Sonography Programs in California (CAAHEP Accredited)

Sonography Programs in California – Overview

Sonography programs in California help meet long-term career goals while serving the healthcare sector. Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) is a rapidly growing field within allied health.

It can be a great career choice, especially in California, where it is gaining huge popularity for various reasons.

It includes the high availability of jobs, short-term training periods, and the high salary, even at the start-up level.

Before pursuing a career as a sonography technician, it is crucial to consider California’s top and accredited sonography programs.

The courses available in the Sonography programs teach about human anatomy and medical terminology. The programs allow an individual to use and learn ultrasound equipment and technology.

Depending on the area of specialization, sonography programs in California cover topics such as pediatrics and obstetrics in ultrasound and musculoskeletal and cardiovascular in ultrasound technology.

Degree and certificate programs also include clinical internships that allow an individual to gain practical and real-world experience, preparing effectively for an ultrasound technician.

A Good Career Choice

Becoming an ultrasound technician in California is considered an excellent choice for the following reasons:

Job Growth and Availability – It has been estimated that in 2023, there were around 8,600 working sonographers in California, making it the state with one of the highest employment levels for this profession in the country.

Sonographer Salary – Salary is an important aspect when opting for any career. The average annual mean wage of ultrasound techs in California is $122,670.

Education — Entry-level jobs typically require a two-year Associate’s degree in sonography. California has thirteen accredited sonography programs.

CAAHEP Accredited Programs

Accreditation is the most important factor to consider when pursuing a sonography degree in California.

A school or program attains accreditation after a rigorous review from a reputable agency, ensuring it meets the quality of education per identified standards.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the primary and widely recognized accreditation agency for sonography programs.

There are 13 CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound technician schools in the state of California.

1. CBD College

A flexible course of study is offered for the medical sonography program at CBD College, which can be completed in 22 months. Some online courses and the Associate Degree program offer day and evening classes.

A variety of externship opportunities are available for participation. A general course of study is accredited by CAAHEP. After completing the course, students are eligible for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam.

For more information, visit

2. Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC)

The CRMC offers hospital-based sonography programs. Its general and advanced cardiac sonography is CAAHEP accredited.

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or two-year allied health degree with a license are offered eighteen-month accelerated programs.

One can choose from the accredited tracts, including general sonography, vascular sonography, pediatric cardiac sonography, and adult cardiac sonography.

To learn more, visit

3. Cosumnes River College (CRC)

Cosumnes River College offers an accredited Associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. It is a rigorous six-semester course that must be completed with full-time attendance.

To apply for this course, a student must have the following:

  1. Already completed an Associate’s degree at an accredited college,
  2. Must have a minimum of 800 hours, paid or volunteer, inpatient care,
  3. Must have taken other courses and passed them with a “B” grade or better.

For more information, visit

4. Cypress College

Cypress College offers a CAAHEP-accredited sonography program on campus. A general or high school diploma is the minimum educational standard to apply for. The applicant must be 18 years old by the start of the clinical training.

This program will qualify an individual for the examination by ARDMS upon graduation. It will also prepare a student for employment.

For more information, visit

5. Foothill College

Foothill College offers an 18-month Certificate of Achievement in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program and an Associate’s degree program in DMS.

An individual must have completed a two-year health degree program, provided direct patient care, or undergone clinical experiences taught in an accredited institution.

For other course requirements, visit

6. Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences

Kaiser Permanente offers a medical sonography program and a bachelor of science program in general and cardiac concentrations. Eighteen months of full-time sequential study is required.

To be eligible, an applicant must have completed an Associate’s degree in any discipline and have at least 80 hours of observational experience in a sonography department. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the ARDMS exam.

Learn more at

7. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda offers several programs in medical imaging at Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree levels. Every year, 12-24 students are admitted. They must meet the course and degree prerequisites that must be completed within five years of their application submission.

To learn more, visit

8. Merced College

Merced College offers an accredited program that prepares students for entry-level sonography positions in hospitals, imaging centers, and clinical offices.

The 22-month Certificate of Achievement program in General Sonography is a full-time program.

An applicant must have an Associate in Science degree in a related field or a Bachelor’s degree with 500 hours of patient care experience to be eligible.

For more information, visit

9. Mt. San Jacinto College(MSJC)

MSJC’s campus offers an Associate’s in Science degree in General DMS. Admission to this program is competitive and determined by a point-based system.

A student is required to attend five sequential semesters with full-time attendance. Graduates are prepared to sit for the ARDMS and specialty exams like abdomen, small parts, and OB/GYN.

For more information, visit

10. Orange Coast College (OCC)

OCC offers an Associate’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. It is a full-time, five-semester program. Every year, a maximum of 24,000 students are admitted to the program. However, they are required to complete the Allied Health course at OCC before applying for the program.

11. Santa Barbara City College (SBCC)

An accredited General DMS program is offered at SBCC, where students receive a Certificate of Achievement upon completion.

To be eligible, applicants must have either a two-year Allied Health education program in a patient-care sector, a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, or an M.D. from outside the U.S.

Also, several course requirements must be completed with a “C” or better grade.

It takes 21 months of full-time attendance to complete the certificate program and must be taken in sequential order.

For more information, visit

12. University of California San Diego Medical Center (UCSD)

A 12-month certificate program in limited Vascular Sonography and General Sonography is offered. It is a rigorous program, accepting only six students annually.

The primary focus is clinical training, where students do clinical rotations for 32 hours weekly, plus one-day classroom instructions for 8 hours.

Applicants must have completed a Radiologic Technology Program and passed the registry exam or a Bachelor’s degree in any field with specific prerequisite courses.

They must also provide documentation of 80 hours of direct patient contact in a hospital or clinic.

Sonography Programs in California – Financial Aid

Paying for sonography programs in California is one of the major concerns for students. To ease their financial worries, colleges often offer merit-plus-needs-based scholarships.

Financial aid and student loans are available for those who qualify.

If you wish to attend a sonography program in California, it is crucial to consider various options and check out for available financial help.

  1. Ultrasound Schools Info – The Ultrasound Schools Info student scholarship is a non-renewable, semi-annual $1,000 scholarship. It is awarded to an aspiring sonographer enrolled in a CAAHEP-accredited diagnostic medical sonography program. High school students accepted to a program are also eligible.
  2. Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program – The AHSP awards up to $15,000 for one school year. This scholarship is awarded up to three times, and the recipients are obliged to practice full-time patient care at a qualified facility in California.
  3. eQuality Scholarship – eQuality Scholarship supports students and their needs. The aim is to help them succeed by addressing financial barriers in education.
  4. California Student Aid Commission – The California Student Aid Commission makes high school education financially accessible for all Californians. Students can submit a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) or Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the right aid opportunities.


Sonographers play a significant role in the healthcare sector. Sonography programs in California offer one of the highest employment levels.

If a sonographer’s career suits you, check out the potential coursework, internship opportunities, and specialties available with a specific program.

Higher education and certifications may lead to advanced and specialized job roles.

Sonography Programs in the US by State (Map)

See Also

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Current Version
April 6, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
October 18, 2023
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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