Best Ultrasound Technician Schools in California 2024 | Admission Requirements[UPDATED] | Spynaija
Best Ultrasound Technician Schools in California

Best Ultrasound Technician Schools in California 2024 | Admission Requirements[UPDATED]

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Michael Tijani


A career as an ultrasound technician may be right for you if you want an excellent career in the medical field that pays well and only requires an associate’s degree. Ultrasound technicians earn more in California than anywhere else in the country, making it a lucrative occupation. Furthermore, this is a great career path for anyone who wants to help others achieve and maintain good health. You will learn about the best ultrasound technician schools in California below so that you can make better career decisions.

California’s Certification Requirements

In California, professional organizations are voluntarily responsible for registering and certifying ultrasound technicians. Ultrasound technicians can pursue a two-year or four-year degree from a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In California, there are ten CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound technician schools. Although certification is not required, many employers in California may require ultrasound technicians to be certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Ultrasound Technician Salary in California

In 2013, the annual median salary for an ultrasound technician in California was $86,000, compared to the national median salary of $66,400. In 2013, the top 10% of earners in California earned an average annual salary of $121,900, while the bottom 10% earned an average annual salary of $54,900. In 2013, the median hourly wage for ultrasound technicians in California was $41.35.


According to the Employment Development Department (EDD) of the State of California, job growth for ultrasound technicians is expected to increase by 37.7 percent between 2010 and 2020. The average annual number of job openings for ultrasound technicians in California is expected to be 290.

Here’s what you will benefit from an Ultrasound Technician Program in California

An ultrasound technician program in CA will teach you everything you need to know to succeed in your chosen field. Human anatomy and how to operate the various types of medical equipment you will use on the job are the two most important things you will learn. Aside from that, you will learn medical terminologies to help you communicate effectively with your patients’ caregivers, as well as ethics and privacy as they apply to the California medical industry.

Because an ultrasound technician’s primary job involves diagnostic imaging, you will study physiology and how various diseases or conditions affect the human body. This will allow you to be more effective at your job while also benefiting patients by allowing you to contribute to better overall outcomes.

Program Length & Cost of Ultrasound Technician Programs in California

The time and money required to become an ultrasound technician in California vary depending on the program you choose. An associate degree can be completed in two years and costs up to $59,160; a bachelor’s degree can be completed in four years and costs up to $129,410. If you have a degree in an allied health field and want to become an ultrasound technician, you can earn a certificate, which takes 10 to 18 months and costs up to $37,550.


Best Ultrasound Technician Schools in California

Below are some of the best ultrasound technician schools in California, their various admission requirements, and everything else you need to know.

1. Cosumnes River College

Cosumnes River College is one of California’s top sonographer and ultrasound tech schools. Its sonography program combines practicum, laboratory, and classroom learning.

Students will learn the fundamental skills required of medical ultrasound technicians as well as other marketable skills. Your courses will assist you in developing the skills necessary to create images of human anatomy using specialized equipment.

During their studies, students are expected to meet a few program goals. You must demonstrate the necessary psychomotor, cognitive, and affective skills for abdominal sonography. Students will also need to demonstrate the same abilities in obstetrics and gynecological sonography.


Cosumnes River College currently offers two distinct programs to students:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography A.S.
  • Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

For first-year undergraduate students entering this field of study, the A.S. degree is the more popular option. You’ll get in-class and hands-on experience with advanced medical equipment during your courses. You’ll also work on improving your patient contact skills, which are especially important when working with critically ill patients.

Students at Cosumnes River College will be expected to take a variety of courses. Among these courses are:

  • Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals.
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Interpersonal Communication.
  • Theoretical Physics.
  • Human Illness.
  • Sectional Anatomy for Medical Imaging Scanning of Superficial and Small Parts.

Admission requirements


To become a diagnostic medical sonographer or ultrasound technician, you must first:

  • Complete all educational units from a recognized program.

  • Complete all of the required on-the-job training hours.

  • At least one certifying exam must be passed.

  • Transcript of high school transcript

  • Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and show financial need.

READ ALSO:   10 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs with 2.5 GPA Requirement in 2024[UPDATED]

2. Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College offers a fantastic sonographer and ultrasound technician program to students. You will enroll in the diagnostic medical sonography program, which will assist you in monitoring various health-related events. Many graduates work with pregnant women, while others diagnose serious bodily diseases.

This program is intended for students who have a keen analytical eye. It’s also a fantastic way to get started in the healthcare industry. The curriculum is well-rounded for all types of students, with in-class and hands-on medical instruction.

You will enroll in a variety of courses at Orange Coast College. Among the essential courses you’ll take are the following:

  • OB/GYN Sonography.
  • Patient Care.
  • Sectional Anatomy for Medical Imaging.
  • Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation of Human Diseases.
  •  Introduction to Vascular Ultrasound.

Admission requirements

  • Students must complete/obtain: a physical examination

  • Clearance on criminal background and drug screening

  • ALH A115 offers CPR, HIPAA, and blood-borne pathogen training.

  • Liability insurance for students

  • To apply to the program, all students must complete the course Allied Health A010 – Health Occupations.

  • Following completion of Allied Health A010, students are selected and admitted to the program on a first-come, first-served basis. To enroll in any DMS class, students must first be admitted to the program.

  • You must have a GPA of at least 3.5.

3. Cypress College

Cypress College’s diagnostic medical sonography program is an excellent choice for students interested in a career in medicine. This program provides students with hands-on training to help them better understand obstetrics, superficial structures, and the human abdomen. Enrolling in this program will teach you the fundamentals needed to pass the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography examination.

During their education, students can expect to learn about a variety of interesting topics. Some of the most common fields of study are:

  • Clinical Education.
  • Sonography of the Abdomen.
  • Externship in Sonography Sonography Physics.
  • Doppler Methods.
  • Pathology and Small Parts in Carotid and Arterial Sonography.
  • OB/GYN Sonography.
  • Physics of Sonography.

As you might expect, Cypress College’s ultrasound tech program is one of the more diverse options. Students frequently graduate and go on to work as diagnostic medical sonographers, which is a well-paying profession. It’s also worth noting that the Commission on Accreditation in Allied Health Education Programs has fully accredited this program.


Admission requirements.

  • GED test, high school diploma, or high school proficiency examination

  • The minimum age is 17 years. At the start of clinical training, you must be 18 years old.

  • Present evidence of good physical and mental health, as determined by a medical examination before admission to the program and enrollment.

  • GPA of 2.0 in all college courses taken.

  • All affiliated hospitals require personal transportation.

  • ENGL 100 C Eligibility

4. Casa Loma College – Van Nuys

This Van Nuys college offers a 23-month associate’s degree program in diagnostic medical sonography. Students begin with fundamental courses such as anatomy and physiology, math, and physics. The core curriculum of the program includes anatomy and small parts, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), and the vascular system. Completing two semesters of clinical externships provides practical experience.

Graduates may be eligible for ARDMS certification exams in OB/GYN, abdominal and small parts, and sonography principles and instrumentation physics. Students without a healthcare degree must gain a year of professional experience before taking the exam.

Admissions Requirements

  • To be admitted to Casa Loma College, all new applicants must complete the following steps:

  • They must be at least 17 years old when they begin the program.

  • Apply for Admission and pay the non-refundable processing fee of $100.

  • Participate in a Personal Admissions Interview

  • Provide official high school transcripts or GED test results.

  • Applicants must submit a portfolio by a certain deadline. The portfolio must contain the following items:

  • Resume for a Professional

  • Essay for Admission:

  • Meet the DMS Disclosure’s essential functions for a DMS Technologist: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Essential Functions

  • A minimum GPA of 2.5

5. Foothill College

This Los Altos Hills college offers a certificate and associate’s degree program in diagnostic medical sonography. Acceptance into either program necessitates the completion of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a relevant healthcare field. Anatomy and physiology, physics, and medical terminology are also required for applicants. Both programs require 98 credits of core classes, with an additional 30 credits of general education coursework required for the associate’s program.

The core curriculum includes OB/GYN, pathology, and sectional anatomy. Clinical training is also provided to students through preceptorships. Graduates may be prepared for ARDMS certification exams.

Admission requirements

  • GED or high school diploma Transcripts from all colleges are required.

  • A cumulative college GPA of 2.0 or higher is required.

  • A cumulative college SCIENCE COURSEWORK GPA of 2.5 or higher is required.

  • Math 105 (Intermediate Algebra) or an equivalent college-level course with a grade of “C” or higher is required. If you demonstrate Math proficiency through a placement test, you must include the test results with your online application. ENGL 1A, 1H, or 1S & 1T, with a grade of “C” or higher.

  • College General Physics is accepted (Radiology Physics is not). Thermal, Electricity, Waveforms, Electrical & Magnetism, Acoustical, and Optics should be included in the course description. BIOL 40A, 40B, and 40C, or a semester of Anatomy and Physiology.

  • One full academic year of Anatomy and Physiology, including lab, is required.

  • AHS 52 or ANY Medical Terminology course worth three-quarter units or two-semester units with a grade of “C” or higher. (AHS 200 may be used to fulfill this requirement.) Certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (Can be delayed until acceptance). Only The American Heart Association’s certification is acceptable.

READ ALSO:   List of Accredited Nursing Schools in New York in 2024[UPDATED]

6. Lincoln University

This Oakland university offers diagnostic imaging bachelor’s degree programs. There is also a certificate program for ultrasound technicians. All programs offer vascular ultrasound or echocardiography concentrations. Externships and ultrasound coursework are required for certificate students. The ultrasound physics, abdomen, and small parts courses are covered in the bachelor’s degree program. According to the university, only the bachelor’s degree program will prepare students for ARDMS exams.

Admission requirements

Prospective students should submit the following items:

  • One passport-size photograph and a completed Application for Admission form

  • An equivalency certificate for a secondary education attestation accompanied by official transcripts; or their notarized copies; or other documentation proving high school graduation or its equivalent* Transcripts including the most recent completed semester or a school letter indicating graduation confirmation before beginning education at Lincoln University are acceptable for applicants in their final year of high school.

  • Official transcripts from each postsecondary program from which applicants wish to transfer credit (for applicants who have previously attended postsecondary educational programs) *;

  • A minimum GPA of 2.5

  • A one-page essay describing the applicant’s interest in a program at Lincoln University;

  • A social security card and a photocopy of an identification document*

7. Charles R Drew University of Medicine & Science

The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is a CAAHEP-accredited school in California. This private institution in Los Angeles, California, is dedicated to providing Diagnostic Medical Sonography certificate programs, associate degree programs, bachelor’s degree programs, post-baccalaureate certificate programs, and master’s degree programs.

Admission requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher overall

  • Minimum score on one of the following admission exams (MCAT & GRE are recommended but not required):

  • MCAT: 24, 2015 MCAT: 498 GRE: 300

  • DAT = 18 PCAT = 70 OAT = 300

  • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better before matriculation.

  • 1 year or 8 units of general chemistry with lab

  • 1 year or 8 units of general biology with lab

  • 1 year or 8 units of organic chemistry with lab

  • 1 semester or 3 units of calculus/statistics

8. Santa Barbara City College

Another accredited ultrasound college in California is Santa Barbara City College. This public school is dedicated to providing students with accessible and affordable education for them to become skilled and dependable professionals in the field of medical sonography. Santa Barbara City College offers Diagnostic Medical Sonography certificate programs in less than one year, one-year certificate programs, and associate degree programs.

Admission requirements

  • All Department Requirements with a “C” or better or a “P” in each course are listed below (at least 20 percent of the department requirements must be completed through SBCC).

  • One of the three General Education options listed below:

  • OPTION 1: A minimum of 18 units of SBCC General Education Requirements (Areas A-D) and Institutional Requirements (Area E), as well as the Information Competency Requirement (Area F) OR OPTION 3: CSU GE Breadth Pattern OR OPTION 2: IGETC Pattern

  • There are a total of 60 degree-applicable units (SBCC courses numbered 100 and higher).

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in all SBCC units attempted.

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in all college courses taken.

  • SBCC requires a minimum of 12 units.

9. Merced College

Merced College, like any other accredited ultrasound tech college in California, is committed to providing ultrasound students with a high standard of education. Diagnostic medical sonography programs at Merced College include a less-than-a-year certificate program, a one-year certificate program, and an associate’s degree program.

Admission requirements

  • Has graduated from an accredited high school with a diploma or a high school completion certificate.

  • Has a GED and has passed the California High School Proficiency exam.

  • Is an 18-year-old or older non-high school graduate who is no longer enrolled in high school and can benefit from instruction.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

10. Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences – Richmond

The mission of Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Science (KPSAHS) is to provide affordable healthcare education in the Northern California region. In the year 2000, the school began offering the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, equipped with the best medical equipment and learning solutions.

You can earn an 18-month BS degree in DMS with a concentration in one of two areas: general sonography or cardiac sonography.

General Sonography: You will learn how to use an ultrasonic instrument to diagnose soft tissue organs in the human body, and after completing this program, you will be able to apply for specific general sonographer jobs.

Cardiac Sonography: You will learn how to use ultrasonic equipment to diagnose specific heart and vascular systems. Graduates of this program will be able to apply for positions as echocardiographers in medical clinics or acute care facilities.


*Both of these programs last six academic quarters and are delivered through informative lectures in classroom settings as well as extensive practical training in medical clinics/offices and hospitals throughout Northern California.

Admission Requirements

  • A high school diploma or GED, as well as a passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level exam, are required for certificate programs.

  • For certificate programs, only high school transcripts or GEDs are accepted.

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.

11. University of California San Diego Medical Center – San Diego

In the San Diego area, UC San Diego Medical Center is an academic hospital with a renowned level 1 trauma center. It takes pride in offering excellent education with a strong emphasis on clinical training and patient care.

READ ALSO:   Top 10 Cheapest Medical Schools in California 2024 | Tuitions & Acceptance Rates[UPDATED]

Consider this certificate program at UC San Diego Medical Center to become an ultrasound technician in California, which can be completed in as little as 12 months. It is ideal for those with a degree in any allied healthcare career who want to change careers. Selection is extremely competitive, with only six students admitted each year for classes that begin once a year in January. Classroom lectures are scheduled once a week for 8 hours, and you must attend four days per week.

Admission requirements

  • Candidates must have completed a two-year radiologic technology program and passed the registry exam to be considered.

  • Completion of the following postsecondary courses with a minimum grade of “C” or higher. These courses must be completed before applying and taken within the last 5 years.

  • Algebra or higher level math.

  • Speech/communication skills.

  • General Physics.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology.

  • General Pathophysiology.

  • Patient Care.

  • Medical Terminology.

  • Medical Ethics and Law.

  • Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline.

  •  Completion of the following postsecondary courses with a minimum grade of “C” or higher. These courses must be completed before applying and taken within the last 5 years.

  • Algebra or higher level math • Speech/communication skills • General Physics • Human Anatomy and Physiology • General Pathophysiology • Patient Care • Medical Terminology • Medical Ethics and Law

  • Students must show proof of 40 hours of direct patient contact in a hospital or clinic. Volunteering at a hospital is acceptable, but proper documentation is required.

  • Students must complete the American Heart Association’s CPR course and maintain certification for the duration of the program.

12. National Polytechnic College

National Polytechnic College is one of the best ultrasound technician schools in California. Their sonographer and ultrasound tech program is extensive. Students will complete labs, lectures, and clinical externships. They will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the skills and responsibilities of entry-level sonographers using these study methods.

Students who complete the program will be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Ultrasound examination.
  • Examinations with ultrasound.
  • Data collection for anatomical, pathological, and physiologic purposes.

Students will develop enhanced interpersonal skills in addition to medical-related skills in this field. They’ll learn how to collaborate effectively with other medical professionals and their patients. This program emphasizes improving your patient care skills with both healthy and critically ill patients.

Students can pursue one of two learning paths: a diploma or an associate degree. The diploma program takes 24 months to complete and requires 2360 hours of study. The associate degree, on the other hand, requires 26 months or 2630 hours of study.

Admission requirements

  • GED or high school diploma

  • An Associate Degree is only required if you want to be certified in ultrasound by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

  • GPA of 2.5 or higher

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the distinction between sonography and ultrasound technology?

These titles can be used interchangeably. Ultrasound technology is used by both sonographers and ultrasound technicians to diagnose and track medical conditions.

What is the average time it takes to become an ultrasound technician?

In two years, students can complete an associate degree. Students who want to graduate sooner can look into accelerated ultrasound technician programs.


What degree is required to work as an ultrasound technician?

A degree or certificate in ultrasound technology, sonography, or vascular technology is required for ultrasound technicians. The majority of schools provide these programs as associate degrees.

Final Thoughts

With ultrasound technician degree programs, you can work in a highly technical field while also caring for patients. This profession allows professionals to use specialized equipment to get a close-up look at internal organs. Depending on your specialty, you could be called a sonographer, diagnostic sonographer, or ultrasound technician.

You are likely to have a wide range of responsibilities daily. Ultrasound technicians frequently prepare examination rooms, assist radiologists, maintain radiology equipment, notify medical staff of abnormalities, and perform other duties. It is the ideal combination of doctor-led instruction and patient care.

To start your dream job, you must first find the right program. We’ve compiled a list of the top 12 ultrasound technician schools in California in this guide.

Additionally, we did everything possible to ensure that the data in this article was accurate. Please keep in mind, however, that admission statistics and data are dynamic and subject to modification by these institutions at any time. As a result, we always advise you to confirm these data with the school’s official admissions office.

Recommended Topics:


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top