. How does one get credit for an Associate Degree? It is the student's responsibility to apply for an Associate degree in order to be granted the additional points toward the selective admissions process. These forms are available in the Registrar's office of the Gannon Building. Students must take 20 credits at Lansing Community College in order to qualify for an Associate Degree from the college.

20. What if I have credits toward an Associate Degree from another college? If LCC gives a student credit for a transferring course, these credits can apply toward an Associate Degree. However, the student must complete at least 20 credits at Lansing Community College in order to get a LCC Associate Degree. If the student has 45-50+ credits at another community college, they would benefit from inquiring about the "Application for Associate Degree" policy of that outside college to see if they qualify for an (non-Lansing Community College) Associate Degree.

21. Why are there "optional courses" available? These courses are not required for consideration for the DMS program. However, they are very beneficial courses and may enhance a student's education in the health careers as well as give additional points toward the selective admissions process.

22. How much does the program cost? You can find the current tuition and fees on page 13 of this guide, plus the cost of books and clinical uniforms. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time by the LCC Board of Trustees.

23. How can I apply for financial aid? You may find more information by visiting the LCC website at: and typing in under keyword "financial aid."

24. Is there any assistance for a single parent or displaced homemaker? Yes, we have an excellent resource in our Women's Resource Center. They are on the LCC webpage, or you may reach them at: (517) 483-1199. Single students and male students should also apply at the Women's Resource Center.

25. Why does it matter when I apply for the DMS program? In the event of a tie, the student who has the oldest date of application will be given the seat over an applicant with more credentials. Applicants should have their application in 30 days prior to April 1st and may want to send their application certified, return-receipt or overnight to obtain proof of delivery.

26. Can I apply to more than one program within Lansing Community College? Yes, students may apply and have their prerequisites monitored for multiple Selective Admission Programs.

27. What can I do to gain additional points toward the selective admissions process? The students will be ranked according to the semester they qualify in, and then will be ranked according to prior credentials, grade point average, work or volunteer experience in the medical field. Students who obtain a 3.5 or higher in physics and anatomy/physiology will be given additional points. Also, those students who complete the optional courses (see page 6, #8 of this advising guide) with a grade 2.50 or higher will be given additional points toward the selective admissions process.

28. Why do you give additional points in the selective admissions process for previous medical experience or hospital volunteer experience? It makes sense that those students who have had previous medical experience (including volunteering) may have an advantage in the program over those who have no experience. This also gives the candidate an opportunity to see if the medical field is a good fit for them, and if this is something they really want to devote their time and education toward. Sometimes, when a student volunteers, for example, they realize that they are not interested in this field, or they find out that they don't enjoy being around patients who are ill.

29. Can I work while completing the sonography program? We do have students who work on a part-time basis. The DMS program is an intense program, so we do not recommend a student to work even part time, especially during the fall semester. We have had students who do work, but they have excellent study habits and a great support system at home that enables them to do so successfully.

30. How does my GPA figure into the selective admission DMS process? We look at the student's GPA for all LCC courses (Core and optional), and we give additional points to a grade 3.5 or higher in anatomy and physiology and physics. Those students who do well—especially in anatomy and physiology typically do well in the field of diagnostic medical sonography and on the national registry boards—

31. Is there a waiting list to get into the sonography program at LCC? We do not keep a waiting list from year to year. If a student applies to the program and is not accepted, they must contact the Selective Admissions Office to carry over their application for consideration, or to re-apply for the next year by April 1.

32. Should I job shadow in the field of general sonography before applying to the program? This is an excellent idea and we do recommend it. By doing this, the student is exposed to what the real life situation in the ultrasound department is, and what sonography really entails. This is a great way to help a student decide if this is really the field and the fit for them career-wise.

33. What are the qualities that a student should have to be a good sonographer? The sonographer performs clinical assessment and diagnostic sonography exams. The sonographer uses cognitive sonographic skills to identify, record, and adapt procedures as appropriate to anatomical, pathological, diagnostic information and images. He/she uses independent judgment during the sonographic exam to accurately differentiate between normal and pathologic findings, and analyses sonograms, synthesizes sonographic information and medical history, and communicates findings to the appropriate physician. The sonographer also assumes responsibility for the safety, mental and physical comfort of patients while they are in the sonographer's care.

34. What is a sonographer? A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a Diagnostic Ultrasound Professional that is qualified by professional credentialing and academic and clinical experience to provide diagnostic patient care services using ultrasound and related diagnostic procedures.

35. What are some of the skills necessary to be a sonographer? The following is a list from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (

  • Ability to integrate diagnostic sonograms, laboratory results, patient history and medical records, and adapt sonographic examination as necessary.
  • Ability to use independent judgment to acquire the optimum diagnostic sonographic information in each examination performed.
  • Ability to evaluate, synthesize, and communicate diagnostic information to the attending physician.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with the patient and the health care team, recognizing the special nature of sonographic examinations and patient's needs.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public and health care team.
  • Ability to follow established departmental procedures.
  • Ability to work efficiently and cope with emergency situations.
  • Ability to evaluate sonograms in order to acquire appropriate diagnostic information.

36. If I have other questions, whom should I contact? You may contact the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at: (517) 483-1410.

  • For more information on this, you may log onto:

37. What are the job prospects for the field of sonography? There is currently a national shortage for sonographers as there are in most health care professions and this shortage is expected for the next several years. Locally, there is not a shortage of sonographers currently. There are several accredited DMS programs within a 100 mile radius of Lansing so these area employers have greatly benefited from this pool of DMS graduates.

Top of Page

Health and Human Services at Lansing Community College

Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services Bldg, Room 108
Phone: (517) 483-1410
Additional contact information »