Frequently Asked Questions
I'm interested in sonography, where should I start?
If you think you are interested in pursuing a rewarding career in ultrasound, please start by researching sonography at the following websites:
ARSMS.org – The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography® (ARDMS®) administers examinations and awards credentials in areas of ultrasound. ARDMS.org has a wealth of knowledge about sonography and great resources for students and those new to sonography.
SDMS.org – The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) is a professional membership organization founded in 1970 to promote, advance, and educate its members and the medical community in the science of diagnostic medical sonography. The SDMS, with over 28,000 members, is the largest association of sonographers and sonography students in the world. SDMS.org as great information about sonography career paths, what to look for in a school, and information about all the different ultrasound modalities used.
CAAHEP.org – The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is a programmatic postsecondary accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and carries out its accrediting activities in cooperation with 23 review Committees on Accreditation. CAAHEP is considered the “Gold Standard” for accreditation for Sonography schools and education.
Once you have researched and determined that a career in sonography is right for you, please apply for our program by completing the application and submitting an unofficial copy of your transcripts for review. Someone from our school will then contact you to go over options and next steps.
Where are you located?
We are located at One Timber Way Suite 102 in Spanish Fort, Alabama just outside of Mobile on the eastern side of Mobile Bay.
Do you offer distance learning?
IUD does offer a distance learning option for its One-Year Program. The distance learning option has all of the requirements as the local program with the additional requirement of having a pre-approved clinical site set up in your area. The distance program functions just like the local program. Students complete the didactic coursework through our online course management system and they receive their hands-on clinical training at the pre-approved clinical site.
Distance students must have an approved clinical site BEFORE they will be accepted into the program. Distance students are also required to attend the three week “boot camp” at our facility in Spanish Fort, Alabama at the beginning of the program. If a clinical site cannot be secured in the applicant’s area, they have the option to apply as a local student and relocate to our area to complete the program.
What kind of equipment do I need?
The following equipment is needed for the program:
1. Computer – Desktop or Laptop. Tablets and Smart Phone are not acceptable for completing work. MACS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED due to potential compatibility issues
2. Windows 7 OS or higher (or Equivalent MAC OS if using MAC)
3. Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint
4. Current up to date version of Internet Explorer or Firefox or Chrome browser
5. Reliable High Speed Internet
6. Web Camera, Microphone, Speakers (or headset)
7. Email Address (to be checked multiple times daily, NO .edu addresses)
8. Plain Navy Blue Scrubs (no trim color)
9. Plain ALL white nursing shoes (no accent colors)
How much are your programs?
We have a complete listing and break down of fees on our Tuition & Fees Page.
What kind of Financial Aid is available?
Right now our financial aid options are limited.
We do not currently accept any FAFSA financial aid (Title IV) through the Federal Student Financial Aid Program at this time. (including PELL grants and Direct Loans/Stafford Loans/Etc.)
If you are a student in Alabama we are approved by a program called the Work Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA). If you qualify for this program, WIOA it will cover up to $6,500.00 of the one year program.
We also have an in-house interest free payment plan we can offer. The terms of the plan are as follows.
Material fees of $1,000.00 is due upon acceptance into the program.
The remaining balance is broken up into 5 payments of $2,450.00.
A payment is due every 3 months starting on the first day of class.
IE if you started the program in January, the first payment would be due the first day of class, then a payment would be due in April, then July, then October, and the final payment is due before graduation in December. Each payment is $2,450.00.
Note, none of the following financial aid options are available for any of the pre-requisite classes or any of our short-term cross-training courses offered by IUD. For more information, please see our Financial Aid page.
12 Month Program
How is your program different?
Our program is different in that most CAAHEP accredited programs are 18-24 months in length. Our One-Year Program is only 12 months in length which means the pace is accelerated. We include sonography didactics and clinical rotations simultaneously and the pace is rigorous. If you are considering our program, you must have self-discipline, good time management skills and focused attention to detail.
What kind of pre-recs do I need?
IUD requires eight (8) pre-requisite courses be taken at the college level BEFORE being considered for the 1 Year Program. No grade lower than a “C” will be accepted for any individual class and a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to be considered for the program.
Please note that simply meeting the 2.5 GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
The following eight (8) pre-requisite classes are required for the 12-month program:
- College Level Intermediate Algebra or any higher mathematics course (IE Statistics)
- Speech or Public Speaking (English Composition will also be accepted)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I (Lab not required but HIGHLY recommended)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology II (Lab not required but HIGHLY recommended)
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Introduction to Patient Care*** (CNA Course HIGHLY Recommended)
- Physics I (does not need to be Calculus based)
*** Patient Care may be substituted with a Certified Nursing Assistant course (CNA). To meet this requirement an applicant must have completed the CNA course and passed their state’s CNA licensing tests. CNA classes are highly recommended for applicants who do not have an Allied Health background.
A CNA license is strongly recommended as a replacement for patient care for those who do not have an allied health background already.
Of the eight (8) pre-requisite classes IUD requires, we offer all except College Algebra and Speech. All IUD classes are offered online ONLY. College Algebra and Speech must be taken at an accredited school before any online pre-requisite classes may be taken with IUD.
IUD PRE-REQUISITE CLASS ARE ONLY INTENDED TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE IUD ONE-YEAR PROGRAM. THEY ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE AT OTHER SCHOOLS AND MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS.
Can I take them via distance learning?
Yes! Of the eight (8) prerequisite classes IUD requires, we offer all except College Algebra and Speech. College Algebra and Speech must be taken at an accredited school before any online pre-requisite classes may be taken with IUD.
Applicants must apply for the One-Year Program first, in order to be approved for the IUD online prerequisite classes.
Will my classes transfer from another institution to IUD?
IUD will accept required prerequisite classes only from an accredited institution. Classes must be taken within the last 10 years.
If Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology have been taken more than 5 years prior, it is recommended that the applicate consider retaking those classes.
Does everyone have to attend Bootcamp onsite?
While a competent sonographer can make performing ultrasound look easy, sonography is arguably the most difficult radiologic modality to learn. There is much more to it than meets the eye.
Attending the 3-week “boot camp” ensures IUD students are given the proper method and instruction to find and identify normal Abdominal and GYN anatomy in accordance with AIUM standards and guidelines.
What does the Bootcamp schedule look like?
The sonography “boot camp” schedule is Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6: 00 p.m. each day. Students are moved between intensive lectures, scan labs, and modules throughout the day. Classes usually end around 6:00 in the evening, but on occasion evening scan labs are scheduled 6:00 p.m. when needed.
Students have an hour for lunch each day.
How can I find housing during my 3-week Bootcamp?
There are a number of hotels, apartments, and houses in the area that work with and in many cases give discounts to IUD students.
As a distance learning student, will you help me find a clinical site?
Yes. In many cases, IUD has existing relationships with sites in different parts of the country. However, if you live in an area where we do not have a relationship with a clinical site, we will work with you to find and secure a clinical site. Securing a clinical site starts by completing the clinical site preference form.
For distance students, an approved clinical site is required before being accepted into the program.
Can I take the 12-month program slower?
No. IUD’s One-Year Program is an advanced, accelerated program. It is structured to produce competent entry-level sonographers in 12 months. If a prospect needs a slower paced more traditional style program it is recommended they contact CAAHEP.org to find a more appropriate program for their needs.
Can I sit for licensing or boards when I finish your program?
Yes! Our One-Year Program is CAAHEP accredited which gives IUD student the ability to sit for ARDMS registry exams for the specialties of Abdomen, OB/GYN, and the SPI. The SPI exam can be taken 6 months into the program and Abdomen and OB/GYN can be taken as early as 60 days before graduation. This means the IUD graduates have the unique opportunity to be registered sonographers upon graduation from the 12-month program.
I'm a nurse but want to get into sonography, which program should I look into?
Due to the difficulty in learning ultrasound and registry requirements, 90% to 95% of people interested in a career in ultrasound will be best served to attend and complete IUD’s One-Year Sonography Program, regardless of background.
However, in certain situations, one of the short-term cross-training courses may meet the goals of an applicant and their employer. Minimum requirements for attending one of the cross-training courses are
- 2 year Allied Health degree (X-ray, CT, Nursing, Etc.)
- Employment at a facility which is wanting to cross-train applicant into ultrasound.
Please refer to the ARDMS.org for registry pre-requisites and requirements.
How long are the cross-training sessions?
IUD offers 1 week, 3-week, and 3-month cross-training courses. None of the cross-training courses are considered standalone courses and IUD requires that the student is employed/sponsored by a hospital or clinic which is willing to continuing clinical training once the course is completed.
A minimum of 12 months of additional clinical training and supervision is required after completion of the cross-training course, regardless of length.
Are the cross-training sessions offered distance learning?
Only the 3-month course has a “distance” learning option for the additional didactic coursework. All other cross-training courses are completed in person at IUD.
Why does my employer need to sponsor me for a cross-training program?
Due to the difficulty in learning ultrasound and registry requirements, it is very important to have an assurance that proper clinical training and oversight will be given to the student after completion of the cross-training course. Therefore, IUD requires that all cross-training course attendees be sponsored by their employer.
Please refer to the ARDMS.org for registry pre-requisites and requirements.
I'm looking to move jobs, does my employer still need to sponsor me?
Yes. Due to the difficulty in learning ultrasound and registry requirements, it is very important to have the assurance that proper clinical training and oversight will be given to the student after completion of the cross-training course.
Therefore, IUD requires that all cross-training course attendees be sponsored by their employer.
If you are planning to learn ultrasound and then seek employment elsewhere, you may be better served by attending the One-Year Program.
Are there any pre-requisites for the one-week programs?
One week programs are designed for continuing medical education and require the attendee have some type of sonography background. That may include previous education in sonography, experience as a sonographer in another sonographic specialty or registry in a sonographic specialty such as ARDMS, ARRT or CCI. Verification is required.
What is the difference between the 3-week and the 3-month cross training program?
The three-week program is designed to jump-start the student into the clinical environment. The focus is on learning to recognize normal echo patterns. Students are taught to identify normal organs of the abdomen and pelvis and how to access and demonstrate normal anatomy on sonographic images.
The three-month program is an extension of the three-week session by introducing more information regarding clinical signs and symptoms of common disease processes and recognizing associated pathologies. The focus is on abdominal and pelvic pathologies with an introduction to superficial organs. Obstetrical sonography is not included in the three-month course.
Neither the three week or three-month course will prepare a student to qualify or sit for registry exams.
April 16, 2018
April 4, 2018
Thank You for the help you have given me in building a strong foundation for my new career. For someone that has been through a few career changes before, I am gratified to find one that will be as challenging and rewarding as I want to make it. Your presentation of sonography as a profession instead of a trade makes this possible. At times this process has been frustrating, but it has also been a grand adventure. Your combination of knowledge and compassion for your students provides the tools and encourages the fortitude necessary for success. Thank You, Kathy and Misty. Your hard work is appreciated.