Curriculum

Sonography student performing an ultrasound

Student experiences 

The curriculum is identical for all students, regardless of enrollment option or location. Academic lectures originate primarily from the Rochester campus and are made available to students in Florida using interactive video-enabled classrooms. This system goes beyond traditional distance education and allows live face-to-face collaboration between students and faculty.

Classroom learning 

During classroom lectures, you’ll learn about the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the body systems imaged by a sonographer credentialed in the abdomen, OB/GYN and vascular technology specialties. During the first month of the program, the curriculum revolves around introductory sonographic scanning techniques and terminology, machine knobology, and basic patient care in both the classroom and scanning lab.

Scan lab

What you learn in the classroom will immediately transfer into a working scan lab where we use real-life simulations. The lab allows you to accurately apply your knowledge and practice your skills in a safe environment.

Hands-on clinical rotations 

Students are immersed into the clinical environment and working with patients by week five of the program! During training, clinical rotations are provided in specialized areas of sonography, including abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular sonography, and vascular testing.

Students at the Rochester campus gain experience in Mayo Clinic's radiology, obstetrics and vascular ultrasound departments. During their senior year, students have the opportunity to participate in a clinical rotation at a Mayo Clinic Health System location as well as the Olmsted Medical Center hospital in Rochester.

Students at the Jacksonville campus gain experience in Mayo Clinic's radiology and vascular departments. Obstetric and pediatric clinical rotations occur at non-Mayo facilities located in the Jacksonville area.

During all clinical rotations, supervision is provided by highly qualified radiologists, obstetricians, vascular surgeons, sonographers and vascular technologists.

Facilities and faculty

Learn more about the facilities and faculty of the Sonography Program.

Minnesota campus

Primarily, clinical education takes place on the Mayo Clinic campus in the departments of radiology, vascular medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. State-of-the-art ultrasound scanners are available at more than 50 scanning stations throughout the campus.

Florida campus

Students on the Florida campus may be required to spend one week on the Rochester, Minnesota, campus attending various labs and courses in the first weeks of the program. Travel and lodging costs are covered by the program for this week.

Primarily, clinical education takes place at Mayo Clinic Hospital, the Davis Building and off-site obstetrical practices in Jacksonville. State-of-the-art ultrasound scanners are available throughout the Jacksonville campus.

Teaching faculty

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences' Sonography Program draws its faculty from Mayo Clinic's clinical, scientific and technical staffs. They are chosen for their commitment to teaching, as well as clinical practice or research. Many have published and lectured extensively and are highly regarded in their field.

Students have direct access to these individuals throughout training. This allows the opportunity to learn directly from some of today's best practitioners in the field of sonography.

Rebecca A. Madery, MEd, RDMS, RVT
Program Director

Rebecca Madery worked as a general/vascular sonographer at Mayo Clinic from 2005 until 2010 when she accepted the academic coordinator position in the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Sonography Program. Ms. Madery served as Associate Program Director from 2012 until 2018 when she became Program Director. She graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a B.S. in radiation science and technology education and certification in radiography (2004) and sonography (2005). She earned her master’s degree in adult education from the University of Minnesota in 2014. Ms. Madery is credentialed by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) in Abdomen, OB/Gyn, Pediatric sonography, Neurosonology, and Vascular Technology.

Ms. Madery has served as the primary instructor or facilitator of most courses within the sonography program. She is currently the primary instructor for Foundations of Sonography, Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation I & II, Gynecologic sonography, Obstetrics sonography, Fetal Anomalies and Research Projects and Publications I & II. As the Program Director, Ms. Madery coordinates, organizes, directs, and evaluates the effectiveness of the diagnostic program by establishing program policies and procedures and planning the curriculum, academic instruction, supervision, and the scheduling and evaluation of students. She is responsible for reporting and maintaining accreditation standards and works closely with the program staff to assure students acquire cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills needed to function as entry-level sonographers upon graduation from the program.

Ms. Madery obtained the academic rank of instructor, has authored/co-authored several professional publications and serves as a member of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).

Nora Harer MHA, RDMS, RVT
Academic Coordinator

Nora Harer graduated from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at the Mayo School of Health Sciences in 2000. Upon graduation Ms. Harer immediately joined the sonography department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, as a registered sonographer in Abdomen/OBGYN and Vascular. Ms. Harer continued her educational journey by completing her Bachelor of Science degree in health arts in 2005 and completing her master’s degree in health care administration from the University of St. Francis in 2011 while holding assistant supervisor and supervisor positions within the Mayo sonography department.

Further wanting to develop her passion for education and learning Ms. Harer completed coursework in Curriculum Development, Performance Based Assessments, and Principles of Teaching and Human Learning before joining the Mayo Clinic School of Health Science’s Sonography Program in 2018 as Academic Coordinator. Ms. Harer’s responsibilities as Academic Coordinator include maintaining the curriculum, creating academics lecture schedules and assisting with program accreditation. Ms. Harer also teaches Anatomy, Professional Growth and Development, Sonography Concepts, Abdomen I, II, and III, and Research Project Courses. She also teaches a variety of scanning labs for the program and is responsible for monitoring student academic performance.

Ms. Harer serves as an active member of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS). She has also co-authored professional publications and has been the Team Lead on several Quality Improvement Projects throughout her career.

Laura Schmalz, RDMS, RVT
Clinical Coordinator

Laura Schmalz is a 2005 graduate of Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program from in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Following graduation, Ms. Schmalz joined Mayo Clinic’s sonography department. She is credentialed by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) in Abdomen, OB/Gyn and Vascular Technology.

Wanting to enrich and continue to grow professionally, Ms. Schmalz joined Mayo Clinic’s School of Health Science’s Sonography Program in 2016 as Clinical Coordinator and is completing her bachelor’s degree in biomedical science with the focus of diagnostic imaging.

Ms. Schmalz has a variety of responsibilities including coordinating, maintaining, and participating in the clinical experiences of students and their clinical instructors. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Ms. Schmalz directs and teaches the program’s vascular courses and scanning labs consisting of gross vascular anatomy, pathophysiology, fluid hemodynamics, exam statistics and non-imaging physiological testing.

Ms. Schmalz obtained the academic rank of instructor, following implementation and design of additional scanning curriculum and simulation labs. She also serves as a member of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).

Samantha Ghazanfari, RDMS, RVT
Clinical Coordinator

Samantha Ghazanfari is a 2013 graduate of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at Mayo School of Health Sciences. During the program, Ms. Ghazanfari completed registries in Physics, Abdomen, OB/GYN and Vascular Technology. She was also recognized as Student of the Year for her class. Immediately preceding graduation, she joined the Florida sonography department at Mayo Clinic.

Ms. Ghazanfari has been a clinical instructor during her time as a staff sonographer. With her passion and need to grow, she has been involved in multiple research projects and mission trips. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree at Florida State College of Jacksonville.

Ms. Ghazanfari is the primary instructor and coordinator at the Florida location. She is currently the primary instructor for Cross-sectional Imaging and Breast Sonography. Ms. Ghazanfari works closely with the Rochester team to ensure that all students are supported evenly, especially in the clinical setting. Ms. Schmalz and Ms. Ghazanfari work together to fulfill the student’s scanning labs, clinical schedules, clinical grades and clinical rotations.

Ms. Ghazanfari still assists in the sonography department with patient care. She also serves as a member of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).

Hours

The Sonography Program is a full-time (40 hours a week) program. The learning schedule includes eight-hour days (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) five days a week.

Course sequence

Fall semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

SONO 3011

Foundations of Sonography

3

SONO 3111

Abdomen I Sonography

1

SONO 3121

Cross-Sectional Abdominal Anatomy

2

SONO 3201

Gynecologic Sonography

2

SONO 3311

Vascular Technology I

2

SONO 3301

Clinical Practicum I

3

Spring semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

SONO 3112

Abdomen II Sonography

3

SONO 3312

Vascular Technology II

3

SONO 3401

OB Sonography

2

SONO 3302

Clinical Practicum II

5

Summer semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

SONO 4301

Fetal Anomalies

2

SONO 3313

Vascular Technology III

1

SONO 3403

Concepts Review and Case Studies

2

SONO 3503

Superficial Sonography

2

SONO 4303

Clinical Practicum III

6

Fall semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

SONO 4111

Ultrasound Physics I

2

SONO 4201

Pediatric Sonography

1

SONO 3113

Abdomen III Sonography

2

SONO 4501

Research Project and Publication I

1

SONO 4401

Clinical Practicum IV

7

Spring semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

SONO 4112

Ultrasound Physics II

2

SONO 4502

Research Project and Publication II

1

SONO 4602

Professional Growth and Development

1

SONO 4802

Mock Exams

1

SONO 4401

Clinical Practicum V

8

Grading or evaluation

Academic and clinical coursework is graded on a 4.0 scale. Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools that include written examination, demonstration of skills, self-assessment exercises and faculty reviews.

Mayo's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance, allowing students who are experiencing academic difficulty to be directed to appropriate support resources.

Graduation and certification

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. Those completing the collaborative bachelor's degree with UMR also receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions (BSHP) degree.

Prior to graduation, students are required to take the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) Examination given by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Graduates are then eligible to register for the Abdomen, OB/GYN and Vascular Technology specialty certification examinations.